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    Hello Everyone,

    I’m new to microcontrollers and programming. I’m new to electricity for that matter! I have a question. I was able to successfully install the latest release of Raspbian onto my 8GB SD card. After I achieved that I plugged in an old tv via RCA cables, keyboard, mouse, and power. I fired up my RasPi and I’ve made it to my main desktop.

    I’ve created a google calendar and made it public, I’ve loaded my calendar ID into the program. Now I’m arriving at this: http://code.google.com/p/gdata-python-client/downloads/detail?name=gdata-2.0.17.zip&can=2&q=

    I’ve downloaded it but have no idea where to install it or move it to. 🙁

    Is this something I should be downloaded from my RaspPi Internet connection? Because I downloaded it to my mac desktop.





    I have never used the Google calendar. However, I believe you need to make the Pi a client to use this. I would suggest reading :


    The first part of this page is just information to you. The Pi runs Linux and it’s distributions come with Python already. Therefore, you just need to check that your Python version is 2.5 or higher. (I am at work now, so no Pi access for me to check the version.) If you at are Python 2.5 or higher, then you can assume that the dependencies are already installed. Dependencies is just a fancy term for “other stuff you also need” . The go to the Installing Google Data Library and start those steps on the Pi.

    For all the above comments, I am assuming that you want to place sprinkler schedules on your Google calendar and have OpenSprinkler follow that schedule. To do that, the Pi has to be running something that communicates with said Google Calendar. The foundation of this appears to be Python scripts running on the Pi and the building block is the Google Data Library.



    Mark: to install the gdata-python client package, unzip it and install with:
    sudo python setup.py install

    Not sure how familiar you are with Linux, but usually you need to read the README.txt or INSTALL.txt included in the software package.



    Mark, just noticed your last question: you need to download it to your Raspi. You can use
    wget xxxx
    where xxxx is the download link.



    I think OpenSprinklerPi deserves it’s own little Setup tutorial. There are a number of us that have written some python, but are still uncomfortable with linux.

    Here’s a start:

    This is by no means an authoritative, but if you don’t know what to do, follow this.
    We’ll assume you’ve:
    – bought a Raspberry Pi and hooked it up to your OpenSprinklerPi board
    – followed the SD Card Setup Instructions: http://elinux.org/RPi_Easy_SD_Card_Setup, I favor the “Easy Way”
    – put the SD card in your pi, attach a screen and keyboard, go through the initial setup screen: http://elinux.org/RPi_Beginners
    – enabled SSH or however you plan to connect to your Pi remotely
    – set up internet access (wifi or LAN)

    Now that you have a basic running Raspberry Pi, we can set up Open Sprinkler Pi
    1. the Open Sprinkler demo code written by Ray’s Hobby is part of a git-hub repository. To download it access the files, we’re going to install Git on our RaspberryPi. Type:

    sudo apt-get install git-core

    sudo – lets you use advanced privileged and override security measures
    apt-get – a tool that lets you install stuff on linux (you’ll use it a lot)
    install – tell apt-get what to do
    git-core – what we’re installing

    type [Y] to accept the install

    2. let’s make place to put the stuff we’re about to download

    mkdir git


    cd git

    3. now let’s get the Ray’s code from git-hub:

    git clone https://github.com/rayshobby/opensprinkler.git

    When this completes, you’ll have a folder called


    with all the files from git organized within

    — its getting late and I’m a rookie too… someone please continue by opening a README.txt, and following the instructions for each of the 3 demos
    I think if we demystify the little bit of linux needed to to get the OSPI going, we can have more people writing Python to exploit it’s capabilities. Please feel free to explain an easier way to do any of the above.



    I am considering preparing an SD card image, which has all the necessary packages installed and the programs ready to go. Once this is ready, hopefully a user just need to get an SD card, copy/flash the image onto the SD card, insert it to Pi and starting using the programs.



    good idea Ray, getting over the setup hurdle will likely pull more people into our group.
    For instance, I write PLC code and dabble in some other programming at work, but I haven’t had much linux experience. I was already playing with the Pi when I discovered your project (putting in sprinklers this weekend). I’m hoping I’ll be able to contribute to the python side of this project, but I’m ashamed to admit I had to learn to use github last night.



    New to OpenSprinkler and RaspberryPi. Been playing with RPi and have a vegetable garden with drip irrigation currently on a timer.

    Just wanted to say thanks to all of y’all for posting this helpful information and keep it up! I’ve been browsing for a while and decided to post, but I appreciate all the advice here and hopefully I’ll be able to add some helpful information once I get my OpenSprinkler Pi integrated with my RaspberryPi, with the software installed and all. Looking forward to writing some custom scripts to control the watering of my garden, and most of all to be able to remotely control the watering via my iphone or a web browser, using some of the additional scripting languages that RPi makes available.



    Thanks for the quick down and dirty with linux!

    What is the purpose of SSH and how do I enable it? There’s a million tutorials on the net which means a million ways for me to screw this up being my first time go with Linux.

    Also, I’m trying to connect with a wifi dongle to an internet connection here at school. It’s password protected and I’m not quite sure how to get around that business in Linux.

    I’ll continue searching the net but if there’s a magical command that makes it all better, I’m all ears.





    I’ve established an internet connection both wireless and wired on my Raspberry Pi. I have noticed though when I plug in or remove the wifi dongle the entire Pi reboots itself. I’m sure this is a power supply issue as I’ve not attached it to the OSPi board yet to run for it’s power.

    I ran into a bunch of initial issues which were solved with apt-get install, update, etc. My problem right now is everytime I try to download the gdata python client from the Rasp Pi, it seems to download a corrupted file or a file containing nothing to unzip or archive. I’ve updated xarchiver and unzip, even installed new unarchiver programs. Nothing.

    Also, for some reason the only port that works for video is my RCA port. I tried plugging HDMI into it at school with the high def TVs and it just laughed at me. I’m getting closer and closer to getting this irrigation controller running! Please advise some courses of action.

    PS: Ray, I should be getting that other board back out to you on Monday after I get paid Sunday. 😛





    The USB ports on the Pi are very underpowered. They were only designed to run things like mice and keyboards, which use very little power. Unless you do some fuse mods inside the Pi, the only way to get reliable WIFI is to connect the dongle to a powered USB HUB and then attach this HUB to the Pi. I modified the fuses on one of my Pis, I can run WIFI now powered right from the Pi. However, it will still crash and reboot if I hot plug the WIFI dongle. If you want to hot plug the WIFI dongle, the only way Iknow of is to use a power USB HUB.

    With the HDMI, I found that the HDMI cable must be connected at the time the Pi boots and the TV must be turned ON with HDMI selected. If it does not find a valid downstream HDMI device at boot time, it appears to then disable HDMI. I would try again with the TV connected and tuned to HDMI before you power up the PI. Some LCD monitors have a DVI connector on the back. I got a DVI to HDMI cable from Ebay and found that works as well.




    Got my open sprinkler board today, had already had my raspberry pi up and running. Got everything set up easily, had my sprinkler valve on hand, connected all the wiring and parts and in no time, I was up and running. I tested out the self-test program, and the buttons via a browser and both worked great.

    I would say that both worked great the first time, and while the self-test program did, the other one needed to be configured properly to run, as I have revision 2 of RPi and I had to change a setting in the program accordingly. After that change, all worked great.

    I’ve been testing out toggling it on and off via my iphone on my home network, and my laptop, and of course the RPi and no issues have come up.

    Looking forward to diving more into the google calendars option, and perhaps getting a wild hair and trying to write my own code to do different things, but just wanted to post my success story and say thanks to all who post great information and to Ray for setting this up. Finally have a good justification for getting an RPi :).



    not sure why HDMI isn’t working for you, you might check the config file

    SSH is meant to login from another computer. My Sprinkler Pi is in the basement, and I don’t want to drag a screen and keyboard down there. Since it’s on the network, I can login from any other computer using an SSH client (terminal on a mac, putty on windows, if you’re using Linux you don’t need help). I can edit the python files and do whatever other configuration I need, but from the comfort of my couch / laptop.



    Eventually one of us should write a small web interface for this OpenSprinkler Pi, to make it easy to configure. We could have a couple configuration pages:
    – a basic scheduler (if you want offline scheduling)
    – pick your Raspberry Pi version
    – an easy form to set up google calendar (paste in your Calender ID, name your zones)
    – a manual override section where you can turn on/off any single zone from a phone/tablet for troubleshooting, winterizing, or checking things in the spring.

    it should be easy to do… but it’ll be a while until I can get to it.



    Ok guys. More roadblocks for me.

    Question 1: How do I tell which Rev I have of Raspberry Pi?

    Question 2: Which one of theses wires (if any) are my common wires on my solenoid valve?

    Question 3: Everytime I download this gdata python client package it wont unarchive. Arg!

    I have limited time to get this dang thing operational today while I have an HDMI cable, mouse, and keyboard on loan from the school. Please please please help me out. I’ve tried to wget, I’ve tried to apt-get install, I’m lost.




    I think I overcame my package problem with a gui package installer!

    I went to the Debian website and found:


    Python gdata seems to have been installed properly.

    The code is edited in the google calendar script, the google calendar is created. I guess it’s time to try and fire this bad boy up?




    It feels good!

    Let me make a note: I was originally having problems turning my solenoid valve off because I had it in the 0 slot labeled master. I figured there was only going to be one solenoid attached to the system to start so I might as well call it master. Each time I went to create a simple 3 minute irrigation run in google calendar labeled ‘master’ it would automatically just kick on as soon as I started running the script. I thought this was weird, especially when it didn’t shut off.

    After that, I tried using some common sense and realized I would just try plugging it into slot 1 titled ‘greenhouse 11’. I ran the script, it didn’t turn on before it was supposed to. The system is working flawlessly. The real test is going to be when I finally get this sucker hooked up to the tomato greenhouse at school. I can tell you THE WORST part of this project was not the soldering, editing programs, etc. The worst part was running around trying to find adaptors for a 3/4 inch hose bib to a 1″ solenoid valve which is barbed on one end, BACK to a 3/4″ pipe size that my dose-a-tron fertilizer injector is sized at. Boy. What a pain.

    THANKS RAY! You are gonna really make small scale greenhouse growers VERY COMPETITIVE with large business and we thank you for that. I’ll spread the word to everybody I can about how badass this thing is.

    Another side note. I have a VERY talented programmer/web designer working with me on this project. We’re going to try and incorporate open sprinkler into a sensor network. You will be able to monitor and irrigate your media based on a ‘root zone’ management strategy. This means a moisture sensor will be embedded into your media (I use rockwool). That sensor will transmit wirelessly “hey, moisture content fell below X, irrigate. Kthx.”



    @Benoitm234, glad to hear that it worked finally, and thanks in advance to help spread the word.

    By the way, I have recently set up a Wiki page for Rayshobby, in order to host user-contributed content. This is suggested by Andrew from Australia. He wrote down some initial notes about how to set up RPi to work with OSPi. The Wikipage is at this link:

    We will gradually refine the Wikipage, and hopefully it will receive more community support from users.



    Just to let you know that I was able to get the OpenPi running nicely with a WiFi dongle and have started programming a full interface with schedules and such in PHP, Apache web server and C. Did not feel the need to include MySQL for such an application, that way I keep the overhead low as well.

    The code is far enough where I am actually using it real-life now to control my back lawn and planters sprinkler valves.
    Lately I have been playing around with code to interface with the NWS weather data and writing an algorithm to automatically adjust the schedules based on the coming week temperatures.

    As with everything code-wise lots to do and the devil is in the detail, but I have been making nice progress. Once the interface is polished enough I can publish the code on a regular website for viewing (don’t want people turning on and off my sprinklers 😀 ).

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