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Your Ultimate Controller

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by PurpHaze, May 28, 2007.

  1. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    What "bells and whistles" would you like to see on high end residential or commercial controllers? One thing I'd like to see on all controllers would be a "security code" that needed to be entered before anyone could access the controller info. I recall a high end UK controller has this feature. Any of the big US controllers have this?

    Being in the process of switching from the Irritrol MC-Plus controller to the Hunter ACC controller there's a slight learning curve as we get acquainted with the ACC features.

    There are a couple of features on the MC-Plus I wish were on the ACC:

    (1) Program start/end times by pushing the "Cycle Start" button a second time. (I've gotten around this one by developing an Excel program that does just this.)

    (2) Scrollable zone watering times by pushing the "Water Time" button twice; easy to check and make sure you didn't forget to program a specific zone.

    Features I really like about the Hunter ACC:

    (1) Program Save; pretty much like others' contractor save option where the program can be saved and then recalled in the event someone goes in and really jacks the programs up.

    (2) No Water Window: programmable time period when the controller will not activate any watering time.

    (3) Controller/Program/Zone Information; input specific info into the controller that is easily retrievable. (We have zone maps where this info is immediately viewable but it's nice to have it on the controller.)

    (4) Pump Start via Individual Zone; self explanatory and individual zones can have a booster or other pump come on or stay off during watering time.

    (5) Programmable Off; can be programmed off for a certain number of days (1-31) and then the automatic program picks up again. Great for us in situations where say a baseball tournament is going on and they don't want any watering for a three day period.

    (6) Program Reset or Erase; many controllers have this feature where you can wipe out a controller's programs and start all over with a fresh slate.
  2. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,974

    Rain Master pretty much has those bells & whistles on their DX-2 Evolution.
    We have many programs that are used only at certain times of the year,
    they are saved & activated by the percentage feature. Rain-Master can operate non-irrigation functions such as lights & gates also. RM has sep.
    pump start/mstr. valve circuits per program. The real cool feature of this
    mega clock is flow sensing & electrical monitoring: It can "learn" the operation & shut down/issue warnings should paremeters be exceeded.
    We check electrical every season at start-up, so solenoid wear can be known.
    Two levels of passwords are included to keep sticky hands off. Wiping the
    clock can be done (shudder) tho with 12 programs & unlimited ISCs, it's not
    for the faint of heart. The DX will run central software or standalone & with
    "Flow Max" run a number of satelite clocks. Most of ours have the permanent
    remote reciever so a site # is entered into the transmitter without going to
    the clock.
  3. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,974

    Hardie's "Touch Command" had very cool features before Toro decided to
    junk it. Forgot the protocol......rainmaster.com
  4. Haven't tried any of those but the WM Smartline has everything I want to do. Covers me for using a weather monitor or presetting each month as a percentage of my watering times at a very reasonable price. Those Rainmaster clocks are very nice but the last time I checked them were pricey. If all my customers were Mark Cuban (he isn't by the way) they would be great but I only want to carry one type of controller that covers all my bases.
  5. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,974

    We settled on the Hardie/Irritrol/Toro ad nauseum "Total Control" for
    medium end...we never entered the "bottom feeder" market.
    What's wrong with calling Mark?:laugh: Upselling is not a bad thing, you know.
  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,644

    Orbit is watching this thread and taking notes​
  7. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,974

    Does Pee Wee Herman own Orbit? I wondered what happened to him after the popcorn episode.
  8. I've always thought of the Total controls, ESP LX as high end Timers and the RM as really high end. I've had very little exposure to anything outside the residential market though. The one RM i installed I had to yank because the maintenance man couldn't learn to program it. I've never been comfortable with the ultra rich. The few that i have had were more trouble than they were worth. I'm sure there is a skill in developing that type of business and making it worthwhile but I just don't like it.
  9. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    I don't think he's in a very good mood right about now. :)
  10. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    The one feature I would love to see that I think would be easy for them to add is a rain delay that is sensor "triggered". i.e. if the rain sensor is tripped for more than 30 min then the controller enters a rain delay for a user set number of days. Most of the better controllers offer a rain delay feature now, and they have sensor inputs. Should be a matter of programing to get this, but I have actually asked about it and it hasn't shown up yet.
    Ultimate controller? I really really hope that when they open up this AM that I get my hands on a "left over". I have a supplier (more equipment than parts) who deals in used/slightly used/spare equipment that has/had a NIB pair of golf controllers. If he still has them today, I recieved approval to purchase over the weekend, one of them to replace my 4 - RC1260's. We are going MODERN. I won't know how to act. I will try to take install pics. Most of the features you asked about are standard on the RB Par+ES. BUT the 16 station base unit w/ pedestal (no wall mounting) would cost me (30% golf matrix) over $1300. The 8 station modules are then $410 each. The just over one year old controller I am hoping to acquire is a Par+48 with a date code that is just over a year old (not much warranty left,but........)

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