Irrigation Extension on Multiple Sprinkler Devices

Posted on
Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:14 pm
akimball offline
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Irrigation Extension on Multiple Sprinkler Devices

MODERATOR NOTE: Split this topic from THIS THREAD to this new topic.

Wow, I'm eager to try this out. Thanks for writing it. Can the irrigation portion of the plugin be used with an EZFlora type irrigation controller? If so, then can it access all 8 zones whether that zone is currently active or not? I've always wanted to have access to the irrigation minutes assigned to each zone and also the maximum allowable irrigation time set (also per zone). I've wanted a fully programmable Indigo Touch irrigation controller with the ability to set/view/change the watering times for each zone.

-Al

Posted on
Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:46 pm
Colorado4Wheeler offline
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Re: New Plugin: Device Extension

akimball wrote:
Can the irrigation portion of the plugin be used with an EZFlora type irrigation controller?

Absolutely, it's what I use so if it doesn't I'm in real trouble :). Actually ANY Indigo.Sprinkler device is supported, so pretty much if it's in Indigo then it'll work since I doubt anyone will re-create that device type for the heck of it.

akimball wrote:
If so, then can it access all 8 zones whether that zone is currently active or not?

Yes, but I'm not sure I get the question. Remember that this is an extension, not an entirely new sprinkler control.

akimball wrote:
I've wanted a fully programmable Indigo Touch irrigation controller with the ability to set/view/change the watering times for each zone.

In a way I'm working on this but it's not part of the plugin right now. You will be able to do this as I expand a different plugin. The plugin currently shows you the zone time LEFT, the schedule time LEFT and automatically pause or stop your watering if rain is detected through your weather plugin.

So, keep tuned in as I expand this and my other plugins and I think all your dreams will be answered soon :).

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Posted on
Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:03 pm
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Re: New Plugin: Device Extension

Thanks for the explanation. It sounds like it's almost everything I need in it's current state. What I meant by...

If so, then can it access all 8 zones whether that zone is currently active or not?


...is simply that currently in Indigo the EZFlora's (I use 3 of them... 24 zones total) are each their own "device" and then within each of these EZFlora devices, you get to define max watering times and in a schedule, you then use a command to send that particular EZFlora a schedule in the format of a hardcoded list of numbers, like "20, 20, 30, 15, 20, 40, 0, 20" for example, each number in minutes. Lets say that my wife is wandering around the yard with her iPhone in hand and wants to decrease the water for the 3rd zone (set to 30 minutes in my example list). Well, up till now, she has to ask me how long zone three is currently set to water, and then she needs to ask me to set it to something less.

I would like her to be able to adjust this herself using nothing more than Indigo Touch. So she taps the number 30, Indigo Touch throws up a number entry screen, she types in say "25" and hits the okay button. The number entry screen vanishes and the list of numbers changes to "20, 20, 25, 15, 20, 40, 0, 20" .... or something like that.

All of this adjusting of zone times would be able to occur whether the zone is active or not... usually not. I was thinking that your plugin only returned remaining time of one and only one of the 8 zones... which presumes that the zone is active.

I'd also like to have (read only) the maximum watering times from the device itself too... but that's less important.

-Al

Posted on
Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:25 pm
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Re: New Plugin: Device Extension

akimball wrote:
she types in say "25" and hits the okay button

THIS is precisely what I have in the works. In another form for multiple uses, but that's basically it.

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Posted on
Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:32 pm
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Re: New Plugin: Device Extension

The idea to add zone watering times to the Irrigation Extension is a great one, I'll add that, it's an easy thing to do and I might have that up today. I won't have the punch pad going yet but at least you can get the zone times if you want them.

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Posted on
Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:43 pm
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Re: Device Extensions Released

Colorado4Wheeler wrote:
The idea to add zone watering times to the Irrigation Extension is a great one, I'll add that

And done, 1.3.0 just posted :D

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Posted on
Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:45 pm
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Re: Device Extensions Released

That was fast. I'll install tonight and give it a shake. Thanks !

-Al

Posted on
Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:33 am
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Re: Device Extensions Released

Hi there,

I installed the extensions plugin and had C to F conversion on one of my Fibaro sensors up and running in under a minute. Very intuitive!

Next I moved over to the irrigation extension and looked over a few of it's capabilities and tried out a couple of things. The main thing I went for right away was to see if it could give me the irrigation times for the 8 zones on one of my three EZFlora devices (I don't yet have rain detection... that's another subject for me because I'm not sure I trust the whole concept as yet). I did install a field on a control page which showed the zone's maximum zone duration time. That is something I want to have but I have a few thoughts on the subject as I attempt to understand where the spinkler schedules keep their watering times, vs where the EZFlora devices keep their maximum zone duration times.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the Maximum zone duration times are a "fail-safe" for each zone. Say that you have an EZFlora device with the following maximum zone durations {60,60,60,60,60,60,60,60| and say that you have a schedule set up for 30 minutes per zone {30,30,30,30,30,30,30,30|. Then each zone will be watered for 30 minutes if the zone multiplier is enabled and set to 1. If you then set the zone multiplier to 3, you will still get 60 minutes per zone, not 90 minutes, because the maximum zone duration is still limiting the total watering time per zone to 60 minutes. Keeps your basement from flooding and all.

...well, that's one way to adjust the water time, simply adjust the zone multiplier variable. However, if the wife wants to increase watering time in one or two zones from 30 minutes to say 40 minutes, then that method requires programmer intervention because Indigo Touch has no way to do this right now..... a programmer has to manually go into the schedule and adjust the values in the schedules list. The device's maximum zone durations are still 60 minutes per zone and are not affected unless you do that on purpose (and I think I read there is a maximum "maximum" zone duration of 120-minutes per zone hard coded into an EZFlora device anyway). This manual tweek of the schedule can't yet be done in Indigo Touch.

What I saw in your plugin is that you can display the maximum zone durations for each of the 8 zones, but you still don't have access to a schedule watering time.... and I'm not sure how you can do that if at all from a plugin. I could be wrong. It does look like it will give information on a currently running zone.

Any thoughts? I do love the plugin and can't wait for the weekend when I can play with some of the other features.

-Al

Posted on
Fri Jun 10, 2016 1:53 pm
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Re: Device Extensions Released

akimball wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the Maximum zone duration times are a "fail-safe" for each zone

Yes, you are correct, they are the default times if you just simply run a zone from the UI rather than using a schedule

akimball wrote:
However, if the wife wants to increase watering time in one or two zones from 30 minutes to say 40 minutes

As I had mentioned before, this does not YET exist in the plugin but I am working on a different plugin that will allow you to do this. It won't be in Device Extensions but you'll be able to do what you want here once that plugin is released.

akimball wrote:
What I saw in your plugin is that you can display the maximum zone durations for each of the 8 zones

Did you install 1.3.0 last night? Go to Plugins -> EPS Device Extensions -> About, is it 1.3.0? Because I added exactly what you had suggested into the plugin yesterday (see screenshot below). Those new states take into account if a schedule has been passed to the device or not - so if you don't pass a schedule then these values represent the Max Watering Times as you defined in the sprinkler device, if you DO pass a schedule then they represent the scheduled times. Basically it's to say that these states are always something, be it the current schedule or the default, all depending on if you passed a schedule or not.

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 1.49.57 PM.png
1.3.0 States
Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 1.49.57 PM.png (95.44 KiB) Viewed 2320 times

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Posted on
Sat Jun 11, 2016 2:13 pm
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Re: Device Extensions Released

Thanks for the information. I made another pass at getting the irrigation controller to work. After running the sprinklers on the first night, last evening I installed a text field for each of the 8 "zone x scheduled run time" fields and then had a look at the times reported; they all reported the maximum duration time (which I have currently set to 60 minutes). Then, I opened up the Irrigation Extension device which I created two nights ago (version 1.3.0) and looked to see if there were any options which I had missed... I didn't see any, but as luck would have it, just closing the device's "Edit Device Settings" window caused an update of the actual times on my 8 zones and the text fields reported {10, 12.5, 10, 10, 10, 10, 15, 10} but individual values laid out for each text field. The brackets I show here are just my way of telling you about it. The actual times in the sprinkler schedule are {20,25,20,20,20,20,30,20} but due to the time of year, I'm using a sprinkler multiplier of 0.5 so it looks like the zones updated correctly.

Here is the bad news: I changed a couple of the watering times to test it in live mode and then I executed the schedule manually from Indigo. The values did not update. Furthermore, I tried out some of the other fields: Current device state reported Z1 - 00;00, Name of currently running zone was blank, and Current zone run time remaining was 00:00 (In the attached picture I accidentally chopped off that string at the bottom of the list... but it's there).

So... it's not reporting my schedule in real time. In the picture I've included you can see the zone running (see the new variables below the sprinkler section with a red box around them, where I laid them out temporarily in order to try out the new irrigation extension). Could it have anything to do with me having 3 EZFlora's? Any suggestions on how to get it to update live?

I've only installed one Irrigation Extension so far for zones 01 through 08. If I can get that one working I'll integrate things properly and do all three EZFlora's. Thanks again for writing it and hope I can get this going. Will be able to try again this evening... motherinlaw is turning 90 today... family party. Thanks in advance. :)

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-Al

Posted on
Sat Jun 11, 2016 4:31 pm
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Re: Device Extensions Released

I'll do some testing and see if I can replicate the problem, if so then I should be able to fix it for you.

Cool UI, I like the sprinkler indicators :)

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Posted on
Sat Jun 11, 2016 4:33 pm
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Re: Device Extensions Released

Actually I think I know what the issue is, at least partly. I'm not checking for the zone duration changes, only if the sprinklers go on or off (or you save the prefs which forces the update), so that is fixable, I'll look into the zone countdown on the device list.

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Posted on
Sat Jun 11, 2016 5:37 pm
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Re: Device Extensions Released

akimball,

I posted up 1.4.1, please update your plugin to that version and see if your issues are corrected, if they are then I'll make it an official release. The Z1- 00:00 happened to me at first but when I fixed the other issue with getting the zone durations in real-time it went away so I believe one fixed the other.

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Posted on
Sat Jun 11, 2016 7:27 pm
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Re: Device Extensions Released

Thanks for looking. The sprinkler icons are standard Indigo issue and yes I like the art that Jay and Matt commissioned very much for the sprinkler heads. The blue chicklet buttons below each zone are my creation. If I press a blue button so the blue key turns gray, that zone is disabled and there is a trigger written for each zone which simply executes "Next Zone" for zones 1..7 and "Stop" for zone 8.....respective to each EZFlora. Effectively disables a zone despite what the schedule says.

The above "trick" does look require a one second delay per zone because consecutive disabled zones can otherwise execute so fast that it locks up indigo.

My secondary water pressure is so high that I can easily run all three ezflora's at once.

-Al

Posted on
Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:12 pm
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Re: Device Extensions Released

Success of sorts and maybe this is what you intended. I installed v1.4.1. With the EZFlora off and not running a schedule, it reports the maximum zone durations. When I run the schedule, all 8 zones report the durations that they will run in the current schedule (which I have setup in an action group... that way one schedule is all I need whether executed from an Indigo Touch button control, or from an Indigo schedule}. Also the name populates with the correct time, the current running schedule name appears, and the current zone run time remaining starts a correct countdown.

But when I issue a stop command, the maximum zone durations appear again (The schedule times don't 'stick'),

Also, there may be an issue with PAUSE/RESUME. I press Pause and the zone times go back to the initially scheduled starting times for all 8 zones (one of them should stick at the moment pause was pressed)... so at least they don't go back to the maximum zone durations. But when I press Resume, the counter starts over from the top of the scheduled times... although the EZFlora should resume with the number of watering minutes remaining when Pause was pressed. It doesn't. So the Zone paused is finished watering prior to the Extension Plugin countdown timers.

Hope this makes sense. Not sure it's giving correct information under all circumstances... namely, Pause/Resume. Also, it would be nice if a "stop" command didn't flip all the numbers back to maximum zone durations.

-Al

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