Author Topic: Poor man's Sprinkler System  (Read 2710 times)

bdfoster

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Poor man's Sprinkler System
« on: June 21, 2009, 12:12:39 am »
Here, I will be documenting the build of a poor man's sprinkler system. What I mean by that is:

1. Hooks up to your outdoor spicket
2. Be able to control it via LMCE
3. Keep the cost low
4. Make a solution that can be used both 110/220V and 50/60Hz
5. Not have to dig up your yard to install it

Ideas: Use a Z-Wave, X10, or Insteon device to control it through an appliance controller. Could also use it through a wifi connection. If I can get this to work right, I might try to sell some kits and pre-build them into a case or something similar. Many hours of research is needed.

If you guys have any ideas, please post here. I know there are some of you that don't want to have to dig up your yard to have a programmable sprinkler system. I know that there are those battery powered timers, but what is the fun in that if you can't control it while sitting on the couch, or at work, or anywhere.
Have Fun - Bdfoster

Kallan

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Re: Poor man's Sprinkler System
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2009, 01:46:43 am »
Have a system where when motion detectors or cameras outside detect motion in your front yard, it turns your sprinklers on to deter hooligans :D I always end up with drunken randoms in my front yard on friday and saturday nights.

NikAmi

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Re: Poor man's Sprinkler System
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2009, 10:38:36 am »
You may want to try a simple X10 switch to a motorized pool valve or zone valve (used in radiant heating). Both solutions aren't too expensive. Since you aren't dealing with a lot of water or heat, you can probably get away with one of the cheaper pool valves and the zone valves are relatively cheap anyways.

Alaith

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Re: Poor man's Sprinkler System
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2009, 07:12:17 pm »
You may want to try a simple X10 switch to a motorized pool valve or zone valve (used in radiant heating).

I'd think you could just hook the X10 to an electronic solenoid. They are used to switch on and off water to electric sprinkler systmes. I've gotten them at my local hardware big box store for about $30 I think. I used it to build an electronically fired potato cannon, but I'm sure it would work just as well for what it was originally intended.

Dale_K

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Re: Poor man's Sprinkler System
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2009, 07:24:09 pm »
Quote
I used it to build an electronically fired potato cannon,

OMG!  Pics and specs please.

wierdbeard65

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Re: Poor man's Sprinkler System
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2009, 07:41:58 pm »
Quote
I used it to build an electronically fired potato cannon,

OMG!  Pics and specs please.

Nah, a complete howto :-)

Now THAT would be the ultimate security plug-in for MCE.....

Alarm goes off, you remote in using your mobile-phone based orbiter. See the little b*****d that's nicking your stuff, so you aim the cannon (webcam hooked up as a sight?) and fire!

Sod the DVB compatability or supporting new z-wave devices. THIS is the way forward and should be given top priority by the devs  ;D ;D ;D
Paul
If you have the time to help, please see where I have got to at: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Wierdbeard65

bdfoster

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Re: Poor man's Sprinkler System
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2009, 08:40:50 am »
Have a system where when motion detectors or cameras outside detect motion in your front yard, it turns your sprinklers on to deter hooligans :D I always end up with drunken randoms in my front yard on friday and saturday nights.

Outdoor x10 motion sensor, sprinkler system with x10, and thats it. Don't even need LMCE. X10 sprinkler controller would respond to the motion detector events, and when the motion detector doesnt report any motion, then it stops. Of course, LMCE might make it easier.
Have Fun - Bdfoster

bdfoster

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Re: Poor man's Sprinkler System
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2009, 08:42:00 am »
You may want to try a simple X10 switch to a motorized pool valve or zone valve (used in radiant heating). Both solutions aren't too expensive. Since you aren't dealing with a lot of water or heat, you can probably get away with one of the cheaper pool valves and the zone valves are relatively cheap anyways.

Electric solenoids are cheaper, and I've found a few that run about $10. Check out my user page on the wiki.
Have Fun - Bdfoster

bdfoster

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Re: Poor man's Sprinkler System
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2009, 08:51:45 am »
So here is what I have come up with so far, this would be a good 1 zone system

    * Intermatic HomeSettings Outdoor Z-Wave Appliance Module ($25)
    * Honeywell AT140A1042 Universal Mount 24 Volt Transformer ($27)
    * Nelson Solenoid 7962 ($11)
    * Antenna for Z-Wave? ($20)

Possibility to add a rain sensor for around $25-$35. Z-wave is a good option for me as it doesn't use powerline communications. Since I move alot (currently in Europe, citizen of the United States) I needed something to use anywhere I go, and this seems like a good option for me. The appliance controller would have to have a 220 to 110V transformer attached, but it will still work. The "guts" of the system are going to be placed in a project box, and have some wires running to the solenoid that is attached to the water spicket.

Transformer>>Z-Wave controller>>24V Transformer>>Solenoid - Order everything would have to be in to control solenoid. I have drawn a schematic with the rain sensor in the system, as I will be using one.

Keeping with the open source spirit, I will be (after extensive testing) will be placing a how-to on how to do all of this on the wiki. My object is not to make money off of this, so if you want to do it yourself, you can do it, and modify it to your needs. I will, however (when the time comes), be accepting requests to make this. Just remember, I don't have alot of time to do these things, and I will not be stocking parts or anything. The purpose in this is to create hacks and inform users of LMCE on how-to's so that they can get the most out of their systems, even on a budget.

http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Bdfoster - For continuing updates, visit my user page. And as always, leave your comments here.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2009, 09:26:18 am by bdfoster »
Have Fun - Bdfoster

johanr

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Re: Poor man's Sprinkler System
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2009, 12:04:48 am »
Will try to make it short.

I am currently controlling the watering of my garden with 24v Ac valves and having Zwave switches(relays) to control the transformators(spelling?) abit on the expensive side though..

Rainsensor is connnected to a timer which is set to open the water at a certain time and during that time LinuxMCE does it's job handling the valves. It's a Duct Tape solution but the best I could come up with in a fast manner and limited amount of time available..

basically
water(always on) -> timer -> valves..
All the watering equipment is Gardena.

Reason for controlling the transformators with switches/relays is basically since those relays could not guarantee to be safe when switching 24v trough them(powered by 220v ac).

I have not been able to find a good rain sensor to connect to the Lmce without the need for a GSD, which I think is to expensive to use for that. And since the GSD only has limited amount of relays I cannot use it as such anyway. It's really a simple piece of equipment(on/off) but still I have not taken the time to integrate it into lmce.

I am very interested to know if you have any ideas how to connect a rain sensor that can be supported by Lmce.
I have an idea to have the rainsensor control some relays that disconnects te 24v ac controlling power to the valves, but I have not investigated more about this. Since that feels even more Duct tape..

Remote valves
Gardena has some valves powered by 9v that can be controlled remotely and programmed by a separate unit. Dream would be to use those and have Lmce control them.. but I doubt Gardena will share how it is being done to the open source community..

number 5 Can be answered by having a look at the Gardena Aqua contour. Expensive but damn worth the money..



I have been planning a wiki on this but it has not been on on top of the todo list this week..
 Maybe we can share thoughts and put something together?

Will leave the computer for a week now though(just so you know why I do not answer) but after that maybe? =)

I'm based in europe btw..

-johan
« Last Edit: July 12, 2009, 12:57:56 am by johanr »