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bjdavids

Starting Member

1

Wednesday, April 15th 2009, 1:52pm

Quick Controller Advice Needed!

Hello -- I've decided it's time to replace my old RainBird RC-7 controller with a new one, mostly due to pretty severe watering restrictions where I live (Boulder, Colorado -- dry, arid climate). I can get a 50% rebate (up to $150) from the city if I get a "smart controller" that has (1) a seasonal adjustment control, (2) an ET-, weather-, or soil moisture-based control that matches watering schedules to actual weather patterns, and is (3) programmable for multiple programs, stations, and start-times.

SO, what should I get?? I've got all seven zones in use now, so need at least that many. I was looking at the Hunter ICC, but didn't know if that would be overkill, since it seems designed for commercial use (I've just got a fairly small front and back yard, plus a drip zone).

Any advice would be MOST appreciated -- I'm overwhelmed with all the options available these days! Thank you in advance!

h20saver

New Member

2

Thursday, April 16th 2009, 5:47pm

some controller advice...

You should check with the city of boulder to see if you can get a rebate on the controller you mentioned. Technically the controller you mentioned won't qualify for rebates because it doesn't meet stipulation 2: (2) an ET-, weather-, or soil moisture-based control that matches watering schedules to actual weather patterns. You could take your chances I'm not sure how lax they are in boulder.
Typically the smart controllers that are qualified for rebates cost in the $350 to $700 range. The lowest cost one that I've seen is the Weathermatic bundled with the weatherstation (you must get the weatherstation) for around $350.00 or higher depending on the number of stations you have.
Next you have to determine if it's worth it. When you get a complex controller it has to be correctly programmed to work (that is, to save you water). If you look at the installation and setup instructions for the Hunter model that you mentioned, you'll see that programming it is an involved process. When you get ET and weather involved it gets more involved.
I'm biased against complex smart timer boxes for average sized installations because I think they are overpriced won't save much water, and because they are too hard to keep programmed correctly (ie, they require more maintenance). For a simpler user interface, at a lower cost you should reasearch an Internet Sprinkler Controller. You'll need always on internet for it to work, but it'll be easier to program, give you everything they ask for in the rebate program but won't require a rebate, because it's already fairly inexpensive (and given that it will save you water, most likely, it will get lower in cost with use, compared to your old controller).
Again this is my opinion, good luck in your selection.
cheers,

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,076

Location: Metro NYC

3

Friday, April 17th 2009, 8:30am

Hunter has a new product called Solar Synch, which will adjust watering times on their ICC or Pro-C controllers. (but not the SRC) - they created a new line of the Pro-C controllers that allow the Solar Synch receiver to be located in the controller case.

hi.todd

Supreme Member

Posts: 417

Location: Houston, Texas

4

Saturday, April 18th 2009, 6:47pm

I agree with wet boots. I have installed two of these Solar Sync units and I am very pleased. I need to mention that if you are planting new landscaping or grass, bypass the rain-sensor or Solar Sync until your plant material has been thoroughly watered for about 1 month.

The Solar Sync is very affordable.

The Pro-C is also very affordable.

Dan

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