Talking Antiques

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by bicmudpuppy, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Ok, Dana's picture made me wonder...........What is the OLDEST controller you have actually worked on / repaired, not jerked and replaced?

    I'm thinking mine has to be the 11 station 36volt Buckner controllers from the golf course of my youth.
     
  2. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Only ones I've repaired were the Rainbird RCs. Anything else I yank out and replace.

    Mainly a time issue. I'm not going to run around trying to find crap for a crap controller, and then hope it can be ordered. Slap a new one in that day and be done.
     
  3. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    I have "traded" WM mechanicals on many an occasion. They would trade you an old panel for a new one. The RC's, you either had to have a spare on hand or re-build it. I want to say the WM mechanical, after subtracting core charge was less than $60 cost. I couldn't have rebuilt one for that.
     
  4. Waterit

    Waterit LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,888

    Toro Freetime, just last year. Jerked it and put in an ESP.
     
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 46,910

    I never 'worked' on the oldest controllers, since there wasn't a great parts supply line. You should see some of the repair manuals for the ancients. Even directions for dismantling a slide switch (instead of drilling out the rivets that attached it to the faceplate)
     
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    This is the oldest in recent memory that I actually have a pic for, however I have seen some real relics over the years.

    DSCN3098a.jpg
     
  7. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Um, that one isn't THAT old. To bad you can't get parts for it. I've fixed a few of those.

    Hey Boots, I didn't have that problem. All the antiques I played with that far back were golf models. We kept 3 full spares on the shelf. If one went bad, I pulled it, replaced it, and THEN fixed the bad one. It got hairy at the end. Had to add a 24 volt transformer for the field wires and change all the solenoids out to 24 volt when they stopped making the 36 volt Rainbird solenoids. We converted one timer at a time, then used the salvaged 36 volt solenoids on the other sections until we ran out and had to do it again.
     
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 46,910

    I missed out on ever seeing the 36 volt solenoids. Wonder how those came to be.

    Peering back into those days of yesteryear, I do remember doing some timing adjustments on an Imperial cam-drive controller. Those were even older than the Valet controllers, and a hell of a lot more dangerous, since exposed 120 VAC buss bars were within easy reach of the hands adjusting the timing cams.
     
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Yup, the mode switch has gone bad, which isn't that big of a deal. Still functions since it broke in the automatic position. Don't know when the system was installed. I love the exposed dip switches. :laugh:
     
  10. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 46,910

    Switches that worked on logic circuits were expensive, being made with gold, so dip switches were used in early controllers. Switch costs are why you have controller designs with one dial and a bunch of pushbuttons.
     

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