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  #1  
Old 06-18-2010, 11:56 PM
zman9119 zman9119 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Northwest of the idiots in the corn and trees (IL)
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Upgrade to Central \ Controller - Advise

We have a large site that we maintain both on the landscape and irrigation side of our company that I want \ need to upgrade their controller. I am looking for some help on what controller to put in there.

The current controller is a lovely Superior Sterling 36 that has a mess of a wiring job (see below, yes it will be cleaned up). Site currently utilizes 30 zones, though almost every zone is doubled or tripled up. No sensors or anything else. Flow is controlled off of a Watertronic pump station off a private reclaimed water lake with automatic well backup with flow meter and pressure transducer that automatically kicks on at 35 psi but the system usually holds at 65-80psi. Average flow is 175-240gpm. From pump to pump control station is 3" then bumps up to 4" for a mile long looped mainline with interior spurs adding to the length.

Ok, the important stuff... What I am looking for:

  • Remote accessible controller for programming \ shut down \ etc. (HAS to be cellular, no other way to do it due to where it is located).
  • System logging - We have problems with stuck zones or low voltage alarms on the p\s that requires manual resetting due to poor power conditions on the site.
  • Real-time flow monitoring with automatic shut-down
  • Ability to add other sensors at later dates (wx station)
  • Pedestal or metal casing does not matter. It will NOT be mounted on the ground like the current one is. So much fun sitting down to change programs in the middle of the summer when it is located in a no-mow area too.
  • Open for other options \ suggestions too.


Another *request* would be software options that we would be able to integrate into some of our other sites in the future so the software is not just for one site. I have looked at some of the vendors out there for these types of systems, but I am looking for everyone elses ideas too.

mz











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  #2  
Old 06-19-2010, 12:43 AM
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mitchgo mitchgo is offline
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Must be nice to manage something that large!

I've never had the opportunity to manage a system that big, but it seems to me like you need a calsense or maxicom system upgrade my friend
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  #3  
Old 06-19-2010, 11:01 AM
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FIMCO-MEISTER FIMCO-MEISTER is offline
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Wish I could help but I'm a dinky pipe man. With a Rain Master remote being able to plug straight into them makes them worth checking out. HOSK really liked his new SIGNATURE? I believe they have a 37 pin plug in port.
MOTOROLA, CALSENSE, SENTINEL, ETWATER, MAXICOM, HYDROPOINT, RAINMASTER, SIGNATURE......Did I miss any? Hunter do central control?
Do you like JDL GREENTECH?
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  #4  
Old 06-19-2010, 11:15 AM
SoCalLandscapeMgmt SoCalLandscapeMgmt is offline
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ET Water systems. They are an ET / web / cellular based central control. I've had the local rep out to demo them and I was quite impressed with the whole system. For a one off site with a single controller I think that a web based central is your best option. Rain Bird and Hunter don't have anything that will work effectively without a lot of initial cost. The nice thing about the web based stuff is that there is no computer or software to buy so if you part ways with the client all you have to do is give them their login info. Toro just came out with an interesting looking little central system called the TriComm which is cellular based. I think it will monitor flow as well. Stay away from Hydropoint. They're on my ****-list now.
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  #5  
Old 06-19-2010, 11:25 AM
zman9119 zman9119 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIMCO-MEISTER View Post
Did I miss any? Hunter do central control?
Do you like JDL GREENTECH?
Rain Bird.

Hunter does have their IMMS system that will work with the ACC or ICC, maybe the I-CORE (anyone know). Their software is really $$$$$.

JD Greentech isn't offered in my area right now per their website. Per word on the street here at least, they are getting out of the irrigation business in our metro area. They never have anything either in stock with how their system is set here.

Last edited by zman9119; 06-19-2010 at 11:29 AM.
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  #6  
Old 06-19-2010, 11:55 AM
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FIMCO-MEISTER FIMCO-MEISTER is offline
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ET Water buys my pigtails. They've also come out with controllers that allow the RM remote to be plugged right into the faceplate. They also may have a panel that will fit into the Sterling case. they are big on being able to swap panels into old different controller housings.
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  #7  
Old 06-19-2010, 01:34 PM
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Inspired Inspired is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hanson View Post
Stay away from Hydropoint. They're on my ****-list now.
I was wondering how long that would take. Wanna buy a used SmartDial?
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"Meeser Beell, The sprinkles not zackly, zackly, zackly." - Javier Larios
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  #8  
Old 06-19-2010, 02:12 PM
SoCalLandscapeMgmt SoCalLandscapeMgmt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inspired View Post
I was wondering how long that would take. Wanna buy a used SmartDial?
Nope! I'm not happy that Hydropoint is running around selling directly to our clients now and I'm not happy with the quality of their product either. We have an ET Pro2 Central on a site (one of 4 units) that they have been out to replace output modules on 4 times now. I just think that there are better products on the market now!
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  #9  
Old 06-19-2010, 03:37 PM
zman9119 zman9119 is offline
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Has anyone tried the Hunter IMMS or Rain Bird IQ systems? Thoughts? Costs?
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  #10  
Old 06-19-2010, 05:52 PM
SoCalLandscapeMgmt SoCalLandscapeMgmt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zman9119 View Post
Has anyone tried the Hunter IMMS or Rain Bird IQ systems? Thoughts? Costs?
I have an IQ system set up for four commercial properties that I own. We have it set up as a phone based system. The IQ system is essentially a really expensive remote control. I think it was somewhere around $8K for the software and cartridges to set up the four properties. We already had ESP-LX Modular controllers on each property so it was a quick upgrade. Install the cartridge, have Verizon drop us a phone line and we were up and running. They are supposed to be upgrading IQ at the end of this year to have flow monitoring and from what I'm told automated weather adjustment. You can do limited ET adjustment with it but it's fully manual. Currently the system can read the status of the sensor port on the satellites and report back but that's it. For the money you'd spend on an IQ system I think you'd be better suited to look at ET Water. IQ has tremendous potential to be a great low cost central control but unfortunately the egg heads who work in Rain Bird's controls group don't get it or if they do they aren't moving very fast to get the system up to it's full potential.
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