Orbit Sprinkler Timer (Iris)

There are firmware updates for these?

I purchased 2 a year ago and did not really use them.

I plan on using them this summer.

Do I need the updated firmware?

There is apparently a firmware update, but the only way to apply it is through an iris hub. Since I was testing mine with both ST and IRIS, they got the firmware update from iris.

AFAICT there is no difference in functionality with ST between the 2 firmwares.

Thanks for the info

Sigh… so despite everything I said above, what’s working for me today:

gussery3 orbit DH
several Iris smart plugs in the vicinity, but using the SmartPower Outlet DH, not the Iris Smart Plug. I’m not sure if this matter or why it would, but the device is now responding better than ever so I’m not fighting it.

A piston like so to repeat commands to the device:

Also, it may be possible to update the firmware for this device using ST after all. What I’m seeing on one of my orbit timers is:

Current Version: 0x34002000
Target Version: 0x34002000

The second one doesn’t show any version data.

Apparently you can enable OTA zigbee firmware updates in ST from the IDE:

My Locations -> Location Name -> Hub Name -> View Utilities -> ZigBee Utilities -> Allow OTA
Then under the Orbit device: Firmware -> Check Now

Not sure if this will actually update it or not…

Today’s fresh insanity from this pure evil device. I have 2 and they’re both working… but.

One only works with the Orbit Timer DH.
The other only works with the Smart Power Outlet DH.


The device that works with the Orbit Timer says it has firmware ver. 0x34002000
The one that only works with the Smart Power Outlet DH reports no firmware ver. And when I “check firmware” in ST nothing happens. There doesn’t seem to be a way to update the 2nd device to the same firmware level as the 1st.

I guess one got updated when it was connected to Iris and the other didn’t, even though they were both connected to an iris hub for the sam length of time?

STAY AWAY FROM THIS DEVICE! You may get it to work, but not with less than 30hrs of fighting it.

Thought I’d add my 2 cents…

I actually got it (the IRIS orbit timer not the H stuff) to work fairly reliably in conjunction with battery adapter (Nikon COOLPIX EH-65A), a smart plug, virtual switch and a simple custom smartapp. When the virtual switch is turned “on” the smart app turns on the plug (which turns on the orbit) and starts spamming “on” commands for a set # of times (+delay). Then after another set time everything gets shut off. Then just used a routine to turn on the virtual switch at sunrise (actually had 2 routines spaced an hour apart in case of failure).

Still concerned about reliability so bailed on the device and got an electric solenoid valve (“110V AC 3/4” NPT) for like $19 + adapters + replacement chord w/plug. Attached this to the smart plug directly. Now the smart plug controls the watering simply by turning “on” and I can now easily control the length of time. I just started using this and so far so good but not sure over the long haul. Also only 1 zone - but for my needs it’s fine.

Thanks for the tip on the battery adapter. Why would you need it though? Does the battery on these not last long? Thats a concern that seems to have come up every now and then on various threads about the device.

Only one of my valves is in a location that has access to power however, and at that point I agree with your present solution-- ditch the orbit and just use a powered valve that you can open and close by turning on the smart plug.

I think I have both of my Orbit devices stable for now, thought they still seem to be at different firmware revs. Both are working with the Smart Power Outlet DH. I thought that the Orbit Timer DH was going to be superior for a while because it seemed more responsive to commands, but it turns out this was a false response. That is, I’d send it a turn on, and it would switch to “on” in ST but not in real life. Also the Orbit Timer DH seems to spam the zigbee network with join requests in a way that the SPO DH doesn’t.

So both are now working with SPO DH, and with a way too complex pair of WebCoRE pistons that I should probably re-write but I’m so sick of this project that I’m not going to. These pistons spam the Orbit devices with various commands through a series of for and while loops to get them to do what I want them to do.

I more or less send a barrage of commands until they turn on, wait 8 minutes or so then send another barrage of commands over the next 2m to get them to reset their 10m timer and stay on, then repeat this 2-3 times to get the runtime I want. Finally I send a barrage of commands to make sure everything returns to a shut off state.

I can approximate the runtime I want this way. I timed a run the other morning where I was trying to get 30m of uninterrupted runtime by sending it 3 turn on cycles and the actual runtime was 26m. I could spend a lot more time tweaking the loop counts and wait times to try to get closer to 30, but I’m calling that close enough for my needs.

The battery adapter is nice because I don’t have to worry about low power affecting the zigbee stuff or remembering to replace batteries. Also in conjunction with a smart plug I can “reset” the orbit back to a known state by a powering off/on via ST if things get weird. In general I prefer powered devices over battery operated ones anyway because I am lazy and forgetful. If you also use one of those inexpensive Zigbee powered plugs like the peanut plug then you also get a zigbee repeater functionality as well which helps with the Orbit connection.

Yeah I started with Pistons doing the same thing as you then ultimately just wrote a simple custom smartapp. Spamming in a loop etc etc. In my case I also added support for a smart plug - so when I want to do something I turn on the power, wait a few, toggle the power again (just in case) then start spamming with "on"s - I use the switch “on” for the device not the valve “on”. Also set a specific time to start spamming offs even though I know it’s only 10 minutes - never figured out how to get the timer to set properly but it was no big deal. The nice thing about that though was you were confident that it would eventually shut off on its own no matter what happened. While the Orbit had started working reliably I was never really confident that it would last so decided to make the switch.

I have to say the solenoid valve is working very well so far - completely responsive and controllable. I have a heavy-duty outdoor extension cord running to where I need it and then placed all the electronic stuff on top of a simple plastic foot stool and stuck the hose connections underneath. I then covered the setup with an upside down plastic recycling bin I had laying around. My only issue so far has been trying to get the connections not to leak while off - so plenty of PTFE (teflon) tape around the threads.

I am watering a bunch of tomato plants in 6 17-gallon bins plus a tiny garden plot I have in my back yard. Am using Rainbird’s patio watering kit (+some extra bubblers) for irrigation.

I’ve never seen those peanut plugs before. I’ve been using the IRIS smart plugs from lowes, but these are about 30% cheaper on amazon. Thanks for the tip!

I’m going to buy a couple to add to some computer equipment I have in the basement, so I can remote power cycle the stuff.

Securifi “Peanut Plugs” suck a little on ST because they are spec’d to monitor KW, but mine has always read 0. $10 for on/off would be ok.

EDIT: A point of clarification about Orbit Sprinkler Timer (Iris) Valve, I just got a working series of test commands with smartthings device type/handler “Smartpower Outlet v1” which has no battery or watts indication. “Smartpower Outlet” did not work. Sucks not knowing battery level, but it is actually responding. I could not get results from the gussery3 custom device type/handler.

I see why these (peanut plug) devices are $19.95 now. They don’t report their state correctly. Sometimes the app just switches to “off” when the device is still on. They seem to switch ok but you never know the state.

I tried zigbee switch DH and zigbee switch power DH. Both do the same thing. Any tips to make them report properly?

Where are you getting them for $10? I might pay that, but I’m undecided at $20. They may be going back to amazon.

What store? still showing full price at the lowes within 20 miles of me. I’ll buy 2 more if they are 19.99 with free shipping!

the mighty amazon.com. I’m talking about the peanut plug here, not the orbit timer.

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Can you tell me what adapters and cords you used to convert the electric solenoid valve power connection to a standard AC plug? Thanks.

So just as a caution I am NOT very knowledgeable in electrical wiring etc and what I did does not necessarily mean it’s the “right” thing to do! I used a simple 2 prong lamp chord replacement from Amazon. When I attached the chord I matched up and connected the wires with the “writing on them” and then the wires with no writing. Used some twister wire connectors and electrical tape. May eventually switch to heat shrink tubing. Since the chord/valve is underneath my plastic bin it’s not exposed directly to the weather (I have it plugged into my smart plug which is plugged into a heavy duty outdoor extension chord) and so I thought it would be okay. It’s been working for a little while now even after some heavy rains - no fires / tripped circuits or anything :slight_smile:

Yeah I had originally bought the peanut plugs to use as “cheap” Zigbee repeaters the smart plug part was just a bonus. I paid $16 last December from Amazon. I have not had any issue with auto shut off but yes no power monitoring for me either. I am now using the plug in conjunction with my watering solution.

Sorry I guess I didn’t reply to you directly - my answer is in an above post!

Apologies and repeat posting here!

If you get the valve make sure you get the hose adapters that are listed on the valve’s Amazon page when you “add to cart” otherwise the threads are a little different and you may have issues.

Thanks for all the great info! I looked into the peanut plug but it’s too tall to fit in my covered electrical outlet that closes with a lid and also I’m concerned about moisture getting on it. The location is also exposed to direct sunlight for most of the day.

I know there is a z-wave outdoor plug that will work better for me, however I liked the idea of extending zigbee signal with the peanut plug because I plan on putting a Smartthings multisensor in my mailbox. That sensor uses zigbee as well. The flowerbeds that I want to water using the electric solenoid valve you mentioned are between my house and my mailbox. So if there were a zigbee outdoor outlet then that would be even better. But to be safe I may just get the z-wave one.

As far as connecting the wire to a replacement lamp cord I wonder what the safest way to do it and keep the components exposed. I don’t want to add any unsighty boxes up front because it’s by my front door. An outdoor-rated solution would work better in my case because I have to make sure it doesn’t stand out.

Don’t they make a single electric solenoid valve that has an outdoor rated 120v power cord already built-in? I just want to control it using the outdoor z-wave outlet for scheduled watering of the flowers. In the winter I would use the outlet for the holiday lights and such.

I do already have a regular/dumb orbit water timer. But this thread sparked my interest in integrating it into Smartthings to have more control like bypassing the schedule when it is raining or has rained recently. Thank you again. I will report back if I manage to get it done with info on how I did it. I’m a bit disappointed at the orbit/Iris water timer not being compatible and not having an option to power it via AC natively.