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FIMCO-MEISTER
09-25-2007, 06:21 AM
If I didn't think this had a good chance of being successful I wouldn't attempt. In an effort to fine tune the WM Smartline + weather monitor ET based watering system that I have I'm adding a Baseline Watertec S100 to it.

http://www.baselinesystems.com/s100.html

Now the limitation that the WM SL has is that it does not accurately measure rainfall. It is a traditional wafer type sensor. An upgrade to a tipping rain gauge would not improve this much since a tipping raingauge isn't going to measure a 2" rain in 30 minutes any different that a 2" rain over 6 hours. A more accurate assessment of watering needs can be made by an accurate and properly installed soil monitor is the basic hypothesis to all this.

To set this all up I upgraded my WM SL panel to the latest version. This allows me to set the ET monitor rain delay manually. I adjusted my monitor rain sensor to 1/8" which is the most moisture sensitive setting. I zeroed out any rain delay so basically when it drys out watering can resume. Now on the Smartline is a second sensor port for break in the common type sensors. WM tells me it is okay to still use this port and it will also shut down the system. When the system has been shut down by this sensor port the ET data will still continue to accumulate. The ET data is only cleared by rain or manually clearing. The auto adjust setting will not override the secondary sensor unless put on sensor bypass. Anyway I'm not going to describe all the install details but want to mention that one sensor is being used for the whole system. Where Henry is standing is where it was installed. I chose this spot because it drains well, watered by MP rotators, gets dry just a tad faster than the rest of the yard, and the valve isn't too far away. Right now the sensor is going through a 24 hour threshold calibration.

FIMCO-MEISTER
09-25-2007, 06:35 AM
The first pic is my neighbors mulberry:hammerhead: :nono: :dizzy: ;) :angry: The others are the install it is 4.5" below the rhizome area of my St. Augustine. (No Kiril I'm not getting rid of the turf) That turf gets two organic fertilizations a year. I'm constantly getting flyers from chem lawn who desperately want to ruin it so the neighbors will quit hassling them about why mine looks so good and theirs looks like crap. :rolleyes:

Kiril
09-25-2007, 08:27 AM
Good deal. Keep in mind it may be next spring before soil conditions around the sensor are representative of the soil in that area again.

BTW, GET RID OF THE TURF

Ground Master
09-25-2007, 08:36 AM
How much does the baseline system cost?

FIMCO-MEISTER
09-25-2007, 08:37 AM
Good deal. Keep in mind it may be next spring before soil conditions around the sensor are representative of the soil in that area again.

BTW, GET RID OF THE TURF

I know. (NOT THE TURF PART, DON'T YELL AT ME) I'm going to adjust the threshold down after the calibration is complete.

FIMCO-MEISTER
09-25-2007, 08:38 AM
How much does the baseline system cost?

Seems like it was around 125.00 at ewing.

FIMCO-MEISTER
09-28-2007, 07:21 AM
Well the threshold was set at 39.4. The sensor read 44 and in two days has dropped to 41. It will not resume watering until it drops below the threshold. This first watering may take a while since I had to saturate the sensor location. In the meantime the WM SL is still accumulating deficit and adding minutes to the zone run times. I've changed my days allowed to water from twice a week to every day since the sensor will be keeping it from running when it is above the threshold. Debating whether or not to set a higher initial threshold because the area of the sensor has been disturbed and may allow for faster water penetration than the yard as a whole. After 6 months or so I'll set a lower threshold again.

londonrain
09-28-2007, 07:32 AM
I am keeping an eye on this thread so keep us posted ...

Kiril
09-28-2007, 08:34 AM
Debating whether or not to set a higher initial threshold because the area of the sensor has been disturbed and may allow for faster water penetration than the yard as a whole. After 6 months or so I'll set a lower threshold again.

Quite likely.

Before you do anything, could you be bothered to setup a small experiment?

Setup a grid like you would for measuring DU and take some moisture sensor readings with your Lincoln at the same depth as the new SMS.

FIMCO-MEISTER
09-28-2007, 08:41 AM
Quite likely.

Before you do anything, could you be bothered to setup a small experiment?

Setup a grid like you would for measuring DU and take some moisture sensor readings with your Lincoln at the same depth as the new SMS.

I had the same thought as well. I'm noticing the back St aug leaves are curling a tad but I'll do a grid this afternoon. I probed the area in the vicinty of the sensor and it was all saturated but I think Henry left the hose on the ground running so a large area around the sensor got extremely wet.

Kiril
09-28-2007, 08:50 AM
I had the same thought as well. I'm noticing the back St aug leaves are curling a tad but I'll do a grid this afternoon. I probed the area in the vicinty of the sensor and it was all saturated but I think Henry left the hose on the ground running so a large area around the sensor got extremely wet.

I am particularly interested in what the difference is between the area around the sensors and undisturbed areas. One would think that along with the increase in hydraulic conductivity around the sensor, you would also observe faster drying as compared to undisturbed areas.

Also, I am interested in what the moisture differences are between the area that was saturated vs. undisturbed.

You might want to do a three point probe at each location on your grid to get better spacial representation of the profile as it relates to irrigation effectiveness.

EagleLandscape
09-28-2007, 03:52 PM
just fyi, st augustine doesnt have rhizomes. it only has stolons, bermuda has both. you were an AGRO MAJOR!!! :)

Mike Leary
09-28-2007, 03:56 PM
Today is officially hammer Peter day!:hammerhead:

FIMCO-MEISTER
09-28-2007, 07:40 PM
just fyi, st augustine doesnt have rhizomes. it only has stolons, bermuda has both. you were an AGRO MAJOR!!! :)

Ah screw it. Too much water under the bridge. You got me there in a most humiliating way. Almost as bad as the triangle idiocy. Hopefully nobody remembers that.:)

EagleLandscape
09-28-2007, 08:16 PM
my brother has dr duble right now in agro302 and he said the class is horribly hard. i remember sleeping in that class every day and making a 114 overall. i guess some people find it easier.

maybe just refer to placing the soil moisture sensor below the root zone.

anytime a young pup can jump all over an older professional, we like to claim our glory for the .5 seconds that it lasts:)

FIMCO-MEISTER
09-28-2007, 09:33 PM
Which class is AG 302 is that turf? I had Dr. James Beard. 301 is soil science right. Had Dr. Murray Milford for that. Got out with a 2.8. Spent too much time at the Chicken and Dudley's Draw.

EagleLandscape
09-28-2007, 10:30 PM
agro 302 is recreational turf and agro 301 is soil science
dr richard duble teaches rec turf and dr tom hallmark teaches soil science.

soil science was the hardest class i ever had, the prof is a genius and its like combining geology, horticulture, crop growing, engineering, organic and molecular chemistry all in one class. HELL

Kiril
09-29-2007, 12:13 AM
agro 302 is recreational turf and agro 301 is soil science
dr richard duble teaches rec turf and dr tom hallmark teaches soil science.

soil science was the hardest class i ever had, the prof is a genius and its like combining geology, horticulture, crop growing, engineering, organic and molecular chemistry all in one class. HELL

You think that is hard, try your hand at soil chemistry. :dizzy:

http://lawr.ucdavis.edu/classes/ssc102/

FIMCO-MEISTER
09-29-2007, 07:41 AM
My soil sensor is at 39.7 .3 to go. I noticed that the display on my SL1600 said RAIN in the display during its normal run cycle reflecting it was shut down by the sensor. Starting to get some big deficit numbers. I can't adjust deficits down manually. Other ways around by changing parameters regarding precip rates and plant type to lessen this first post sensor watering which I'm anticipating will be tonight. I'm going to check my soil with the lincoln today.

FIMCO-MEISTER
09-29-2007, 08:07 AM
just fyi, st augustine doesnt have rhizomes. it only has stolons, bermuda has both. you were an AGRO MAJOR!!! :)

Glanced through my turf grass management book in bed last night to avoid future idiocy. Haven't touched that book in 20 some odd years. Bermuda has rhizomes (below ground stems) and stolons (above ground stems) St Aug only stolons. Will not review my chemical weed control book. Had a great prof for that was my all time favorite. Dr. Merkle. Southern grasses have a lot more to them than those northern bunch grasses. One thing College did for me was make me sound smarter that I really am. I did learn all my Hort plants which helps a lot since I'm constantly naming plants which impresses my customers. I took pecan culture on a lark and at one time could name every pecan cultivar by looking at its shell shape. Now my brain is filled with people and customers and the next appt. and bookkeeping and inventory. So much lost knowledge. Thank goodness for sports.

Kiril
09-29-2007, 08:10 AM
My soil sensor is at 39.7 .3 to go. I noticed that the display on my SL1600 said RAIN in the display during its normal run cycle reflecting it was shut down by the sensor. Starting to get some big deficit numbers. I can't adjust deficits down manually. Other ways around by changing parameters regarding precip rates and plant type to lessen this first post sensor watering which I'm anticipating will be tonight. I'm going to check my soil with the lincoln today.

Perhaps next time you install one of these, if you do, you might run the irrigation cycles right after installing the sensor, but prior to hooking it up, so you can zero out the deficit.

I did learn all my Hort plants which helps a lot since I'm constantly naming plants which impresses my customers.

That does come in handy at times. I never did take a Hort class, my course work was primarily geared towards hard science.

FIMCO-MEISTER
09-29-2007, 08:26 AM
Actually I did run a cycle Sunday night. Cleared deficit. Installed sensor Monday and just noticed in last hour that it will allow watering now. The mistake was in soaking the sensor for calibration we should have used a bucket and limited the soaked area to the immediate vicinity of the sensor. Instead we used a hose and saturated a large area around it. Next spring I may recalibrate after the soil and roots have reestablished themselves.

Kiril
09-29-2007, 09:29 AM
I think I read somewhere it could take as much as 6 months for the SMS to "settle" in.

Mike Leary
09-29-2007, 04:50 PM
I agree we "sprinkler dorks" should know plant names & needs;
I like latin & yes, the client DOES pick up on it. For me, it was
a natural, as we ran a from seed nursery before I got into sprinklers.
I just got the larger WM weather station today...does anyone yet have
the experience on difference in operation?

FIMCO-MEISTER
09-29-2007, 07:41 PM
I did my Lincoln soil moisture probe. After recalibrating the Lincoln I probed the yard randomly (Sorry Kiril no grid, it's Saturday) Very few places are registering below 8 in the turf. Only near buildings, trees and shrubs. Pots are below 2:hammerhead: The sensor area itself is a little drier (just below 8). Since this first watering being allowed by the sensor tonight has been accumulating since Monday on an ET basis I increased all my precipitation rates by .5" which should cut the watering down about 30%.

Mike Leary
09-29-2007, 07:50 PM
Sounds to me you're laying down too much water...8 on the
Lincoln is close to max....I bak off for a few days if any
readings above 5.

FIMCO-MEISTER
09-29-2007, 07:55 PM
You think that is hard, try your hand at soil chemistry. :dizzy:

http://lawr.ucdavis.edu/classes/ssc102/

I would have pulled a C- in that at best. Since it sounds like you took it I have a theory I want to run by you. I've thought of soil particles as sort of minature caves or caverns. Sort of a microscopic Carlsbad Cavern. I've also thought that when water is applied rapidly is enters the soil so fast along with runoff of course that it has the adverse effect of flushing air out of the soil. One advantage that drip has at least to me is that since the water is being applied slowly it runs along the surface of the particles and doesn't dramatically displace air creating a healthier microbe, water, air environment in the soil for plant growth. Am I full of it? :confused:

FIMCO-MEISTER
09-29-2007, 07:58 PM
Sounds to me you're laying down too much water...8 on the
Lincoln is close to max....I bak off for a few days if any
readings above 5.

Do you try not to exceed 8? Start the cycle when readings are about 4? May need to separate my pot and drip bed zone from the soil sensor.

Mike Leary
09-29-2007, 08:01 PM
Yes, yes & yes...4 to 6 is where you want to be.

FIMCO-MEISTER
09-29-2007, 08:12 PM
Yes, yes & yes...4 to 6 is where you want to be.

I'm going to have to think this out. I think I see a way to put all the parameters together but I lose my thought train at the climax of my nirvanic conclusions.

FIMCO-MEISTER
09-29-2007, 10:07 PM
Well my buddy Jack said "keep it simple stupid" So i'm running the two zones manually that are showing less than 4 on my Lincoln. Will turn the clock to off which will eliminate the deficit at midnight. Then I'm going to see through a combo of Lincoln and core sampling what my deficit reading on the soil sensor will be when the Lincoln reads a trusted 4. At that point I may manually adjust the soil sensor to the reading being displayed as the threshhold setting. Also cooking a brisket tomorrow as reward for stretching my brain.:weightlifter: :hammerhead: :confused:

Kiril
09-30-2007, 02:47 AM
Do you try not to exceed 8? Start the cycle when readings are about 4? May need to separate my pot and drip bed zone from the soil sensor.

I would expect a 10 directly after irrigating. Depending on the soil type and weather conditions, that reading could last a day or more.

The watering threshold (or allowable depletion) will vary depending on the plants. I think ML 4 reading is about right for low end threshold when dealing with medium water usage plants.

FIMCO-MEISTER
09-30-2007, 06:36 AM
I would expect a 10 directly after irrigating. Depending on the soil type and weather conditions, that reading could last a day or more.

The watering threshold (or allowable depletion) will vary depending on the plants. I think ML 4 reading is about right for low end threshold when dealing with medium water usage plants.

It hasn't run since early Monday morning. I'm going to dig a few holes after checking with the Lincoln to see if I agree with its readings. It has cooled down some so ET is lower but I would have expected readings that were lower than 6-7 by now and it is at 8-9. We have very heavy black clay soil. I do focus on having nothing but medium use and low use plants. I consider St Aug medium use. It makes up 80% of my yard which of course makes it the largest user of water around my house.

Kiril
09-30-2007, 09:14 AM
I've thought of soil particles as sort of minature caves or caverns. Sort of a microscopic Carlsbad Cavern.

That would be more or less true. Depending on minerals present it could also be like a sandwich.

I've also thought that when water is applied rapidly is enters the soil so fast along with runoff of course that it has the adverse effect of flushing air out of the soil.

This is more soil physics than soil chemistry, and it would depend on the soil.

I think it is unlikely to happen during a single irrigation event unless your entire profile reaches and stays at saturation during that event. Movement of water into micropores is a much slower process than movement through macropores, regardless of how much water is being applied. This is essentially the difference between gravitational flow and capillary flow, and why it takes a soil with alot of micropores so long to reach field capacity after an irrigation event.

Also consider in an aerobic soil you could very well be displacing as much CO2 as O2, some chemical reactions in the soil solution have an oxygen byproduct, and there is usually free (dissolved) oxygen in water at any given time. What you do want to avoid is saturation of the profile for extended periods of time.

One advantage that drip has at least to me is that since the water is being applied slowly it runs along the surface of the particles and doesn't dramatically displace air creating a healthier microbe, water, air environment in the soil for plant growth.

I think the primary advantages of drip are:

1) Application of water at rates slower than the soils K (hydraulic conductivity). This allows for irrigation on steep slopes without runoff.

2) A well designed and maintained system can approach 100% irrigation efficiency.

3) Accurate delivery of water soluble chemicals and fertilizers (eg. chemigation and fertigation).

Kiril
09-30-2007, 09:24 AM
It hasn't run since early Monday morning. I'm going to dig a few holes after checking with the Lincoln to see if I agree with its readings. It has cooled down some so ET is lower but I would have expected readings that were lower than 6-7 by now and it is at 8-9. We have very heavy black clay soil. I do focus on having nothing but medium use and low use plants. I consider St Aug medium use. It makes up 80% of my yard which of course makes it the largest user of water around my house.

I only trust my Lincoln to provide a rough guide to soil water content. The best measure of available water in any soil is going to be found with the plant (established) which is the most intolerant of water deficit in the hydrozone.

When fine tuning scheduling, I will use the Lincoln to alert me when I need to start looking for symptoms of water stress in the plants.

I also use it to test application depths and to get an idea of temporal and spacial differences in water content in my profile of interest.

Mike Leary
09-30-2007, 06:12 PM
You're both right & wrong.....the Lincoln gives the great reading,
but plants in the zone maybe not have the same requirement,
blame the LAs & designers...you gotta go with the Hydrangeas
rather than the lavender, tho in the same zone.

troc
10-03-2007, 10:00 AM
I've been using and installing Baseline Systems using soil moisture sensors for the past three years. Once dialed in, the feedback you get from the sensors is invaluable. I don't use the water techs much but we do use the 5000 systems with software. The hardest part for me is learning to trust your sensors. If they are installed properly at the right depth and location they will work. I've got two systems installed three years that basically run themselves. Run times and frequency are adjusted by the software based on the input from the sensors. Downside is, it took me two years to get to this point because it still takes human involvement to calibrate them perfectly. If you install them, be ready to put in the time to get them adjusted right!

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-03-2007, 11:21 AM
I've been using and installing Baseline Systems using soil moisture sensors for the past three years. Once dialed in, the feedback you get from the sensors is invaluable. I don't use the water techs much but we do use the 5000 systems with software. The hardest part for me is learning to trust your sensors. If they are installed properly at the right depth and location they will work. I've got two systems installed three years that basically run themselves. Run times and frequency are adjusted by the software based on the input from the sensors. Downside is, it took me two years to get to this point because it still takes human involvement to calibrate them perfectly. If you install them, be ready to put in the time to get them adjusted right!

Thanks for the feedback I'm getting that sense as well on the adjustment time needed. I don't know if you read the whole thread but I'm trying to coordinate the baseline with a WM Smartline/ET monitor. Still working on the bugs. I feel that I've found my threshold setting but need to fine tune the Timer now.

troc
10-03-2007, 01:46 PM
I did read it. I think it's a great idea without having to go to the more expensive software that's offered. Also, it's the main reason I like the soil sensor feedback as compared to ET. You're getting direct feedback from the root zone. I think the combination of the two should work great.

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-10-2007, 09:50 AM
Well this sensor is definitely going to reduce my water bill. I'm still watching it closely. It has kept the system off for two potential waterings (small watering amounts were built up) and the Lincoln confirmed the decision. Then rain came and cleared the deficit. I set my sensor at 1/8th and put in a 24 hour delay to start ET calculations after it dries out.

Kiril
10-10-2007, 01:17 PM
Well this sensor is definitely going to reduce my water bill.

Is there any question left in your mind as to what is the "smarter" control method?

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-10-2007, 06:22 PM
Is there any question left in your mind as to what is the "smarter" control method?

Still need to see the plants attitude towards this. May have to tinker with it but yes I see the wisdom of the soil moisture sensor. Have a job coming up that is a water conservation overhaul on 23 zones. Instead of replacing a nice clock with the SL I'm going to consider a baseline sensor instead.

Mike Leary
10-10-2007, 06:25 PM
Still need to see the plants attitude towards this. I'm going to consider a baseline sensor instead.

Good point, AFTER the pics of your last project.

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-10-2007, 06:29 PM
Good point, AFTER the pics of your last project.

Which project are you referring to?:confused: I thought all my projects looked great?

Mike Leary
10-10-2007, 06:40 PM
Which project are you referring to?:confused: I thought all my projects looked great?

Um, I'm thinking about the project you did pro bono a while ago.

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-10-2007, 06:46 PM
Um, I'm thinking about the project you did pro bono a while ago.

Yeah that was a toughie. Had to play with others. Pro Bono is the key word.

jabbo
10-10-2007, 09:20 PM
I hate to cut in, but have not been following this moisture stuff except in this thread? First off could I install this with a Pro-C controller. Next, how much would it cost?

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-11-2007, 06:13 AM
I hate to cut in, but have not been following this moisture stuff except in this thread? First off could I install this with a Pro-C controller. Next, how much would it cost?

I'm glad you cut in that is what this thread is meant to be about. Yes it can be installed with any controller. I got it at Ewing (Baseline Warter Tec s100) I think it ran me about 125.00. I'm going to buy another so I'll check that price. I'd install where you can really watch the first one. I'm thinking I better get a gps on my sensors location.

gusbuster
10-11-2007, 11:45 PM
I got it at Ewing (Baseline Warter Tec s100) I think it ran me about 125.00. I'm going to buy another so I'll check that price. I'd install where you can really watch the first one. I'm thinking I better get a gps on my sensors location.

Ah the nice thing about Ewing, you can check prices on the net. Contractor price in my area is $126.65 @ Ewing

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-15-2007, 07:44 AM
My sensor had dropped to a level to allow watering and last night it ran. The threshhold setting is 37.4. it had dropped to 36.2 and my lincoln was registering soil in the 4-8 range in spot checks around my yard. After the watering and an early morning rain the sensor reads 42.3. The sensor does not shut down the system for 12 hours to allow a complete cycle of the system to run. This can be manually adjusted. This time of year with the cooler weather it may be a while before it allows watering again. I've set my SL weather monitor at 1/8" and a 24 hour delay after drying out. The Baseline recommends setting the system to run everyday at a 1/2" precip per run cycle. It will keep it off until the threshold drops below the setting and then watering will occur. With the SL I'm trying a different tactic allowing the SL to determine watering amounts and setting three days of the week that the watering can occur. Baseline also has a method to opt a zone out of the soil sensors control. Here is the original post and setup parameters.
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=201440

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-15-2007, 10:48 AM
We had a good 1" + rain this morning and my sensor is about to hit a reading of 50.When I installed it and saturated to determine my threshhold it was slightly above 50. I bet I don't water again for at least a month. the SL would probably allow a few waterings but I'm going to check and see what it has built up watering time wise when my controller sensor light turns green and that will give me a rough estimate of water that was not applied needlessly. I don't think the Baseline numbers reflect any standard soil moisture numbering system but are just the measuring code of the product itself. I have a zone that is under a soffet and receives no rain water so I may get the attachment that allows it to water separate from the soil moisture sensor. Otherwise I have to manually run that zone.

Kiril
10-15-2007, 12:36 PM
I have a zone that is under a soffet and receives no rain water so I may get the attachment that allows it to water separate from the soil moisture sensor. Otherwise I have to manually run that zone.

This would be a good example of an area that could use a second SMS.

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-15-2007, 12:45 PM
This would be a good example of an area that could use a second SMS.

I don't know if the Baseline allows for that. Would need to bypass Baseline and then add another sensor. This is where the advantage of a multiple SMSystem would make sense. I had this problem already with the SL and monitor.

Kiril
10-15-2007, 01:24 PM
I don't know if the Baseline allows for that. Would need to bypass Baseline and then add another sensor. This is where the advantage of a multiple SMSystem would make sense. I had this problem already with the SL and monitor.

Yup, the WaterTec system ain't gonna cut it. If your sticking with Baseline products, you would need to step up to one of their BaseStation Systems.

EagleLandscape
10-15-2007, 01:51 PM
I was thinking about this thread the other day...

Wouldn't you have to have a soil moisture sensor in every zone / every different type of plant material? If you only had turf, and only 100% full sun, I see the sensor being a great deal. But how would this be efficient to run in on a 24-48 zone system that deals with different sun/shade areas, microclimates, and different plant types?

Any thoughts?

Kiril
10-15-2007, 02:10 PM
Well the way I see it, you can get a specific as you want (eg. sensor per hydrozone and rooting depth), or generalize it with fewer sensors and make assumptions and corrections based on manual sampling, site conditions, and observations of indicator plants.

If your going to get really specific, then your probably going to want sensors that measure the entire potential root zone instead of a portion of it. These types of sensors however are silly expensive.

I fully believe an all soil sensor approach, or an all ET approach is not the answer. The combination of the two is going to give you the most accurate means of determining and scheduling irrigation requirements.

This is what makes the CalSense controller so very, very attractive. http://www.websmileys.com/sm/love/663.gif

Mike Leary
10-15-2007, 03:57 PM
This is what makes the CalSense controller so very, very attractive.

Ditto...sigh. :clapping:

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-15-2007, 05:12 PM
I was thinking about this thread the other day...

Wouldn't you have to have a soil moisture sensor in every zone / every different type of plant material? If you only had turf, and only 100% full sun, I see the sensor being a great deal. But how would this be efficient to run in on a 24-48 zone system that deals with different sun/shade areas, microclimates, and different plant types?

Any thoughts?

What I'm trying to achieve John with a single sensor is something similar to what a tipping rain gauge would give you. The SL doesn't know the difference between a 1/4" rain or the heavy rain we had this morning. The WM sensor is going to dry out much more rapidly than our soil. The speed of drying out will vary during the season. The SMS adds another degree of monitoring to make sure the SL can't apply water when the soil is still saturated or moist.

Mike Leary
10-15-2007, 05:28 PM
Worth keeping up on..these guys know their stuff!
www.dynamax.com
and www.automata-inc.com

EagleLandscape
10-15-2007, 05:31 PM
Ok, I see what youre saying. Do you ever utilize the Rain Delay function on the SL? I guess your idea would be more of a practical Rain Delay, really a "true rain delay". Is tehre a way to incorporate the moisture sensor into the rain delay function?

Mike Leary
10-15-2007, 05:38 PM
Ok, I see what youre saying. Do you ever utilize the Rain Delay function on the SL? I guess your idea would be more of a practical Rain Delay, really a "true rain delay". Is tehre a way to incorporate the moisture sensor into the rain delay function?

Seems to me it would be different sides of the clock..."rain delay" would
be a manual operation rather than the "sensor" side of the clock.

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-15-2007, 06:13 PM
Ok, I see what youre saying. Do you ever utilize the Rain Delay function on the SL? I guess your idea would be more of a practical Rain Delay, really a "true rain delay". Is tehre a way to incorporate the moisture sensor into the rain delay function?

I'm playing around with that part now. I upgraded my SL to the new monitor that allows various lengths on the rain delay feature. Right now I have it set at 1/8" and 24 hour delay. The trick I think is to have a 1/2" precip built up in the SL when the SMS allows watering again. When the SL is cutoff by the SMS but not the WM the SL will start accruing a deficit but can't water until the SMS gets below its threshhold.

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-15-2007, 06:15 PM
Seems to me it would be different sides of the clock..."rain delay" would
be a manual operation rather than the "sensor" side of the clock.

You got it.

Mike Leary
10-15-2007, 06:17 PM
You got it.

What do I win?

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-15-2007, 06:20 PM
What do I win?

You can have my avatar:)

Mike Leary
10-15-2007, 06:34 PM
You can have my avatar:)

No thanks..I have my own.:cry: :hammerhead:

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-21-2007, 08:26 PM
My SL is going to get to run tomorrow. As part of the experiment I cleared my Mom's SL on the same day I cleared my total run time. The soil moisture sensor has allowed only 4 minutes of water per zone compared to her 15 minutes of water per zone since Oct. 13.

EagleLandscape
10-21-2007, 08:49 PM
on a previous post you said new sensor with monitor delay. is that the option i see in the newer controllers, v 3.0+? says something like SLW delay?

we have the first version that was released and I don't think it has that function, only the standard rain delay.

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-21-2007, 08:55 PM
on a previous post you said new sensor with monitor delay. is that the option i see in the newer controllers, v 3.0+? says something like SLW delay?

we have the first version that was released and I don't think it has that function, only the standard rain delay.

That is correct. I had the original as well and went and bought the new version so now I can set my SLW delay for any length I want.

Kiril
10-22-2007, 12:36 AM
So now you have what I have, a very expensive thermometer. :)

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-22-2007, 07:55 AM
So now you have what I have, a very expensive thermometer. :)

True::: Kiril do you have any theories on depth of sensor based on soil type? Would you set it higher in heavy clay or lower in sandy/loam soil? I set this with the top third in the St. Aug root zone area and the bottom 2/3rds out of the root zone area. (5-7" deep) I'm also curious as to how long it takes for the water to infiltrate to the sensor area. After a good watering last night this morning it is still below the treshhold setting. This is the first real watering since it was installed.

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-22-2007, 07:59 AM
Also with all the brown patch I would have shut the system down to help dry things out but the SMS did it for me. (I'm seeing a lot of brown patch everywhere this year. Heavy rains I guess. Need to buy St Aug futures now!)

Kiril
10-22-2007, 10:23 AM
True::: Kiril do you have any theories on depth of sensor based on soil type? Would you set it higher in heavy clay or lower in sandy/loam soil? I set this with the top third in the St. Aug root zone area and the bottom 2/3rds out of the root zone area. (5-7" deep) I'm also curious as to how long it takes for the water to infiltrate to the sensor area. After a good watering last night this morning it is still below the treshhold setting. This is the first real watering since it was installed.

In your test case (a single SMS for your entire landscape), I would try to figure what your overall average effective root zone is for your entire landscape, then place the sensor towards the bottom of that area, assuming it is in a zone that waters to that depth or beyond.

Basically you want the sensor to give you information that will allow you to determine allowable depletions in all your potential root zones.

For example, if you have determined your average root zone is 8-12", I would put the SMS somewhere around 6-10" and make adjustments in the controller for each hydrozone based on the average effective root zone in each hydrozone.

Infiltration rates can be highly variable. If you don't know your hydraulic conductivity, and your dealing with a relatively high clay fraction, the safe bet is usually 2-3 days to field capacity.

Mike Leary
10-22-2007, 12:08 PM
It may seem obvious, but some times we get blindsided (o.k. ALWAYS) and
miss a important point...since we use the lincoln & kelway moisture probes
for spot checking, remember, depending on use, those should be replaced or
set back to the factory for new probe tips & re clalibrated. The kelway should
be sanded lightly with crocus cloth. We have four units..one never gets used,
acting as a "standard".

FIMCO-MEISTER
11-01-2007, 07:38 AM
I'm really liking this sensor. Seems to put my watering on twice a week schedule. I give it three chances a week to run. The deficit continues to accumulate which means I'll get a heavier deeper watering when needed. I'd like to see somebody else install one at their home to give me some pro/con feedback. I think on a traditional timer with a r/f sensor setting all zones to run at 1/2" everyday this will get pretty close to an ET based watering program.

Kiril
11-01-2007, 11:15 AM
I'm getting ready to finish that valve overhaul where I installed the SL. Perhaps if the budget allows for it, I will install one of those sensors. Problem is, I don't really have the time right now to run it through the paces to give you any meaningful data to compare against.

Rotor_Tool
11-01-2007, 09:28 PM
Preparing to take more heat....especially from Kiril:

Sounds like your experiment of the smartline controller with moisture sensors has given the same results of a properly installed and programmed (both the host controller and ET unit) ET Manager from Rain Bird.

Depletes the moisture to a set level, allows a deep watering to refill the moisture profile and starts the cycle over again. Basic MAD if you have been through the CLIA certification with the IA.

EagleLandscape
11-01-2007, 10:11 PM
I'm really liking this sensor. Seems to put my watering on twice a week schedule. I give it three chances a week to run. The deficit continues to accumulate which means I'll get a heavier deeper watering when needed. I'd like to see somebody else install one at their home to give me some pro/con feedback. I think on a traditional timer with a r/f sensor setting all zones to run at 1/2" everyday this will get pretty close to an ET based watering program.

I can be a test dummy:) Have a free sensor?:clapping:

Kiril
11-01-2007, 10:52 PM
Preparing to take more heat....especially from Kiril

I'm going to give Fimco first dibs on this one. :laugh:

FIMCO-MEISTER
11-02-2007, 06:01 AM
Preparing to take more heat....especially from Kiril:

Sounds like your experiment of the smartline controller with moisture sensors has given the same results of a properly installed and programmed (both the host controller and ET unit) ET Manager from Rain Bird.

Depletes the moisture to a set level, allows a deep watering to refill the moisture profile and starts the cycle over again. Basic MAD if you have been through the CLIA certification with the IA.

Well RT. I'm not having to pay a monthly fee for my setup. The controller and moisture sensor cost less than the ET manager. on top of that my setup is more accurate since it involves the use of a moisture sensor which the ET manager does not.

FIMCO-MEISTER
11-06-2007, 07:38 PM
To The Top

LawnMastersTx
01-22-2008, 08:17 PM
FIMCO-MEISTER, how did the season end up with your sensor? How do you feel about it? Is it worth the time to set up and calibrate or would you rather have the ET Manager?

I am going through all the post on ET and Smartline type systems checking to see how everyone feels about them. After the wet season we had this year, i feel this next one will be much drier. Looking for the top 3 options to provide for my customers out there to help save them $$.

FIMCO-MEISTER
01-22-2008, 08:40 PM
I like the moisture sensor. Not sure if I'm ready to sell them though. If you go the moisture sensor route the ET timer isn't necessary. I'd go one way or the other. The moisture sensor is not a r/f sensor so you still need one of those. If you try this sensor I'd definitely experiment with it at your house or a guinea pig you monitor extensively to see all the facets of it. I think the moisture sensor is more accurate than the WM SLine but the difference is not that great. The Smartline is more generous with water. Sometimes the sensor will keep the timer off but the SL will accumulate huge minute numbers so I'll have to go dial the deficit down to a more reasonable number. What I'm finding is that the rain delay feature on the SLine needs to be adjusted seasonally as well. From 0 in the summer to 4 in the winter. If I reset the Smartline clock to run every day at a 1/2" and did not use the auto adjust with the soil moisture sensor I'd probably never have to tinker with it much again. Having said all that I'm still more comfortable with the Smartline and monitor at this stage.

FIMCO-MEISTER
01-22-2008, 08:51 PM
By the way thanks for bringing this back up. Reminds me that I was useful around here for awhile.

Mike Leary
01-22-2008, 09:20 PM
Use full when one gets 3k posts. Then move on.

FIMCO-MEISTER
03-16-2008, 05:52 AM
To The Top

Or as some would say BUMP

FIMCO-MEISTER
04-28-2008, 06:19 AM
Bringing an oldie back. My moisture sensor has failed on me. Not sure what the problem is. Getting error readings which I'll have to troubleshoot.

CAPT Stream Rotar
04-28-2008, 06:28 AM
Bringing an oldie back. My moisture sensor has failed on me. Not sure what the problem is. Getting error readings which I'll have to troubleshoot.

Give em hell pete!

I love this thread...

Kiril
04-28-2008, 07:59 AM
Bummer, what are the readings?

FIMCO-MEISTER
04-28-2008, 08:01 AM
Bummer, what are the readings?

Like an E-0 and an E-6 I'll investigate further and report back.

Kiril
04-28-2008, 08:07 AM
There is no listed Er-0 code, but here is the Er-6


Er6: Low Reading During 24-hour Moisture Threshold Calibration Error
• This error can occur only during 24-hour moisture threshold calibration and indicates that
there was a low reading during calibration. To resolve this, follow the instructions under
Step 5 on page 16.

mangusta1969
04-28-2008, 06:02 PM
Fimco,

Sorry to hear about your sensor or controller problem that will likely postpone our reading about your results through the spring/summer. If somehow your unit is NOT covered by the mfr warranty, I would certainly consider changing it out with the Acclima SCX soil sensor/controller system. This site currently has a great promotion on the SCX setup:

http://www.efficientirrigation.com/08resources/tips.htm

A big benefit of the Acclima SCX external controller appears to be that you can associate a single Acclima soil sensor to one or more of your existing valves without running any new wires to those valves. You can also retrofit more than one sensor to your existing system and controller. Everything appears to be controlled in the digital domain, so you could add just one sensor to your system and have it control three out of 12 existing zones/valves. The other zones would remain under ET or straight timer controls.

I have no association with Acclima or any other irrigation equipment manufacturer, but their products appear to be well thought out, especially for a retrofit soil sensor installation. Rather than hijack Fimco's thread, if anyone else has good or bad experiences with the new Acclima soil sensor products, please start a new thread on them, as I don't see any recent postings with actual user or installer results.

Mike Leary
04-28-2008, 06:15 PM
Rep............dorky looking stuff, are you using this Peter?
Where's mangu's results?

mangusta1969
04-28-2008, 07:46 PM
All,

I don't have any results, and am just familiar with the Acclima line from reading their manufacturer propaganda. Let me assure you that I am just curious about the performance of the Acclima sensor-based units and was looking for anyone else's good OR bad results with this product. I was also trying to inform interested parties that Acclima's digital design seems to allow for very flexible sensor placement without in-ground wiring changes or needing any special zone bypass circuitry.

I am actually a retired electronics engineer and am just a dabbler in this technology because I pay for and maintain 3 sprinkler systems with about 21 zones between them in two high desert areas of around 2 total landscaped acres in size. My monthly water bill in the summer is almost as bad as my winter heating bill and I'm looking for anything that would help improve that situation.

FIMCO-MEISTER
04-28-2008, 07:51 PM
Fimco,

Sorry to hear about your sensor or controller problem that will likely postpone our reading about your results through the spring/summer. If somehow your unit is NOT covered by the mfr warranty, I would certainly consider changing it out with the Acclima SCX soil sensor/controller system. This site currently has a great promotion on the SCX setup:

http://www.efficientirrigation.com/08resources/tips.htm

A big benefit of the Acclima SCX external controller appears to be that you can associate a single Acclima soil sensor to one or more of your existing valves without running any new wires to those valves. You can also retrofit more than one sensor to your existing system and controller. Everything appears to be controlled in the digital domain, so you could add just one sensor to your system and have it control three out of 12 existing zones/valves. The other zones would remain under ET or straight timer controls.

I have no association with Acclima or any other irrigation equipment manufacturer, but their products appear to be well thought out, especially for a retrofit soil sensor installation. Rather than hijack Fimco's thread, if anyone else has good or bad experiences with the new Acclima soil sensor products, please start a new thread on them, as I don't see any recent postings with actual user or installer results.

Requires a new timer. Don't know if I want to spring for that. Let me research it more and find out the cost. I'll see if the manufacturer is impressed with my intense desire to learn and experiment and will give me a contractor special discount if I tell my of my experience.

Mike Leary
04-28-2008, 08:08 PM
I don't have any results

Honesty is the best policy here.

mangusta1969
04-28-2008, 08:15 PM
Fimco,

From my read of the SCX device manual, it is just an external controller and buried plate sensor, about like the Watertec unit that you are experimenting with. The SCX price is reasonable enough that I may just spring for one and see how it works out in my application. If it works well, it might pay for itself in just a couple of months.

I would also like to change out two of my older controllers, so I am thinking of that approach (SC12) for a more modern, sensor-controlled system, rather than a retrofit with just the SCX unit to my existing controllers. Because of the property sizes and number of zones, I would really like to also have a remote control capability, too. Unfortunately, that gets a little spendy as an additional functional capability to an affordable soil sensor-based system.

Keep us posted on your progress and good luck.

Kiril
04-29-2008, 09:27 AM
Nothing like Calsense to solve all your problems. :)

Mike Leary
04-29-2008, 02:34 PM
Nothing like Calsense to solve all your problems. :)

I know a nice cage it can be installed in.:rolleyes:

mangusta1969
05-12-2008, 12:30 PM
Fimco,

Didn't the Baseline Systems boys make good on the warranty for the over-ride controller that you added to your system? I thought you only had their moisture sensor system in the ground since last fall. From the error codes you reported, did they think it was a sensor or a controller (or wiring) problem? Thanks!

Wet_Boots
02-12-2012, 01:56 PM
So, what was the ultimate reason for the failure of the Baseline sensor?

FIMCO-MEISTER
02-12-2012, 02:12 PM
Fimco,

Didn't the Baseline Systems boys make good on the warranty for the over-ride controller that you added to your system? I thought you only had their moisture sensor system in the ground since last fall. From the error codes you reported, did they think it was a sensor or a controller (or wiring) problem? Thanks!

I moved from that house so i never got to try it again or talk to baseline. I mailed the wall mount part to Texas grass guy but the sensor is still in the ground at my old home. incomplete would be the grade I've give on that one.

Wet_Boots
02-12-2012, 02:59 PM
Bummer - I need closure :)