Rain Bird ESP-SMT Smart Controller

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by JimLewis, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    Which brings up a whole other debate. To me, either Wind Speed data is important or it isn't. Am I right? If it's an important factor than why does the Hunter unit by itself not account for wind speed at all? Why do you have to buy an OPTIONAL $450 unit to complete the E.T. calculation? It's like Hunter is saying, "Well, you don't really need wind speed data. But if you think it's important, we will offer you this expensive upgrade...." Huh? It's either an important part of the formula, or it isn't.

    At least with Rain Bird, they already made up their mind. They decided they wanted the full equation and that wind speed was an important part of that equation. Then the question was how best to deliver accurate wind speed into the formula in an economical way that keeps the price point low enough that most homeowners will go for it? I guess a few of the options were;

    1) Add an anemometer, adding greatly to the expense
    2) Get the data over the air from a local weather station, like the E.T. manager does (which bears it's own expense)
    3) Use historical average wind speeds per month.

    There may be other choices they were considering, I have no idea. That's just what I could come up with off the top of my head.

    So they did some testing and found that #3 could actually get the E.T. equation pretty darn close to accurate and cost relatively nothing compared to the other 2 options, so they went with that. At least they made a firm decision on the matter and that part of the equation is included.

    Messages: 18,668

  3. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    Well Ive been sold on it since seeing it in AZ in march at the RB HQ. I bothered my rep about getting some early to throw in on some installs, but have waited. Cant wait for it to actually hit the shelves in the store.
  4. Green Sweep

    Green Sweep LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Pittsburgh, PA
    Messages: 322

    I installed an SMT about 1 month ago. It took a little tweaking (adjusting shade, slope, & ET %) but now works great. I also made the mistake of installing it on a part of the roof where shingles were under it - causing the daily high temperatures to be too high - oops. We have already sold several more. I was told by my supplier that they are already on back-order & wont be shipped out until early next month.

    My only complaint is what if I have more than 13 zones? Is a 'LXT' on the horizon??
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,749

    I hear Plaxico Burress is available :)
  6. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,226

    So is cry baby Brandon Marshall and his multiple arrests and accusations against. Let the 'Boys and Raiders have all the criminals.
  7. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,061

    Speaking of football, I have monday night scedule magnets ( has sunday night on the back ) If anyone wants one , pm me your mailing address.

    Messages: 18,668

    I think Jerry is trying to change the culture. No TO got rid of PacMan. Don't see him picking up trouble right now.

    I think the Cowboys are going to have a good year. New stadium, ROMO may have matured some. Get Felix Jones back. Eagles have been riding Westbrook for a long time and this is the year I think he finally breaks down. Guy has been a stud. I'd put him in the HOF myself.

    Messages: 18,668

    Do you still have mine?
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    My take based on a quick review of the manual.

    The additional features on this controller over the WMSL are definitely attractive and I would say a head and one shoulder above the WMSL. A few things I would point out.

    1) I suspect historical averages are based on USDA plant hardiness zone and more likely than not should not be trusted.

    2) It is most likely using a custom cooked version of the Penman-Monteith formula which should increase ET calculation accuracy over the WMSL.

    3) Support for the landscape coefficient method is nothing short of impressive. Still not entirely there, but WAY better than WMSL. Perhaps support for manual entering KL would be a step in the right direction.

    4) The interval (cyclic) option of 2-14 days is stoopid. Why they choose those values is beyond me.

    Perhaps more comments to follow.


    The unit does not appear to operate any differently than the WMSL as it applies interval watering. It appears the controller just varies water times based on weather station and user input. This is no different than the WMSL, and in the same way, just as limited.

    The only reasonable way that I see a controller of this class allowing for a true "skip day" feature is to have an option for manual setting allowable depletion values for each zone.


    I'm curious how you were able to determine 0.001 accuracy when the unit only has a resolution of 0.01?


    Despite my intense dislike for RB controller UI in just about all their controllers (other than this one) , all in all, if this controller had been on the market last year, I would not have recommended a single WMSL.

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