Hey guys, I have an idea but would like some input before I really start tearing into it. As the title states I am considering controlling my 8 zone lawn irrigation system via the parallel port on my core. I know that there are some X10/insteon options out there for this same purpose, and I think there is a zwave device that is coming out soon, but I would like to save $$$ whenever possible and I also like neat projects. I know that it is possible to open and close the valves via the parallel port, what I would like is some opinions on how well this could integrate into LMCE. Here is what the system would need to do.
1. Open each valve 1 at a time for a pre-determined amount of time at a set frequency per week. (basic necessity)
2. option to use the dawn event so that the sprinklers would run when the sun rises (a set time in the morning would be acceptable)
3. a floorplan layout would be nice to see what zone is currently on with the ability to manually trigger each zone either on or off
4. An option to skip the next watering event in case there has been recent rain and there is no need to water
Maybe more options, but the main one is obviously the first, the others can come down the road if they are more complicated. So let me know if you think this is crazy or a good idea. Any tips would help because this would be at the far end of the spectrum of what I am capable of doing on my own.
Anything I can come up with I would gladly share so that others can enjoy the same feature. I figure that I should be able to implement this for the cost of a parallel port relay board ($20-30) and alot of time (I have plenty) assuming that it can be done. If it looks like there is any interest I will start a wiki page to document the different areas that need work to bring this together.