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Dirt Boy
08-20-2008, 11:41 PM
Do you all charge for installing a remote controller (Hunter) for properties which you maintain?
Obviously it is a benefit to us when doing maintenance and so in the end it benefits the owner since it takes less time, but what do you tell them to justify it, and if so, do you charge "normal" or give them a break?

dhess
08-21-2008, 12:24 AM
I charge $35 for each install of one if it is on a property we do not generally maintain and they get one free if we get monthly repairs and checks. If we lose the contract the pigtail goes with me though (snip snip).

I've now resorted to making my own custom pigtails on the job site. It takes me about 30-40 minutes to make a ~22 station which costs about $5-7 in parts to make.

I guess then it takes about 15-30 mins to wire one in sometimes...so honestly buying them might be the best option, but I like to just custom make them as I go anyway.

http://www.n-siderecords.com/lawnsite/custom_pigtail.jpg

I also made one with alligator clips to use on some jobs if I need to quickly hook it up, but actually I've noticed that it takes longer sometimes just to hook that up versus to hard wire one in. (next one I make I need better clips).

http://www.n-siderecords.com/lawnsite/custom_pigtail2.jpg

http://www.n-siderecords.com/lawnsite/custom_pigtail3.jpg

We had one property which has 6 controllers for a condo subdivison which takes about 4-5 hours just to do a check without a remote because the stations bounce around ALL over the property.

The property manager wanted to see *why it takes so long to do checks/ work ect* on the property so I had him walk with me for the first controller without a remote hooked up and he immediately saw the benefit of having the remote... (he went home after about an hour).

...so they dished out ~$200 for me to wire them in. I then did about $2000 worth of work changing out 100+ spray heads which would have been impossible without a remote IMO.

heres a pic of some of the heads I replaced that day...majority sticking that I could use remote to blow out, stick on new head, adjust nozzle...and then move on to next job. That would have been 100+ trips back and forth to the box or 2-3 days of me having one guy sitting on controller all day long.

http://www.n-siderecords.com/lawnsite/pileoheads.jpg


Honestly I can't see any irrigation job getting done right anymore without a remote unless you have an extra guy to sit on the control box all day long. Since I usually work alone if a customer actually refused to pay for the pigtail I would probably wire one in FREE anyway just because I know it saves me a lot of time walking plus it saves the customer money because they aren't paying for me to do all that walking...

dave

FIMCO-MEISTER
08-21-2008, 08:32 AM
I charge $35 for each install of one if it is on a property we do not generally maintain and they get one free if we get monthly repairs and checks. If we lose the contract the pigtail goes with me though (snip snip).

I've now resorted to making my own custom pigtails on the job site. It takes me about 30-40 minutes to make a ~22 station which costs about $5-7 in parts to make.

I guess then it takes about 15-30 mins to wire one in sometimes...so honestly buying them might be the best option, but I like to just custom make them as I go anyway.

http://www.n-siderecords.com/lawnsite/custom_pigtail.jpg

I also made one with alligator clips to use on some jobs if I need to quickly hook it up, but actually I've noticed that it takes longer sometimes just to hook that up versus to hard wire one in. (next one I make I need better clips).

http://www.n-siderecords.com/lawnsite/custom_pigtail2.jpg

http://www.n-siderecords.com/lawnsite/custom_pigtail3.jpg

We had one property which has 6 controllers for a condo subdivison which takes about 4-5 hours just to do a check without a remote because the stations bounce around ALL over the property.

The property manager wanted to see *why it takes so long to do checks/ work ect* on the property so I had him walk with me for the first controller without a remote hooked up and he immediately saw the benefit of having the remote... (he went home after about an hour).

...so they dished out ~$200 for me to wire them in. I then did about $2000 worth of work changing out 100+ spray heads which would have been impossible without a remote IMO.

heres a pic of some of the heads I replaced that day...majority sticking that I could use remote to blow out, stick on new head, adjust nozzle...and then move on to next job. That would have been 100+ trips back and forth to the box or 2-3 days of me having one guy sitting on controller all day long.

http://www.n-siderecords.com/lawnsite/pileoheads.jpg


Honestly I can't see any irrigation job getting done right anymore without a remote unless you have an extra guy to sit on the control box all day long. Since I usually work alone if a customer actually refused to pay for the pigtail I would probably wire one in FREE anyway just because I know it saves me a lot of time walking plus it saves the customer money because they aren't paying for me to do all that walking...

dave
Good deal Dave, you are a poster child for remotes. Grainger has some high end clips you might want to check out for a temporary. Made by that expensive electronics company FELT? My attitude is if you are going to clip it on just make it permanent. Have you figured a way to waterproof the plug-in or do you tuck it in the box?

dhess
08-21-2008, 03:20 PM
Have you figured a way to waterproof the plug-in or do you tuck it in the box?

most I try to tuck inside the box if possible else it just hangs under..

I tried this at first (not a good idea)

http://www.n-siderecords.com/lawnsite/notwaterproofpigtail.jpg

what happens is that water runs down the wire or condensation builds up in bag and it just collects water while it is closed (imagine it turned upside down). So you get the pigtail sitting in pool of water :(

Another after thought I had was if water does sit in that bag it could cause all the wires to short together which might then cause major problems with the controller...

so that wasn't a good idea now that I think about it. But if I let the bag sit open and hang down it seems to work pretty good. Thats the hill billy way ya'll!

I probably should buy some type of caps.

5.0
08-22-2008, 07:49 AM
dhess- Where did you learn to make those? I love to tinker with stuff like that.

FIMCO-MEISTER
08-22-2008, 09:06 AM
David I'm going to price out what it would cost to make that size in bulk. If you leave off the cover plate it would be easier to tuck in behind the panel. I assume you have a m/f extension you are using to connect to your remote. Are you using a RainMaster?

dhess
08-22-2008, 05:31 PM
David I'm going to price out what it would cost to make that size in bulk. If you leave off the cover plate it would be easier to tuck in behind the panel. I assume you have a m/f extension you are using to connect to your remote. Are you using a RainMaster?

Yeah Rainmaster Promax Universal 31 station.

5.0...its fairly simple to make just time consuming. I've made about 30 of these now and it still takes me about 30-45 minutes per one. So if you value your time, it might be worth just buying.

If I make another one soon I'll do a simple DIY on it. I'm also not using the recommended gauge wire since I can't get it locally without ordering a large spool that I'll never use. Right now locally I can only find 25 multiwire conduit. Meaning 25 wires total so that means only 22-23 stations (1 for power, 1 ground, 1 for master valve if needed) but if I need more I can can use a 2nd strand.

Here is a pic of one I have had outside for about 1 year now...notice no rust. Maybe the dsub crimp pins I'm using are higher grade (blurry camera phone sorry).

http://www.n-siderecords.com/lawnsite/controllers_outside.jpg http://www.n-siderecords.com/lawnsite/showpinblurry.jpg

There is another one down the road which I should have taken a pictue of because it is outside and is hit by spray heads and rotors every week. The Controller is about 1-2 ft off ground. That one is also not rusted and I have it just hanging down like the others.

the little baggies are starting to become an eye soar eh?

FIMCO-MEISTER
08-22-2008, 06:08 PM
Eleven pins. Interesting. No master and just 9 zones. Make them for whatever your requirements are...... I'll get a price on those in bulk. A foot long with scored ends for 12 stations.

Mike Leary
08-22-2008, 07:13 PM
the little baggies are starting to become an eye soar eh?

Yup, hope you have isolators on those double clocks if you share a common.
Oh, by the way, the spelling nazi says :hammerhead:

dhess
08-22-2008, 08:10 PM
Yup, hope you have isolators on those double clocks if you share a common.
Oh, by the way, the spelling nazi says :hammerhead:

sore :)

I didn't install those clocks or the system...I'm just the repair and maintenance guy. We took over this contract about 2-3 years ago.

They are just asking to get hit by lightning or a power surge to be taken out...

They should all have seperate ground though, but I've never checked.

Actually there are three clocks (just two pictured) and I bet none of them have a earth ground on them either.

Mike Leary
08-22-2008, 08:22 PM
sore :Actually there are three clocks (just two pictured) and I bet none of them have a earth ground on them either.

If you've got a shared common, best to have the start times staggered to
the t*ts.

dhess
08-22-2008, 08:51 PM
If you've got a shared common, best to have the start times staggered to
the t*ts.

naw all seperate anyway...this whole system (6 controllers) all use the same watering source so it all had to be staggered...

this brings up a good point. What happens if you share one rain sensor among those three boxes?

bad idea?

Dennis Spencer
08-27-2008, 07:07 PM
Dave here's a pic of one of mine

dhess
08-27-2008, 11:35 PM
Dave here's a pic of one of mine

thats high class...needs some bling bling little diamonds on it and it'll be set!

I may steal that idea and charge a little extra when possible. I like how that looks compared to my plastic baggies :)

speaking of stealing...

any of you guys figure out a way to chain down or lock your remote yet? I was a little worried at first, but its usually out of sight. Although, we do have a few properties where I can be almost a mile away at times with the remote out in the open.

FIMCO-MEISTER
08-28-2008, 07:40 AM
thats high class...needs some bling bling little diamonds on it and it'll be set!

I may steal that idea and charge a little extra when possible. I like how that looks compared to my plastic baggies :)

speaking of stealing...

any of you guys figure out a way to chain down or lock your remote yet? I was a little worried at first, but its usually out of sight. Although, we do have a few properties where I can be almost a mile away at times with the remote out in the open.

If it quits working don't walk but run to the controller.

How much wire you think you need for those short pigtails? One foot maybe? I'll send an e-mail to my manufacturer and see what it would cost to get one foot 24 station pigtails made up with no cover. The wiring price jump from 12 to 24 is not that bad but going to 32 it jumps a lot. My guess is the 24 station would cover 90% of indoor and outdoor controllers.

WalkGood
08-28-2008, 04:14 PM
Dave here's a pic of one of mine

Hope you plugged the bottom hole in the little connector box. Or else you're just inviting wasps/bess to make a home.

FIMCO-MEISTER
09-03-2008, 10:18 AM
Bump.............

dhess
09-04-2008, 04:24 PM
If it quits working don't walk but run to the controller.
How much wire you think you need for those short pigtails? One foot maybe?

yeah a foot is safe, but semi short...It also Depends on the type of box your installing in. I've found some where I have to extend the power wire because of the location of VAC or Common inside the box, but for the most part its ok.

If your going to have them pre-made I'd go longer.

I haven't found or priced 32 here, keep in mind if you want 32 stations though you'll need at least a 35-36 wire conduit (1 for ac, 1 for common, and 1 if your needing it to turn on master valve).

so always : num stations + 3 = number wires needed.

heres pin setup in case anyones wanting something like this..

this is for 25 wire conduit I found locally at store called Altex. Of course this is the color of wires found in the wire I purchased.

most 37 pin connectors have pin numbers written on them if you look closely.




*** USE AT YOUR OWN RISK **

25 CON WIRE ALTEX

PIN# STATION # COLOR
=======================================
22 01 BLACK
23 02 WHITE
24 03 RED

25 04 GREEN
26 05 ORANGE
27 06 BLUE

28 07 WHITE-BLACK
29 08 RED-BLACK
30 09 GREEN-BLACK

31 10 ORANGE-BLACK
32 11 BLUE-BLACK
33 12 BLACK-WHITE

01 13 BLUE-RED
02 14 RED-GREEN
03 15 ORANGE-GREEN

04 16 WHITE-RED
05 17 BLACK-RED
06 18 RED-WHITE

07 19 BLACK-GREEN
08 20 BLACK-ORANGE
09 21 BLACK-BLUE

10 22 BLACK-YELLOW

11 23 - not used -
12 24 - not used -
13 25 - not used -
14 26 - not used -
15 27 - not used -
16 28 - not used -
17 29 - not used -
18 30 - not used -
19 31 - not used -
21 32 - not used -

34 MASTER VALVE GREEN-WHITE

37 COMMON ORANGE-RED

20 24 VAC BLUE-WHITE


** NOTE ** - not used - means I'm not using those slot because my wire conduit only goes up to 22 stations (25 wires total).





You know one thing I've never tried is actually buying a generic computer cable and splicing it open. My guess is that the wires inside are not color coded, but might be worth checking.

Waterit
09-04-2008, 06:15 PM
They are color-coded, but vary according to the application.

dhess
04-01-2010, 11:33 PM
Yup, hope you have isolators on those double clocks if you share a common.
Oh, by the way, the spelling nazi says :hammerhead:

Mike,

I had to replace one of the clocks today and indeed found out that 2/3 controllers share common at some point.

I noticed the new clock (Irritrol 18 Total Control) I installed would run zones without any common hooked up (after trying to debug why the sensor wasn't working). I thought the clock bypass/active button was bad.

Anyway, Besides finding the spot where someone might have shared the common between the two clocks and fixing that is there a device that would fix this?

this?

http://www.transitionalsystems.com/isolator.htm

ps: no master valve. 1 rainbird LX, 2 irritrol total controls

Mike Leary
04-01-2010, 11:57 PM
A shared common with multiple clocks is not a big deal unless the the timing gets off and clocks come on at the same time. They make a "isolator" or "ice cube" for those applications. It's something the electricians need to be called in for.

dhess
04-02-2010, 12:20 AM
A shared common with multiple clocks is not a big deal unless the the timing gets off and clocks come on at the same time. They make a "isolator" or "ice cube" for those applications. It's something the electricians need to be called in for.

basically the new Irritrol will run off the other installed older Rainbird LX's shared ground inside the box. If I hook up the common on the Irritrol the clock won't shut off when the rain sensor is triggered.

so the hokey pokey fix is to

connect a rain sensor in series to common on the Rainbird LX
disconnect the new Irritrol's common and set to bypass

works, but probably a bad idea??!

Mike Leary
04-02-2010, 12:35 AM
You've got problems.

1idejim
04-02-2010, 12:46 AM
basically the new Irritrol will run off the other installed older Rainbird LX's shared ground inside the box. If I hook up the common on the Irritrol the clock won't shut off when the rain sensor is triggered.

so the hokey pokey fix is to

connect a rain sensor in series to common on the Rainbird LX
disconnect the new Irritrol's common and set to bypass

works, but probably a bad idea??!

try checking your common splices, if there is a splice box it's easy to test.

you do have a multimeter, stationmaster and tone probe don't you?

Who is John Malt
04-02-2010, 01:16 AM
Yes, install a pigtail or a permanent receptacle. Yes, charge them for the time and materials. O)f course it makes our lives easier which in turn saves them money.

No, this junction box isn't cheap. This one is a recent example by my employee; he's starting to get it.

dhess
04-02-2010, 01:26 AM
try checking your common splices, if there is a splice box it's easy to test.

you do have a multimeter, stationmaster and tone probe don't you?

yeah. Of course they didn't install a splice box for these two controllers so I haven't dug up the wires yet to see if the common is just split at the base and coming into the boxes. I'll do that tomorrow.

These 2 clocks do a 1.5 mile stretch which I've traced and know where most of the valves are at and some of the wire boxes.

My first guess was someone at some time (if it wasn't installed this way) may have mixed the commons of 2 different clocks by mistake doing some repair...

but if you guys say this isn't unusual to share VC among clocks then am I SOL because these clocks aren't the same brand or I'm not using some type of isolation device?

Waterit
04-02-2010, 02:10 AM
Should work - you can also go to an electrical supply house and ask for an "ice-cube" relay that will do the same thing - might be a little cheaper but needs to be housed or mounted indoors.

Mike Leary
04-02-2010, 11:55 AM
This one is a recent example by my employee; he's starting to get it.

Pretty nice install, tell Jose I said so. :)

Mike Leary
04-02-2010, 12:02 PM
This one is a recent example by my employee; he's starting to get it.

Did you run out of 3M numbers for the spade lugs?

HokieAg07
04-02-2010, 06:21 PM
For the most part yes I charge to install remotes, we usually are dealing with large systems but on a 12 zoner I may just throw it on there for free. If I ever loose the contract I pull my pigtail though!

1idejim
04-02-2010, 10:27 PM
Pretty nice install, tell Jose I said so. :)

mike,

what wire color pattern do you use on installs?

Mike Leary
04-02-2010, 10:35 PM
mike,

what wire color pattern do you use on installs?

I'm not that anal; never did use a pattern, just kept the light blue, dark blue, brown and black way away from each other and numbered each wire.

ARGOS
04-03-2010, 12:46 AM
Yes, install a pigtail or a permanent receptacle. Yes, charge them for the time and materials. O)f course it makes our lives easier which in turn saves them money.

No, this junction box isn't cheap. This one is a recent example by my employee; he's starting to get it.

I paid $17.50 for 12 lug ideal terminal blocks today. Not to be overly anal, but I am pretty sure I paid $12.50 in January?

This particular home is 36 zones soon to be 42.

I thought of Jim all day. We brought in over 150 yards of planting mix and lost two valve boxes. I used a digging bar to find the boxes because I knew their proximity, but one of the boxes was buried under two feet of planting mix and three feet from where I remembered it. Probably took an hour of digging to find it. I had digital pictures back in the office. Another reason to bring the notebook on every job.

Waterit
04-03-2010, 02:17 AM
We brought in over 150 yards of planting mix and lost two valve boxes. I used a digging bar to find the boxes because I knew their proximity, but one of the boxes was buried under two feet of planting mix and three feet from where I remembered it. Probably took an hour of digging to find it. I had digital pictures back in the office. Another reason to bring the notebook on every job.

Or mark the VB's with a scrap of pipe until the planting/mulching is over...

ARGOS
04-03-2010, 11:37 AM
Or mark the VB's with a scrap of pipe until the planting/mulching is over...

I had my back turned for a minute and before ya knows its the vb's were buried. I flagged them and was off the job two months. Two months is a long time for my shot memory.

Mike Leary
04-03-2010, 11:48 AM
Are your splice boxes like our's, Mike?

Who is John Malt
04-03-2010, 12:53 PM
mike,

what wire color pattern do you use on installs?

I wire in alphabetical order now. That splice box was not done this way as it already had 19 zones wired before the upgrade.

Mike, we did run out of 3M label tape. I got my Platt order Friday so we can complete the project.

Who is John Malt
04-03-2010, 12:55 PM
I paid $17.50 for 12 lug ideal terminal blocks today. Not to be overly anal, but I am pretty sure I paid $12.50 in January?

This particular home is 36 zones soon to be 42.

I thought of Jim all day. We brought in over 150 yards of planting mix and lost two valve boxes. I used a digging bar to find the boxes because I knew their proximity, but one of the boxes was buried under two feet of planting mix and three feet from where I remembered it. Probably took an hour of digging to find it. I had digital pictures back in the office. Another reason to bring the notebook on every job.

I keep a handful of them in stock so my prices are old as well. I don't know what they are today. We keep inventory control so as they are received, the sell prices are updated so I don't really pay attention.

Mike Leary
04-03-2010, 12:59 PM
I wire in alphabetical order now. That splice box was not done this way as it already had 19 zones wired before the upgrade.

Mike, we did run out of 3M label tape. I got my Platt order Friday so we can complete the project.

Sorry I did not tell you, there are a ton of 3M markers, both letters and numbers, in the fold-down compartment in the "First Aid Case".

ARGOS
04-03-2010, 01:53 PM
Are your splice boxes like our's, Mike?

I will post pics of my splices boxes next week.

I have gutted sub panels that I had laying around. Next week I am using a junction box like yours.

ARGOS
04-03-2010, 01:57 PM
...so I don't really pay attention.

Too busy brewing.:drinkup:

DanaMac
04-03-2010, 01:58 PM
Too busy brewing.:drinkup:

Someone has to brew it so the rest of us can drink it :)

ARGOS
04-03-2010, 02:00 PM
You gotta watch your beer around this crowd...and your cell phones.

DanaMac
04-03-2010, 02:01 PM
Cheap pitchers of PBR last night at a local watering hole. Also shots of Jagermeister. Good times. Good times........

Who is John Malt
04-03-2010, 03:15 PM
Too busy brewing.:drinkup:

Soon, maybe in the next week or two. I just picked up my Kolsch yeast.

ARGOS
04-07-2010, 11:58 PM
I tried out my new label maker today. I need to work with it more to get the hang of it. I tried 1" strips and they didn't stick very well. The 1/2" worked well. I got a Thomas&Betts EZL500 (http://www.ajbsales.com/mar09_IPG_EZCODE_EZL500_thermal_printer_prod_brochure_GM8195.pdf)

SoCalLandscapeMgmt
04-08-2010, 12:23 AM
I tried out my new label maker today. I need to work with it more to get the hang of it. I tried 1" strips and they didn't stick very well. The 1/2" worked well. I got a Thomas&Betts EZL500 (http://www.ajbsales.com/mar09_IPG_EZCODE_EZL500_thermal_printer_prod_brochure_GM8195.pdf)

sweet! I looked at one late last year that printed directly onto shrink tube. It wasn't too terribly expensive either....

1idejim
04-08-2010, 12:51 AM
I tried out my new label maker today. I need to work with it more to get the hang of it. I tried 1" strips and they didn't stick very well. The 1/2" worked well. I got a Thomas&Betts EZL500 (http://www.ajbsales.com/mar09_IPG_EZCODE_EZL500_thermal_printer_prod_brochure_GM8195.pdf)

outstanding, michael :drinkup:

Who is John Malt
04-08-2010, 01:37 AM
Very nice wiring of the 4800 and junction box.

FIMCO-MEISTER
04-08-2010, 07:17 AM
Very nice Mike....But doesn't it seem redundant that you have to have a separate junction box? In the perfect world the controller would be large enough to serve as a decent junction box to begin with. Those friggin speaker wire connectors make pigtails hell to hook up. At least RB has the sense to give each zone a double speaker wire hookup. Thank goodness for trailer splices:)


Also are the clips on the end of the wires in the junction box worth the trouble in a time intensive world?

I noticed you got cable ties to match your wire colors. Is that a purpose thing or a cosmetic thing?

Regardless though that is a nicer wiring job than I ever did in 30 years.

ARGOS
04-08-2010, 10:04 AM
Also are the clips on the end of the wires in the junction box worth the trouble in a time intensive world?

I noticed you got cable ties to match your wire colors. Is that a purpose thing or a cosmetic thing?

Regardless though that is a nicer wiring job than I ever did in 30 years.

I think the clips on the end of the wires give a solid connection. Your right it is time intensive, but I was paid for the time and I feel that there will be less issues with the terminal forks. No loose wires, especially the remove wires.

The cable ties matching are just cosmetic. I buy the variety pack.

Wet_Boots
04-08-2010, 10:08 AM
I still think terminal strips with the built-in clamping plates is the way to go.

Mike Leary
04-08-2010, 11:08 AM
Sweet wire-up, Michael, looks like one of ours! :clapping::drinkup:

DanaMac
04-08-2010, 11:10 AM
Michael - I thought you we giving up on the SL?

ARGOS
04-08-2010, 11:27 AM
Michael - I thought you we giving up on the SL?

I am definitely reluctant to install an SL after my experiences last year.

This one was installed before winter and we are just now getting back to the project. It has been under snow.

I am always on top of my new installs, but because of the internal clock issues I have had I am going to make extra efforts to make sure this clock works smoothly. I will not go auto adjust until I have seen the clock run a couple months first.

ARGOS
04-08-2010, 11:32 AM
Sweet wire-up, Michael, looks like one of ours! :clapping::drinkup:

You and Russ definitely influenced the layout. I have done several of the junction boxes...there is a lot of room for improvement. I will be doing a 60 zoner and I think I am going to do it a bit different.

Not sure which controller yet.

Mike Leary
04-08-2010, 11:44 AM
You and Russ definitely influenced the layout. I have done several of the junction boxes...there is a lot of room for improvement. I will be doing a 60 zoner and I think I am going to do it a bit different.

Not sure which controller yet.

I'd be thinking about something like this for a 60 zoner; give yourself plenty of room for adjustments and expansion.

zman9119
04-08-2010, 02:14 PM
I'd be thinking about something like this for a 60 zoner; give yourself plenty of room for adjustments and expansion.

Irrigation Porn! I love it!!!

FIMCO-MEISTER
04-08-2010, 02:27 PM
Mike I'd seriously consider 2 wire for 60 zones. Get the RM 2 wire and then you can still use the remote. I think ETWater has a 2 wire controller as well that allows for direct RM remote hookup. Depending on when you do it I'll try and sneak your way just to get the 2 wire education with you. I want to see Yosemite anyway.

Mike Leary
04-08-2010, 04:01 PM
Two-wire is certainly a good option to consider. I'd be leaning towards RM also. Russ has a few under his belt and likes it, though he cannot use the remote with brands other than RM, yet. Argos would be smart to contact Mr. Malt as to other drawbacks.