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enpointe

New Member

1

Tuesday, May 15th 2012, 9:27am

Cyber-Rain controllers are they worth the price?

I'm doing my first sprinkler system and being a techno geek (ie computer programmer) I like the idea of being able to schedule my sprinkler system by a computer/web interface. I was originally looking at the Irrigation Caddy but I can see that's a new operation so support is an unknown. If the code was open source I would consider it. But the only other viable computer interface controller I can find is the Cyber-Rain. But I can't seem to find any reviews on it? So I'm wondering whether it's worth the money? I see there was a previous line to there Cloud line, for those that have the old line do you still get support for it?

These controllers are expensive but given I don't plan on moving out of my house till they carry me out the front door feet first I'm open to spending it, if it will make my life easier. Otherwise I'll just go with something like a Hunter PCC900 9 Zone Controller since the Hunter C line seems to have gotten allot of positive reviews from the users of this forum.
Thanks, Kristina



2

Tuesday, May 15th 2012, 10:02am

Being a techno geek you might want to take a look at this string: Homemade Controller

As far as Cyber Rain, I have an indirect answer. We sell a number of them.
One of the indicators of a good product is the number of support calls. Even though you can get factory support on almost any product the average consumer calls us first.
I just spoke with our sales manager, a long time employee. She cannot remember the last Cyber Rain return (outside of physical shipping damage) and can't remember any calls for setup or programming help.

Considering we get support calls on things as simple as pop-up spray heads that says a lot.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 3,881

Location: Metro NYC

3

Tuesday, May 15th 2012, 11:39am

One possibility to consider is something like the Irritrol PC Controller which is intended to work with a windows computer on site. It would then be up to the user to access the base computer by way of a smart phone, if they want that sort of controllability.

enpointe

New Member

4

Tuesday, May 15th 2012, 1:56pm

Thanks GatorGuy. I think the Homemade Controller is a bit more than I want to do. That is helpful to know there aren't support calls for it.

Thanks for pointing Irritrol PC Controller Wet_Boots. It looks nice but I'd prefer to stay away from Windows based products.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 3,881

Location: Metro NYC

5

Tuesday, May 15th 2012, 3:13pm

You can't expect any manufacturer to not have something like the Irritrol controller not work with Windows. I use Linux, but I would not be afraid to have on older 'doorstop' computer stand alone for controller duty and communication with a smart phone, in an application like this.

Compatibility with Mac and Linux may come, but someone has to write the software first.

enpointe

New Member

6

Tuesday, May 15th 2012, 4:09pm

Agreed. Windows is were most of the users are at so from a business standpoint it makes sense to support Windows first. I do have a Dell Mini running Windows 7 Home Edition just to support my Logitech Alert Security Cameras. From what I saw Irritol controller didn't support Windows 7 and I don't want to buy another system just to run there software.

In reading Cyber Rains FAQ I see they have a fee for there more adv features (reporting/alerts) so maybe going with a standard controller may be the better choice after all.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 3,881

Location: Metro NYC

7

Tuesday, May 15th 2012, 4:40pm

If you click the Q&A button on the page I linked, there's more to learn. They have updated software for download, and will almost certainly have something for the current Windows.

boston79

Unregistered

8

Friday, June 22nd 2012, 8:55am

cyber rain

I am an architect in boston and I have a client that just gave me a report from her cyber rain controller we installed in april. She controls it with her iPhone and web and the client is also in the boston area, a large residential project. Using the weather reports and local conditions using the GPS the current cyber rain report now shows that she has only used 21% of the demanded usage in the first two months. This means that in water alone, she has saved $30 per month for the first two months. The landscape contractor was just there yesterday and couldn't believe how great the plants look.
It is easy to use, very cool, and pays itself off quickly based on this information.

9

Friday, June 22nd 2012, 9:11am

Boston,
thanks for the feedback.
I get comments on how great it is and convenient to use but you are the first with real savings numbers.

tomt

New Member

Posts: 4

Location: San Fernando Valley, CA

10

Thursday, February 28th 2013, 8:19pm

I have the Pro, cloud based, 16 station version of the Cyber Rain in the outdoor enclosure. It was easy to install and program, and took me something like 2 hours all together. (I'm using 13 zones at my house.) I did have a problem with the Internet Gateway when I first got it but the technician at Cyber-Rain actually dropped a replacement unit off to me on his way home! Great customer service! It has been flawless since.

It has been in operation for nearly a year now and has done a good job of adapting to the weather and watering just the right amount for my yard. I previously had an Accurate Weatherset smart timer which had become flakey (they are out of business now) and the Cyber-Rain does a better job of adapting and watering the correct amount than it did. I also like the very comprehensive usage stats that the system compiles, You know exactly what has happened and when. The most important part, however, is that it has reduced my water usage by more than 35 percent and the yard still looks great! And this is over and above the reduction produced by the smart weather timer I had been previously using!

I installed an optional rain sensor that I already had (a mini-clik) and also an optional water flow meter that I found on Ebay for $45. I love being able to monitor and record both the water flow, water usage, and current flow because they have alerted me to problems with the system a few times over the last year (a broken solenoid wire, a defective vale, and a leaking pipe and head). The fact that it will email me an alert when there is a problem is very convenient.

I also have a weather station at my house and the Cyber-rain can use my data (via Weather Underground) which is also a plus.

A little pricey (Sprinkler Warehouse has it cheapest) but I'm very happy with it. The LADWP rebate made the final price far more palatable...

P.S. I should point out that this is the newer cloud version of the system and does not require a computer to routinely operate. It uses an internet gateway that connects to an Ethernet port on your network and then talks to the actual sprinkler controller wirelessly. You only new a computer to initially program it and this is done via a web page in your browser. After that, it automatically runs on its own exchanging data with the internet, weather service, and its cloud server as necessary. You only need a computer after that to make changes or view the numerous reports, stats, and usage logs.

You can also control it and run valves and zones manually from a free app for your Android, Blackberry or IOS device. That feature is very handy!

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "tomt" (Mar 5th 2013, 4:43pm)


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