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enpointe

New Member

1

Tuesday, May 15th 2012, 9:27am

Cyber-Rain controllers are they worth the price?

I'm doing my first sprinkler system and being a techno geek (ie computer programmer) I like the idea of being able to schedule my sprinkler system by a computer/web interface. I was originally looking at the Irrigation Caddy but I can see that's a new operation so support is an unknown. If the code was open source I would consider it. But the only other viable computer interface controller I can find is the Cyber-Rain. But I can't seem to find any reviews on it? So I'm wondering whether it's worth the money? I see there was a previous line to there Cloud line, for those that have the old line do you still get support for it?

These controllers are expensive but given I don't plan on moving out of my house till they carry me out the front door feet first I'm open to spending it, if it will make my life easier. Otherwise I'll just go with something like a Hunter PCC900 9 Zone Controller since the Hunter C line seems to have gotten allot of positive reviews from the users of this forum.
Thanks, Kristina



2

Tuesday, May 15th 2012, 10:02am

Being a techno geek you might want to take a look at this string: Homemade Controller

As far as Cyber Rain, I have an indirect answer. We sell a number of them.
One of the indicators of a good product is the number of support calls. Even though you can get factory support on almost any product the average consumer calls us first.
I just spoke with our sales manager, a long time employee. She cannot remember the last Cyber Rain return (outside of physical shipping damage) and can't remember any calls for setup or programming help.

Considering we get support calls on things as simple as pop-up spray heads that says a lot.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,044

Location: Metro NYC

3

Tuesday, May 15th 2012, 11:39am

One possibility to consider is something like the Irritrol PC Controller which is intended to work with a windows computer on site. It would then be up to the user to access the base computer by way of a smart phone, if they want that sort of controllability.

enpointe

New Member

4

Tuesday, May 15th 2012, 1:56pm

Thanks GatorGuy. I think the Homemade Controller is a bit more than I want to do. That is helpful to know there aren't support calls for it.

Thanks for pointing Irritrol PC Controller Wet_Boots. It looks nice but I'd prefer to stay away from Windows based products.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,044

Location: Metro NYC

5

Tuesday, May 15th 2012, 3:13pm

You can't expect any manufacturer to not have something like the Irritrol controller not work with Windows. I use Linux, but I would not be afraid to have on older 'doorstop' computer stand alone for controller duty and communication with a smart phone, in an application like this.

Compatibility with Mac and Linux may come, but someone has to write the software first.

enpointe

New Member

6

Tuesday, May 15th 2012, 4:09pm

Agreed. Windows is were most of the users are at so from a business standpoint it makes sense to support Windows first. I do have a Dell Mini running Windows 7 Home Edition just to support my Logitech Alert Security Cameras. From what I saw Irritol controller didn't support Windows 7 and I don't want to buy another system just to run there software.

In reading Cyber Rains FAQ I see they have a fee for there more adv features (reporting/alerts) so maybe going with a standard controller may be the better choice after all.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,044

Location: Metro NYC

7

Tuesday, May 15th 2012, 4:40pm

If you click the Q&A button on the page I linked, there's more to learn. They have updated software for download, and will almost certainly have something for the current Windows.

boston79

Unregistered

8

Friday, June 22nd 2012, 8:55am

cyber rain

I am an architect in boston and I have a client that just gave me a report from her cyber rain controller we installed in april. She controls it with her iPhone and web and the client is also in the boston area, a large residential project. Using the weather reports and local conditions using the GPS the current cyber rain report now shows that she has only used 21% of the demanded usage in the first two months. This means that in water alone, she has saved $30 per month for the first two months. The landscape contractor was just there yesterday and couldn't believe how great the plants look.
It is easy to use, very cool, and pays itself off quickly based on this information.

9

Friday, June 22nd 2012, 9:11am

Boston,
thanks for the feedback.
I get comments on how great it is and convenient to use but you are the first with real savings numbers.

10

Friday, April 26th 2013, 7:44am

Yes, the Cyber-Rain does work

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.

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