controller selection

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by silvercvic, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. silvercvic

    silvercvic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    What brand/model of controller is used and recommended?
  2. silvercvic

    silvercvic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Seems like Hunter has the cheapest, but there are just so many series to choose from and I would like one that is reliable
  3. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,748

    How many zones? Hunter SRC series was the beginning of their modern line, and has the advantage of working with their transmitter/receiver, if you are gadget-inclined.
  4. Bigred350

    Bigred350 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 811

    The Rain Bird ESP is the easiest timer to operate a monkey could do it.

    Its called the "ESP" for extra simple programing.

    You can get it in any number of zones.

    We use them on every system.
  5. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    The Rainbird ESP Modular is our standard residential timer as well.

    Excellent unit, comes with 4 station ability, and can be upgraded to 13.
  6. silvercvic

    silvercvic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Are the rainbird ESP pretty automated, any cool features to it?
  7. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,932

    As far as I am concerned, all pro grade brands are good. What one installer prefers, another thinks it's a piece of crap.

    So what I would be looking at,

    What is carried by your local supplier.
    Ease of getting spare parts
    Easy access to tech support whether it be from your local vendor or on-line tech support.

    Me personally, I would stay away from anything that has to do with the Toro company. (irritrol, RainDail ect....) Toro is the Microsoft regarding the if you can't beat them, just buy them mantra.

    Me, on basic installs, I use the pro-c for because of reliability and ease of programming. In my hotter climate areas, I will try to sell a s.m.a.r.t. timer such as the weathermatic smartline system. Also, i will be looking into Hunter's version.
  8. Ed G

    Ed G LawnSite Member
    Messages: 140

    I'm a DIY'er and home owner who just put in a new irrigation sytem.

    I went with a Rainbird ESP-4MI controller. I highly recomend it. (my previous contoller was an irritabletrol)

    The Rainbird has many hidden features, but the one I love the best is the "test all zones" function - the controller will run each zone sequentially for a pre-set time.

    This means you can be in your back yard and each zone will come on, run and shut down giving you ample time to inspect each sprinkler head without you having to go back and forth to the controller (or turn on at valve).

    As others have mentioned, the ESP IS extremely user friendly, easy to mount and wire, has capability to expand to 13 zones, easy to wire rain gauge and an optional remote control is available.

    I got my ESP with two modules thru for $106.
  9. JB926

    JB926 LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 150

    Irritrol Total Control commercial/upgrade
    Irritrol Rain Dial Plus standard residental
    Toro 412 small low cost system
  10. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    I like the Irritrol RainDial, my only complaint is that a lot of people get confused between setting the program and manually running the zone. Since the majority of our clients are elderly, we switched to the ESP. We still have some commercial sites running Total Controls, but we have switched to the ESP-LX for most of our new ones.

    The Toro 212 (You did mean 212 right? ) is hard to use and inferior to both the Pro-C and ESP-Modular in my opinion.

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