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July 2, 2013 at 11:52 pm #22502
OSPi user Paul from Texas kindly shared some pictures of his hardware installation with me, and gave me permission to post them here. The system is quite neat, with one main controller and three expansion boards, for a total of 32 stations. Pictures are attached below.July 9, 2013 at 4:32 pm #24626
Ray – it looks like he has both his Hunter timer and OSPi attached to the solenoid wires. Does that mean that’s a safe configuration? When the Hunter puts 24V on a station, the OSPi won’t be affected?
(I’d like to do this as well, as a backup for when I need to perform “maintenance” on my OSPi… 🙂July 10, 2013 at 9:04 pm #24627
The only problem I’ve had was that I had a valve with a shorted solenoid and that smoked a triac in the OSPi. At Ray’s suggestion, I’ve added a 1-Amp fuse to the ground/common wire. I’ve replaced the shorted solenoid and changed the wiring to now use a spare OSPi channel.
I’ve had both controllers connected in parallel for several weeks now. Now that I’m using the RPi web app with the interval timer daily, the Hunter has been in the off position. The Hunter is only supplying the 26Vac power to the OSPi. I intend to disconnect the Hunter from the OSPi when the Texas heat ends this late 😉 Fall and it becomes somewhat cooler in the garage.July 14, 2013 at 11:14 pm #24628
And here I thought I was being super inventive using the housing of my Hunter irrigation controller 😉
There was a bit of sweet revenge here as this housing belonged to the 2nd Hunter X-Core Solar Sync controller I had purchased. Both failed after appx 8 months — I guess they couldn’t take the Texas heat.. I gutted the housing, ripping out the controller but salvaging the 24v ac adapter for use with the OSPI.
The Hunter controller was screwed into and elevated off the back of the housing with 4 plastic mounts. The OSPi just barely did not fit with the door closed so I trimmed down the plastic mounts with my dremel & a plastic cutting blade. I used epoxy putty to adhere a rectangle of thin aluminum (water heater pan salvage) to the plastic posts and drilled holes into it to match up to the mounting holes on the OSPi casing. For the sake of space, I had to toss the custom box for the 24v adapter that hid the A/C connections/crimp connectors and served as a mount. Instead I mounted the AC/DC converter block with adjustable UV/Outdoor rated zip ties and mounting bases/squares. Next time I’m at HD (and I remember) I’ll pick up some more waterproof/silicone wire nuts to replace the crimp connectors on A/C wires and some sort of wire clamp to go on the sprinkler wire at the bottom inside of the housing to relive stress on the connectors.
RPi: $43.41 + 0.00 Ship (Amz Prime)
Edimax Wifi Dongle: $10.87 + 0.00 Ship
OSPi: $65.99 + 4.99 Ship= 70.98
24v AC Adapter: $0.00 Salvage
Outdoor Weatherproof Housing: $0.00
Total Cost: $125.26 vs $161 (incl tax) for Hunter controller
Pretty good deal if you ask me… I mean, how many sprinkler controllers have you seen out there that you can watch H.264 movies on?
July 15, 2013 at 1:57 am #24629
I am a little concerned mounted a Raspberry Pi in a exterior non-ventilated box. I also happen to live in Texas and it gets really hot here. Last week it was 107 F in the shade on my front porch. With such a high external temperature and the various heat producing items in the external box, I am concerned the PI will be overstressed.
I have a Pi running in an non-airconditioned utility room. The room is usually about 90 degrees on a hot summer day. The core temp of the processor is running about 60 degrees. My Pi is in a plastic box by itself. The processor does not yet have a heatsink installed. While my PI temp is high, it is shielded from sunlight and does not have to deal with the heat of the power supply which is external.
Maximum temp of the CPU is supposed to be less than 80 degrees C. You can check your CPU core temp with the command. You can run this remotely by telnetting into the PI with your WIFI connection.
If you CPU temp is running high, you can add a heatsink. You can also try to find a way to turn off Ethernet, as that Ethernet controller generates a lot of heat. However, if you sprinkler box has direct sun exposure in Texas, then I think you are going to need some other means of cooling the enclosure.July 15, 2013 at 2:53 am #24630
In my case it shouldn’t be an issue. The controller faces west and my back yard neighbor’s two story home is appx 15 ft above my homes elevation. Even during these long summer days the only time it has direct sunlight is a brief period as the sun is setting. It probably gets hotter in my garage which faces east and gets hours of direct sunlight on the doors and no chance I’m putting it inside the house. Granted its only 81 F outside right now but the cpu reads at 55 C.
Also I’ve had a wireless router with an older ARM chip in it running DD-WRT, mounted outside in a similar outdoor enclosure on the north side of my home with no ventilation besides drain/wire holes at the bottom for a few years now and it hasn’t failed.
To be honest I was a bit surprised at that other thread asking about locking up/heat issues. Embedded processors get put through the ringer in testing due to the fact that they are often used in industrial situations… I believe I read at one point that the pi was run inside an oven at 176 F by the pi foundation for a significant amount of time without issue.July 28, 2013 at 3:44 pm #24631
I’ve had intermittent issues where the RPi would become not be running and would be unresponsive to ssh. Sometimes a physical power cycle would recover it’s normal OSPi operations, but sometimes it would just not even reboot. After swapping out SD cards a few times – with different SD card sizes and speeds – it didn’t seem to make a difference.
In my original configuration, the temperatures of the RPi’s CPU would be in the 65C – 80C range. In tolerance, but… …I still suspected a heat issue. My RPi is mounted on the OSPi board and both are mounted under the clear plastic cover, and that’s mounted in an unventilated box. In hind-sight, that seemed the most logical problem…
So, on the main enclosure, I drilled a 3-inch air intake hole at the bottom-side and a 3-inch exhaust vent adjacent to the OSPi on the opposite side of the main enclosure. I’ve removed the clear plastic cover from the RPi and the OSPi main board. I’ve added a 3.5″ muffin fan as an exhaust vent.
I’ve been running the fan for about a week now and the RPi’s CPU temp has been in the lower 40’s. Best of all, the RPi has not stopped once over the last week, except for a 24-hr rain delay!
Finally, WOW! 😮 The latest interval program and web apps are fantastic! I am always impressed with what people can do with software. Good Job Everyone! 😀August 4, 2014 at 1:28 am #24632
In preparation for my OSPi, I’m trying to figure out how to do the mechanical installation. I’d like to mount it outside, have a well shaded spot selected, and was planning to use an Orbit 57095 or similar waterproof enclosure. I’m not too concerned with the Pi overheating, because it rarely reaches 90F here, and doesn’t stay that hot for long when it does.
There’s an “exterior” AC outlet nearby, but having the cord from the OSPi “permanently” holding the outlet cover’s door open seems like a bad idea, even though the spot is relatively sheltered. I know this isn’t really an OSPi question, but can anyone tell me what the appropriate solution is? Should I cut an outlet shaped hole in the back of the waterproof enclosure, install it over the outlet, and seal the resulting joint with silicone? Should I replace the existing outlet cover with something else?
Thanks.August 17, 2014 at 12:19 am #24633
Here is a picture of my installation. The rain sensor is wired up and it works but I generally just turn the option off because even if we do get rain here in Texas the yard could still use a good soak. Everything else is wired to a terminal block that would allow me to quickly switch back to my old hunter controller should anything go wrong. That being said, this guy has been online since March ’14 and I haven’t had any issues with it so far.August 17, 2014 at 9:48 pm #24634
Great-looking installs! Mine looks like a hacked-up bunch of spaghetti compared to yours.August 18, 2014 at 8:44 am #24635
here is my OSPi hardware installation…
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