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RainMachine - ezflora to rainmachine transition experience


paulbates

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I was wondering if someone had made a transition from Ezflora to rainmachine. If is so, can you briefly compare/contrast, comment on the experience, anything you miss, etc.  It looks like its a similar configuration for for master valve as the ezflora, I configure zone 1 for that purpose and lose a sprinkling zone. I've had my schedule down for a number of years and have better results detecting rainfall on property... I want the ISY to decide when to skip programs for rain.

 

I have nodelink, so connecting to the rainmachine from the ISY will be straightforward.

 

I currently have 2 ezfloras and it appears one died. Given I bought them at the same time 5 years ago, I have to guess #2 could go soon too. The cost of 2 ezfloras is in the range of the 16 valve rainmachine, so its worth exploring it now.

 

Thanks

Paul

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  • 2 months later...

Paul - I know this is an older thread, but it looks like you ended up making the switch yourself.

 

Do you have any comments on the process/results? I have an ezflora currently (I only have 8 zones, so I'd look to the smallest controller, or maybe the 12 in case I decide to run separate lines to the garden). Currently, I just have it running on a schedule but plan to work on the automated adjustments next year. I was manually skipping scheduled runs when it would rain, etc. That's annoying.

 

Do you think either option is a clear winner, or is it a matter of ease of use after install, ease of setup, etc?

Any reason to have the rainmaker tied into the ISY if it already does all the thinking?

 

Thanks for your input.

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  • 1 month later...

Do you have any comments on the process/results? I have an ezflora currently (I only have 8 zones, so I'd look to the smallest controller, or maybe the 12 in case I decide to run separate lines to the garden). Currently, I just have it running on a schedule but plan to work on the automated adjustments next year. I was manually skipping scheduled runs when it would rain, etc. That's annoying.

 

Do you think either option is a clear winner, or is it a matter of ease of use after install, ease of setup, etc?

Any reason to have the rainmaker tied into the ISY if it already does all the thinking?

 

I had the ezs for about 5 years, and no regrets. However I like the RM better and given the opportunity to swap it was the right move

  • It calculates evapotranspirition based on wx services you point it at.  No programming work, 
  • It keeps watering to a minimum while the yard looks good. As a testament,  my property received my city's standard of excellence award this year... the grass looks awesome
  • The physical install was the same as the EZ - wiring planning is a consideration for either. See my other post on wiring
  • You don't need integrate with the ISY, but here are some things to do with its comprehensive API
    • I have a hydreon rain sensor on an iolinc - via NodeLink, it pushes a 2 day "Snooze" to the RM when it rains enough on property, overriding WX
    • I have 3 "hot" zones that need brief, mid day watering when its hot and dry. While the RM can do it, I run this program via the ISY because I can save saves some more water not doing this on a full watering day.
    • Integrate with my other notifications in pushover - The ISY can sense when a program starts and finishes, or was cancelled by hydreon, and send me a pushover alert
    • I don't do any direct zone control from the ISY, though Nodelink/API allows it.

The other advantages are:

  • Almost no programming effort - I spent a lot of time on my EZ programs
  • It has touch screen controller on it. When I sell my house, I can "unhook" the ISY and leave it whole.
  • Mobile apps / web - most helpful when first configuring watering plus remote control for maint and blow out 
  • It meets my local API requirement for devices- cloud capable, but cloud not required to function
  • IIRC, you are handy with linux, so you could achieve the API capabilities via python, etc. It does require oauth

The only "cautions"

  • The only "bad" experience is that it once stopped talking via wifi when I had first installed it. The sprinkling programs continued to work, but no wx or remote access. I had to go 'pull the plug', which fixed it. I sent a support request with log dumps in, they responded within a few hours and there were several clarification email exchanges, and at some point an new update was pushed. Its not happened since, and I feel good about support.
  • I have the HD 16 which is similar to the HD 12. I know the original mini 8 has some limitations (as opposed to the current model). The mini 8 directly supports a rain sensor, and the 12 and 16 don't. Its worth making sure of the differences on their site.

Having spent 5 years on EZfloras and a season on the RM, my opinion is that the RM is a more modern, easier to manage solution.

 

Paul

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  • 1 year later...
On 11/20/2016 at 8:43 AM, paulbates said:

I have a hydreon rain sensor on an iolinc - via NodeLink, it pushes a 2 day "Snooze" to the RM when it rains enough on property, overriding WX

Paulbates, based on your post about the hydreon I bought and set one up.  Can you please give an example on how you pushed the delay?

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3 minutes ago, RRoyceus said:

Paulbates, based on your post about the hydreon I bought and set one up.  can you give an example on how you pushed the delay?

Sure.. Two key programs:

This one counts the iolinc closures.. up to .11" for me based on my grass and soil types. It also slowly counts back to zero so that it doesn't inappropriately hold onto a value after its evaporated:

Sprinkler - 1 - Track Rainfall - Hydreon - [ID 0013][Parent 0012]

If
        'Yard / Sprinklers / Garage Hydreon Rain Sensor' is switched On
 
Then
        $Sprinklers_Rain_Count += 1
        $Sprinklers_Rain_Count Init To $Sprinklers_Rain_Count
        $Sprinkler_Total_Rainfall += 1
        $Sprinkler_Total_Rainfall Init To $Sprinkler_Total_Rainfall
        Repeat While $Sprinklers_Rain_Count > 0
           Wait  5 hours 
           $Sprinklers_Rain_Count -= 1
 
Else
   - No Actions - (To add one, press 'Action')
 
The hydreon rain sensor on the garage closes its contacts for every .01" of rainfall.
It feeds into an iolinc. This program does the counting.

The program "Skip 2 days for enough" rain uses this value to cancel upcoming sprinkler runs
Field capacity for this yard is .11"

The Repeat statement causes the rain count to drop off over time to account for evapotransporiation  

 

This one catches that .11" was achieved and that's the event that triggers the wait:

Sprinkler - 2 - Skip 2 Days for Enough Rain - [ID 0015][Parent 0012]

If
        $Sprinklers_Rain_Count >= 11
 
Then
        Set 'Yard / Sprinklers / RainMachine' Rain Delay 2
        Run Program 'Sprinkler - 2b - Running Program Cancelled' (If)
        Run Program 'Sprinkler - 2a - Update cycles prevented' (If)
        $Sprinklers_Rain_Count  = 0
        $Sprinklers_Rain_Count Init To 0
        Resource 'Pushover Sprinkler Log - Enough rain'
 
Else
   - No Actions - (To add one, press 'Action')
 
Read the hydreon rain sensor count, 11 iolinc "clicks", to validate that .11" of raing fell./
.11" is about the water for a single watering cycle.. based on region, sandy loam soil and Perennial ryegrass.

- If enough rain has fallen (.11"), reset the sprinkling days since last watering count to 0, the cycle starts over and sprinkling is avoided.
- Tell the rainmachine to skip the next 2 days, as enough rain to fill field capacity has happened
- Keep track of how often this happens by incrementing the sprinkling cycles that this program has avoided
- Rain count is set back to 0 to begin counting hydreon sensor "clicks" again
- Track how many times in a season that the rainsensor calls for a 2 day delay/sleep - Call 2a  program to determine
- Sometimes it rains while the long schedule is running - call the 2b program to check to see if a schedule 
  it running
 

 

They're self documented so let's go with that and see if it answers what you're looking for

Paul

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