Skydrop, time to move on?


#1

I know it doesn’t tie into ST, but I also know this community is into things like this so thought I would ask anyway. Wasn’t sure the best place to post this. I have a Skydrop and have had it for 2 years. It has done a decent job (not terribly thrilled though) until this year. I now find it isn’t tracking my rainfall well at all and the schedules are kind of goofed. Sometimes it misses substantial rainfall entirely or even worse captures it, but when the next forecast cycles through, it erases the fact that it recorded the rain fall in the first place. I also am finding it is running more than I want, even more than the schedule is set for. I even found it ran the same zone 2 days in a row. Anyone else had experiences like this, and if so, have any tips? I supposed I could try and reset it entirely, although not sure how.

I tried to contact support via email and the app but no one is getting back to me (reached out on Friday) and their phone hours are squarely lined up with my work day so I can’t really call from work. I guess I might call to just tell them to check their support email.

That being said, assuming I can’t right the ship, I think I will start looking at a replacement. Water is WAY to expensive where I am to be over watering not to mention when it runs too often I am breaking water restrictions. I have been watching the discussions on the forum and people seem to like Rachio. The lack of onboard control turned me off originally (plus caught Skydrop on sale) but that seems to be resolved now. Can anyone point me to a good forum post where people may be discussing various controllers?


(Bob Kerr) #2

Go Rachio! You won’t be disappointed again…

Start here…

You may need this…

And knowing that Franz @franzgarsombke is fairly active in this community, he may have a discount code handy, if you ask him nicely… :wink: :wink:


(Mike) #3

I use a skydrop and it seems to be working fine for me. Have you adjusted the zone watering. You can set it to water more or less with a slider. You can also change the type of soil or say it has more shade and it will water less. You can set up water restrictions as well, so it will follow whatever they are in your area.


#4

Thanks, the fact that there is a forum is a good sign. I’ll check it out. ST integration would be nice, but this was one area I was fine without it. Have you ever interacted with their support, and if so, how was it?


(Franz Garsombke) #5

@farlicimo

We’d love to have you join our community! community.rachio.com

I can help with a small discount if you email me at franz@rachio.com

My favourite feature is our flex daily scheduling.

With our new R3 controller we support Weather Underground stations and also a wireless flow meter.

Just let me know if you have any questions. Thanks and have a great week.


#6

Yes, I have all that set and it was working reasonably well. It just all of the sudden this year started watering much more. I tried using the slider to dial it all the way down, and it did help, but not enough. I then set the schedule manually. I’m pretty sure the weather data is the culprit.


(Eric) #7

move on to xeriscape


(Joe) #8

I ditched my Skydrop this year for the new Orbit B-Hyve. The Skydrop had mounting unresolved problems: the wifi wouldn’t stay connected, no new firmware updates, and its painfully slow nest-like (but not nearly as good) user interface. The company seems to be in a coma, bankruptcy proceedings, or waiting for someone to buy it out. In any case, it’s sad to see one of the first to market being assigned to the dustbin of tech history.


#9

Yeah, I get the same feeling too. A zombie. That being said they are launching a new product which totally surprised me. I can tell you no way I’m buying into that!

I finally heard back from support 4 days later. They are going to assign my actual address (even though you can’t in app) and also said otherwise schedules look fine. I pointed out I turned off 2 zones since they were going to water way too soon based on recent rain.

How do you like the Orbit?


(Joe) #10

The Orbit B-Hyve is cheap ($60) and simple. One button on front starts and indexes each zone (good for winterization). It’s got Bluetooth mesh for other valves if you want it act as a hub. No SmartThings DTH yet.
https://bhyve.orbitonline.com/indoor-timer/


(Kirk Hilzinger) #11

Happy with my Ranchio on my vegetable gardens…I have so many vegetables I cannot eat them all. Drip irrigation on everything so a drop of water is not wasted.

I do wish I could be more specific about what kind of vegetables are in the garden but it works great as it is.


#12

I have ST integration with Rachio and I never used it, actually Rachio works pretty well by itself. I used Blossom and Lono smart watering controllers but Rachio won the battle.


#13

It has weather integration right? Looking at the Wirecutter review it notes you can’t pick your own station right? Sounds like with the Rachio you can. Thinking about it, I think that may be important for me as I think my house gets some substantially different weather than the north half of town. When I look at Weather Underground at the various stations, the one closest to me definitely seems more aligned to my house.


#14

Thanks for the offer. Doing my research on options and want to sort that out before I grab a discount as I imagine they are not unlimited. When I email, does it have to be from the address I will register with? I have an account I use for personal stuff and one I use for online account type stuff.


(Brian Steere) #15

For what it’s worth, I use a RainMachine and I’ve been really happy with it. I like that it can be controlled on device for startup/shutdown. The web ui is quite good and it supports personal weather stations on Weather Underground.

I don’t have it integrated with ST because I can’t think of a reason to do so.


#16

When you say can control Startup/Shutdown, you don’t mean like seasonal right? You just mean halt/resume all scheduling right? Which one are you using? I assume the 12 or 16 zone?


(Bob Kerr) #17

I used the first version and it worked ok. I switched to Rachio for one thing only. RainMachine v2 came out with cloud based features that they refused to make
available to v1 users. Rachio is on v3 and v1 customers still get the same love from the company and access to new software features and enhancements (where possible).


#18

I spent some time over on the Rachio forums and I think I am sold. The atmosphere and exchanges between users seem very similar to ST, and there is a lot of Staff interaction (I assume Franz there is the same as here), both of which are a HUGE plus in my book. I think I am looking at the Gen 2 from costco which comes with another Google Home (mini) to add to my collection and the price is right. Going to do a little more reading on what I would give up with Gen 2 vs 3 but that seems mostly a better on board control and the flow meter. The Gen 2 controls seems sufficient for those few times irrigation people need to control locally and I don’t seem my self being brave enough to install a flow meter or willing to pay a plumber to do it.


(Bob Kerr) #19

There is one major difference in v3 worth considering. And that is, the 5ghz band. It’s not available on previous models.


(Brian Steere) #20

You can control everything from on the device, but I usually use the web UI. The on device control is super useful for the seasonal startup and shutdown as we have a company do that for us (I know, I could do it on my own, but it’s quicker and easier to let the pros do it).