Odd Controller wiring (repair help)

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Dane Bramage

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Portland, Oregon
Greetings all,

I have a RAINBIRD ESP 12-LX+ controller for a 12 zone (I only use 8 or 9 zones) irrigation system. The controller was working fine (since before I moved here, 2004) but today I found it had fallen from it's wall mount (drywall anchors) and some wires came disconnected.

I have the manual and some limited electronics experience, but the way this was wired makes no sense to me.

My unit only has 4 wires coming in from outside and, it appears, only 3 zone wires were connected to the unit (#6,7,8). Furthermore there is a little external resistor and some small black, 4-pin "puck" component (full-wave bridge rectifier?) also wired in (see attached photo).

I have no clue where the 3 wires were connected nor how I was able to control 8 zones all these years.

The four external wires were connected two to each side of the resistor and each side also connected to 1/4 pins on the "puck". The Master Valve is connected to it's own pin on the "puck" and the Common is connected to the last (4/4) pins on the puck.


There are no other missing wires/connections. My reading (of the manual) would be that each zone would have it's own valve and then connect to the corresponding output on the controller. I can't wrap my mind around how this thing was operational. I'm certain no other wires came out or were lost... the controller dropped about 2' and was just hanging from the remaining connected wires.

Here's a photo of the entire internal board (after I combined the 3 zone wires with one crimp and connected to the common, which didn't work).

I am still able to turn on the pump and I have one "always on" zone that is sprinkling. I just can not get any other zones to turn on.

I really, really want to just get this hooked back up and working how it was vs getting a new unit and running new wires, etc.,.

Has anyone ever seen anything like this?? I'm hoping and praying so...

Thanks in advance for any advice. I really appreciate anyone's time and effort with the assist.


This little switch in my circuit box is connected and always clicks when the irrigation system is powered on/off
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