July 28, 2015 at 3:56 pm #39550
I have been looking at all the options on the market. I like OpenSprinkler, because it is flexible and cheap to get started. It looks like the current system can do everything my current system does, but via web/remote. This is the bare minimum, and I’d buy it for that alone. I have decent coding skills, although I’m more of a .NET guy these days (C++ is good too). But I’m sure I can figure it all out. Curious which of these ideas is already implemented or might not be possible… or if (by chance) any commercial solutions already have tackled the issue.
1) I purposely read the blogs & waited for the 2.3 version since it seemed that without the relay and even with the faster chip it would end up being cheaper. However, that really doesn’t seem to be the case? I’m surprised to see it is still $155. But still reasonable, I suppose. I guess I could snag older DIY and save a few bucks and get the relay back… is the chip that much slower / would it matter? I don’t need a relay now, but have a future use in mind. Which route since the savings didn’t materialize?
2) I would want to connect some external sensors – humidity, temp, rain, water meter (see #4) and possibly even a soil sensor. Just can’t trust the public weather at my current house — the station is too far away to be useful. It looks like this is pretty easily possible with a little effort? How many in/out pins are available, and what type?
3) One thing I’d consider using public weather details for is wind… wouldn’t want to water when wind is >5mph. Feature or would need to add it?
4) I would like to add a feature to see how much water I’ve been using at any point. Since we have tiered metering here, I’d want to goal myself to never use so much that the water bill skyrockets. Two methods, stick something on the meter… ideal. In fact, with that plus the area, you’d know if you’re watering right or not. Second option (maybe easier) is possibly take some estimates and combine with actual logs (but I don’t want to do the math manually). Possible today or… ?
5) I have had multiple leaks. If #4 (opt 1) is possible, I’d really like to stick something on my water meter at the street and watch for leaks – both slow and fast. I’ve seen ideas, but didn’t know if anyone was working on this.
6) Weather prediction. Another possible use of public weather data is to look at forecasts for the area. If >60% chance of rain in the next 48 hours, don’t water. Etc.July 28, 2015 at 10:35 pm #39556
1) The price increase is mainly due to including the microSD card. Also, since earlier this year, we’ve been using our local manufacturer (WAi) for the production of OS 2.3. It’s more expensive than Chinese manufacturer, but it’s now all made in the US.
2) OS 2.3 (AC) version has 3 analog pins and 3 digital pins free to use. The DC version has more pins (because it uses I2C LCD which frees up some digital pins). All the spare pins are mapped out to the upper left corner of the PCB. The I2C, UART, and SPI pins are also mapped out, so if you have sensors that use I2C, UART, or SPI, those can also work.
3) I am not familiar with Wind sensor and we don’t have current plan to add support for Wind sensor. For most simple sensors you can just follow how rain sensor is implemented.
4) We are working on adding support for flow sensor / meter in firmware 2.1.6.
6) Our current weather script does take into account of weather forecast of the day (although I don’t think it looks beyond 24 hours).July 29, 2015 at 12:54 am #39558
Thank you for the info, Ray. Keep it up!July 30, 2015 at 2:39 pm #39581
First: What a great product !! This is my first post.
4) Please consider that flow meters have different units. For example here in europe usually there are flow meters with reed switches showing 1 Liter/Pulse, 10 Liter/Pulse, 100 Liter/Pulse (my has 10 Liters/Pulse).
And I have one idea for the main valve. At the moment I can not open the main valve alone, but that would be useful: I have water sockets on my main line where i can attach hoses. To use the hose the main valve must be open, but all other valves can be closed. That would be useful also for checking if the main line is under full pressure ok and there are no leaks. The solution could be to open the main valve on the main screen like every other valve for a amount of time. That would be good so it will be closed later and is not forgotten to close.
Finally one question: Is it possible to give 24V directly parallel to the main valve even when it is not opened by opensprinkler ? Or could that damage oopensprinkler because it is getting 24V on a valve port ? I am asking this to bypass opensprinkler to open the main valve for the mentioned water sockets/hoses. Or is there any other solution to open the main valve alone ?July 30, 2015 at 3:08 pm #39587
@Boris: to open the main valve alone, you can use a ‘virtual’ station — meaning a station that is not connected to any physical sprinkler valve. OpenSprinkler supports up to 48 stations, so hopefully you have at least one or two spare one you can use as a virtual station. Set the virtual station to use master, then you can just turn on or off that virtual station to operate the master valve.July 30, 2015 at 3:17 pm #39588
Thank you Ray for the very fast answer! At the moment I have no spare station, but i have already thought about getting an os zone expander. This is one more reason to buy one.
Any thoughts about 24V directly on a valve whitch is also connected on a valve port ? The reason is i can mount a seperate switch for the main valve to open it without the use of opensprinkler app.July 30, 2015 at 3:54 pm #39590
You don’t need zone expanders — you can go to Edit Options -> Number of Stations, and just add 8 to whatever number you already have. Even if you don’t have the physical expander, it’s fine. As I said, we are talking about a virtual station.
If you want to add a switch to open master valve directly, you can add a switch between your master valve port and OpenSprinkler’s ground (on the orange terminal block, the pin closer to the USB port is the ground pin). That way when you turn on the switch the master valve should open. Do not use OpenSprinkler in parallel with another sprinkler controller, unless if you have analyzed the internal circuitry of the other controller and make sure it’s compatible with OpenSprinkler (otherwise it might result in damage).July 30, 2015 at 3:59 pm #39592
Ray thank you again ! Great support !!August 1, 2015 at 12:57 am #39614
One more Thing about flow meters: Instead of watering a special amount of time (like now), it would be useful to run opensprinkler a special amount of water (depending from flow meter). Most plants/lawn need a special amount of water. The time of irrigation is not important. At the moment we have to calculate the amount of water depending on time. If we could adjust the amount of water directly it would be easier.August 2, 2015 at 2:31 pm #39632
Another idea is to make notes for every station, e.g. for the calculation of the run time/needed water amount etc.August 2, 2015 at 10:26 pm #39641
@Boris, we will soon start working on integrating Shawn’s ET weather algorithm with OpenSprinkler:
The ET algorithm will estimate the amount of water needed for each zone, taking into account weather data and how much it has watered each zone in the past few days. So that will in some sense cover your request.August 3, 2015 at 9:06 am #39647
Awesome ! Thank you again !!
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