Modular Controllers- who invented them?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by irrig8r, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    i heard recently that bToro holds the patent. It mighjt be this one, filed on 9-21-1999, and issued on 10-1-2002, or it may be a previous one.

    But my recollection is that the first modular sprinkler controller I ever saw was from an Australian company called Oasis: the Koala-T and the Landscaper. I think I installed about a half dozen on commercial jobs prior to 1996...didn't Oasis have something to do with Hit?
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,751

    If companies want to dispute a Toro claim to modulars, I think they need to find 'prior art' in some earlier usage of controller modules. Home automation, perhaps.

    Personally, I think they could just go back to six, nine, and twelve zone controllers and leave the modules behind. The electronic components in a module can't cost very much. Probably less than licensing/royalty payments.
  3. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    I was surfing and doing a little research on this... oddly enough, Hit Products has been making what looks like a Hunter Pro-C knockoff since the spring of 2003.

    (A cool tool to see nearly any website through the years is called the Wayback Machine. You go to and type in the URL of any website you want to look up, and they'll show you a little web history.)

    As far as I can tell, the Rain Pro (Pro-C clone) first appeared in March 2003 on the website.

    But I still think they or a predecessor company had something to do with importing the Australian Oasis brand controllers.
  4. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    It was junk, it still is junk for the most part, but the Toro Green Keeper has been modular since the early 90's, and I don't think it was the first modular by any stretch.

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