Stupid questions...regarding wiring.. irrigation

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by osx-addict, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. osx-addict

    osx-addict Software Engineer

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Hi all.. I've got a question but probably know the answer but figured I'd ask anyway.. I've got a house with two separate sprinkler controllers -- one is an old Toro model bought 10+ years ago from Home Depot -- nothing special.. The other is a nice Weathermatic SmartLine controller that is about 2 years old and which I love way more than the toro.. To that end, the Toro controls the front yard and the Weathermatic the back.. Currently the Toro is only controlling a single valve -- no issue with that on the Weathermatic -- one more slot is available.. However, the two controllers are about 75' from each other... Sure, I can dig a trench and crawl under the house to connect the front system to the rear -- but thought I'd see if there's a wireless product around that would effectively play the part of a relay station of sorts where the weathermatic can turn on the phantom zone and the enable would be sent wirelessly to the receiver in the front yard which would then turn on the valve.. Does anything like that exist?

    P.S. IF nothing like this exists, I do have existing conduit running underground for 110VAC from our house to the garage -- Is it a bad idea to run a sprinkler cable down in the same conduit as the high-volt AC? Would there be any issues with the AC line causing interferance? I'm thinking not since both are AC voltages -- albeit one is high, the other low..

    Thanks guys!
  2. osx-addict

    osx-addict Software Engineer

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Ok.. Just to chime in again since I obviously created quite the stir with my engaging topic :rolleyes:

    I asked a similar question on an electronics forum (allaboutcircuits) and while there would be no interferance induced onto the sprinkler lines by running it alongside AC power lines, it is against what the NEC has to say about running control lines with AC power lines.. So, I'll probably bite the bullet and dig a trench 'near' the existing AC conduit buried below grade. So, I withdraw my question.
  3. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,792
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    You only asked your original question 2 days ago :D. some things take a little longer to catch attention.

    for what its worth, if anything, X10 has or used to have a pair of devices that would do exactly what you want. I had these units set up, and they worked great (when they worked!). I have since done away with them and ran cabling for my most remote zone valves.

    The X10 stuff is cheap and fun stuff. I have quite a bit of X10 components for inside and outside lighting that are controlled by my X10 Home automation system software. Although it works "most of the time" I would not consider using it for anything important, There are newer systems out for the past few years (like Insteon) that purport (sp?) to be better. I have bought some items from this outfit: http://www.smarthome.com/_/index.aspx , and you can still look at x10's website to see what they carry now. just my 2 cents. You are better off running the cable.
  4. osx-addict

    osx-addict Software Engineer

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Thanks Bob.. Sorry about the sarcasm.. I didn't mean anything by it..

    I didn't think about looking at the X10 stuff.. Haven't played with that for 15+ years.. I think I'd opt for other ways if the wire run was longer but since it's not too long I'll just do the old fashioned way..

    By the way.. IF someone is interested in doing it the high-tech way, there's a company called Inovonics that makes wireless receiver/transmitters that are usually used for things like door openers, alarms (motion detection switching) and the like.. You could in theory use their one-way binary transmitter module (see here for details) which would be on the sprinkler controller side and would require some external 'glue' logic to convert from 24VAC to a 'binary' signal. On the remote valve side you could use one of these to wire up the valves to a 24VAC transformer to turn on/off as dicated by the transmitter..

    These are really slick transmitter/receivers -- using EchoStream frequency hopping/spread spectrum if I recall -- their range is ~1 mile line of site.. The cost for this would be a few hundred $$.. I've got some of this hardware for an alarm at home -- works great! Perhaps this might be of interest to someone..
  5. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,120
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    "You only asked your original question 2 days ago . some things take a little longer to catch attention."

    That means quality work takes time, I do believe.

    The X10 stuff has been getting better over the years, But I would keep a good Eye on it, just in case it has a mind of its own.

    Frequency hopping/spread spectrum may not work if you do not have repeaters in your area.

    Soon Everyone will be forced to have a Smart Meter. Then you can rely on the electric company and Gov to control your Stuff as they see fit.

    Computer Hackers are going to have a Ball...
  6. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,792
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Yes they will! can you imagine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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