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Should I get a different controller?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by surge, May 10, 2005.

  1. surge

    surge LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    I picked up a Toro 12 Zone Controler, Model 53603, a while ago off ebay for a really good price (brand new shipped for less than $50). I started reading this site the past few days and it seems like most of you don't like the Toro controllers because of all the problems they have. I actually don't need a 12 zone controller, an 8 zone one will do. It's just I got this guy at such a good price, I couldn't pass it up.

    So I guess the question is, should I keep this controller or should I sell it and get a different one? If I get a different one, which would you guys suggest? I thought I read good things about the Hunter PRO-C and the Rainbird ESP models.

  2. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,926

    In my humble opinion, the Toro timers are a pain in the arse to program. So, if you get other people telling you the same thing, I would seriously consider selling it.

    My choice, Hunter pro-C
  3. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    A good buy is a good buy. There isn't really anything wrong with most of the commercial toro controllers..........I just don't like to explain how they work to most customers, explain it again 'cus the pita is hard to understand, and then make a service call because they still didn't get it. I am not familiar with this model, it looks like the cheaper stuff the market for the homeowner market.

    My personal opinion is if you gave $50 for it, you've been had and should make the most of it. It will work, your just going to have to "learn it" so you can do what you want with it.
  4. surge

    surge LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    The thing is, i know I can turn around and resell it for at least $60 if I want, so i would totally get my money back and then some. Which sounds like what I am going to do. Didn't realize the toro's were that big of a pain in the but.

    Becauase I want simplicity and versitility, not headaches, I'll look into the Hunter Pro-C later today, if anyone else has any ideas, let em rip!

  5. Broker

    Broker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    I agree with bicmudpuppy.
  6. surge

    surge LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    I don't think is really a cheap one persay. I found it at the ace hardware store online for $105. I'll probably ditch it anyway and get the Pro-c. Thanks guys!
  7. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    I really prefer the ESP LX to the Pro C....seems easier to explain to customers, but thats just me.
  8. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    I know I'm in the minority here, but for simplicity w/ whistles and bells, I LOVE the Irritrol Kwick Dial. It does everything I could possibly want in a controller, and the 6 station only lists for $110. In this market where irritrol is anything but popular, my matrix for irritrol is rather aggressive too. That means it is also the least expensive full featured controller I can lay my hands on. I wish irritrol would offer the lightning warranty on the Kwik Dial but that is wishful thinking.

    I don't have a hunter list price book that is current, but my cost on a 3 station Pro-C is 50% higher than the Kwik Dial 6 and the Kwik Dial 12 is still less expensive (both indoor models). I think the Pro-C is the closest in price to the Kwik Dials that will compare feature for feature.

    The features I want in a controller I am selling to a customer:
    Interval Watering (and more than 7 days)
    Seasonal Adjustment
    Multiple Programs (I prefer at least 4)
    Multiple Start Times
    Rain Off (at least 6 days)
    Perpetual Calendar
    Odd/Even scheduling (which I never use unless water rationing)
    Clock must stack overlapping programs (I use this a lot for hard pack clay sites, customer reduces to 25% seasonal adjust and programs 4 identical start times)
  9. johndarron

    johndarron LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    You can't go wrong with either the Hunter Pro-C or the RainBird modular ESP.
    Both are very good controllers. If I go over 12 zones I move up to the Hunter ICC or the RainBird ESP (LX or LXI).

    Darron Bryant
  10. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    I use the KD because it is easy to explain, easy to operate and like you said has all the features one could want or need. I've been using them for several years and have yet to have one fail other than a lightning strike that took out the rest of the elctrical equipment in the house to.

    Jerry R

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