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New Member

Posts: 2

Location: USA


Sunday, July 2nd 2006, 12:26pm

New install, several critical issues

[?]I am looking for a controller or a PC-software control program with X-10 or other affiliated electrical hardware to control 46 to 52 zones. I am ideally looking for a program or controller that's really advanced that will allow me to program "alternatives" such as "If the wind is blowing more than 10 mph from the south at the specified start-up time, then zones 1, 4, 7, 10, and 13 should run, if the wind is blowing more than 10 mph from the north at the specified start-up time, then zones 3, 6, 9, 12 and 15 should run instead of 1, 4, 7, 10 and 13, or if there's not enough wind from either north or south, then zones 2, 5, 8, 11 and 14 should operate instead of any of the others." The reason for this is possible strong winds which blow all of the water completely away from the area needing water. No brand or model of sprinkler can allow for this problem at the present time, to my knowledge. Other methods such as drip irrigation are being used for the main watering cycles in these zones, but the sprinklers are being used for temperature control, to reduce evapotranspiration rates and to increase humidity in general for plants that are a more difficult challenge to raise in my area in particular. I also want to have features such as potential sensors that would serve as "over-rides" to the normal scheduling, such as zoned rain sensors where only one or two zones would not do their normal cycle due to a certain amount of precip., not the entire system as is customary with most controllers. I also wish to run cycles from as short as 1 minute to as long as 24 hours per zone. Ideally, weather sensors or a (possibly PC-based) weather system would be connected to the controller or software/system so that maximum flexibility could be achieved, and so that many factors could be considered in over-riding or altering the normal irrigation schedule(s) such as wind (example given above), high or low temperature, humidity, total water volume, zone wetness, rain volume accumulated (with several sensors possible not just one, two is an absolute minimum), plant leaf wetness, solar radiation, barometric pressure, leak detection/pressure drop, weather forecasts, etc. It would be possible, I suppose to divide these zones up so that two systems would be the end result, each with a lower zone number total, but that would create tougher logistics on my end and possibly a higher cost and ideally I want it all to be coordinated together. I can theoretically use any type of small-size valves, perhaps motorized would be better so that opening/closing of valves would be 100% certain, regardless of water pressure and flow. This system will be running on perfectly pure, clean city water with zero particulates. Many sizes and types of sprinklers and drip emitters are utilized in this system which is being operated manually at present. Either I get the kind of control I want or there will be no control aside from manual, run by the good-ole human noggin. Without proper and really precise control over all factors, some of my rarer specialty plants can be ruined in as little as two or three days, so I can't even use a simple controller part of the time to get away for a two-day or three-day camping/backpack trip! Until I find the answers to this dilemma, I'm stuck with one-day hiking/climbing trips!!! If anyone has any good suggestions for this complex problem, I'm sure listening! Thanks for your advice and help in advance and I apologize for having to be so long in this problem description.


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,164

Location: Metro NYC


Sunday, July 2nd 2006, 5:41pm

Wind? If you have rare and costly plants, then you will be using drip irrigation only. And you will filter the city water, no matter how clean you believe it to be. Instead of rain detectors, go for soil moisture detectors, like those made by Irrometer. Whether you use a PC or standard controller, you will power it from a UPS, so the valves will run in the event of a power failure.

If a system 'needs' over 40 zones, I would think it could use a larger water supply.


Senior Member

Posts: 15

Location: USA


Monday, July 3rd 2006, 7:44pm

Check out the Hunter ACC controller. It has everything you should need.

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