Maybe I should have said cost effective instead of cheap. For the purpose in which it’s used it’s a very reliable tool at a much more affordable price than a pre-built one. It’s certainly not cheap in quality & works quite well for it's intended purpose.
Remotes are made to save time, having a factory remote for the controller your working on is absolutely the way to go. However we all run across those Orbit, K-rain, Weathermatic, & other rare controllers from time to time.
To control those you can certainly use a $1,000+ pre-made remote set-up, or you can use a homemade set-up & have coin left over to get a factory remote or two while using a factory remote to operate the homemade receiver. My market is heavily dominated with RainBird & Hunter controllers & we use factory remotes 90% of the time. I couldn’t imagine life without them at this point.
Mount the smart port in the lid, add a drop cord for power, some wire & alligator clips for the number of zones your controller can support, & one remote. Your in business lol. I’m certain if you get a little creative you could make something much nicer than what I did. Works great for us.
I'm sure the (by others) remotes have improved, I sure hope so! I took on a new client that had the Hunter remote. It was so freaking slow, I told him I was costing him money using it. We swtiched over to a pigtail for the RM and away we went, AT HIGH SPEED!