OpenSprinkler Forums Hardware Questions OpenSprinkler Opensprinkler 3.0

This topic contains 18 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  matt.paxman 1 week, 3 days ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
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  • #46332

    Bowman Mod
    Participant

    I’ve noticed there is now a 3.0 hardware version. Can’t seem to find any info on it except the product description.

    Is this not big news? is there a blog post or news post announcing the new changes in hardware?

    Interested…….

    #46373

    Ray
    Keymaster

    I am long overdue on a release post about OpenSprinkler 3.0. I will definitely do a release post some time soon. At the moment, the product page:

    OpenSprinkler 3.0


    is where you can find the information, particularly the Getting Started Guide, which explains the difference between 3.0 and previous versions.

    #46396

    William Smith
    Participant

    Can you detail the pinout of the new 3.0 connector? I want to get an expansion board for a slightly different application, and I figure I should get the latest and greatest…

    Is there a schematic like https://github.com/rayshobby/opensprinkler/blob/master/Expansion%20Board/exp20.png somewhere?

    Thanks!

    #46397

    From a brief glance I can see, some of the differences are:
    2.3
    – Ethernet, no Wi-Fi
    – 1 sensor port
    – no RF port
    – USB port
    – No OTA Firmware updates?

    3.0
    – Wi-Fi, no ethernet
    – 2 sensor ports (although the firmware only uses one at the moment)
    – RF port
    – micro-USB port
    – OTA Firmware updates?

    I am one of those people that like to use Wi-Fi only for portable devices, so ethernet is a big plus for the old version. However, will future firmware updates be compatible with the old hardware?

    #46404

    William Smith
    Participant

    Right, but I’m looking for the pinout of the V3.0 expansion board, so I can determine how it works…

    #46409

    Bowman Mod
    Participant

    I can’t help thinking that the removal of the Ethernet port is a mistake. I use mine commercially and I would never consider using only Wi-Fi to connect such a critical device, even in 2017! I would, and have spent the money to get my 2.3 connected via Ethernet, as I need to ensure reliability. The addition of the extra sensor is a big plus!

    I am also concerned that the new firmware will focus on the 3.0 and the 2.3 will be left behind, even with the feature requests.

    I’m sure Ray will address all of this in his news release?

    #46410

    Confirmation that a micro-USB to ethernet adaptor will work on the new hardware would be good!

    #46411

    Gilles
    Participant

    Similarly to a few others, I would not be able to use v3.0 in my setting, through lack of Ethernet port. Device is not always connected in a place where WIFI is available. Today a simple CPL plug brings Ethernet anywhere for a cheap price.

    #46653

    ggiesen
    Participant

    I’m with everyone else, I think the lack of an Ethernet port is a huge oversight. I try to avoid most wireless products where at all possible, as the reliability just isn’t there for wireless.

    Sent from my SM-N910W8 using Tapatalk

    #46743

    Ray
    Keymaster

    We’ve used the ESP8266 WiFi chip on all our recent products, such as OSBee, OpenGarage. I honestly think it’s more reliable compared to the Ethernet chip. WiFi is the future, and I don’t think security is any problem, since ESP8266 supports all modern WiFi security standard. In the rare cases of weak WiFi signal, you can add a WiFi range extender to boost the WiFi signal (and ESP8266 has a version with external antenna to boost the reception considerably).

    If you look around, almost all modern gadgets and Internet of Things are WiFi only — Nest, Amazon Echo, wireless power sockets, garage door openers, your mobile phones, your laptops… Very few devices still provide Ethernet jack. Those who don’t trust WiFi for reliability: I am kind of surprised: you use WiFi-only gadgets on a day to day basis, like your mobile phone, your laptop. How do you avoid using WiFi at all? I really think a lot of concerns about WiFi are overstated. As a computer science researcher, I trust WiFi myself.

    On the product webpage, we did specify that if you absolutely still want the older version 2.3, we can still ship them, it’s just that there is generally 2-3 week lead time since we don’t regularly stock these any more. Also, if the issue is mainly to bring WiFi to a place where WiFi doesn’t exist, we have a one-page document explaining how to use a portable WiFi access point (which costs just about $15 to $25) to serve as an interface between Ethernet and WiFi:
    http://rayshobby.net/docs/os30_wired_howto.pdf
    this is similar to using a WiFi adapter to enable WiFi access for OS 2.3 (as you know, OS 2.3 has only wired Ethernet and no WiFi), except it’s done the reverse way.

    Going back to the earlier questions:
    – pin out and schematic of Expander 3.0 are now uploaded to Github: https://github.com/OpenSprinkler/OpenSprinkler-Hardware
    – new firmware updates will NOT leave version 2.3 behind: new firmware features will always be available to both 3.0 and 2.3 (except hardware differences like sensor 2 which doesn’t exist on 2.3). We will probably not be able to continue supporting new firmware features for 2.0, 2.1 and 2.2 (not because we don’t want to, but because they have smaller microcontroller that cannot fit the large firmware any more), but 2.3 will definitely still be supported.
    – the microUSB on OpenSprinkler 3.0 is for serial communication only, it’s not a USB host. This is the same on version 2.3.

    #46782

    ggiesen
    Participant

    Lots of things are possible once you have an Ethernet jack (such as using a Ethernet to WiFi or Powerline bridge), but very little is possible when WiFi is your only option.

    One of my biggest gripes about WiFi-only devices (even setting aside the reliability issue) is that WiFi standards evolve and are deprecated much more quickly than Ethernet. I could plug an Ethernet device from 25 years ago into a modern Ethernet switch and it’d still work perfectly, without slowing down the rest of the clients.

    The same can’t be said of WiFi, when the user upgrades their AP, etc. Enabling compatibility modes slow down the WiFi for all clients, not just older devices. And if your device doesn’t support the latest version of WEP/WPA, then you’re forced to either downgrade the security on your WiFi just so that one device can connect to it, or you have to spin up another SSID or AP just for that device.

    Another issue with WiFi is the limited number of channels available; if you live in a moderate density neighbourhood, you’re lucky if your neighbour’s AP isn’t stomping all over whichever channel you’re running on. As wireless devices increasingly proliferate, the problem is only going to get worse.

    As to your question about using home automation devices, I have exactly two classes of devices in my home automation setup that are wireless: my Z-Wave door locks and my Harmony Hub. My thermostat and window blinds are RS485, my security sensors are wired, my lights and fans are wired (Insteon).

    In short, IMHO every home automation device (that speaks IP) should have an Ethernet port. If you want add WiFi on top of that, go for it.

    #46786

    Samer
    Keymaster

    I think you are referring to the downgrade that happens when using 802.11b on a newer network. Past that the compatibility issues are not as prevalent as you mention.

    Also, using wifi you can add an access point next to the device the same way you can add Ethernet as you mention. The cost should also be the same so I really don’t see a difference here.

    Regarding security, wifi was in its infancy when WEP came out and hence had to be replaced but WPA2 has been here a long time and hasn’t gone anywhere. I don’t think the issues you used to have are as much of an issue anymore hence the change.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    #46794

    I cannot believe that it is a serious suggestion to run a cable to a WiFi AP/Repeater/Extender in order to network a fixed device. That sounds absurd to me.

    Anyway, I get the point. Everything is moving to WiFi. Most of the alternatives to OpenSprinkler are WiFi-only so I can see that is what customers (on the whole) want. I did see OpenSprinkler having an ethernet port as a point of difference – a competitive advantage, but it has other advantages too.

    I have bought the OpenSprinkler 3.0 now.

    #46811

    blyon
    Participant

    Does anyone have the physical dimensions of OpenSprinkler 3.0 AC and the dimensions of the 16 station expansion unit? How about the approximate length of the cable connecting the two? Does anyone have a photo the expansion unit?

    #47208

    Ray
    Keymaster

    OpenSprinkler 3.0 main controller is about 130mm x 70mm x 30mm (roughly 5.1in x 2.7in x 1.2in). Expander is 130mm x 80mm x 25mm. The cable is 30mm long and if you want you can use a custom made longer cable.

    Regarding earlier questions about WiFi vs. Ethernet: here is an additional point: we do still sell version 2.3 upon request. We don’t regularly stock these any more, but if customer needs to buy we can still sell this version and there is generally a lead time of 1-2 weeks depending on how many orders of 2.3 there are.

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OpenSprinkler Forums Hardware Questions OpenSprinkler Opensprinkler 3.0