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The great Calsense install....

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by TRILAWNCARE, May 18, 2009.

  1. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,155

    About time for some clock and remote pics, I'd say.

    TRILAWNCARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    Been working on the conduit for the wiring and hope to have the pad for the pump and ped formed up over the weekend. The wife will have different plans I'm sure, but we'll see what get's done. I will be sure to take plenty of pics.

    I did install a addition flow transmitter on the main line the other night to give me a better idea of the GPM that each zone is currently running, so I can double up some of the drip zones. Reducing the time the pump will run for each individual zone.

    This flow sensor/transmitter is in addition to the flow sensor that is used by the Calsense controller.


    flow transmitter 3.jpg

    Tonight I started to install a junction box to bring all the zone wires together, before they run out to the controller. These WAGO terminal blocks can be jumped, so that zones can be tied together without having to connect each zone wire together.

    J box 1.jpg

    I've also been building a control panel, that will control my storage tanks, pump and display system parameters.

    1. Tank level %
    2. Pump GPM
    3. Pump Amperage
    4. Pump Voltage
    5. Pump Suction PSI
    6. Pump Discharge PSI
    7. Main Line PSI
    8. Tank fill GPM
    9. Field wire voltage
    10. Pump elapsed hours

    The difference between the Discharge pressure and the Main line pressure will be the filter differential PSI so I know when to clean the filter.


    At this point I'm collecting about 4000 gallons a day, from the drainage ditch that runs along side of my property that I have a catch basin in. This ditch has water constantly running through it from springs on the hill side across from my house. As the summer goes on, and depending on local rainfall, this spring fed water will eventually diminish to a point that will not sustain the requirements of the irrigation system. I will then need to supplement the spring water with water from my well to fill the cistern tanks.

    The controller I'm building uses a ultrasonic transducer to measure the water level in the tank. I have it set up here shooting at the wall for testing purposes.

    Ultrasonic transducer.
    Level Sensor.JPG

    Depending on the tank level, and if the irrigation system is running or not, the controller will replenish the tank at two different fill rates.

    It works something like this. If the irrigation system is running, and the tank draws down and becomes less than a certain percentage, the controller will turn on an Asco 3/4" valve and fill the tank with well water at a high rate. If the tank level continues to drops below a certain percentage, the controller will shut down the pump, before it loses prime. Once the tank level has re-established to a certain percentage the pump will restart, if the Calsense controller is still running a program and is calling for water.

    If the irrigation system is not running, or once the Calsense controller has completed it's program. This controller will switch on a different Asco 3/4" valve with a Dole Flow control valve installed in-line that will limit the fill rate to maybe 3GPM. A flow computer will then count the number of gallons that have entered the tank by means of a flow sensor/transmitter. When a predetermined number of gallons has been reached, the controller will then switch the fill water off for a predetermined amount of time. After that time has expired, the computer will then start the cycle again until the cistern tank is filled to a predetermined percentage.

    This should give plenty of time to fill the tank, and give the well time to replenish. I will have to tweak the rates and times accordingly to keep up with the irrigation system, also depending on my natural water source. Or I will switch the fill system off prior to a predicted rainfall to let rain water fill the tank. I'm also thinking about hooking up a barometer that will turn off the fill system when atmospheric pressure drops, indicating an approaching storm. Which will then fill the tank from rainfall.

    There are two amber lights on the front of the panel that tell me which valve is open, and a switch allow the valves to be run manually, automatically or the controller to be turned off all together.

    Display 3.JPG

    There's another separate controller that controls the pump.

    When the Calsense controller calls for the irrigation pump to turn on. This controller will in turn start the pump. A built in timer will allow the pump to run while pressures stabilize. After a predetermined amount of time the pump will continue to run unless, mainline pressure does not build (lose of prime), suction pressure becomes high (plugged intake) or the filter pressure becomes high (plugged filter) If any of these parameters are met the pump will shut down.

    This will then trigger a alarm light, notifying me of a problem.

    Here a pic. of the wiring for that controller. And you thought ML was anal about his wiring. :laugh: You haven't seen anything yet.

    Level Sensor.JPG

    Display 3.JPG

    Pump start delay.JPG

    flow transmitter 3.jpg

    J box 1.jpg
    Last edited: May 23, 2009
  3. mitchgo

    mitchgo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,945

    Jesus Dude!

    It's 9:50 and I just stopped working outside putting a hose bib in my garden .. I feel like a wimp compared to you.

    Are you putting moisture sensors through out each zone as well?

    TRILAWNCARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    No this is how it works.

  5. mitchgo

    mitchgo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,945

    Is your well system metered? or free water?
  6. mitchgo

    mitchgo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,945

    Wow that's freaking awesome!! I want one I want one.. I Have never dealt with that and to be honest I don't really ever deal with all those kind of luxuries for irrigation.


    I have always thought of this. Because DU and AE will never be perfect.I Think it would be awesome to have moisture sensors installed ( Maybe every head) or through out the zone and the system be able to run the zone but be able to turn off specific irrigation heads when needed.

    TRILAWNCARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    The natural water I collect from my catch basin's is of course free. The well water is also free, minus the electricity to pump it.

    TRILAWNCARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    All you need to do is PRAY. :Like my sig say's. (and watch Ebay)

    Now you will understand why Kiril and I (and others) call this the best irrigation control system made.
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Couldn't you use your transducer to also measure fill volume? This would eliminate the need for another flow sensor.

    With the amount of money you are spending on this system, here is hoping you are putting in an arboretum to utilize it.

    Messages: 18,668

    The Calsense is not worthy to have TriLawn Kiril. Whatever he decides to give it to do is more than it deserves. Frankly Calsense should send him a big fat check for finally getting one of these on the site in depth.

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