Experiences with various Smart Controllers

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by ArTurf, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. bmwsmity

    bmwsmity LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Ohio
    Posts: 276

    I have 50+ customers I installed Solar Syncs between 1-2 years ago, and I've had TONS of issues. I had one completely die in less than 2 weeks. I've had at least 10 need replacement from displays that stopped working (responding to button pushes, no display at all) along with dealing with ones that despite being in ideal locations, notched the ET adjustment to less than 40% in the dead of summer, no matter how much the region and sensitivity were adjusted. I have to say, I've never been so frustrated with a product nor had something frustrate my customers so much. Oh, and I had at least 5 that turned off the controller for rain, despite not having rain for weeks in summer. Junk.

    I switched to Rain Bird's ESP SMT, and have had ZERO issues. Much better system, and about the same cost. Only downside is a slightly more complicated setup and an enormous rain sensor. But it works great and customers are happy.
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  2. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,697

    Well yeah... The Solar Sync is a toy compared to the SMT. I've got a couple of Solar Syncs out there but I have over 30 SMT's out there and the SMT is hands down the best stand alone weather based controller on the market.
     
  3. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Despite the claim it is not an ET controller, it is an ET controller, and one that will be less accurate than the WMSL or any other ET based controller.
     
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Well, maybe for residential purposes in that specific price range ..... rep.
     
  5. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Ark
    Posts: 3,330

    I guess I am from the school of thought if you are going to water (on established lawns), water deeply. I like to water at least a 1/3" to 1/2" per cycle. I tried a solar sync and it would adjust the run times down out of what I consider acceptable since it only adjust time and not frequency.
     
  6. Whose claim? Not mine. As opposed to a solar sync which I don't consider et either it might be a better product. George alexinian pushes this product as an effective water saving device. He is in to real watersavings not theoretical.
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  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Product claim.

    Why wouldn't you consider it ET? What exactly do you think it is estimating?

    WTF does that mean Pete? You are talking out of your ass again.

    It won't be more effective than any other temperature based smart controller that allows for programming per landscape coefficient method. Perhaps you need to review the Hargreaves-Samani equation again. In the event you can't/won't, it allows you to roughly estimate ET using only real time temperature and location data.
     
  8. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,533

    Jeez guys, more bickering? Really?

    Meanwhile, I am going to try installing one Irritrol Climate Logic tomorrow.

    http://irritrol.com/videos/climatelogic_video.html

    I only have two newer Total Controls that I've installed out there that will be compatible. I've approached both customers about this upgrade, and 50% have said yes.

    Looks like there's more to it than the Solar Sync, plus it has the mini weather monitor/ rain shutoff. So it's really kind of in between a Solar Sync and an ESP-SMT feature wise.

    List price is at 229.00, but of course the ESP-SMT only goes up to 13 zones. Each of these is 18 and I think you can get even get a TC-24 these days.
     
  9. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,609

    As far as I know, they make a 24. Toro also has a clone of the TC called the "Custom Command" that goes to 36, I wonder if the Irritrol Climate system would work on them as well? Let us know how that works out, those are fine clocks.
     
  10. Any device not measuring real rainfall amounts or soil moisture is a borderline ET device at best. Maybe in dry CA one can attain some modicum of ET watering with a wafer sensor but in an area such as Dallas that usually avgs 35"/ year a wafer sensor will not be nearly as accurate as a tipping rain gauge sensor. A wafer sensor measures neither the total amount or the intensity level.

    Once again there is no claim that it is an ET add on to a controller. It could better be described as a smart seasonal adjust. It deducts from the max programmed run time but does not add minutes or go over the programmed run time. Only azz talking being done is by you.
     

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