Anyone using any ET based sprinkler controllers?

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by osx-addict, Jun 29, 2006.

  1. osx-addict

    osx-addict Software Engineer

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I'm doing some homework on replacement sprinkler controllers that can monitor the weather locally in one way or another (to reduce water consumption among other reasons).. I currently am not interested in any of the brands that monitor via a subscription service from satellites (~$50/year). The three I've narrowed down my interest in are as follows (all use their own proprietary hardware to determine "weather") :

    1. Aqua Conserve's Controller (ET-6 or higher)
    2. Weatherset's Controller - visit here for info
    3. Smartline controller by Weathermatic - visit here for info

    I've found some review material for the first two that was dated 2 years ago and I realize that while neither review was overly great, I suspect firmware/software upgrades have been done since then to update their algorithms to work better. I spoke w/ Andy at the Weatherset company this afternoon and he seems knowledgeable but it's a pretty small shop from what I can tell and that controller got a bum review in the above report for keeping the lawn/garden too dry (at that time) but am willing to find out if that issue has been resolved (but haven't asked yet).

    Anyway, I really like the featureset on the Smartline controller, but can't find a review of it anywhere..

    So -- have any of you here used any of the above controllers?

    Here's another review I just stumbled across -- haven't quite finished reading it yet.. It looks like it has some additional controllers I've not seen before.. You can get an idea of what the ET stuff is all about by visiting this Link

    Anyway, I'm hoping someone has some real-life exposure to some of these pieces of hardware..
  2. GardeningMan32

    GardeningMan32 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Here's what I've been using....

    I started using this new sprinkler controller called Cyber-Rain. They are fairly new and so you have to purchase it off their Web site (www.cyber-rain.com). Its provided me the ability to control my zones from my PC and it tracks the weather and there's no monthly charge. I've been happy with it so far. Its been two weeks, but its a pretty cool setup. You should give them a try. They provide a 30 day money back guarantee if you're not happy. You have nothing to lose.
  3. Kiril

    Kiril New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    You can do the same thing with a standard controller and some proactive scheduling. In most cases your schedule will only need manual adjustments 3 times a year. Here is some software that can give you a good starting point. You then adjust based on observation and soil moisture data.

    http://www.irrisoft.net/wr/insite.cfm

    If you really want complete control over your landscape watering, you can't go wrong with using irrometers strategically placed in each zone of your landscape. These can then be tied into the controller so watering will only occur when it is needed.

    http://www.irrometer.com/landcat.htm#Watermark

    http://www.paltin.com/products/III Soil Water/soil_water.htm
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2007
  4. Mr_Pike

    Mr_Pike New Member

    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I install Weathernmatic Smartline controllers exclusively. Add a 20 rain sensor, and you have about as an effcient controller as you can get for the money.

    Don't waste hundreds of dollars on an over complicated system, when a rain sensor fits the bill in most instances.

    You want the ease of use to be the TOP feature on any clock. Like PUSH THIS BUTTON to run a manual cycle. You would be amazed at the chinese arithmatic required to run a manual cycle on some clocks. I have one older client who has a smartline controller with a hole drilled in the case directly over the run manual program button. The case is locked and can't be adjusted otherwise. This was at the request of his son, and seems to work great.

    Some of the best features of the smartline are the soak features, the zone / zone delay for well systems to allow the well to recover, and the seasonal % adjust by month. This allows me to setup a standard program that changes by month so I only have to visit a home 2 times a year instead of every 30 days.
  5. txolson

    txolson New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Weathermatic Smartline

    Hi,

    I have been using a weathermatic smartline ET controller with a weatherstation...totally rocks. Cut my water bill down by $43 2 months ago, and, with all this Texas rain, it has not even come on in the past month.

    The big advantage over a simple rain sensor is recognizing the additional weather elements like temperature. So if it rains and the temp is mild, it may be 3-4 days before the system thinks it may be time to water. Plain timer with rain sensor may water after 48 hr delay even though you still have standing water. The premium I payed for full weather monitoring has probably already been covered by my savings in 4 months.

    The only factory-authorized place I could find to buy online was www.cutmywaterbill.com

    Hope this helps!

    Tx
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