Any experience with RainMachine integration?

Posted on
Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:14 pm
Colorado4Wheeler offline
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Re: Any experience with RainMachine integration?

jay (support) wrote:
If you want to use the built-in "smarts" then the Rachio plugin doesn't really do much for you though you would get status (slowish given the poll throttling).

I forked the Rachio plugin with the intention of playing around with using the "smarts" and still having a useful Indigo plugin but haven't had time to mess with it yet. I'm on the fence about the ETo functionality of the Rachio, which is 100% of the reason I bought it.

My lawn is doing fine but there isn't anything smart about having to put in every ETo parameter yourself. I wrote an ETo sprinkler wrapper plugin to use ETo and it was a lot of work to get dialed in, I could have saved $200 and just kept using that honestly.

If I had to do all over again I would not choose the Rachio probably, unless I can get the smarts working perfectly. Too much latency between the cloud service and my house for my taste. Nest would be 50/50 for me for the same reason, but I'm willing to put up with Nest a bit more because of the aesthetics, I don't care what the old EZ-Flora looked like ;). I still have the EZ-Flora, time will tell if it will grace my wall again in the spot that Rachio occupies.

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Posted on
Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:19 pm
Colorado4Wheeler offline
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Re: Any experience with RainMachine integration?

If someone wants to buy me a RainMachine or SkyDrop I'll write a plugin for it :P.

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Posted on
Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:29 pm
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Re: Any experience with RainMachine integration?

lanbrown wrote:
I have plenty of Cat6a running in the attic and use a lot of PoE

I've gotten to the point that if a new ethernet accessory isn't PoE then I try to find one that is. So much easier than worrying about power and wifi. Although my sprinkler wires all come in just a foot from an outlet so less of a problem for me in that regard, but I wouldn't even consider a camera anymore without PoE. I have 48 ports of PoE, so no lack of places to plug new accessories in.

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Posted on
Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:27 pm
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Re: Any experience with RainMachine integration?

I'm not interested in the "smart" part of the sprinkler (call me old fashioned but I like my way better!). If we ever get that Z-Wave sprinkler controller working then I'll switch to that to eliminate the "cloud" issue. I'm about to replace my Honeywell WiFi thermostat because it's WiFi is fundamentally broken and they can't keep their website up...

I'm somewhat with you, Jay... I went with RainMachine since it had the local API and doesn't require the cloud... at least for control and operation. But I will likely attempt to utilize the smarts at least, as @berkinet suggested, and see where it gets me. But I won't give up full control! :-)

If I can get the smarts up and running, I want to see the summary in Indigo, which is mostly just reading the status of things. But I keep going back to the fact that it would be nice, at times, to have the native Sprinkler UI available. I could certainly implement it with the features that ARE available. We shall see...

Posted on
Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:13 pm
Colorado4Wheeler offline
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Re: Any experience with RainMachine integration?

I don’t want or like “smarts” for the sake of being techie or gadgety but to save water. For me, using ETo to determine my water needs means that I waste far less water than winging it. That’s why I wrote ETo for myself and why I ended up with the Rachio.

I’m about over the cloud based devices, though. I love the cloud for a great many things but home automation and collection data on my heating/cooling/irrigation habits is not at all desirable.

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Posted on
Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:46 am
Korey offline
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Re: Any experience with RainMachine integration?

RogueProeliator wrote:
Waiting patiently for the plugin... :D

Yeah, well just took a look at their API and the amount of data they provide is almost overwhelming! I'm going to do a little thinking about how to properly map these into Indigo. I'm leaning towards providing a basic Sprinkler-classed object for manual control & "standard" UI use, and then additional custom devices for providing enhanced information -- such as a Zone Device, maybe Program device, etc.

I am not 100% sure how to map a few of the standard Sprinkler functions, though, just looking at the API. For instance, I don't see a specific ability to set a custom (one-time) schedule short of creating a full new Program in the app. Need to look to see if you can queue up zones to run or something. Surprisingly, also don't see a "Pause".

This one will be harder from a mapping / what's the best way perspective than technical. If you, or anyone really, have different thoughts in terms of structuring the devices please chime in...

Adam


Looks like the new firmware will include a Pause:

Code: Select all
Beta v.4.0.944 (06/14/2018)

This update is being releases in stages so it might not be available for all beta testers.

In addition to beta v4.0.927 changes:

Firmware

- Programs that skip watering due to Adaptive Frequency are now correctly logged in Water Log
- Added Rotors High Rate for the higher precipitation rate rotors sprinkler type
- Added Pause feature that allows to temporarily pause watering for a certain amount.
  This is currently only usable from Web UI and it will pause for a fixed 30 minutes.
- Fix Relative Humidity being wrongly calculated when only minimum and maximum were received from
  the weather service.
- Reworked Weather Underground weather service to allow PWS data gathering without a API key. The API key is still
  needed to receive the forecast from Weather Underground.
- Force authorization for NetAtmo service in case the token becomes invalid.
- Updated API to 4.6 version to reflect the new API calls like Pause.

- RainMachine HD12/16 Family:
  - Added dynamic support for changing the WIFI modules. This is limited by a list of known modules that we know
    to be working but it can be extended.
  - Added support for dual-band (5GHz) WIFI adapters based on RealTek 8814 chipset.
  - Reworked the WIFI reconnect algorithm to improve connectivity on some corner cases when using repeaters or dual-band routers.

Web interface

 - Added a better UI for Weather Underground weather service.
 - Improved some of the help messages.
 - Added Pause feature, a pause button will show up during watering that allows user to delay the watering for 30 minutes. 

--
Korey

Posted on
Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:29 am
berkinet offline
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Re: Any experience with RainMachine integration?

RogueProeliator wrote:
I'm not interested in the "smart" part of the sprinkler (call me old fashioned but I like my way better!). ...

I'm somewhat with you...
I guess I am having trouble understanding why someone would buy a fully configurable ETo enabled irrigation controller and then operate it like a basic relay board? If you really want to have complete, local, control why not just go with a 24 volt AC transformer and an EasyDAQ or similar (there are all kinds of these things available now on several different protocols) board?

Posted on
Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:32 am
berkinet offline
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Re: Any experience with RainMachine integration?

Korey wrote:
...Looks like the new firmware will include a Pause:...
...Web interface
...- Added Pause feature, a pause button will show up during watering that allows user to delay the watering for 30 minutes.

Interesting they documented the pause feature under the web UI. Maybe it is not supported in the API, yet.

Posted on
Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:59 pm
jay (support) offline
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Re: Any experience with RainMachine integration?

berkinet wrote:
I guess I am having trouble understanding why someone would buy a fully configurable ETo enabled irrigation controller and then operate it like a basic relay board? If you really want to have complete, local, control why not just go with a 24 volt AC transformer and an EasyDAQ or similar (there are all kinds of these things available now on several different protocols) board?


I was just looking for a more reliable replacement for my failed EZFlora. I'm not interested in building/assembling my own hardware. It's much easier to just replace a controller than to think through and/or understand enough about how those things work.

Found the Rachio and thought it would be a reasonable (if somewhat expensive) replacement. I also considered at the time that perhaps I'd eventually switch over to using it's "smart" mode. When I bought it the reviews weren't that great for the "smarts" part but I was hoping that it would get better. And perhaps it has. But the cloud-based thing is really becoming a non-starter for me.

Here's to hoping that we can get a working Z-Wave controller someday.

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Posted on
Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:59 pm
Colorado4Wheeler offline
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Re: Any experience with RainMachine integration?

jay (support) wrote:
But the cloud-based thing is really becoming a non-starter for me.

+1

jay (support) wrote:
Here's to hoping that we can get a working Z-Wave controller someday.

+5

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Posted on
Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:28 pm
Korey offline
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Re: Any experience with RainMachine integration?

berkinet wrote:
Korey wrote:
...Looks like the new firmware will include a Pause:...
...Web interface
...- Added Pause feature, a pause button will show up during watering that allows user to delay the watering for 30 minutes.

Interesting they documented the pause feature under the web UI. Maybe it is not supported in the API, yet.


looks like it might be in the new API?:


Code: Select all
- Updated API to 4.6 version to reflect the new API calls like Pause.

--
Korey

Posted on
Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:44 am
berkinet offline
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Re: Any experience with RainMachine integration?

Korey wrote:
...
Code: Select all
- Updated API to 4.6 version to reflect the new API calls like Pause.

DOH!

Posted on
Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:04 am
berkinet offline
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Re: Any experience with RainMachine integration?

jay (support) wrote:
...Here's to hoping that we can get a working Z-Wave controller someday.

Well, there is the Nortek GoControl WI15VZ-1, also sold by Homeseer. (Matt has previously commented on this). As sold by Homeseer it is claimed to only work with their home controller. However, as sold by Nortek they say... "Utilizing your Z-Wave hub’s app..." At $59, it would seem to be well worth someone's time to try out, especially if you are looking for a bare-bones system.

As for rolling your own :roll: , which I previously suggested, really irrigation controllers consist of nothing more that a number of relays or solid state relays that control the delivery of a 24vac common input to the valves. There is usually some very basic logic to prevent two relays from operating at the same time, and maybe to have one relay operate a pump or main valve. This logic could easily be encapsulated in a plugin. Beyond that, it is a question of scheduling and reporting. Though, if the WI15VZ-1 works, it would be less expensive that any 1-relay I/O board I know of and, night make a great Z-Wave general I/O controller on it's own.

As one Homeseer user commented on the WI15Z-1 product page:
    I'm actually not using the controller to control sprinklers. This turns out to be the most cost effective way to get 15 outputs from HS3. I'm using the outputs to control landscape lighting.

Posted on
Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:13 am
jay (support) offline
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Re: Any experience with RainMachine integration?

berkinet wrote:
Well, there is the Nortek GoControl WI15VZ-1, also sold by Homeseer. (Matt has previously commented on this).


Exactly why I mentioned it... :P

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Posted on
Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:07 am
siclark offline
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Re: Any experience with RainMachine integration?

I am looking to get my rainmachine in a few months, and given how hyper localised the rain has been recently, the nearest wunderground weather station 2 miles from me has regularly had storms and 5mm of rain to my none, I am looking at getting a weather station.

What are my best options now that wunderground doesnt let you have access to your own data? As RainMachine uses the no longer supposed free API keys, I guess that is no longer an option. It supports Netatmo directly, so is that my obvious option, as I was looking at other stations that I could use with WeatherSnoop and have local data to analyse as well as on Netatmo's cloud.

Thanks

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