October 24, 2014 at 7:16 pm #34177
OpenSprinkler looks AMAZING. I really really want one!
I’m tempted to get the DIY version, but my mediocre soldering skills probably make the preassembled kit a better fit.
Here’s my one issue, however: Gardeners. In Southern California (in the big cities, at least), most homeowners have a gardener. Our gardener speaks very little English. He’s great at mowing the lawn and keeping the house looking well-kept, but he’s MISERABLE at working the horrible little Orbit sprinkler timer, and keeps making mistakes that are costing me a fortune in water bills, in this time of serious drought.
The advanced interface and logging (!) features will take care of these sorts of errors. The problem, of course, is that part of the gardener’s job is to test the sprinklers and make sure all of them are working properly. And it’s no surprise that our gardener does not have a Smart Phone, nor do I want him messing around on my wifi connection, or having full and unfettered access to the program! So there is really no way that I see for a (semi-)trusted third party to easily trigger the sprinklers for testing and maintenance.
An ideal addition (for me) would be a simple box with 4 (or 8) buttons. Each button corresponds to one station/zone. Push the button, and that zone automatically turns on for X minutes (configurable… I’d set it for 2 minutes, which is plenty of time for him to push the button and go see what’s happening).
How feasible is something like this? I could probably build a simple box with buttons mounted in it, but interfacing it with the OpenSprinkler system is where I fall short. I’d gladly pay for something like it if it was offered as an option. 🙂
Opinions and alternatives gratefully accepted!October 24, 2014 at 7:35 pm #34178
As a quick reply, the OpenSprinkler offers three buttons on the side which have a lot of capability regarding control of the device.
One example, you can cycle programs saved on the device using B3 and one included program is the “test” program which cycles all stations for one minute. You can also make preset programs with specific stations and times for the gardener to run. These programs can have specific names which are displayed on the screen. You can stop all stations from the controller as well.
I hope this gives you an idea of some of the possibilities regarding OpenSprinkler physical interaction.October 25, 2014 at 10:31 am #34184
Just to add to what Samer already said: the latest OpenSprinkler firmware 2.1.0 has added a feature to start a test program or any preset program on the controller using the three buttons. You can also perform emergency stop using buttons. Please check the OpenSprinkler user manual, which is now available at:
https://opensprinkler.freshdesk.com/support/solutions/articles/5000403746-opensprinkler-user-manual-firmware-2-1-0-October 25, 2014 at 11:36 am #34190
Helpful (and I’ve read the manual), but my concern is quite simply that he’s not very bright, and I don’t trust him not to mess something up. If it’s not bonehead simple so a 5-year-old couldn’t mess it up, I just don’t trust him to mess with anything. If we were talking about someone truly literate and known to be able to think things through, it would be less of an issue, but unfortunately, given his track record… I’d rather have a separate collection of buttons that he literally can’t screw up.
It seems possible I could set up custom programs called simply “Stn 1 – 2 min test” and “Stn 2 – 2 min test” and so on, but it’s hard to visualize the exact button presses (and resulting screen displays) needed to get to those test programs.
Is it really difficult to add the hardware buttons as I originally described?October 25, 2014 at 9:07 pm #34198
We cannot add additional buttons because that involves not only circuit changes but also changes to the enclosure. The current manually start program feature is pretty straightforward:
1. long press B3 to enter ‘start a program’ option.
2. click B3 to select a test program or any of the preset programs.
3. long press B3 to start the selected program.
You can create a program with the custom timers you mentioned, and just ask the landscaper to start that program each time.
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