A cool gadget for your yard: web controlled sprinkler

Apr 3, 2010
16,022
0
0
Seattle, WA
#1
Automatic sprinklers have become pretty cheap and user interface improved. But still, there is so much you can do with a tiny LCD. Worse yet, the sprinkler is always somewhere inhospitable like the garage.

So when it came to adding a sprinkler for our new house, I went searching for something I could program using a browser. I did not care for fancy things like weather adjustment, a PC to drive it, etc. Wanted something just a bit more expensive than a "dumb" sprinkler.

Here is the unit I just bought and installed: http://www.irrigationcaddy.com



As the image implies, you hook up the sprinkler like any other (it has 10 zones). You then plug in your Ethernet wire and then go to your PC and point your browser to it and program away. It is so much nicer to see the entire picture and status of the system. Half the time I program the dumb unit at our main house, only to have it not come on or do the wrong thing.

Another cool advantage is wireless remote. With my laptop connected using wifi, I would walk around the yard, control the zones and see what works and what doesn't. Have not tested it but could do the same thing with a smartphone.

The box cost $129 which was a reasonable premium over the dumb units.

Overall, I am happy with the device. I am going to send them some suggestions for improvement. For example, I like to be able to name the zones, rather than using numbers. Other than little things like this, the device puts a smile on my face as I use it :).
 

wgscott

New Member
Sep 1, 2011
131
0
0
CA (USA)
#2
Thanks for posting this. Two years later, and it looks like they took your suggestion. Do you still like it? I would probably need to get 3. I haven't read the website, but do they have wireless options? I can run cat5, but it will involve a bit of work under the house.
 
Apr 3, 2010
16,022
0
0
Seattle, WA
#3
I do although I had trouble getting it to turn on the valves this season. It is a very bizarre problem where without a load it works, but once I hook it up, some ports work and others do not. I contacted them via email and they immediately offered to fix it for some nominal fee. I have yet to do that as I have spare zones that work.

After I bought it, I saw another company who made one but can't remember the name.

And no, I am not aware of a wireless one. Since you only need to program it once in a while, you can hook it up with a long cable and then disconnect it and let it run as needed. Or use some kind of game adapter for it.
 
Apr 3, 2010
16,022
0
0
Seattle, WA
#4
Boy, the made the interface so much nicer! The calendar view, naming of the zones, nice sliders for control, all great stuff. I wonder if they can upgrade mine for that.....
 

wgscott

New Member
Sep 1, 2011
131
0
0
CA (USA)
#6
I forgot to mention that I bought one of these last spring when I discovered one of our conventional timers (the remarkably-named Irritrol) had failed. Of the three, it was naturally the most inaccessible one. For not much more than the price to replace that, I bought one of the Irrigation Caddys. It has thus far functioned flawlessly. I even used the (hard-wired-in) Irritrol power supply instead of the one that came with this, so I was able to simply swap this into the pre-existing timer box (with a bit of hacking of the inner cosmetic face-plate of the timer box and removal of one of the mounting tabs on the new controller). It works flawlessly. For awhile I had it hooked up to an extra wireless bridge, but now have replaced that with a long cheap cat5 cable. I found it helps to give it a static IP address. I will replace my other two Irritrol timers with these if/when they fail.
 
Feb 3, 2011
690
3
18
#7
I bought one of these reading the above but I think I should have done more homework first...

1. Unit doesn't use local weather data to do things like shut off because its raining or increase or decrease watering times based on weather history/time of year
2. Interface isn't the clearest. IE greyed out buttons mean that button is active, not inactive
3. iPhone app is $3.99. WTF is with that? No iPad app
 

wgscott

New Member
Sep 1, 2011
131
0
0
CA (USA)
#8
I just use the web-based interface on my iPad. I didn't even know they had their own App.

I have two of these now and they have been flawless. Maybe IE isn't the best browser (seems to work on Apple's Safari -- I haven't tested others)?

There is a hardware rain gauge input, fwiw. Since it never rains any more in California, it hasn't been problematic for me.
 

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