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October 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm #22664
Early last summer I bought the OpenSprinkler for the Raspberry Pi (OSPi). The Raspberry Pi has been fun to learn and the software applications for the OSPi by “Dan in CA” and “salbahra” are very impressive. I use my OSPi to control 27 zones and been increasingly impressed with how easy and powerful these applications have been to install, update, operate and use on a regular basis.
I’ve not been impressed with the reliability of the Raspberry Pi though. I’ve had to go out to the garage and physically cycle the OSPi’s power or replace and rebuild the Pi’s SD card several times after I’ve lost the ability to connect to the Raspberry Pi remotely. Cycling the power and recovering the SD card are not serious issues since the OSPi is at my home and I’m in the garage all the time. I realize the Raspberry Pi is a teaching tool and respect its inherent benefits and physical limitations.
Recently I had a need to replace an older sprinkler for another property I own. I decided the OSPi , while wonderful, would be a reliability risk for a remote location. So, I bought and installed Ray’s OpenSprinkler controller. I only needed five zones and a master valve to control. The OpenSprinkler controller installation was a breeze. I’ve only had it in use for a week and it has been perfect… …Except, it seems that many of the features and functions provided by the software applications available to the OSPi are not available from Ray’s OpenSprinkler controller itself or salbahra’s application hosted by Ray at http://rayshobby.net/apps/sprinklers/.
For example, I’ve noticed that the built-in application of Ray’s OpenSprinker controller does not include station (or zone) runtime logging or the ability to control whether a station is affected by the weather. These software features provided by the OSPi application created by “Dan in CA” are not show-stoppers by any means.
Ray’s OpenSprinker controller reliability and its capability to remotely control and schedule watering events are the two greatest features I wanted from a new controller.
So, after all this, is there a list of feature differences concisely documented between these four OpenSprinker and OSPi software and Web App controller applications?
1. Ray’s OpenSprinkler controller application,
2. salbahra’s Web App application hosted by Ray at http://rayshobby.net/apps/sprinklers/
3. The OSPi application created by “Dan in CA”,
4. salbahra’s OSPi Web App application.
I think understanding these differences would help buyers and owners of these systems.
Finally, Ray, Dan, Samer, and all the others who have contributed to these sprinkler applications – THANK YOU.October 8, 2013 at 1:23 am #25662
Dan in CAParticipant
If you use logging on the OS Pi, you might find the post on the wiki about logging and SD cards helpful:
I am using an 8GB SanDisk “Curzer Fit” flash drive on my Pi. It is so small it can fit inside the OS Pi’s cover without needing to cut a hole. It can be replaced when it wears out without having to mess with the SD card.
I agree with your suggestion about a feature comparison chart. The OSPi program is going through some growing pains right now and users keep cumming up with great ideas for new features so it is a little hard to pin down.
Hopefully Ray will come up with another embedded Linux platform that is more reliable. I think the OSPi software would be fairly easy to move to something like that.
DanOctober 8, 2013 at 5:43 am #25663
To Pablo and Dan,
Thanks for your suggestions. Since OpenSprinkler (microcontroller) and OSPi are based on different hardware and processors, it’s not always possible to keep the software features in sync. I agree that a comparison table would clarify a lot of confusions. But as the OSPi software is undergoing frequent changes (thanks to Dan’s continued contributions), it’s not always easy to keep the comparison table accurate and up to date.
Another heads up is that I have finished the first prototype of OpenSprinkler Beagle (for BeagleBone Black). I don’t have much experience as to comparing Beagle with RPi, say in terms of reliability, but I know some users prefer Beagle for various reasons.
Speaking of embedded Linux, the Arduino team seems to be pushing in this direction. After the Arduino Yun, two new platforms have been announced: Galileo and TRE. Will definitely keep an eye on these new developments.
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