Irrigation Tool - Wireless Operation

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by ed2hess, May 7, 2005.

  1. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,207

    Do they make a tool that can be attached to the wires at the controller so that you can actuate all the valves from a wireless handset. I know that there are new controllers that you can do this but I am more interested in being able to work on old controllers. I want to be able to hook up about 24 lines then go into the field and actuate the valves one at a time without coming back to the controller area. And I want the thing to be battery operated. Is there such a tool?
  2. beransfixitinc

    beransfixitinc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 592

    Not helping here, but, are there any like this that use a small solar panel to keep a small battery charged to supply the power... Or maybe a setup that involves a small hydro generator installed inline with the piping to generate power to keep the battery charged up.

    I realize it probably does not take much juice to activate the switch.. but wouldn't the controller in the box need constant power?
  3. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    I'm almost positive rainbird makes such a device, but I'd have to look at my parts catalogs to doublecheck.

    We maintain a large condominum complex (probably a good 100 acres), with 3 seperate timers in different "neighborhoods", having such a thing would save a lot of walking.
  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,207

    This unit doesn't look like a 2004 solution and is probably over $2K, right!
  5. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    Humm, maybe not the cheapest solution but maybe you could buy 1 new controler that has a remote with a good operating range and instead of hooking it up permanent anywhere rig it up so that you can use it at different sites. run a few feet of controler wires out of it and maybe use some kind of clips to hook it to the wires in the existing controler. I am assuming that no matter what device you used you would have to connect the wiring somehow anyway, if this is something you have to do often you could make a pigtail out of the existing controlers so you could plug in your remote controler fast and easy. first time would take longer but it would save a lot of time in the future.

    This isn't something Iv'e ever done, just an idea that popped in my head. If anyone can make sence or understand what my idea is let me know... Sometimes things are just hard for me to explain and I get confusing.
  6. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274

    Actually that is technology from the 80's with updates and improvements.

    RCT units start around $700.00 or so and go on up. You can't go cheap if you want something that will work. And you need something that has a little oomppff to it if you are going to be dealing with 24 stations. Something that will reach around walls and buildings. and more than 150'.

    Rain Master makes one as well as EiCon which was marketed by Irritrol and Weathermatic. They were up in the $2K+ range.

    Most of the units come with a transmitter and a receiver. Then you make up the pigtails for the controllers. You can buy the pigtails from the manufacturer at $40.00 or so, or go to Radio Shack and pick up the components and make them yourself for about $8.00. Then all you do is walk up to the controller, plug in the receiver unit and away you go. On new properties, you will need to have a pigtail set up with clips to attach to the terminals, but that allows you to check a new property quickly.

    Spend the bucks if you need the unit. And since you're in Austin, walking up and down some of those apartments off of MoPac or 360 would get old real fast!

    Jerry R
  7. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    I haven't used these, but I was thinking that perhaps outside of the actual physical connection between the receiver and the controller that many of these units are the same. Hunter has some that operate of different frequencies. They are listed for use with their controller with Smart Ports, however, it would seem that if you knew the wiring diagram or pin-out connections of their Smart Ports, you could adapt the receivers over for other controllers as well.
  8. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,207

    Yes this might be the lowest price route. Build one into a box that has an AC cord with it to plug in. I haven't used any of these controllers yet so I don't know what they cost.
  9. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    There are several commercial models out there that do this. I think the first one I ever used had a buckner logo on it. Your local irrigation supplier should be able to show you a dedicated wireless remote. They connect to the controller via a pigtail that will run 12 stations. For more than 12, you connect more than one pig tail. Some remotes only do 12, some do 24,36 and even 48. They use a dtmf keypad and can be setup to recieve from any commercial handset, even from a repeater, but repeater freq. aren't recomended. A 24 station ran around $1500 last time I looked. These pigtails are usually 15 pin connectors (12 station, common, MV, and AC). A cheaper solution is any 15 pin connector set wired into a controller like an ICC. Then use the Hunter remote, the long range remote for the ICC will work at extended ranges. I think they claim over 2 miles. If you install a good 15 pin waterproof connector with outside access, you can then operate the system by bypassing the clock. This makes all service much easier. For system checks or winterizing, your portable controller can have a one or two min. test program ready to go. I use a 12 station controller (and I have a six double wired for small systems) for winterizing. I program two min zones and 3 start times. I then set the controller time when I arrive at a commercial install and let the clock run. My 12 station is also double wired so I can Winterize a 24 station property in less than 45 min total time on site.

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