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April 25, 2019 at 4:00 pm #59947
I just ordered an OSPi to control my “sprinklers”.
Actually, what I have is a 19th century dug well – 5 feet in diameter, lined with brick, 37 feet deep. In that well, I have a Shurflo 9325 pump, driven by a pair of 12V batteries, which are kept charged with a pair of solar panels. Up till now I have controlled the Shurflo with a 24VDC relay – driven by a bridge rectifier – driven by an output off the existing irrigation controller.
That one pump waters my whole 1/2 acre of hillside. We are adding yet more plants, and it is running out of steam. So I’m going to zone it out. The existing irrigation controller is out of outputs – rather, there are no more wires available. To add more – I would have to bust up concrete to get the wires from the garage.
So I am going to control both the pump and the four new valves from a new controller. As a long time Linux user, I was happy to see the OpenSprinkler Pi project. It’s a little less turnkey that the regular opensprinkler, but I think it has lots of power. The Pi is a much “bigger” computer than an ESP8266. And while I do have some experience with embedded C development – did that for a living for 30 years – I’d just as soon do custom software in Perl, thank you very much :).
While no custom software is needed to just run the sprinklers and the pump, I also have a few more uses for a computer with switched 24VAC outputs. My swimming pool evaporates, and must be filled. Filling takes a long time. Long enough that I can’t stand around and wait. So I turn on the fill spigot, go away, forget about it… and then see water running down the street from my overflowing pool. Wife hates that. It’d be nice to have a button – press the button, get a half hour of water. Simple script stuff. I could also use it to control outdoor LED lighting.
I wonder if there are computer-readable water pressure and flow sensors out there?
So – the OSPI is supposed to arrive tomorrow. A raspberry pi 3B+ just got here. Also a power supply for the B+; I understand it’s a little power hungry. And a 32G SD card. NOOBS 3.01 is downloading as we speak.
Looking forward to an interesting and useful project!
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