June 16, 2015 at 1:12 pm #38463
I’ve upgraded my irrigation system to Open Sprinkler, which is going very well (fingers crossed). But the downside is that I don’t have the old manual dials for my gardener to use. This is a mixed blessing, since I have since discovered that my old box was set to some bizarre programs watering trees at odd times. I have no idea how the program got there, or how long it has been running. Someone, sometime, somehow put in the program, and until I went through all the switches and menu settings, I didn’t know about it. So, having a computer display of programs and watering logs is wonderful.
But the lack of a dial also makes it hard for others to turn on zones, test them, and adjust the timing.
I discovered that I can get a very serviceable Android 4.4 phone for $28 from Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Tracfone-Optimus-Prepaid-Triple-Minutes/dp/B00NVQ19NW and just use it in WiFi mode for free. It is a bit small, but it fits in my pocket easily. For the price, I’ll probably just put one in each sprinkler controller box. The phone has a guest mode, so I can set it up to have only the OS app on the opening screen. If the phone wanders off I can wipe it clean with Google Android location services. I’ve set up a Google account for my house, so I get 15 GB of free storage. I’m thinking of dumping the daily logs from my controllers into the Google Calendar, so I can keep my irrigation history on my house’s calendar. (to answer questions like, “how much did I water last summer on this zone?”) This would be a cool script for someone to do with the Google API…. and to dump the log file into a spreadsheet while we’re at it.
(My wife just asked me if her garden sprinklers were working. I clicked on my phone, pulled up the log, and read her the history of the watering, as well as the current program. Having the log is great. And having a wife who is happy with my gadgets is even greater 🙂June 16, 2015 at 8:04 pm #38487
I’ve seen a picture posted on this forum about placing a Android tablet next to OpenSprinkler to give it sort of a touch screen interface. Can’t remember which post, but it definitely makes a lot of sense given how cheap these tablets and phones cost these days. About the Google Calendar, I only had experience writing a Google Calendar based program for OpenSprinkler Pi (which was improved by Jason Mechler to use the new Google API). One thing that we have been working on for the next firmware update is to send UDP notifications for any sprinkler events, so this can log the events to an external UDP server.
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