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1

Monday, November 3rd 2014, 11:05am

Rainbird ESP ME Display Issue

Our ESP ME Rainbird controller display is doing some weird things.

Sometimes it shows V-- P-- when you plug it in, and other times it shows ------

This appears to be totally random.

Is this a sign of a malfunction of some kind?

Thanks.

irrigirl

Active Member

2

Monday, November 3rd 2014, 3:35pm

The dashes must indicate that your battery is low, but I feel like your controller may not be getting power. Does it run the system when it is plugged in? Can you program? Does the display ever go completely blank on its own? Are there any symbols on the screen? How old is the controller? Do you have a voltmeter that you could check your power with?
*I would first try putting a new battery in there, and see what you get. Check your power with a voltmeter if available. You could also try the reset below. Excerpts from the manual:


Battery Life
If the display repeatedly shows “-- -- -- -- --” when using a 9V
battery for remote programming, replace the battery.
Reset Button

Press RESET if the controller is not working properly.

The Reset button resets the controller. Active irrigation

is canceled, but all previously programmed watering

schedules remain stored in memory. Irrigation will resume

at the next scheduled Start Time. Insert a small tool into

the access hole and press until the controller is reset.

NOTE: We suggest using a non-metallic object such
as a pencil or pen to press the Reset button.


3

Monday, November 3rd 2014, 11:33pm

The dashes must indicate that your battery is low, but I feel like your controller may not be getting power. Does it run the system when it is plugged in? Can you program? Does the display ever go completely blank on its own? Are there any symbols on the screen? How old is the controller? Do you have a voltmeter that you could check your power with?
*I would first try putting a new battery in there, and see what you get. Check your power with a voltmeter if available. You could also try the reset below.
Its about a 6 month old system, newly installed, hasn't given any problems except for the ------ on the display.

I thought the only battery that the ESP ME used was just for the crystal display, and that is supposed to last many years.

What does it mean "when using a 9V battery for remote programming"?

We don't leave the ESP ME plugged in 24/7 because someone in our family has EMF sensitivity and prefers to leave it unplugged. Could that have drained the battery?

thanks,
BrownsFan

irrigirl

Active Member

4

Tuesday, November 4th 2014, 8:57am

Remote programming is useful when the controller is disconnected from power. It allows you to unplug the controller from the circuit board and program inside your house or where ever you want. It also retains this information in the event of a power outage. If you continuously have power outages (or remove the controller from power for long periods of time), you will drain the battery. If it is not living on the power from the wall plug, its living off of your battery. Put one in and let us know if that does anything.

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "irrigirl" (Nov 4th 2014, 9:09am)


Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 5,147

Location: Metro NYC

5

Tuesday, November 4th 2014, 6:05pm

Its about a 6 month old system, newly installed, hasn't given any problems except for the ------ on the display.

I thought the only battery that the ESP ME used was just for the crystal display, and that is supposed to last many years.

What does it mean "when using a 9V battery for remote programming"?

We don't leave the ESP ME plugged in 24/7 because someone in our family has EMF sensitivity and prefers to leave it unplugged. Could that have drained the battery?

thanks,
BrownsFan
Plug it back in. Leave it plugged in. EMF sensitivity of any sort is not going to be exacerbated by a sprinkler controller. The current involved is not enough to generate EMF. Light bulbs would generate more EMF. In fact, the currents flowing in the controller electronics are so low, the controller itself has some EMF sensitivity, and is not to be installed adjacent to large motors, or anything else capable of high EMF.

If the EMF-sensitive person persists in unplugging the controller, get an outdoor version of the controller and have it wired directly to the appropriate branch circuit.

The 9-volt battery will drain in a week or so, if the AC power is disconnected. The battery's job is to keep time (and sometimes maintain the programming) - it's strictly for backup during power outages.

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "Wet_Boots" (Nov 4th 2014, 6:11pm)


6

Sunday, November 9th 2014, 7:32pm

How do you replace the 9V Battery?

There are no instructions on how to do so.

Also, it says that if you replace it while the controller is unplugged, you will lose all your memory and programming, is that true?

Thanks for the help!
BrownsFan

This post has been edited 3 times, last edit by "BrownsFan" (Nov 9th 2014, 7:49pm)


Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 5,147

Location: Metro NYC

7

Monday, November 10th 2014, 5:19am

Why would they lie to you? Letting the battery run down in your unplugged controller will probably erase the programming you put in, if that's what the manual is telling you.

I'm thinking you should really get a new outdoor controller installed by someone who will hard-wire it to a branch circuit in your home. That eliminates all your problems and the new backup battery will last about ten years before you need to change it.

irrigirl

Active Member

8

Wednesday, November 12th 2014, 9:05am

You can refer to page 28 about remote programming and then page 19 about removing the front panel. This will help you figure out where the battery is. And yes, the controller has probably already lost all of its memory due to the unplugging and dead backup battery. If your battery is dead and the controller loses power, it will delete everything.

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