We Are In Control

Noel has spent the last couple of weeks building me an irrigation controller. Yes, of course you can buy them, but the controller my system required cost a lot of money (think around $1000 for the number of circuits I have in the garden). Noel spent about $100 on materials for this one. And I can log in and change the programming over the web, should I require such intervention.

Here's my irrigation hero wiring the board together. It even has a nice blinking red LED.

Wiring the board

Once he'd finished the wiring for the board, he fitted everything into this nice little metal box.

All tucked away in the box

Even though we had the box sitting around from another project and it certainly was not the plan for this to happen, the pieces of this controller fit perfectly inside the box:

Look inside the box

Then Noel spent an hour wiring all the valves to a single large cable that would run into the box. He's applying heat-shrink tubing here, to protect the connections from the weather.

Wiring the valves to the box

We did some testing this afternoon and it works like a charm. Right now, the controller is programmed through a command line, but eventually he'll make it so there is a neat little user interface for me to use.

Command line connection to the box

After we got that working, we went under the house and finished running the PVC for the last three circuits. The next major move is to get that water tank here and installed. Also, I need to do some more research on pumps.

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posted by ayse on 07/29/07

5 Comments

Wow, that's fancy! I know you will appreciate it.

I went from a brand-new, professionally installed system to a kludged-together homemade one that I have yet to figure out (that would require, you know, time). But it does work, after a fashion. At least, the grass isn't dead.

Happy gardening!

We did spend some time investigating the professional systems, but 1) COST -- yikes -- and 2) not enough control for my preferences. Sure, I'm going to spend some time fiddling with this and adjusting it, but I'd have to do that with something somebody else installed, too. This way at least when I see a problem I know exactly how to fix it.

And I know what you mean about time. We started working on this system more than a year ago, and it's still not all installed. And likely won't be until next summer, given the amount of time we seem to have available.

Don't forget Unlimited Tech support. (Can Noel feign an Indian accent?)

That is really friggin' awesome. Your controller is great! I sure miss soldering. I think it fed my obsessive-compulsive hankerings, lining up all those chips and resistors.

Noel can feign a spectacular Indian accent. Once in a fit of inspiration he even did an impression of Julia Child with an Indian accent. I fell over laughing. (To his credit, he's been too embarrassed to ever do it again.)

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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