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Sunday, May 20th 2018, 12:42pm

Running two zones simultaneously

Hi all, newby here. We are a small townhome associations (39 homes) Its very expensive to have our system maintained by Irrigation service companies. ie. a new Hunter I-Core 42 zone, we were charged $3000 installed. We have decided to tackle most if it ourselves. I have been working on it for the last few years. Retired, you know, lot of time on my hands. We have an acre and half water detention pond, we pump water from the pond to irrigate. We have two 7 1/2 hp pumps. We control with the Hunter I-Core mentioned above and us 33 zones. We have split the zones and water each half every other day for 20 min. Works pretty well with normal rainfall, if it gets dry we increase. If pond gets low we have a well to help maintain the pond but it takes a lot of electricity to run it, maybe 24 hours to raise pond an inch or two. We are located in the upper Midwest so we winterize and system it has worked well since installed in 2006 with only minor issues, heads, pumps overhauled, replaced controller. When running we have a boat load of pressure. So going a long way to get to my question. Because we have so much pressure and because some zones run 15+ rotators and some only a few popups, can I and if so how do I run two zones at once? We would like to combine some of the popup zones. :wacko:

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "jruttenburg" (May 20th 2018, 1:06pm)



Posts: 2,402

Location: USA


Sunday, May 20th 2018, 1:59pm

Just hook the wires together. Supposing you want zone 6 and 8 to run at the same time. Just move the 6 wire and combine it with 8 at the controller.
I know the I-Core has many features. There might be a way to program it to run two zones at once. You'll have to read the manual. Something in the back of my mind is telling me I heard that it can run two stations at once. hmm. I'll read the manual.

Well I sped read it. It says you can run up to 5 valves at the same time in manual mode. I didn't see where it said anything about programming two to run at the same time. You can double check. I-Core Manual


Sunday, May 20th 2018, 4:35pm

Thanks mrfixit
This model uses two wires, much like CAN protocol, each station or group of stations has its own decoder that has a unique address. (my background is industrial turbine and prime mover control). I was hoping someone might have a work-around. I probably need to give each station I want to run at the sametime, the same address. Anyone know it the control will allow me to do that???

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "jruttenburg" (May 20th 2018, 5:28pm)


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,331

Location: Metro NYC


Sunday, May 20th 2018, 6:19pm

2-wire control is beyond the pay grade of do-it-yourselfers. If you want to work with it successfully, you need to become as capable as any professional in the trade. Know the controller. Know the operating manual inside out. Own whatever test equipment is necessary to diagnose wiring and decoder issues. It will never become a matter of asking for workarounds, because you will already know all the by-the-book methodology.


Thursday, May 24th 2018, 9:07am

WOW Well, I'm CAN qualified and I would bet a 400MW steam turbine is a bit more complicated than a sprinkler system and a lot more dangerous to start-up, but thanks for the advice.


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Posts: 5,331

Location: Metro NYC


Sunday, May 27th 2018, 10:19am

I don't denigrate anyone's skills and experience, but maintaining a 2-wire-controlled lawn sprinkler system involves some special equipment. The integrity of the wiring path is far more critical than with conventional control, because the controller is responsible for keeping track of the function of the decoder units, and wiring faults will be misinterpreted as decoder failures.

You will buy the diagnostic tools. You will map out the path of the system wiring. You will map out the location of the decoders. You will map out the location of the valves. The more you do ahead of time, the less you need to do when a repair is needed.

2-wire control also involves field grounding requirements, an item not needed in conventional control.

None of this is impossible for someone with smarts and determination, and several hundreds of dollars to spare.


Monday, May 28th 2018, 10:40am

Well earth ground is required on any CAN system that's not mobile. I have most test equipment except a decoder programmer, one on order. My question was simple. I want to run some stations simultaneously. The Hunter I-core manual only mentions running two zones in manual. If I give two zones the same address will the I-Core allow both to run at the same time?


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,331

Location: Metro NYC


Tuesday, May 29th 2018, 8:05am

the problem I see from here is the same-old same-old ~ no matter how talented and resourceful and well-equipped a do-it-yourselfer might be, a simple failure to RTFM will torpedo the best of intentions

Page 12, which by now should already have been read and understood and remembered ~…om_dual_web.pdf

Besides the obvious decoder programmer for the I-Core, necessary equipment to diagnose and maintain 2-wire in general includes a clamp ammeter with milliamp capability, first of all. Advanced diagnosis would involve a wire locater, a ground fault locater, and perhaps a TDR. A means to confirm grounding requirements are met is also part of the 2-wire toolbox.

And all of the above doesn't mean 2-wire is impossible for the non-professional. It means that it isn't easy-peasy. Spend some quality time with the manuals for now.


Sunday, June 10th 2018, 2:35pm

Running two Zones simultaneously

I understand how the decoder programmer works, we have one. Page 12 does not tell me if I can give two decoders the same address. For some reason you don't seem to want to answer the question, you only want to keep telling me how much of an amateur I am. That's fine, if that's your thing. I have or have access to more test equipment than this simple system needs. I mistakenly assumed some friendly experienced person would say, yes that will work or no don't do that. I was just trying to save myself some extra work. I will reprogram one and see. Thanks again


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Posts: 5,331

Location: Metro NYC


Sunday, June 10th 2018, 8:19pm

You must be reading a different page 12 - the manual makes it abundantly clear - and it only figures, given that controller-decoder communication is meant to be a one-on-one interaction

You will have to find another way to have more than one valve activate at the same time. Read some more.

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