Weathermatic smartline [SL1624] specs look incredible... any actual exp?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by enorl76, May 15, 2014.

  1. enorl76

    enorl76 LawnSite Member
    Male, from Orlando, FL
    Posts: 135

    So I'm reading through the specs and the actual user manual for the new Weathermatic Smartline SL1624 controller...

    The specs look awesome... It has an Auto Adjust feature... For each zone, It has a setting for Soil Type (Sandy/Loam/Clay), Sprinkler type (rotor/spray/bubbler/drip), and Slope (none/some/moderate/extreme) and coupled with a weather station, all factor into water time equations that will raise or lower station runtimes depending on formulaic estimation of the amount of evapotranspiration of water that has already occurred. I'm like wow! :clapping:

    I'm thinking of installing this into my dad's 2.5 acre yard that we're currently installing a massive system into.

    Does anybody here have actual in-field experience with this controller?

    And secondly, based on these features, would you start considering this controller for medium to high budget installs/retrofits?
     
  2. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Yes and No
     
  3. enorl76

    enorl76 LawnSite Member
    Male, from Orlando, FL
    Posts: 135

    Can you elaborate on your experience? Did it not work well or was it really difficult to get installed, or did the specified functionality not work as advertised?
     
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    The biggest problem with them is build quality. High failure rate of the controller out of the box for me (more than 50%) or withing a couple of years of install (both weather stations and controllers). On the other hand, some have been fine from day 1, still going without problems +5 years.

    Options for smart programming (advanced) are quite limited, weather station is limited, but you can get it wireless which is nice.

    While it certainly is better than a non-smart controller in terms of functionality, there are better options for ET based smart controllers that are comparable in price. The top of the heap right now IMO in that class of controller would be the Rainbird ESP-SMT.

    That said, the SMT also has some programming limitations that simply can't be compensated for, or you have to lie to the controller to get it to do what you want. While the weather station is wired only, it is leaps and bounds better than the WMSL station, if for no other reason because it utilizes a tipping bucket rain gauge, and uses that data in calculating irrigation requirements. Advanced programming options are also leaps and bounds better than the WMSL, but still not quite there.
     
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,384

  6. RhettMan

    RhettMan LawnSite Silver Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 2,140

    i like the toro 212 for a solid - basic, or the ESP for a solid "smart"

    and I dont know anything about large area commercial clocks
     
  7. enorl76

    enorl76 LawnSite Member
    Male, from Orlando, FL
    Posts: 135

    What do you mean by this statement? Does it not assign the information you feed into it properly?
     
  8. txirrigation

    txirrigation LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 977

    We have a few installed at commercial sites using the air cards. They are set up for two wire and are awesome. You can use your smartphone as a remote. One is installed at an events center and the grounds keep called me at 12:30 at night panicking because he was out of town and forgot to turn the system off. I was also out of town and got on my phone and shut it down.

    I couldn't be happier. The only down side is the way you have to ground the 2 wire for lightening strikes.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  9. ASI

    ASI LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    I like the Smartline controller as just a controller and no (ET) weather station. Had nothing but problems with the Smartline weather station- wired or wireless. None of them lasted more than 8 months. Just buy a rain sensor. Never had a problem with the controller. The thing I like the most is the locking out the start times, valve test can be set in seconds not just minutes, seasonal adjust by month, one touch program run, chatter, valve amp testing, delay for zone and master valve, indoor and outdoor with plug and good mount, and run and soak feature. Also like the SMARTLINK but do not have any in service do to the high cost of service.

    What I don’t like- one common connection and door has to be closed to run, the wire push in connection and of course the weather station.

    The Smartline is a module controller. When they first came out you could buy a 12 zone mod to make the controller a 16 or 20.Or buy two and make a 24. Then they stopped selling the 12 mod for the Smartline 16 for some reason. At that time I was doing a lot of 18 to 24 zone systems and did not want to buy the fixed 24 zone controller. So I found a way to get the 12 zone mod made for the Smartline 48 to work in the Smarline 16. The inside of both 12 zone mod are the same just the outside molding of the tracks are different. The work around was easy take out the screws surrounding the mod and push the 12 mod made for the 48 in place and then put the screws back in. Never had a problem .I just did this the other day for an upgrade to a system. Use this tip if you need a 17 to 24 zone controller for less than the 24 fixed zoned controllers. Now you have a spare 4 zone mod that comes with the controller too use for 16 and under.
     
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    The control over the data variables is too limited. Advanced options should mean advanced ..... not selecting from preassigned variable values without the ability to enter the numbers manually.

    For example, if I have a hydrozone that only needs water every 30-40 days, I have to input false data into the controller in order to ensure it will only water at an interval somewhere near that range. Also, the inability to assign intervals on a per zone basis is infuriating at best. The decision to put that option into the global variable set was short sighted at best.

    There are other things as well, but you get the gist of it.
     

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