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jmrmotorhead 10-28-2011 02:45 PM

Networked Wasser-Controller
I've been reading up alot about Wasserpest's awesome timer/controller using an irrigation timer and a few relays but I ran into trouble locating a DIG 8006, or equivalent that will run more than one zone at once. Then I stumbled onto this:
Network based scheduling (or programed at the timer), no limit to the number of zones active, and 8 zones (expandable to 16). Best of all it is sold as a kit, or premade which can cut down on costs for those who can solder. I really cannot wait to get some extra cash flow and try this out. The possibilities are endless with this, dosing, water changes, multiple light banks for you bust method folk, moonlighting, co2....

What do you guys think? Any problems seen?


jmrmotorhead 10-28-2011 02:57 PM

Looks like you can modify it easily to switch DC instead of AC as well, I believe dc relays are cheaper but I'm not positive, have to check.

EDIT- for those who dont know much about the wasser controller, here's his thread explaining it as well as showing some other members builds:

jmrmotorhead 10-29-2011 04:12 PM

Surprised no-one else has any comments on this. I talked to the guy who made the controller, and you can add a backup 9V to hold time in case of a power outtage. The schedule is downloaded to memory from the network, so when the power came back on it would run correctly, regardless of network status.
Maybe more interest will spark when I get it built and post some pictures and videos

mistergreen 10-29-2011 06:22 PM

yup, you can do anything with a microcontroller.

You can turn that into a web server (with other components of course) where you can checkup and change settings through a browser while on vacation.
You can look into the arduino to make it less complicated.

jmrmotorhead 10-30-2011 01:15 AM

Yep, looks like this hosts a page at the ip address of the controller where you can change the schedule and check the status of the system. I'll be starting the build soon!

Wasserpest 10-31-2011 09:46 PM

Really cool that you can schedule this via a web page. However, it looks like the default is 15 min time slots, which would need to be re-programmed for nutrient dosing, and possibly water changes.

$65 (plus S/H) isn't bad if you are into soldering, but it is twice as much as the DIG 8006. So, if you get two of the irrigation controllers for the same price, you can run 4 things at the same time, they have minute precision (without the need to buy more stuff to reprogram the MCU), are very flexible and easy to program, and allow a backup battery.

All in all, the standard irrigation controller seems to be a better choice if you are not 100% Wiz, or have a lot of time to learn Arduino/Optiboot/FTDI or how to burn a new bootloader using the AVR ISP while making sure the signature has the -F option. :biggrin: Other than that, it's a very flexible solution.

Perhaps soon we can buy a regular irrigation controller that can be programmed via wireless networking?

jmrmotorhead 10-31-2011 11:13 PM

Thanks for the points wasser, I will send the seller an email asking if he could reprogram the time slots for me ahead of shipping. He seems quite interested in helping people get what they want, so its possible. Basically the main reason I went looking for another controller is that HD and Lowes near me dont carry the dig 8006 or anything comparable. I think my inner diy'er and tinker'er if going to push me to try this out, and I'll be sure to post results.

Wasserpest 11-02-2011 03:16 PM

By all means try and let us know how it turns out. Reading through some of the FAQ scared me a bit, but nothing a good "tinkerer" could overcome.

In case you decide you want to go the other route, I can check if HD still carries the 8006. It's too bad they are not more common, since they seem to be the only ones that do 2 stations concurrently, and offer long run times and minute precision, all for a good price (compared to the Rainbird/Orbit/other controllers).

jflng 11-02-2011 10:52 PM

It sure would be convenient to monitor and control a fish room while you're traveling around the world.

Definitely keep us updated.

jmrmotorhead 11-03-2011 12:52 AM

Will do! i may add a I2C RTC to the board- there are pinouts already there for it, to keep time when power is lost. Most have built in backup batteries (button cells) which would eliminate the need for making a backup battery, and would mean network would only be needed when uploading schedules or checking on status.

I'll keep you all updated, probably be ordering the controller within a few weeks since I start my new job Nov 15


GxneFishing 01-27-2012 01:48 AM

whats the status on the controller?

jmrmotorhead 04-29-2012 05:25 PM

The new job didn't work out so well... limited hours and low pay rate dont go well together. I haven't had the extra cash flow to be able to start with this unfortunately. If I do I will update it if I ever get to it. Sorry!
If you were interested in trying it out I would gladly help you out if you have any questions.

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