• This topic has 16 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 6 years ago by Ray.
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  • #41895

    Tim
    Participant

    Hi Ray, firstly great product, I’ve just rolled OpenSprinkler out at my Work controlling 70+ irrigation zones.
    I would like to add a few feature requests to your list, and hope some are achievable.

    Grouping of Stations to run parallel.
    We have a situation where we want to group a whole bunch of stations together in groups of two or three. The reason behind this is that we have several sports grounds that are highly utilized during the summer months. This, with the extended daylight hours greatly reduces our watering window. On days where we are unable to run each station separately, we would like to have a program that will trigger 2 stations to come on together. Deselecting “Sequential” on the zones wont work for this, as when scheduling the 40+ zones to start at a set time they will all try to come on together.

    Changing Station Run Order
    Been able to change the order that each station runs (Without physically changing the wiring) would help priorities areas, and also enable one sports ground to be irrigated whilst another ground is in use. IE, on Monday the stations on the soccer field start first in the cycle, but on Tuesday the stations on the football ground start first.

    Action on irregular water flow
    I remember reading somewhere that someone had written some code to do this, but I think it was before the unified firmware. Having a zone stopped if the flow is above a set amount would help prevent water waste when a solenoid has failed, or a pipe has failed. Sending an email notification in this situation, or if flow is below a set rate would also be very useful.

    Broken Wire Detection
    When evaluation different products we came across this unit – http://hydrawise.com/irrigation-features/specifications/.
    One feature we liked was the broken wire detection, which I believe checks for abnormal voltage/amps and open circuits. It seems like a nice feature, but wasn’t really a deal breaker for us.

    Once again, thank you for providing such a great product, and hopefully at least some of the above requests will make it onto your development cycle.

    #41904

    Michael
    Participant

    Hi!
    Grouping of Stations to run parallel.
    Changing Station Run Order

    Thats exactly what we also want to have!
    Some Problems with 44 stations.

    Please solve this 😉

    #41931

    Ray
    Keymaster

    – Grouping of Stations to run parallel.

    A: what I had in mind seems to be different from what you want. What I have planned is to introduce the concept of ‘sequential groups’, for example, stations 1 to 8 is in one group, 9 to 16 is in another group and so on. Stations in the same group will be serialized, while stations in different groups are allowed to run in parallel. What you want is different in that you want to bundle stations together so that they turn on and turn off at the same time. Normally this is implemented in hardware by simply inserting two station wires into the same port. It can be done in software too, for sure, but I have to think about how it fits with the ‘sequential group’ concept or if there is some way to generalize the two.

    – Changing Station Run Order

    A: To accommodate this, I probably need to switch the firmware to use a calendar type of scheduling method. The idea is that you can schedule stations as calendar events, so that you can drag and drop them in different orders. Not rocket science, but it does require quite a bit of UI change.

    I’ve once modified OpenSprinkler for a biology professor to make it a biology experiment controller. There I wrote a customized firmware which is similar to the calendar schedule type.
    http://rayshobby.net/modified-opensprinkler-becomes-a-biology-experiment-controller-2/
    There is a video showing how it works (the video is somewhat long, just to warn you 🙂

    – Action on irregular water flow

    A: this is something we plan to introduce in the future. Currently the firmware only logs and displays flow sensor reading, and not using it to trigger any action yet. We will gradually expand the functionality here.

    – Broken Wire Detection

    A: both the AC and DC versions of OpenSprinkler now have current sensing circuits. When a valve is on, the app / UI will show the total current running through the valves in real-time. This isn’t doing auto-detection of broken / shorted wires / valves yet, but it does allow you to see early signs of potential problems (say if the current draw is higher than normal).

    #41941

    Tim
    Participant

    Hi Ray, thank you for the very detailed response..
    It was an interesting Video to watch..

    With your Sequential Group concept, Could I effetely put Stations 1 & 2 in a group (Group A) to run in parallel, then Stations 3,4 and 5 in a group (Group B) also to run parallel. Then schedule Group A to run for 20 minutes, and Group B to run for 30 minutes. Would the outcome then be, that station 1 and 2 run for 20 minutes together, then at the end of the 20 minutes stations 3,4 and 5 run for their 30 minutes all together?
    If so, this would be perfect….

    Where do I find the current value in the UI? This alone would be very helpful. Maybe also if the average current draw is listed in the Logs, similar to the flow rate. This could give a bit of history to look back over to check when a problem occurred even.
    I’m running the following versions.

    App Version: 1.4.9
    Firmware: 2.1.6
    Hardware Version: OSPi-AC

    One again, thank you for the replay. Much appreciated.

    #41961

    NOV6
    Participant

    I would second the vote for a UI change to a ‘calendar type.’

    I have come to OpenSprinkler as a former user of Irritrol’s ‘PC Control’ system, which they have now discontinued.

    While PC Control had it’s problems, what was really great about it and made it so easy to program was the UI for setting up and changing watering times. It was a 7 day graphical representation of the 24 hour day. You could see which zone was running at which time as a block of color on the calendar. The time blocks could be moved with the mouse, could be lengthened or shortened. Truly a great interface. (Unfortunately, the system in general was full of bugs, there was no support or corporate back up.)

    PC control interface

    If OpenSprinkler had anything similar I think it would be an amazing upgrade.

    #42086

    Ray
    Keymaster

    @Tim: it looks like you have OSPi, which unfortunately does not have current sensing circuit. Only the fully assembled, microcontroller-based OpenSprinkler 2.3 (AC or DC) has current sensing circuit.

    The sequential group is actually the opposite of what you have in mind. Stations in the same group are serialized, whereas stations in different groups can run in parallel. This is common in situations where you have many stations, and they run on different water lines. So stations on the same water line will be serialized to reduce impact on pressure, whereas stations on different water lines can run in parallel. What you have in mind is that stations in the same group will run together / in parallel, and stations in different groups? I am not sure, perhaps you want them to be serialized? As I said, if we are to accommodate both requests, then there needs to be a way to generalize the two types of grouping. The challenge is to make sure the scheduling algorithm does the right thing when you start using the grouping feature arbitrarily.


    @NOV6
    : I think the main benefit of a calendar-based program is the ability to schedule the same station multiple times in a program. I am curious how often this is needed. Note that the current OpenSprinkler firmware already allows the same program to be repeated multiple times, but of course this means all the stations will be repeated (as opposed to some repeated and some not). Anyways, just want to get a sense of the common use scenario.

    #42140

    NOV6
    Participant

    For me, with about 28 stations for various uses ie lawn, trees, flowers, vegetables, newly seeded areas, etc, there is an advantage to be able to run each station independently of a program. For instance, one station I would like to run twice a day every day; another, once 4 times a week; another for just a short time 3 times a day while seeds are germinating, then change it to twice a few weeks later. The ‘program’ style scheduling is not ideal for this. There are advantages of the fine adjustability and the graphical layout of a calendar-type schedule, particularly when there is the need to cram all the watering times in. Also, I think that even for users who do not have nearly as complex scheduling requirements, the calendar type approach will be more appealing, easier to represent graphically/visualize and edit .

    #42234

    Mike Mathee
    Participant

    @Ray: I’m also interested in the current draw of the valves. Where is the valve current displayed in the UI/app?
    This is what I have:
    App Version: 1.4.9
    Firmware: 2.1.6(1)
    Hardware version: 2.3-AC

    #42292

    Ray
    Keymaster

    @Mike: at the homepage, the current draw should be displayed at the bottom.

    #43836

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    How hard would it be to add a current sensing circuit to the OSPi?

    #43887

    Ray
    Keymaster

    It’s not hard. As you know, RPi doesn’t have built-in ADC. However, OSPi has a PCF8591T 4-channel ADC, so one channel can be wired internally to the current sensing circuit for sensing current.

    The sensing circuit itself is just a precision (0.2 ohm) resistor combined with op-amp based active rectifier (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precision_rectifier) used to sense small AC voltage.

    #44839

    ianicecomau
    Participant

    Great product. I needed 2 master stations and got it. Worked first time. Hasnt stopped working.

    Suggestions.

    Apologise if these have been suggested or there are other ways of doing the same…

    1. Season setting for each program, start dd/mm and end dd/mm, as watering rules and restrictions can be season based.
    2. Include tomorrows rain in adjustment algorithm.
    3. Video integration to turn on automatically when a strat dog is detected before dog defacates on my front lawn…

    Cheers,

    #44982

    Ray
    Keymaster

    @ianicecomau, thanks for your suggestions. I’ve added them to our todo list.

    About 3, a little while back I saw this blog post about someone using a video camera and deep learning algorithm to detect cat and turn on sprinkler to drive them away. This can be done if you have a decent GPU on your computer (even a good CPU may work fine) and then you can use OpenSprinkler’s API to trigger sprinkler actions.

    #45152

    peg
    Participant

    If the Manual setting of the individual zones had a start time (H,M,S) after the Program Switch and any other start method, it would make the controller much more flexible. Multiple zones could be started before and after a sequence. This would give zone control nearly unlimited flexibility.

    #45165

    Ray
    Keymaster

    @peg, I am not sure if I understand the per-station start time you mentioned. Could you give a specific example why it would be useful?

    #45169

    peg
    Participant

    I am using open sprinkler DC for a splash pad. At times we would like to run multiple sprays during the program cycle. In the middle of the program cycle we would like to run the some of same sprays at the same time. Then also in the cycle some of the sprays come on at other than the fixed sequential negative delay. The problem with manual setting is they come on only at the beginning of the cycle.
    In other words sprays could be turned on at any sequence after the Program Switch.
    See the attached timing diagram as an example

    Attachments:
    #45268

    Ray
    Keymaster

    It seems your programming pattern requires turning on the same zone more than once in a program. This is not something not currently supported by OpenSprinkler firmware. You can split the pattern into two programs, but the Program Switch only activates one program at a time and cannot make two programs run one after another.

    I think your application is somewhat beyond the standard use of OpenSprinkler. OpenSprinkler Bee (which we released just recently) supports more flexible programming capability which will fit your need, but it only supports three zones. I am considering changing OpenSprinkler firmware to support the same programming capability of OpenSprinkler Bee. But this will take some time to implement.

    One possible solution, in the mean time, is to modify the OpenSprinkler firmware to hard-code your splash pad program, so that once activated, it directly executes the pattern you wanted. Another solution, which may be more flexible, is to use a Raspberry Pi, or even an ESP8266 microcontroller, connected to a switch, to trigger the start of your splash pad program. Once started, the Raspberry Pi or ESP8266 will send the custom watering pattern to OpenSprinkler through HTTP GET command. Either case, it will require some programming.

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