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Central Irrigation

Supreme Member

Posts: 364

Location: Central Minnesota

11

Friday, April 26th 2013, 8:07am

Fantastic first post!

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,074

Location: Metro NYC

12

Friday, April 26th 2013, 8:46am

Reads like ad copy to me, but then again, I've seen those same kinds of posts appear here and there.

13

Friday, April 26th 2013, 10:20am

I assure you, I am not related to the company in any way.

I am a small business owner myself, in Winston-Salem, NC. I sell Ferrari, Maserati, and Lamborghini car parts.

When I find a cool product and I think the service is good, I'm happy to post about it. The internet can be a brutal place for small business folks, and those who have a neat product and service ought to be recognized as such.

14

Friday, April 26th 2013, 10:22am

p.s. Want me to say something "bad" about the Cyber Rain? Umm... hmmm.... oh, ok, here's one: the LED panel doesn't seem to have a dimmer option, so it has brightly lit up my basement 24/7. The bugs and rodents down there are probably scared off by the blueish hue.

tomt

New Member

Posts: 3

Location: Los Angeles, CA

15

Friday, April 26th 2013, 11:05am

RE: Yes, the Cyber-Rain does work

I have had my Pro for about six months and it has worked well (see my earlier review here). Unfortunately, I seemed to get a bad batch, first with a Gateway that was defective and would not talk to the Controller and then later with a Controller that was throwing false high temp errors and failing to activate the second set of valves (9 through 16). In both cases, Cyber-Rain Tech Support was very helpful and immediately sent me a replacement unit, even including a prepaid return sticker.

One note on the comment about requiring Silverlight... Cyber-Rain is working on moving to a new cloud system and that system will NOT require Silverlight, just a standard ol' web browser... They are also planning some upgrades, improvements, and additions to the system as part of the transition...

My other comment is that the outside enclosure could have been a little better thought out but that is a very minor point and of no real concern... I'd also like an Android phone app with a little more functionality but I suspect that will come with time.


I installed a Cyber-Rain Pro (Cloud) version about 3 weeks ago to replace a dying Rain Bird controller that was about 12 years old. Impressions? **WOW** !!!

1) Shipping from Cyber-Rain was very fast. Purchased on line on Thursday afternoon, had it in North Carolina on Tuesday.

2) Installation instructions? I was like, "WTF, how do I install this thing??" Guess what? It was dead simple. Very clear one-page install sheet and easy-peasy wiring. Match colors, plug it in. I'd estimate 20 minutes in the basement mounting the new unit. Upstairs at my router, the Cyber Rain plugged in and "found" its controller very quickly. The total configuration time for this step was like 5 minutes, or less. (I went to my router's IP address and very easily spotted the DHCP assigned Cyber Rain, so then configuration was a snap)

3) A word about the wireless... I don't know what frequency the Cyber Rain runs on, but is sure isn't normal wifi, because the range is quite good. My controller is about 150 feet through thick concrete walls and lord-knows-what in a 110+ year old house. My wifi doesn't reach to the location where I've got the Cyber Rain controller, but their wireless thing sure does fine! Bravo!

4) I kinda wish the Cyber Rain had an ethernet port directly on the controller. I don't like any wireless technologies, and I would have enjoyed the "option" of hardwiring it to my router and pulling ethernet myself.

5) Cloud software configuration: simple. The interface is nicely designed and very easy to use.

6) Cloud software configuration uses Silverlight. I use Macs + Chrome, and Microsoft Silverlight isn't supported. Boo. So, I just popped over to the Safari and Firefox browsers on my Mac. Both worked perfectly with the Cyber Rain.

6.5) The Android app also works perfectly and is dead simple on my Droid Bionic and Nexus 7 tablet.

OK, so how does the thing actually behave? VERY nicely!! It silently adjusts watering and soak times based on daily temperatures, humidity, and rainfall. On a day where my old RainBird would have used 25 minutes (no intermediate soak time), the new CyberRain throttles back to only 16 minutes with an intervening pause/soak time, based on the slope of my landscape. A few days ago, we had some lousy weather predicted, and Cyber Rain smartly put the whole system on "Rain Stoppage" for 48 hours, because Mother Nature was taking over the lawn care. Nice!

So far, so good. I am delighted to have a modern system that can save me some money. It is far easier to "program" and understand that my wonky RainBird controller. I can check the system from my phone or a computer, regardless of where I am physically located.

Thumbs up 8)

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "tomt" (Apr 26th 2013, 11:12am)


Central Irrigation

Supreme Member

Posts: 364

Location: Central Minnesota

16

Friday, April 26th 2013, 1:16pm

As long as the user interface is more user friendly than the other "Smart Controllers" (i.e. Intellisense, and RB SMT controllers). Too much time wasted on the phone explaining how to work them.
Is there any type of a manual override for these controllers? As an owner/tech myself, I have been curious to know how one would activate the controller without having access to the computer itself. Is there a way for a Tech. to login to, in essence, use his smartphone as a remote?

tomt

New Member

Posts: 3

Location: Los Angeles, CA

17

Friday, April 26th 2013, 7:32pm

Actually, the computer user interface is very well done and quite user friendly. I didn't have to read anything to set it up and it was all very intuitively obvious to me. There are a number of ways you can activate a controller's zone(s):
1) From the controller itself using a 4-way keypad on the controller. 2) From the cyber-rain computer interface. 3) From an Android, Apple IOS, or Blackberry smartphone or tablet app that they provide (or you can login in to the webpage directly). In the last two cases, it is protected by a login name and password.
As long as the user interface is more user friendly than the other "Smart Controllers" (i.e. Intellisense, and RB SMT controllers). Too much time wasted on the phone explaining how to work them.
Is there any type of a manual override for these controllers? As an owner/tech myself, I have been curious to know how one would activate the controller without having access to the computer itself. Is there a way for a Tech. to login to, in essence, use his smartphone as a remote?

18

Saturday, April 27th 2013, 6:39am

To operate manually from the control unit, its easier (I think) than on my old RainBird which had a rotary dial. On the Cyber Rain, just just press a single arrow button to scroll through the zones. When you're at the zone you want to run, you hit the big middle button on the controller.

I have the inside-mount 8-zone controller, so I can't speak to the Pro or Exterior units and their attributes.

This morning, I woke up to grey overcast skies and a dreary April morning. Normally a few zones would have run this morning at 5:15am. But today, dead silent. It hasn't rained yet today -- but Cyber Rain is showing a 100% water savings today and "weather hold" until Monday morning. :) The view out my kitchen window suggests rain is certainly coming today, and its also much cooler than yesterday.

In my very simplistic view of yard care, it makes more sense to hold off on watering when rain is predicted (within a threshold setting), instead of running the heads this morning then filling up a rain sensor this afternoon and witholding irrigation tomorrow.

So, it looks like a washout of a weekend in terms of weather (Cyber Rain already knew that). I'll settle for kicking back and watching some baseball instead.

ecb5983

Unregistered

19

Thursday, June 6th 2013, 5:09pm

cannot get a hold of anyone there

i ordered one of the residential units, i think it was $499. I was shocked at how expensive it was but told myself that a good product doesnt come cheap. I waited about a week and did not hear anything from them, so i sent an email, no response, i then decided to call them, no one ever answers a phone, every option in their phone menu ended in voicemail. I decided to leave a message for sales, inquiring about my order. Within an hour someone from the company called and apologized that no one had reached out to me but that there is a shortage of radios and the product should ship the following friday. I said no problem and just assumed i would wait, well when that time passed, i waited another week and again tried to reach out to them both via email and then follow up with a phone call. I again left a message and no one ever called me back. This company would appear to be run out of someones garage, and they have some real issues communicating with customers. I would caution buying anything from them and maybe look at some other product.

cdavis

Unregistered

20

Friday, June 21st 2013, 2:38pm

RE: cannot get a hold of anyone there

i ordered one of the residential units, i think it was $499. I was shocked at how expensive it was but told myself that a good product doesnt come cheap. I waited about a week and did not hear anything from them, so i sent an email, no response, i then decided to call them, no one ever answers a phone, every option in their phone menu ended in voicemail. I decided to leave a message for sales, inquiring about my order. Within an hour someone from the company called and apologized that no one had reached out to me but that there is a shortage of radios and the product should ship the following friday. I said no problem and just assumed i would wait, well when that time passed, i waited another week and again tried to reach out to them both via email and then follow up with a phone call. I again left a message and no one ever called me back. This company would appear to be run out of someones garage, and they have some real issues communicating with customers. I would caution buying anything from them and maybe look at some other product.


I've been dealing with these guys for the better part of a year now on an issue with their cloud products.

If you pay close attention - you'll find that they don't water according to the weather based information at all. I've found over the last 18 months that most of the time the system just fails back to what their support calls "historical data" and doesn't use the weather underground or weather.com data.

I've worked with their support folks for months and months and have been told time and time again that their "cloud developer" will get this fixed. Yeah...I believed that a year ago. Now that i've heard it multiple times over multiple months i've filed a BBB complaint against these folks.

I doubt it'll do any good, but I feel like I have to do something to alert people that they're spending $500 on a cloud based controller that just doesn't work as advertised.

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