Which controller do you recommend?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by F6Hawk, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 195

    Guess what, I have another question... If you are getting tired of me, just say so, and I will go away (as soon as I get my answer and install a great sprinkler system!).

    So, as to the issue of controllers, what do you advise to purchase? And which rain sensor? Wireless, or wired?

    Based on my lack of experience, and just from reading the manufacturer's websites, I like the idea of the RB ESP Modular. The ability to stack & grow, plus the ESP features combine to make it a great-sounding controller, at least on paper.

    Thanks for the time, and I really appreciate all the honest answers I have been getting on here! If you're ever in Southern Alabama...
     
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    ESP modular

    Hunter wireless rainsensor.

    Your going to get a real varied opinion here, but you don't need to read past this post :angel:
     
  3. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,003

    You'll buy us lunch at Wintzell's Oyster House?

    Wintzells_three_oysters.gif
     
  4. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    OMG :)

    ESP?? those letters still make me cry, even though I "know" bird finally fixed all the problems they created rushing them into production. Same comment about the Pro-C from Hunter, except I'm not positive they fixed all the bugs. The ICC is as fixed as it's going to get and also a good controller, BUT, your not looking for a large controller, just an excellent one that will handle the job. Did we decide how many zones?

    Irritrol Kwik Dial, best bang for your buck. Rain off, True interval watering, percentage adjustment, 3 programs, multiple start times (can't remember if it's 6 or 8, hardly ever use more than 3, but 4 comes in handy sometimes), Programs stack (for some reason the RB doesn't like identical starts don't know why)

    Some of these features are not avail on the ESP. The Hunter will cost you 50%+ compared to the Kwik Dial, but will match features. Hunter and Irritrol both also offer a repair remote option that will run you around $150 list and is a great tool or toy depending on your situation.
     
  5. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    I knew you'd poke in here and preach irritirol :)

    This forum is worse than the Ford Vs Chevy guys :)

    I love the ESP series, mainly because we've installed hundreds (perhaps thousands by now?) and have yet to have more than 2-3 fail.

    Secondly, I can explain how to use the ESP to even the most elderly customer (and we get a lot), and they understand and grasp it, in about 10 minutes.

    To be honest though, the old mechanical Rainbird Timers were the easiest to teach people :)
     
  6. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 195

    The ESP modular stacks, according to the manufacturer's website. Not sure about the delay time between zones, though.

    Probably going to be 6-8 zones. I already have 3 zones laid out in the front, but am still working on the back design layout. Front is 5200' sq, back is 6600'sq, so it should be a close estimate.
     
  7. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 195

    Dunno where that is, but it sure sounds fun! I think lunch is probably in order, based on all your input...
     
  8. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    going to hope Jon chimes in here. I had an e-class not stack due to duplicate start times. Every other brand solid state I've seen stacks duplicates. I haven't programed duplicate start times on an ESP and visually seen it work, so now I'm questioning it. I didn't get a good answer from the supply house, RB rep was supposed to get back to us on it and I'm still not any smarter than I was when I changed start 2 to 30 min later.
     
  9. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    That's what makes it fun! Seriously, my only complaint w/ the current ESP is no rain delay and price. The Kwik Dial wins in both categories. The ESP also is limited to an interval max of once every 7 days. Granted this is nit picking, but every once in a great while, I set a seperate program with an interval of 1 in 31 to water a "special" cycle and then return before a month passes to erase it. A system that has been "off" for instance w/ an ICC can be set for Prog C to run once in 31 days with two days remaining and then program a cycle and soak interval to maximum and program a mega run time on that program. It runs for a couple of days straight and the goes back to regular programing til I can get back and erase the catch up program.
    One other Kwik Dial feature I like is the water budget is for each program, not global. I know, this works both ways.
     
  10. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,003

    They're in Mobile. Based on what looks like one-third acre property, you are on the middle ground of residential installs. Assuming level ground, give or take a few feet, The one inch pipe and valves will be fine, and you could use Irritrol 2713APR anti-syphon valves, and get toxic-rated backflow protection while you're at it. A second one inch water meter on a 3/4" service line is a waste, if you can get a 3/4 meter for less. I would lean toward the Hunter Pro-C expandable controller.
     

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