Smart Sprinkler Controller esp8266?

does anyone have a suggestion for making my own sprinkler timer?

i have been trying to get the smart sprinkler project working. but i have not been able to find any documentation on this. so it is taking me a while to go through it. i have got it working with my esp8233 to the point i can manually turn the relays on with smartthings. but i think the device handler and the smartapp( Sprinkler_Scheduler) are not talking to each other.

it looks like smart way to do this on the cheap.

People have done this many different ways. The simplest way is just to get a dumb valve actuator and plug it into a smart plug that can be controlled from SmartThings. You can do something more complex with zones by using a device like the fibaro RGBW controller.

To see the project reports on these, go to the quick browse lists in the community-created wiki, look down near the bottom of the page for the “project reports” section and then choose the list for irrigation projects. :sunglasses:

I did just as @JDRoberts describes. I had a dumb controller (Rain Bird ESP4ME). I used a smart plug to turn the sprinkler on/off with ST. It was mounted outdoors. It worked for situations like when it was raining outside and I knew that my sprinkler system was running. I could turn it off. But that only turned it on and off. It did not alter things like the zone programming that I needed/wanted. So I bit the bullet and went fully remote controlled (Rachio 3 WiFi). If you are interested in my fully functional 3 year old Rain Bird with the 3 additional zones module added (total of 7 zones), PM me and I will sell it for a good price.

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@Pantheon how do you like your Rachio 3? specifically power outages(wifi) and does it update the weather information for free?

i had bought a Hunter PRO-HC last year and it was a waste of money. i’m just gun shy about spending 200 bucks on another “smart” sprinkler timer.

my issue is that the hunter timer will disconnect from my wifi and wont reconnect to the wifi. with hunters brilliance they make it so it will only water when its connected to the wifi… because of all the problems i just want something cheap. i might even just set up my esp8266 to update the time with NTP and water every 3 days for 3-4 min per zone. no fancy stuff.

ideally though the smart sprinkler controller would work good if i could get it working with the schedule.

My home had a single zone sprinkler system and I replaced the programmable controller with a NodeMCU ESP8266 connected to one relay running the solution on the ESP and on ST. I use webcore to handle scheduling and even added logic to check the current weather conditions like temperature and humidity before starting at the scheduled time. There’s no reason you couldn’t connect more relays to support more zones. They would show up as additional devices in ST. And you could use the Smartlighting smartapp for simpler scheduling if you don’t want to use webcore. While sells their own hardware version of the esp, etc, you can use your own ESP8266 and flash it with their software they make available for free download as well as their DTH and Smartapp code. So my single zone controller might have run me about $12 to implement. I also use and an ESP8266 for a few other projects where I want to control relays or read sensors.


@Adrian_B, I love my Rachio 3. But I have only used it for less than one season. So far, I am quite impressed. It will continue to operate as usual without wifi. I will get a phone notification (in the app) if it is disconnected from wifi for very long. I am not sure of the time frame here but it appears to be less than a day. I have not experienced any connection difficulties directly related to the Rachio.

The Weather Intelligence Plus feature is free and appears to be quite accurate. If you have your own weather station, then obviously using that data would provide the best accuracy.

I also struggled with the price. I work day and night shifts. I hated coming home from a night shift to see my old system completing it’s irrigation cycle when it had rained all night.

@TylerDurden, sounds like a great system. Is it wife-proof ? :face_with_raised_eyebrow::smile:

Well, my wife is oblivious to its existence, so I can’t directly vouch for that. But I can say that before I moved it over to SmartThings, I was baffled by how to operate the old Hunter controller with it’s buttons, dial and cryptic LCD readout. And I only have one zone and code for a living!

The device itself has been very stable. As long as it’s receiving power and you have internet, it works. I can manually start the sprinkler via Alexa voice command, and I set up a webcore rule that automatically stops the
sprinkler after x minutes for those times I forget I told Alexa to turn it on.

I suppose there is one obvious risk… if the internet connection or ST goes down while the sprinkler system is running, it won’t receive the stop command during the outage. I haven’t been subjected to that yet. I can think of ways to handle that event from the ESP8266 board, but that would require different code than, unless they’ve added some features to their code that could be leveraged. I’m not running their latest release because I haven’t found a need to yet.

NETGEAR 4G LTE Modem with Two Gigabit Ethernet Ports – Instant Broadband Connection | Works with AT&T and Alternate Carriers (LB2120) . Can backup your internet connection and stick the router and smartthings on a ups and your covered during an outage. It only kicks on if your broadband connection goes out and you can put it on its own router if you’re concerned about data usage. you can also find some useful links and information here. I was searching the info on how to expand zones of Rain Bird ST8-2.0 and found this thread. According to this review, it is the best 8-zones controller but I wanted more.