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Friday, July 11th 2014, 12:25am

BlueSpray controller review

I was looking for a new controller to replace my 2 older Nelson controllers. I was finding it hard to juggle start times between 2 controllers to avoid overlapping programs, and the limitation to 3 programs was an issue so I decided it was time for a change.

I wanted a controller with at least 8 programs, but most of the ones I looked at were limited to 3 to 6 maximum. I wanted a controller with at least 16 zones, but more would be better for future expansion. I also wanted a controller with some type of computer interface to make programming easier.

I decided on the BlueSpray and went for the 24 zone model. I would have bought the 16-zone and expanded at a later date, but I read that expansion after purchase wasn't recommended (required complete disassembly of the unit). The price difference from a 8-zone to 16-zone was only $50 and another $50 to go from 16 to 24 zone.

The BlueSpray has no front panel. No display. No knobs. Everything is accessed via Wi-Fi and a web browser.

The unit was relatively easy to set up, but I had a few small self-inflicted glitches. First, don't try to set it up on a Smartphone. The screen is too small and certain required icons aren't displayed on a Smartphone. Use a tablet, or computer (must be Wi-Fi enabled).

The terminal strips are just a bit too small, and how they are placed in the housing, makes it a bit challenging to connect to. There is only one common terminal, so if you have multiple wire bundles, you need to join all your commons separately, and run a single common wire to the controller.

Programming is easy and fairly straight forward. There are unlimited programs and start times. One nifty feature is it has a “lawn view” that allows you to use a custom picture, or Google Map type picture of your property and place a zone icon in the area of the zone. When a zone is actively watering, the zone icon changes to a spraying sprinkler.

Manually running a zone from my Smartphone is easy. I can turn on a zone for a number of seconds on minutes. It will make zone servicing, or blowing them out in the winter much easier. No more running back and forth from the garage.

There is a calendar view that shows all your program run times at a glance.

There is a seasonal program that you can set for shoulder seasons to automatically reduce water times based on the time of year.

It has one other neat option. A garage door interface. It allows you to install a door sensor on your garage door that tells the controller if your garage door is open, if it is, it will close it for you (pair of wires to your door opener manual button. You can set it to automatically close after xx minutes of being open, or to close every day at a certain time (such as just after the time you normally go to work). It was a $30 option.

Overall I’m very happy with the unit. It’s only been out for a year, and I would expect additional features to be released with time. Upgrade of the firmware looks easy, just a click on the Admin menu.

http://www.bluespray.net


This post has been edited 8 times, last edit by "Canada_Guy" (Jul 11th 2014, 12:38am)


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