February 18, 2017 at 9:10 pm #45432
1) First a couple latching valve questions:
a) I just learned from Ray’s OS Bee video about the existence of latching solenoid sprinkler valves. These potentially solve one problem in low pressure hydroponics systems: Standard non-latching solenoid valves (those that I’ve found anyway) require a minimum PSI (usually about 3PSI) to operate correctly. I believe these non-latching valves leverage the water pressure in some way to help open and close the valve. Does anyone happen to know if the latching solenoid valves need, or (hopefully) DON’T need, a minimum PSI in the system?
b) Are there any downsides to latching valves aside from their apparently higher cost?
2) Is there a way to make configure the OS Bee (perhaps with the use of other components) to trigger the turning on or off a 120 VAC water pump?
3) Ray, do you have plans to have the OS Bee support more zones? I’d vote for this.
4) As a matter of interest, is there a minimum time the boost capacitor needs to recharge to prepare for the next switch operation?
5) Are there any known brands of latching valves that won’t work with the OS Bee?
Thanks in advance!
-KurtMarch 14, 2017 at 4:45 pm #45564
1a) I would think the valve still needs some minimum PSI to shut off water properly. Though I don’t know how it compares to non-latching valves. This can be found on the valve maker’s website.
1b) not really any downsides. The most common latching valves you can find on the market use garden hose thread (GHT) and non-latching ones use national pipe thread (NPT). So latching valves are often used with garden hoses, and non-latching ones are often used with underground sprinkler system. However, Orbit and Hunter (and other companies too) make both latching and non-latching solenoids that can fit on the same valve assembly, so it doesn’t make a big difference. Also, the pricing is similar for both too.
2) To trigger a 120VAC water pump, the best way is probably to use a relay (standard relay or solid state relay) and put OSBee in non-latching mode. You may also be able to find non-latching relays and in that case, you can keep it in the default latching mode.
3) To have OSBee support more zones depends on how big of the market there is. Most users still have the standard 24VAC sprinkler system, and it’s not worth the cost to replace all solenoids to use the non-latching types. So I would think 24VAC is still more common. The reason the current OSBee only supports 3 zones is that the WiFi chip it uses (ESP8266) has a small number of GPIO pins, and 3 zones has exhausted all available GPIO pins, so the only way to add more zones is to add a GPIO expander. But OSBee is designed to mainly serve as a compact controller for small-scale watering projects with up to 3 zones, and I didn’t intend for it to replace the OS.
4) The boost capacitor charges quite fast, generally 100 to 200 milliseconds.
5) Latching valves made by most sprinkler companies should work find. We’ve tested Orbit, Hunter and a couple of other no-name brands. Latching solenoids are fairly tolerance to voltage variations. Unless if the solenoid requires very high impulse voltage (like above 30 volt, which I’ve not seen so far), it should work find with OSBee.May 22, 2017 at 12:41 pm #46383May 22, 2017 at 12:41 pm #46384
forgot the linkJune 13, 2017 at 12:44 am #46696
Yes, this Orbit valve is quite common and is latching.May 18, 2018 at 9:20 am #50077
My closest outdoor electrical outlet to the Hose Bib (silcock) is about 3 feet. I decided the best approach (in my situation) was to extend the valve wires on the orbit valves to reach the box. The next problem of “how” was frustrating because *i* was unable to find any pics, a guide, or a video on the web of the innards of this valve. It seems to be a partially spot welded plastic shell. I chose not to blow $15 finding out and and potentially breaking it. Any links to repairing these valves themselves would be appreciated for future reference.
I decided to extend the wires from the plug to the box. This is a sealed molded plastic shell that seems a “proprietary” shape with an o-ring seal. I don’t have a valve-controller, so i did not know the size of the male pins. First, i “Dremel” split the plug in half along the seam. The picture attached shows the internal wiring with the quick connect spring loaded brass contacts in place. The other photo shows the brass contacts attached to the wires FIO. The small square object on the right is a slidable rubber gasket used to make the plug water tight. The last photo of the empty articulated shell of the plug is attached simply to be comprehensive about the innards FIO.
Attachments:May 23, 2018 at 9:54 pm #50175
Not sure if yours is similar to the Orbit valve I works with before. The one I’ve seen before has a special plug with two holes. You can insert fairly thick wires into the holes and that would allow you to extend the wires:
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/_mhuuHR0dxnU/TBcdvYbna1I/AAAAAAAAEC4/ioNQaNWkZbU/s1600/IMG_1264.JPGJune 1, 2018 at 10:30 am #50390
I have successfully used this:
Galcon 3652 3/4-Inch Sprinkler Valve S1602 DC Latching Solenoid
Used it all season last year. I am actually moving and would be willing to see you the valve with OSbee very reasonably. Reach out to me. ThanksJune 12, 2018 at 9:25 am #50637
HI, I’ve just ordered an OpenSprinkler Bee2.0 and in my garden, till now, I was using an old Rainbird WP4 with 3 zones and 3 rainbird latching solenoids. The wp4 works with a 9V battery. I’ve seen Ray’s video talking about an impulse ‘boost’ voltage of 24V. I guess this is not a problem for my latching solenoids as we’re talking about only a momentary impulse to activate or deactivate the electrovalves, am I right?? Thank you, just wanted to confirm everything will work fine.June 15, 2018 at 10:07 am #50697
@jolaca01: yes, the boosted 24V DC is an impulse voltage and the exact voltage isn’t critical. In fact, a higher voltage has the advantage of helping to energize the solenoid more strongly. Also, even if the voltage is critical, it can be changed in software (by basically controlling the boosting time so that the boosting stops after the voltage rises to about 9V).
The only exception I’ve seen that requires some slight modifications is the Gardena 1251 valve, as I documented here:
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