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bgeddes

Senior Member

Posts: 16

Location: USA

1

Wednesday, September 8th 2004, 9:37am

OmniPro II Automation Controller

When my wife & I built our new home last year, I installed a home security/automation system using HAI's OmniPro II Controller. This summer I am installing a 10 zone sprinkler system and naturally the OmniPro II will be used to control the valves. This system allows me to control the sprinklers via a PC (local & web), telephone (inside & remote access), and of course the keypads installed inside the home.

The programming features of the OmniPro II provide a lot of flexibility and control of the watering cycles.

cbima

New Member

2

Saturday, June 11th 2005, 3:03am

Can you use a rainbird or hunter controller with the OmniPro II?

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,030

Location: Metro NYC

3

Saturday, June 11th 2005, 5:19am

Thanks for the post, <b>bgeddes</b>, and please let us know how you interfaced the sprinkler valves to the Omnipro.

RidgeRun05

Supreme Member

Posts: 314

Location: USA

4

Saturday, June 11th 2005, 4:58pm

Yeah, I would be interested in hearing more about this as well. Any other information on the topic would be appreciated.
Tony Posey
Ridge Run Landscapes

bgeddes

Senior Member

Posts: 16

Location: USA

5

Monday, June 20th 2005, 8:18am

The OmniPro II actually serves as the sprinkler controller. I purchased 2 Form C relay contacts (HAI part # 19A00-1) so that I may convert up to 16 12-volt switch outputs to 16 24-volt outputs (required by sprinkler valves). All valve wiring (in addition to my security/automation wiring) runs directly to the OmniPro II controller which, in my case, is installed in a closet inside my home. I have multiple consoles installed in strategic locations (doors to outside, living room, etc.) so I can turn on/off lights, arm/disarm the security, run sequences, and start/stop sprinkler zones/areas if I want to bypass the auto-sequencing. Each console is connected to the controller. To program the controller, you can use the consoles for basic setup, but I use HAI's PC Access software to setup all programming on my PC and then upload the information to the controller. The interface is extremely intuitive and no programming background is required.

As far as programming sprinkler zones is concerned: each zone is is completely programmable as to "when", "how long", "delay between zones". Of course you can start/stop multiple zones simultaneously if desired (and your water source supports it). The real nice thing is I program zones to water for a specified time starting X minutes before sunrise.

In my case, I group multiple sprinkler zones into "areas" ("scenes" to the OnmiPro). When I tell an area to start watering, the first zone in the area runs for a specified time and then the 2nd zone runs for a specified time, and so on. Once all zones in the area have been watered, I typically set a loop counter so the entire area will automatically run through its sequence again. My soil is very compacted so I have some control over the runoff :)

If desired, the OnmiPro can be setup to run sprinkler zones/areas by dialing into the controller from outsied the home, or even slicker, accessing the controller from the internet. Additionally, you can use your internal phone to run sequences (i.e. remote control). In fact, I use our cordless phone out in the yard to turn on/off sprinkler zones when adjusting sprinkler heads or replacing nozzles.

Last winter I was too lazy to rent an air compressor to blow out my system so I hired a local sprinkler guy to come perform the task. I pulled out a lawn chair and sat next to the guy with my wireless laptop and a beer...turning on and off zones during the blowout.
Pretty damn slick!

bgeddes

Senior Member

Posts: 16

Location: USA

6

Monday, June 20th 2005, 8:31am

&gt; Can you use a rainbird or hunter controller with the OmniPro II?

Well, since I use the OmniPro "as" the sprinkler controller I have not tried it...but...

I suppose it would be possible to hook the OmniPro output (1 for each sprinkler zone) to your Rainbird/Hunter controller and start the zones (via OmniPro-&gt;Rainbird/Hunter) from your consoles (or OmniPro programming). The trick however, would be to wire in the output lines. If your existing controller accepts external triggers (out put lines to turn on/off zones) then you are set. If not, you would probably have to rig up some relays to activate the Rainbird/Hunter keypad. Probably not for the faint of heart.

I would probably just eliminate the Rainbird/Hunter controller and run the existing valve lines connected to your controller in the garage (or wherever) to the OmniPro controller inside the house.

Alternatively, you could replace the existing controller with the OnmiPro inside your garage.

Just make sure you can connect at least 1 console from inside the home to the controller. If you have a PC, you can connect to the OmniPro via RS232 serial port or use a (Cat5) LAN cable.

RidgeRun05

Supreme Member

Posts: 314

Location: USA

7

Monday, June 20th 2005, 1:18pm

Very interesting. Thanks for that information
Tony Posey
Ridge Run Landscapes

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,030

Location: Metro NYC

8

Wednesday, June 22nd 2005, 6:42am

Strictly from an economic standpoint, the sprinkler controllers hold their own, compared to about ten bucks a zone for that relay interface. The controller will have overload protection, and maybe, some electrical diagnostic capability.

bgeddes

Senior Member

Posts: 16

Location: USA

9

Wednesday, June 22nd 2005, 8:57am

From an economic standpoint, you are correct WetBoots.
If you were building a new home or want to install a security and/or automation controller, the OnmiPro will get you all that plus the capability to control your sprinkler zones along with any other automation. With the advances in X10 and PCS devices, installing home automation after home construction is pretty viable. But then again, I have a serious geek side to me.

Sometimes the Rube Goldberg in me wants to intentially water the sidewalk and have the zone temporarily shut off when a motion detector detects a person on the walk.

Why?...Because I can :)

And yes, the Onmipro will provide overload protection.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,030

Location: Metro NYC

10

Wednesday, June 22nd 2005, 3:18pm

The Omnipro can certainly safeguard it's own output, but I don't see a relay board having the overload or diagnostic capabilities of the standalone timer. Now, since the power to a sprinkler valve is presumably fed from a class 2 transformer, (in compliance with the electrical code) with its own internal fuse, that transformer would become a (permanent) open circuit in the event of a short in the sprinkler system.

For now, lawn sprinkling with the OmniPro would be squarely in that geek territory you mention, not that there is anything wrong with that. Depending on the output current it can manage, it might have been able to drive the sprinkler valves directly, since some valve solenoids can actually operate on 12 VDC, albeit at less water pressure than at 24VAC.

The other caveat about an interwired home automation system, is when the wiring goes outdoors, and is subject to lightning damage. Here, you'd want some real distance between the sprinkler valve wiring and the central controller, so an X10 sort of interface would probably be desired.

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