Smartenit EZFlora and Rainbee8

Posted on
Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:41 pm
matt (support) offline
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Re: Smartenit EZFlora

Send us an email and we'll work with you to get the logging information they need off the forum.

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Posted on
Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:19 am
midd offline
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Re: Soil Moisture Sensor

I use Vegetronix soil moisture sensors with a Phidgets board and Berkinet's phidget's plugin. They work well together.

gskarp wrote:
Does anybody know if there is a soil moisture sensor that can communicate with indigo?

Indigo 7, Mojave on a 2009 Mac Pro..

Posted on
Fri Aug 07, 2015 5:21 pm
gglockner offline
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Re: Smartenit EZFlora

You may want to try OpenSprinkler. I installed one this season and I'm completely satisfied with it. I also released a plugin for Indigo at: http://forums.indigodomo.com/viewtopic.php?f=182&t=14512

Posted on
Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:32 am
dpompei offline
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Re: Smartenit EZFlora

I have had two EZFlora working flawlessly for around 4 years. I recently noticed that one of them stopped working so I unplugged it and plugged it in again. It works for about a day and then the same problem. this one day work around will work repeatedly but I've got better things to do then unplug and plug daily. I noticed that zone 5 was greyed out on my iPhone and when you hit a different zone it would just say zone 0 and no checkmarks would appear on the zones. so I checked the wiring and everything looks good. I then tried to see if I could reset the link in Indigo to see if its software related and although it got recognized. I would get a Failed to resync check your connection error message. So I tried a factory reset on the EZFlora. That seemed to work. When I hit "Define and Sync" all checks went through great. The problem is, now indigo thinks its a IR-Link Transmitter. I've tried numerous restarts and resets and it always links this way. I then did something stupid just to see if I could isolate the problem and I hit "Define and Sync" on my other perfectly working EZFlora and indigo has now changed that one to an IR-Link Transmitter too. So now I have no irrigation what so ever. Is this a bug in indigo? Does anybody have any ideas?

Posted on
Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:18 pm
jay (support) offline
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Re: Smartenit EZFlora

When an EZFlora reports an incorrect id like that, it's usually because of a bad firmware flash (we've seen that enough to see a pattern). Since yours were working, it seems likely that it's starting to fail perhaps by the flash memory going bad. Both at the same time though - that's very odd/suspicious. I'd try disconnecting the wires and moving it so that it's close to your powerlinc and do the define and sync again. Factory reset them before you do it and see what happens.

Jay (Indigo Support)
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Posted on
Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:35 pm
dpompei offline
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Re: Smartenit EZFlora

Thanks Jay. I followed your suggestions of disconnecting wiring, move them super close to the powerlinc, reset, and then define and sync again. Although, they are recognized and the linking process goes smoothly with no errors, they still both get recognized as IR-Linc Transmitter. I too am very leery to believe two units went bad at the exact same time, especially considering that one was working perfectly before I sent a define and sync command to it.

Is there any way of overriding the Model Type that is defined automatically? I am almost positive that the units will work if indigo knew they were EZFlora.

Posted on
Sun Sep 13, 2015 5:41 pm
matt (support) offline
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Re: Smartenit EZFlora

I don't believe they will work. According to Smartenit when they are reporting that they are the IR-Linc the internal daughter card is booting up correctly or something. Often times it is just a matter of unplugging it for a bit then it boots up correctly. You might try contacting them to see if they have any other tips (besides unplugging it and factory resetting it). Indigo doesn't provide a way to override the model type, but if it isn't reporting the correct type then I don't believe it is going to work correctly...

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Posted on
Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:50 pm
mvignola29 offline
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Smartenit EZFlora

I am planning on setting up a lawn irrigation system with Indigo software using the EZRain Insteon. The company doing the installation will use an Irritrol Controller that is connected to the zone solenoids. So that I may use Indigo software, I assume I would also connect the EZRain zone output to the zone solenoids and turn off the Irritrol Controller and control the zones from Indigo software.

From what I have read the EZRain device use an external 24 vac to control the solenoids. I am concerned that there could be a conflict with Irritrol Controller being hook up in the circuit at the same time the EZRain is connected. I just wonder if the Irritrol Control is turn off is that adequate or do I need to have a switch that selects either Irritrol Controller or the EZRain device.
The company that is doing the installation has no experience in dealing with a Mac using Indigo in controlling the irrigation system.
I am planning to do this process in the spring 2016 and will need the time to find out any other issues in doing this type of setup. Are there any other issues I should be concerned about?

Any info is greatly appreciated.
Michael

Posted on
Mon Nov 09, 2015 5:43 pm
akimball offline
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Location: Sandy, Utah

Re: Smartenit EZFlora

From what I have read the EZRain device use an external 24 vac to control the solenoids. I am concerned that there could be a conflict with Irritrol Controller being hook up in the circuit at the same time the EZRain is connected. I just wonder if the Irritrol Control is turn off is that adequate or do I need to have a switch that selects either Irritrol Controller or the EZRain device.
The company that is doing the installation has no experience in dealing with a Mac using Indigo in controlling the irrigation system.
I am planning to do this process in the spring 2016 and will need the time to find out any other issues in doing this type of setup. Are there any other issues I should be concerned about?


First, I believe that the EZRain (I have 3 of them) uses solid state relays, or SCR's or Triacs for switching, not mechanical relays which I suspect you may have in the Irritrol. This may make things a little more stressful if you have simultaneous activation of same or even different zones; the reason is that solid state devices typically have a small voltage drop across the device when in the "ON" state which the mechanical relays do not. For this reason alone, I would consider disconnecting the Irritrol but I'm guessing you're not going to damage the EZRain if you try it. Especially if you leave the Irritrol unpowered... I hedge this statement with "I wouldn't do it; just disconnect the Irritrol completely from the valves" but again, I think you'd not blow up the ($125) EZRain.

Second, thought I'd mention that I've had no failures at all with my EZRain devices. I consider them to be reliable (had 2 of them for almost 3 years).

Third, if you do want to try (experiment) to run the EZRain and the Irritrol devices at the same time, make sure that you're 24VAC power supply can supply current for at least two valves simultaneously. Do not use separate power supplies like I show in my picture. Best of luck.

Fourth, again, if you do this, make sure that your wiring for the Irritrol and the EZRain are both using a common ground (or you risk connecting 24VAC directly to ground if you activate both at once); try to put them close together and maybe even in the same box. See picture and imagine one of them is an Irritrol.

Fifth, I bought and programmed my EZFlora's in advance of having the sprinklers installed. It made things really easy to hit the ground running once the system was in place.

Here is a picture of my outdoor install (water-resistant orbit enclosure). You might be able to get the Irritrol into the same box with an EZRain. I bought the enclosure from Amazon but Home Depot carries them too.
Attachments
9D2D6B46-460A-453E-9458-AA5EB17935D0.JPG
Two EZRain's with separate power supplies in the same Orbit box.
9D2D6B46-460A-453E-9458-AA5EB17935D0.JPG (248.98 KiB) Viewed 4359 times

-Al

Posted on
Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:02 pm
mvignola29 offline
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Re: Smartenit EZFlora

Wow, Thanks for the info. I need to review the exact model of the Irritrol Controller to see if there is any info on the voltage output from the Controller to the Solenoids, but it would seem from what you described it may make more sense not to connect their Controller. This may cause some concerns for the installation company. I was told that the system would have 5 zones with various number of spray heads. I assume there would be 5 wires connecting the controller to solenoids and a ground return. I have never seen the actual details of the way the controller is wired to the solenoids. I assume the 5 solenoids are in one box that probably close in location to the controller box. I agree with your thinking that I will purchase the ESRain device prior to their installation so that I have some time to see how to use it and implement it into the irrigation system.
I will also try to see if the installation company can permit me to see a customer installation they alway completed in an effort to understand more clearly to the setup of system components.

I do appreciate your input, I have a lot to learn and am concerned that I may overlook something.

Thanks you time in your reply

Michael

Posted on
Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:48 am
mvignola29 offline
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Re: Smartenit EZFlora

How did you address the rain sensor signal. I assume your system does not run when it is actually raining. I was told that in my State CT that the system must have a rain system sensor, it the law. Is there a way for the Indigo software to address the rain sensor or is there a rain sensor in the Insteon devices?

Posted on
Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:13 pm
akimball offline
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Location: Sandy, Utah

Re: Smartenit EZFlora

How did you address the rain sensor signal. I assume your system does not run when it is actually raining. I was told that in my State CT that the system must have a rain system sensor, it the law. Is there a way for the Indigo software to address the rain sensor or is there a rain sensor in the Insteon devices?


Out here in Utah we don't have mandatory conservation... yet, but it's coming (so I hear). I've been meaning to implement a rain sensor, but right now, I know when it's been raining and I simply disable my sprinklers manually until needed again by setting the variable multiplier to 0. It's cheap and reliable.

I may have given you bad information based on the EZFlora... which can use an EZRain device. You can find the datasheet for the EZFlora (the devices in my picture) and they will show you how to use them with an EZRain device in the pdf. You're looking for the "Quick Start Guide - EZFlora Model #5010A" and if you drop down to the 2nd page of this pdf, you'll see how to connect it with a standard CAT5 ethernet cable (there is an Ethernet "type" jack on the bottom of each EZFlora controller... UNFORTUNATELY...

...that isn't the entire problem. I don't believe Indigo supports an EZRain sensor on the EZFlora at this time. There is an entire thread dedicated to that here: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=6665&p=99067&hilit=EZRain#p99067
...and I don't know if or if-ever this feature will be implemented in Indigo. Hopefully I'm wrong and maybe it is in fact implemented already.

I think a work around would be to use an I/O Linc to capture the status of the EZFlora... they make a kit for that here: http://www.smarthome.com/i-o-linc-rain- ... gQodvbEIqA
...and then in your Indigo sprinkler schedule put in a condition which checks the status of the rain sensor.

Notice on that EZFlora PDF, that there are many types of sensors which would work with your system. Besides a rain sensor, I also have my eye on a pulsing water meter (shown in the PDF) because I'm interested in not only "when" I use water but "how much" water I'm using.

-Al

Posted on
Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:03 am
mvignola29 offline
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Joined: Sep 26, 2015

Re: Smartenit EZFlora

I have moved forward and hired a company to schedule an irrigation installation in the spring of 2016.
I am planning on using the EZRain controller with Insteon Rain Sensor. I will get the controller and rain sensor shortly so that I have some time to develop an understanding of how to setup the various zones etc.
I see here in the forum that there are various plugin I assume that schedule the various zone for watering and time of day. Do I need one of them or can I just use the device setting in Indigo for the setup?
Any info is always appreciated

Michael

Posted on
Mon Nov 23, 2015 10:33 am
jay (support) offline
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Re: Smartenit EZFlora

If you're only using a single EZFlora, then you can use the built-in scheduling.

Jay (Indigo Support)
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Posted on
Sat Nov 28, 2015 3:28 pm
mvignola29 offline
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Re: Smartenit EZFlora

In the plan that I am setting up for the Irrigation system for my lawn and garden. The installation company indicated that I will have 5 zones for watering of my lawn and garden beds. I will use a Insteon EZFlora 8 zone Controller. I realize that there is a 24VAC transformer that is a separate item that supplies the voltage to each zone one at a time with Indigo software. The 5 solenoids will be located in one box. I will have the Insteon Control in a utility room in my basement and have a cable running from it to the solenoid box that will be located in my yard around 10 feet from the Utility room. I have read various opinions on the gauge of the wire that should be used. Also there are various approaches in using plastic pipe for the cable as well as cable that can be buried directly into the ground with out a pipe. What is your thinking on the gauge of the wire as well as plastic pipe approach? I want to have some knowledge from someone that has done this when working with the Installer.
Any info is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for a reply

Michael

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