Anyone using 2 wire on smaller systems?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by jlouki01, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,616

    Last I heard from my buddy, Russ, was that two-wire only started making financial sense above 16 zones. As far as Sprinkus' system goes, two-wire is a perfect choice, though add-ons can be a pain to keep the zones in any kind of continuity because of the decoder/encoder adresses.
     
  2. Sprinkus

    Sprinkus LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,048

    The Hunter "Dual" has a decoder programmer that can change decoder addresses, through wireless induction, without disconnecting the decoders from the system.
     
  3. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,616

    There we go, geez, someone at Hunter was actually thinking? :dizzy:
     
  4. SPEEDSKI

    SPEEDSKI LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Posts: 67

    The Hunter ICD is AWESOME!!!! We just programmed 24 decoders today in no time. My crews just wire all the decoders in the valve box during install and then the Tech can just "plug" the decoder (ACC or DUAL) into the cradle on the ICD programmer. You can assign any zone number, sequence etc. and your done. You do not even need to enter anything to the controller. Hunter has stepped it up with this set up.

    The main issue we have seen with 2-wire systems is the connections to the 2 wire. We use the new DBR-6 connectors or the Rainbird 600v rated connectors. If you have bad connections, be ready to pull your hair out!! We use the new DryConn connectors from decoder to solenoid http://www.kinginnovation.com/products/irrigation-products/dbsr-black-series-2/dbsr-black-small/ We use them on every system now.

    We have done over 100 2-wire systems and they can be a handful. Having GREAT techs makes it much easier. We took over a property with 3 TUCOR controllers a few years ago. 389 Zones with conventional controllers of every brand LOL, SVC's, and 2 wire and 14 water sources.We continue to add 30-50, 80 GPM zones a year and this year we are adding almost 90. All of our problems have been due to the connections from the previous installers. Basically, every time we find or use an old valve now, we replace all the connections and we are having better luck now. The last 2 years was a real chore trying to make the HOA and Developer to understand what we were up against.

    The biggest 2 wire nightmare is the MDC!! I am sure Koster has run into a few. Has to be the worst controller ever made. LOL We are now trying to get the properties to swap out for the new Rainbird ESP-LXD's, but have been waiting for the verdict. Now I hear they are moving to the ESP-LXE????

    Koster, how was your experience on that project? We have stuck with Hunter and TUCOR due to the MDC's past and we just are really happy with the ACC and DUAL now due to the ICD programmer with limited issues. The programmer and controllers can all be updated and new software version come out and it fixes many of the small glitches.

    I want to try the Rainbird and have a large project coming up that has 6 Rainbird ESP-LXM's on it already. Would like to hook them all up with the IQ software.

    Did you hook that site up with a Central or the IQ?
     
  5. NC_Irrigator

    NC_Irrigator LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,415

    No site software used, no budget for that of course.

    I thought the controller was a breeze to program, just like an esp should be.

    And yes an mdc is any irrigation tech's nightmare. Laptop programming and download to controller is the way to go.
     
  6. SPEEDSKI

    SPEEDSKI LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Posts: 67

    I also have issues with the MDC, TUCOR etc when it comes to online remote connections. Having to get analog lines installed in a Digital Fiber Optic world has been a *****!

    No 2 wire, but the ET Water stuff is a breeze to use and operate from my desk, iPhone and iPad. The controllers have basic cell phone wireless in them and that makes it simple. No running Data or Phone lines.
     
  7. Rotor_Tool

    Rotor_Tool LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 349

    For you guys that have trouble with the MDC, PM me - I know that controller inside and out (unfortunately). I can help if need be....
     
  8. SPEEDSKI

    SPEEDSKI LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Posts: 67

    Rotor Tool - do you have good luck with yours? Since you have a good handle on the controller I wondered overall what you think of its "operations", we all know they are a real animal to program manually for the average tech.

    I have one tech that works on all of ours and he amazes me at what he can do. We had a new MDC that we believed would not fire on random days. Rainbird flew a "guru" out from Maryland and it was hilarious watching my guy "school" him. What pissed me off is the property was really pressuring me on the looks of the site and Rainbird would not solve the problem. Once I gave the manager my reps cell number, things changed fast. LOL
     
  9. Rotor_Tool

    Rotor_Tool LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 349

    Yes. Once you get past the awkward interface and navigating the menu's - it really is a great controller. From a scheduling/programming point of view, there is an incredible amount of flexibility. I typically don't use the Excel/pc interface due to my current laptop's lack of a serial port and it is difficult to find a USB/Serial adapter that works consistently.
     
  10. SPEEDSKI

    SPEEDSKI LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Posts: 67

    That is one of my major issues with the controller. When we are having trouble hooking up, you never know what it is. Rainbird "guru" gave us one on a site and said we had to use it, then when it would not hook up another day we were told we had to buy brand "x". We installed 6 of them before we realized it was a mistake to continue and we were using way to many service tech hours after the install and basically loosing money chasing all the problems. We only tried them for so long because we buy from Ewing and JDL carries the TUCOR and it was inconvenience.
     

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