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June 13, 2014 at 2:51 pm #22963
I just got my Open Sprinker PI and I first have to say that it was incredibly easy to setup. I installed the image on the SD card plugged it in, connected to my network and was able to log in immediately. The instructions were clear on getting on Wifi, and I was able to go to the web page and programmer my Open Sprinkler. Punching through my firewall went smoothly, I installed the iOS app and now I am happily controlling my sprinklers from anywhere in the world! So thanks for all that.
But I find programming to be harder than it seems it should be. You have to set the start time AND the stop time AND set the interval to something big enough that it doesn’t repeat. The programming on the older sprinkler_pi page is much simpler. You set the start time and the duration for each station. That’s how all the old sprinkler controllers I’ve used work and it seems like it should at least be an option in the mobile app (and the interval_program web interface).
Do you plan on implementing this sort of thing?June 13, 2014 at 11:46 pm #27178
+1 is there a reason that you need stop time?June 17, 2014 at 2:25 pm #27179
Start time, stop time, and interval time together determine how many times a program runs during a day. Keep in mind that a program can run more than once during a day. The firmware user manual explains how the controller runs a program (http://rayshobby.net/?page_id=730#program)
For example, a program that ‘start at 8am, water every 4 hours, and stop after 4pm’ will run at 8am, noon, 4pm.
I admit the end time is confusing, so there is already plan to change the program parameters to ‘start time, repeat every, and repeat count’. This way it’s easier to set how many times the program runs during a day.June 18, 2014 at 3:29 am #27180
To complement the “Run Every” option, I recommend you allow the user to set Multiple Start Times for each program. Multiple start times allows the user to run the program several times each day at times of his/her choosing. I recommend you allow at least 6 start times per program, per day. For example, the user could run the program early in the morning and then twice during the hot afternoon at specific times, but not at equal intervals. This is common on other/traditional controllers and much more flexible than the interval approach. And if you allow both, there is no trade-off.
Have you considered this feature?June 19, 2014 at 12:51 am #27181
Yup, it’s being considered. The plan is to have the program headers multiplexed to support two types: a program can be either a interval type, where you specify the start time, repeat interval, and repeat count, or a multiple start time type, where up to 7 start times are supported. The interval type is useful for situations where the program needs to run many times, for example, every few minutes; and the multiple start time type is useful in situations as you described.
At the moment you can still achieve the multiple start times by setting up multiple programs. It’s less convenient, I admit, but it does allow you to set arbitrary start times.June 19, 2014 at 5:10 am #27182
Great! Glad to hear Multiple Start Times are in the works. One other advantage of this feature I’ve noticed comes when using the “% Water Time” feature. As it stands now, it has been cool and I am running at 66%. With splitting up my watering into so many programs my system is watering, stopping, watering, stopping, etc. because my program start and stop times are set up with the assumption of 100%. For someone on a well, it is much better to have the system run for long periods of time and fewer programs allows for this.
Until then, I’m managing my 11 programs via a spreadsheet. Once we have Multiple Start Times implemented – as well as independent station run times in the same program – I’ll be down to a much more efficient/manageable 4 programs.
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