New irrigation controller

Posted on
Wed May 20, 2020 7:03 am
siclark offline
Posts: 1234
Joined: Jun 13, 2017
Location: UK

New irrigation controller

As Racchio dont supply to the UK, and RainMachine has been sold out for months, I am looking at a replacement for my Hunter X-Core 4 zone controller. I need 8+ zones, smart weather integration and ideally Homekit integration, (could be through Indigo HKB) or Alexa at the least to turn on manual zones.

Along with possibly using the 8 zone ethernet relay board, I have found this. https://www.netrohome.com/.

Does most of what I want and its much cheaper than other alternatives (big plus), but its cloud based that is not ideal (especially as a relatively new company - although based on their having to upgrade server to support new customers, hopefully growing well) and it doesnt accept wired sensors. It does however have some interesting wireless sensors that can measure drainage of soil and more accurately determine watering schedules.

I was wondering if anyone had any experience of this (happy to use the referral scheme if so) and also worth pointing out they do a subscription service with free hardware for US, which is interesting.

Posted on
Thu May 21, 2020 2:39 am
siclark offline
Posts: 1234
Joined: Jun 13, 2017
Location: UK

Re: New irrigation controller

MartinG wrote:
I'm also in the UK and installed OpenSprinkler yesterday, removing my existing not-very-smart Hunter X-Core controller which controls 7 zones plus a pump. (so 8 zones total in OpenSprinkler terms). The wiring took ~10 minutes, and the configuration took a further ~20mins. Everything ran last night as planned, and I now have far more/faster/more convenient control than I had before. It seems to be picking up weather data correctly, so we'll have to see how it adapts to evapotranspiration rates when the weather changes.

There is potential integration via IFTTT and the development team is working on MQTT, which will work nicely with my existing Indigo set-up.

My automation philosophy is that each system operates standalone, but Indigo keeps an eye on it all and adds 'overlay' features such as turning off lights when the alarm is set to 'bedtime' mode.


Thanks Martin, moving this to my more general post, rather than in the 8channel relay board thread.

I have also looked at opensprinkler, and does look promising, but its £80 more than Netro. I like that it accepts standard rain sensors etc, but I am also swaying to the Netro's wireless soil moisture monitors rather than a rain sensor. Admitedly getting those for 6 zones will dramatically up the cost! Opensprinkler is likely to keep running longer than a new company might survive too, there are multiple failed irrigation companies.

I also prefer standalone devices with Indigo as an overlay, hence Texecom alarm and Heatmiser heating, which both have Indigo plugins. Netro doesnt off that yet, although it does give me apple watch control and Alexa, so not sure why I would control manually via Indigo. The irrigation is one thing I dont want to turn off when we go to bed!

Its a tough choice.

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