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  #1  
Old 07-23-2007, 10:22 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Soil Moisture Based On-demand Irrigation Controllers: Info & Discussion

This thread is for discussion on soil moisture based irrigation control.

I'll start with a link to an overview of some of the available sensor technology.


Tech Review:

Soil Water Monitoring & Measurement

Section 2 has a fairly decent review of what is available in terms of measuring technology


Some Studies:


Soil Moisture Based Irrigation Study

Evaluation of Soil Moisture Based On-demand Irrigation Controllers Interim Project Report

A Comparison Of Six Soil Moisture Sensors

Comparison of Soil-Moisture Sensors Between Neutron Probe, Time-Domain Reflectometry and Capacitance Probe

In Situ Comparison of Three Dielectric Soil Moisture Sensors in Drip Irrigated Sandy Soils


Some How To:



Irrigation Scheduling With Capacitance Probes


Soil water monitoring: choosing the right device


Watermark Soil Moisture Sensors: Characteristics and Operating Instructions



Some Sensors:


List of soil monitoring devices and distributors

A couple of companies providing several different types of sensors:

Spectrum Tenologies Inc.

Adcon Telemetry

Automata

Aquaflex:

Dynamax Irrigation Moisture Switch, IL200-MS

Irrometer Co.


Some All In One Systems:


Sentek IrriMAX 7.0 Soil Moisture and Environmental Monitoring

PureSense Agriculture Resource Management


By no means a complete list, but it's a start.
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  #2  
Old 07-23-2007, 10:46 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Another very good overview of soil sensors.

Soil Water Monitoring. An Information Package 2nd Edition
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  #3  
Old 07-24-2007, 05:34 AM
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FIMCO-MEISTER FIMCO-MEISTER is offline
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To the top.....
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  #4  
Old 07-24-2007, 09:32 AM
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Mike Leary Mike Leary is online now
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Originally Posted by FIMCO-MEISTER View Post
To the top.....
Over the top.
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  #5  
Old 09-04-2007, 12:23 PM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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A very good review of available smart irrigation products, just updated Aug 2007.

Weather and Soil Moisture Based Landscape Irrigation Scheduling Devices Technical Review Report – 2nd Edition
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  #6  
Old 06-29-2008, 09:02 PM
mangusta1969 mangusta1969 is offline
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Real World Experiences with Moisture Sensors/Controllers

There have been several threads and many references on this site to scientific papers and community studies regarding the technical aspects and accuracy of smart controllers that are controlled by moisture sensors. Some of these studies are extremely detailed and positive about the accuracy of the controllers. A couple of the studies also indicate that some of these systems have demonstrated the capability to save 15-35% in annual water expenses, without undue stress on the turf and plants.

I have done lots of searches on this site and on the internet, but what seems to be lacking is specific feedback from individual smart controller users of their positive OR negative experiences with these controllers and their buried sensors over a several year period.

In another thread on this site, FIMCO started to give us some valuable inputs on his interrupt-type moisture controller in late 2007, but then he had a sensor fail on him after only a couple of months in the ground. That wasn't too encouraging, but infant mortality is a problem with lots of new systems.

Before I make the leap myself to one of these high tech systems on a .8 acre residential site with 9 rotor zones/45 rotors, two drip zones and a shrub spray zone, I am particularly interested in anyone's direct experiences with currently available moisture sensor-based controllers and systems. Because of the number of zones and some changes in elevation and shading between the zones, I will probably need to use something that supports at least two moisture sensors or perhaps two 6-9 zone controllers if the controller type can only use a single remote sensor.

If anyone has any comments on how well their buried moisture sensor readings correlated with the Lincoln Moisture Meter (see http://www.forestry-suppliers.com/pr...ge.asp?mi=3052 ) or another brand of portable moisture probe, I would appreciate that feedback, too.

This old thread seems appropriate to revive at this point with some experienced user feedback related to the moisture sensor technologies, but feel free to start a new thread or even send me a PM on your personal experiences. Thanks!
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  #7  
Old 06-29-2008, 10:16 PM
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FIMCO-MEISTER FIMCO-MEISTER is offline
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Omg............
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  #8  
Old 06-29-2008, 10:37 PM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Omg............
ROFL.

Mangusta, I think your going to have a hard time finding anyone with much experience with SMS in your typical landscape. I have a hard enough time selling people on ET based controllers, let alone adding on SMS to that. My advice to you is look at the sensor technology that is being used by the big boys (like Calsense, Campbell Scientific, etc...) and custom design a system around that technology given your budget constraints.

Or you could just get a Calsense with all the bells and whistles.
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:12 PM
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I have a hard enough time selling people on ET based controllers, let alone adding on SMS to that.
Especially when the average HO just wants no dry spots
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  #10  
Old 07-01-2008, 06:18 AM
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FIMCO-MEISTER FIMCO-MEISTER is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiril View Post
ROFL.

Mangusta, I think your going to have a hard time finding anyone with much experience with SMS in your typical landscape. I have a hard enough time selling people on ET based controllers, let alone adding on SMS to that. My advice to you is look at the sensor technology that is being used by the big boys (like Calsense, Campbell Scientific, etc...) and custom design a system around that technology given your budget constraints.

Or you could just get a Calsense with all the bells and whistles.
ET controller sales work best when hot. I could sell 10 a week right now. The pitch begins like this. "This could have been avoided by............" or "An Et based timer is an insurance policy when you are distracted with life's issues." or "Irrigation is best when proactive and not reactive." and about ten others perfectly suited to the personality type I'm dealing with. I've soured on moisture sensors. Too difficult to pitch.
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