Indigo controllable sprinkler

Posted on
Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:21 am
siclark offline
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Joined: Jun 13, 2017
Location: UK

Indigo controllable sprinkler

Amazingly we are in the midst of what could be a 3 month heatwave in the UK, and irrigation is suddently much more important than it normally is.

I have a Hunter X Core controller at the moment that has 4 zones, although I only use 2 at the moment. However I am thinking about redesigning and adding possibly 3 or 4 more, so would have to change the controller. Whilst I thought I would be ok with a simple timer outside, I am beginning to think I want some extra control, both in terms of adjusting the system on weather, and also from the comfort of my sofa!

So, my question is, buy an expensive web controlled 6-8 zone controller, (Hunter or Irrigation Caddy seem to be whats sold here) at £250-£300 or get 2 or 3 Fibaro double relays (possibly with the DIN rail mounts) mounted in a waterproof box outside, and setup Schedules directly in Indigo, along with overrides for manual control, delaying when rain etc etc. That has potential to be £120 to start and then can add extra modules if needed. More directly integrated with Indigo and cheaper, but harder to setup.

Anyone tried the relay approach and recommends for or against it?

Thanks for any tips.

Posted on
Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:17 am
Korey offline
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Location: Henderson, NV

Re: Indigo controllable sprinkler

Don't get a Irrigation Caddy, there has been no updates for years.

look at the RainMachine if it's available there, there was talk of a possible plugin.

--
Korey

Posted on
Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:20 pm
lanbrown online
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Joined: Sep 26, 2017

Re: Indigo controllable sprinkler

Even without a plugin, it will just work. The software it has does have intelligence to it. As long as it knows the weather, it will water accordingly. This is true for almost all of the smart irrigation controllers.

Using relay means you are essentially just making the old irrigation controller logic; fixed decisions. The smart controllers are so much better; let it have access to the Internet and let them do their thing. Sure they cost more, but there is much more that they do and will save you water. They will water less when needed and water more when required.

Posted on
Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:56 pm
mclass offline
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Indigo controllable sprinkler

I’m a devotee of the Indigo-controlled relay method!.

See the discussion at viewtopic.php?t=20672#p160152.

mclass


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Posted on
Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:38 pm
siclark offline
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Location: UK

Re: Indigo controllable sprinkler

mclass wrote:
I’m a devotee of the Indigo-controlled relay method!.

See the discussion at viewtopic.php?t=20672#p160152.

mclass


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Ah yes, your setup was what got me thinking of doing relays.

I'm not on a water meter so whilst good to save water there is no cost advantage.

I'm happy without a plugin if the device just works and does its thing, don't think I need to build extra logic. It's just the cost aspect I'm questioning. I have it water in late evening for drip and very early morning for lawn so no issue with needing override control if I'm outside for example

Mclass what variability do you have on the weather? Guess I would just look to reduce water if it's rained recently and maybe bump the watering if it's hot.
Wonder if the time spent writing the logic is worth the £130 I might save. Less if I end up getting more zones in the future.




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Posted on
Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:30 pm
mclass offline
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Joined: May 13, 2015
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Indigo controllable sprinkler

The weather here in Melbourne (Australia) is notoriously fickle (there’s a saying that we enjoy four seasons everyday and that if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes!).
We share our time between two houses, each with Indigo installations, and the ability to remotely sprinkle has proved beneficial.
<soap box mode on> Whilst it may offend the advocates of automation (vs remote control), I don’t have any program running the sprinklers - the “lady gardener” requires the ability to initiate the sprinklers at her discretion (any one been able to automate “lady gardener’s discretion” yet ). Initiation is via a control page and a timer (using the timers & pesters plug-in) turns them off. The control page displays the solenoid status and time remaining, and allows the sprinklers to be cancelled if required.
The ability to control the sprinklers manually at the outdoor control box has proved invaluable for commissioning and maintenance (and for domestic harmony!!). It costs only a few $A for the button and wiring which is marginal in the cost of things. The 24vac transformer to power the solenoids was “up cycled” from a junked gas heater. The only other significant cost was the weatherproof enclosure, and an hour or so of labour alone in the shed (also contributing to domestic harmony ).
Note also that the Fibaro dual relays need to be the ones with isolated contacts to allow switching of the 24vac. <soap box mode off>

Good luck with your deliberations


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Posted on
Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:50 pm
siclark offline
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Joined: Jun 13, 2017
Location: UK

Re: Indigo controllable sprinkler

Thanks. Yes I think the standard timing, simple logic to turn off if raining and some manual overrides either with Homekit or buttons would probably be fine.
But, whilst I don't pay for it, the smart web enabled ones would probably help me save water, doing my bit and all. But at higher cost


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Posted on
Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:53 pm
lanbrown online
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Joined: Sep 26, 2017

Re: Indigo controllable sprinkler

This all depends on your water rates, water use, etc. but a smart controller paid for itself in a little over a year.

Posted on
Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:17 pm
siclark offline
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Joined: Jun 13, 2017
Location: UK

Re: Indigo controllable sprinkler

I don't pay for water here so no direct cost saving from using less of it.


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