October 2, 2017 at 8:03 pm #47899
I like the built-in flow sensor option with OpenSprinkler 3.0, and especially the on-board 5vdc supply that makes it easy to use the low-cost 3-wire Hall effect flow sensors rather than the more expensive 2-wire reed switch flow sensors.
The data which I use to currently monitor my backyard garden is supplied by hardware and software from Monnit, using their wireless sensors(with ethernet gateway): a pulse transmitter wired to a low-cost pulse-output water meter. And a humidity/temperature sensor which brings in data to the iMonnit cloud server.
I am using water flow meters with 2-wire pulse output which are under $100. A 3/4in. meter from EKM Metering is plug ‘n play with the Monnit pulse transmitter. Scaling pulses to GPMs is a simple setting in the iMonnit server.
In the near future, I plan to add in a Vegetronix VH400 soil moisture probe and send data to cloud with a wireless Monnit voltage sensor/transmitter.
The iMonnit cloud server lets you use simple programming rules to set thresholds and alerts sent via SMS or email. For example, with the pulse transmitter/flow meter, if a ‘high flow’ or extended ‘no flow’ event takes place, and that threshold would be outside any preset values, you will be notified accordingly. There is also an extensive list of API function calls so their sensor data can be shared with 3rd party hardware and software. I am challenged to write up these API functions in the Arduino IDE environment as I’m not very experience with that programming. So that’s on a backburner.
At this time I think it’s redundant to include a lot of bells and whistles into OS itself. It might be better to support the growing market of IoT and sensor hardware/software companies by giving ourselves the choice to acquire separate hardware as this becomes available from outsourcing. Providing of course that it will be compatible with OpenSprinkler hardware. Building in too many internal features in the OS irrigation controller might seem to be helpful, however IMHO it will tend to lock out a lot of vendors, stifle the introduction of new products and hinder the standardization of form and function in this specialized field.October 9, 2017 at 12:58 am #47984
OK, that’s an interesting idea. Have bookmarked iMonnit and will check it out. There are also some posts on the forum about ESP8266 based sensors that can send / request data to / from OS, which can also offload some of the customized tasks from OS. The only concern might be that some users are against a cloud-based solution which puts too much dependency on cloud servers.October 9, 2017 at 7:46 am #47998
BTW Monnit.com is main website, iMonnit is their dedicated cloud server for sensor data.
I’ll keep looking at ESP8266 threads mentioned above.
Yes, lots of low tech buyers just want a simple device to water their lawn/garden. Flow sensors are not common in residential irrigation controllers, but often found in high-dollar commercial systems and agriculture business. I personally prefer to have the flow data, especially if I’m away and not on site to monitor status of zones which are watering the plants.
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