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mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,459

Location: USA

21

Monday, November 26th 2012, 11:45pm

I'm done with this topic.

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "mrfixit" (Nov 26th 2012, 11:53pm)


Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,050

Location: Metro NYC

22

Tuesday, November 27th 2012, 7:27am

OK, search is over. I stumbled onto this:

http://www.bluespray.net

This is exactly what I'm talking about. Unlimited programs, unlimited start times. Configurable seasons means I can set different watering schedule for each season and off for the winter season.

mrfixit,

firmware/software upgrade isn't necessarily for problem fixing. They contain improvement as well. That means the controller is getting better.

Wet_Boots,

A full installation is $5000, but you can buy a minimal sprinkler controller for $100. If I were to sell my house, I don't mind buying a $100 controller if the buyer prefers, and I'll keep my IC or BlueSpray.
It isn't a buyer preference on a controller. It's a home inspector, who is likely to know the difference between a piece-o-crap controller you got for less than $100 and a Hunter I-Core .

So you now can enjoy a controller with unlimited everything. That comes with unlimited ability to generate conflicts that must be resolved. And resolving unlimited potential for conflicts gets you back to the endless operating manual that makes the ESP-SMT so unloved.

And again, tell the world why individual programs for each zone is not possible on a conventional controller. That you don't see them is an indication that they are probably more a burden than a blessing.

Lawn watering isn't made optimal by a controller alone. It will require sensors, for weather and soil moisture.

scercpio

Active Member

23

Tuesday, November 27th 2012, 9:55am


It isn't a buyer preference on a controller. It's a home inspector, who is likely to know the difference between a piece-o-crap controller you got for less than $100 and a Hunter I-Core .

So you now can enjoy a controller with unlimited everything. That comes with unlimited ability to generate conflicts that must be resolved. And resolving unlimited potential for conflicts gets you back to the endless operating manual that makes the ESP-SMT so unloved.

And again, tell the world why individual programs for each zone is not possible on a conventional controller. That you don't see them is an indication that they are probably more a burden than a blessing.

Lawn watering isn't made optimal by a controller alone. It will require sensors, for weather and soil moisture.
BlueSrpay supports rain sensors. I like moisture sensor better, but I can't find a moisture sensor that is reliable and practical. Besides, my system does not have wiring for moisture sensors.

I like BlueSpray features. Basically, I'd like to water my lawn according to seasonal weather:

Summer - from 4/15 to 8/31: 5AM (10 min), 6AM (5 min), 10PM (5 min), every 3 days.
Fall - from 9/1 to 11/15: 7AM (10 min), 7PM (5 min), once a week.
Winter - 11/16 to 2/15: off
Spring: 2/16 to 4/14: 7AM (10 min), 6PM (10 min) twice a week.

And there is also seasonal budgeting where you can adjust from 0% to 150%.

Now, I can set it for year round customized schedule only once and forget about it. No more running out to the garage and manually adjust it every time I need to water less or more.

You don't need a big thick manual with BlueSpray or IC. I didn't say conventional controller can't do individual program for each zone. My only gripes with conventional controller is that the dial and button interface is cumbersome and old. I can't imagine using the dial and button to program it like I could with a GUI like BlueSpray.

scercpio

Active Member

24

Tuesday, November 27th 2012, 9:58am

I'm done with this topic.
Why the hate?

Sorry if my queries bother you. I hope I didn't offend anyone. I'm just doing my homework to find the best controller for me.
I appreciate all of your professional input and opinions.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,050

Location: Metro NYC

25

Wednesday, November 28th 2012, 9:45am

Only sensor control allows you to "set and forget" - everything else is approximation, no matter what the controller programming is, and as you noted, sensors are not perfect.

By the way, it is curious you would mention seasonal adjustment of all watering times, because your 'perfect' controller would have already taken everything into account, and no need would then exist for a Seasonal Adjust

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "Wet_Boots" (Nov 28th 2012, 9:50am)


scercpio

Active Member

26

Thursday, November 29th 2012, 9:57am

Only sensor control allows you to "set and forget" - everything else is approximation, no matter what the controller programming is, and as you noted, sensors are not perfect.

By the way, it is curious you would mention seasonal adjustment of all watering times, because your 'perfect' controller would have already taken everything into account, and no need would then exist for a Seasonal Adjust
When dealing with weather, nothing is exact. Close enough approximation is good enough. I know many people just set their controllers to a fixed schedule all year round and never bother to change. I was that way too, until it rained less and the water bills hiked. But programming a sprinkler controller is such a chore that it is the least favorite thing to do. I think this is the reason why people would just rather waste the water.

Do you mean the seasonal adjust % on BlueSpray? Yes, it seems redundant if you have seasonal schedule, but I think it is for those lazy people who would just adjust the watering % instead of making a schedule for each time period. Just another option.

I've played with the BlueSpray demo, and the UI is pretty slick. I like the fact that the interface has a picture of your lawn and a representation of where your zones are on your lawn. This is way better than Irrigation Caddy, IMO, and it's wifi! That means I don't have to run a cat5 cable into my garage.

scercpio

Active Member

27

Friday, July 19th 2013, 10:19am

Finally, looks like BlueSpray will be available soon - July 22.

BigAlT

New Member

28

Wednesday, August 21st 2013, 11:32pm

Bluespray not ET based at time of release

According to the Bluespray FAQ it is not ET enabled though they state they plan to add this feature in the future ( like the cyber rain it will be calculated on Bluesprays servers with the problems inherent therein ). There is also no programming possible from the unit itself, only thru their browser GUI.
Take a look at the RainMachine. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

scercpio

Active Member

29

Thursday, August 22nd 2013, 8:25pm

RE: Bluespray not ET based at time of release

According to the Bluespray FAQ it is not ET enabled though they state they plan to add this feature in the future ( like the cyber rain it will be calculated on Bluesprays servers with the problems inherent therein ). There is also no programming possible from the unit itself, only thru their browser GUI.
Take a look at the RainMachine. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Rain machine is not Et enabled either. What it does is look at the forecast and makes its own calculation. How accurate it is, no one knows, probably as good as the forecast. According to their documentation, it uses qpf data, which basically is a predicted rain falls for an area over a long period of time. So if your area normally has 20" of rain of the year, and it has rained 10 so far, you only need 10" for the rest of the year. Well, 10" in the 1st month will make your grass very green, but not so much if you only have 10" for the other 11 months. Weather changes and climate changes all the time. Places that rain a lot now in drought and dry places are getting flooded. And as far as the forecast goes, you can't even rely on the forecast for tomorrow, much less far ahead in the future.

I could be wrong, but until rainmachine can explain what their "complex" algorithm is, this is what I assume.

I'm also curious to know how that fancy touchscreen will hold up in a hot and dusty environment called the garage after a few years later.

This post has been edited 2 times, last edit by "scercpio" (Aug 22nd 2013, 8:44pm)


BigAlT

New Member

30

Friday, August 23rd 2013, 2:23am

RE: RE: Bluespray not ET based at time of release

Quoted From Serpico

"Rain machine is not Et enabled either. What it does is look at the forecast and makes its own calculation. How accurate it is, no one knows, probably as good as the forecast. According to their documentation, it uses qpf data, which basically is a predicted rain falls for an area over a long period of time. So if your area normally has 20" of rain of the year, and it has rained 10 so far, you only need 10" for the rest of the year. Well, 10" in the 1st month will make your grass very green, but not so much if you only have 10" for the other 11 months. Weather changes and climate changes all the time. Places that rain a lot now in drought and dry places are getting flooded. And as far as the forecast goes, you can't even rely on the forecast for tomorrow, much less far ahead in the future.

I could be wrong, but until rainmachine can explain what their "complex" algorithm is, this is what I assume.

I'm also curious to know how that fancy touchscreen will hold up in a hot and dusty environment called the garage after a few years later."

According to the RainMachine operating manual it does use ET which it calculates using their " complex algorithm " . It then uses qpf data downloaded from the National Weather Service ( which from the NWS website is not based on yearly data, but data as recent as 6 hours which corresponds to RainMachines statement that it is more accurate if your cycles are less than 3 days apart.
At least RainMachine will adjust watering times based on Weather information. BlueSpray on the other hand, at least until they actually implement ET based watering ( which based on my experience with Cyber Rain may never come to pass and even if it does will be dependent on Bluesprays servers which adds another level of reliability issues ) doesn't adjust watering times at all, only delaying or preventing a cycle from running based on the same type of weather data that RainMachine uses.
I don't know if RainMachines " fancy touchscreen" is any more susceptible to heat or dust related failures than any other electronic component ( they state the operating temperature range is 0 to 120 degrees ), but being in Western Washington I am fortunate that my garage doesn't get very hot in the summer and to prevent any dust or other forms of external contamination, I've mounted the controller in an Orbit Weatherproof Enclosure.
I do like the fact that Bluespray has 8, 16 and 24 valve models unlike RainMachine which only has 12 ( 11 if you need a pump or master valve zone ). But until Bluespray has a working ET or Weather based controller that actually adjusts watering times based on the weather, it's just another controller that essentially uses the weather forcast as an electronic rain and temperature switch. An actual on site rain/freeze switch would actually be more accurate.
As I've mentioned in another post, I've had a Weather Trak, a Weathermatic, an ET Water Smart Controller and most recently a Cyber Rain Pro Cloud. I had the Weathertrak in So Cal and it required a subscription to their service and my lawn would get lots of brown spots in summer. I've used the Weathermatic with it's wireless weather station but I didn't like the fact that you couldn't tell how long it was going to water and my lawn wasn't happy. The ET Water controller is normally very costly, I got one cheap on EBay, but instead of varying the watering times of each zone, it would vary the Interval between watering days which my lawn really didn't like, it was difficult to plan when to mow so the lawn would be dry, and they raised their subscription fees to a really uneconomical level. I thought the cyber rain would be the answer since It would use the information from my on site personal weather station, but it turns out they have never been able to implement actually varying the scheduled watering program on a daily basis using the information downloaded from my weather station but were only changing the watering times on a quarterly basis using some on board historical data.
If you're going to go with a Bluespray controller I hope that it does what you need it to do. For me, the RainMachine seems to be the answer, however, as you can see from my controller history, only time will tell.

This post has been edited 2 times, last edit by "BigAlT" (Aug 23rd 2013, 3:46pm)


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