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Soil Moisture Based On-demand Irrigation Controllers: Info & Discussion

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Kiril, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

  2. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334


    Messages: 18,668

  4. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,157

    Over the top.:laugh:
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

  6. mangusta1969

    mangusta1969 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    There have been several threads and many references on this site to scientific papers and community studies regarding the technical aspects and accuracy of smart controllers that are controlled by moisture sensors. Some of these studies are extremely detailed and positive about the accuracy of the controllers. A couple of the studies also indicate that some of these systems have demonstrated the capability to save 15-35% in annual water expenses, without undue stress on the turf and plants.

    I have done lots of searches on this site and on the internet, but what seems to be lacking is specific feedback from individual smart controller users of their positive OR negative experiences with these controllers and their buried sensors over a several year period.

    In another thread on this site, FIMCO started to give us some valuable inputs on his interrupt-type moisture controller in late 2007, but then he had a sensor fail on him after only a couple of months in the ground. That wasn't too encouraging, but infant mortality is a problem with lots of new systems.

    Before I make the leap myself to one of these high tech systems on a .8 acre residential site with 9 rotor zones/45 rotors, two drip zones and a shrub spray zone, I am particularly interested in anyone's direct experiences with currently available moisture sensor-based controllers and systems. Because of the number of zones and some changes in elevation and shading between the zones, I will probably need to use something that supports at least two moisture sensors or perhaps two 6-9 zone controllers if the controller type can only use a single remote sensor.

    If anyone has any comments on how well their buried moisture sensor readings correlated with the Lincoln Moisture Meter (see http://www.forestry-suppliers.com/product_pages/View_Catalog_Page.asp?mi=3052 ) or another brand of portable moisture probe, I would appreciate that feedback, too.

    This old thread seems appropriate to revive at this point with some experienced user feedback related to the moisture sensor technologies, but feel free to start a new thread or even send me a PM on your personal experiences. Thanks!

    Messages: 18,668

  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334


    Mangusta, I think your going to have a hard time finding anyone with much experience with SMS in your typical landscape. I have a hard enough time selling people on ET based controllers, let alone adding on SMS to that. My advice to you is look at the sensor technology that is being used by the big boys (like Calsense, Campbell Scientific, etc...) and custom design a system around that technology given your budget constraints.

    Or you could just get a Calsense with all the bells and whistles. :)
  9. Waterit

    Waterit LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,931

    Especially when the average HO just wants no dry spots:)


    Messages: 18,668

    ET controller sales work best when hot. I could sell 10 a week right now. The pitch begins like this. "This could have been avoided by............" or "An Et based timer is an insurance policy when you are distracted with life's issues." or "Irrigation is best when proactive and not reactive." and about ten others perfectly suited to the personality type I'm dealing with. I've soured on moisture sensors. Too difficult to pitch.

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