A project by Stan Dotson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Matthew Nichols (email@example.com)
Would you like to have a smarter lawn? We just updated our SmartThings Project to build a Smarter Irrigation Controller. The project originally posted to the old SmartThings Build Forum. Since then, we have made some significant progress and it is time to share our progress with the SmartThings community. The entire project can be downloaded in our latest release.
###Some of the highlights for our project are:
- Simple toconstruct using an Arduino, a ThingShield and an 8-channel relay. We have even provided step by step instructions.
- Controls up to 8, 16 or up to 24 irrigation zones with options to activate a Master Pump and Master Relay
- Includes iPhone controls to manually start and stop the system
- An Irrigation Scheduler app allows for automatic control of the system
- A Rain Delay feature skips watering when the your local weather history and forecast indicate rainfall above a threshold. No need for moisture sensors.
- An Accessory App provides additional flexibility to manage your automated irrigation schedule around yard projects, after application of weed control, during winter season, etc…
- Each of the zones can be virtualized with their own “switch” capability using modified code from @badgermanus This allows an irrigation zone to be integrated with another SmartThing. For example connect a sprinkler zone with a motion detector to chase away deer or other intruders from your yard. Or let your repair person test your sprinkler using the Aeon MiniMote
###Irrigation Controller App
We created an Irrigation Controller app (device-type) to manually control our system from an iOS device. Each zone has its own control tile. The tiles are used to turn on a zone, queue up a zone to run next, stop the currently running zone or remove a zone from the queue. The main tile turns on/off the entire system at once. The main tile also shows when the system is on Rain Delay. Below is a pic of the Irrigation Controller App. When a zone is off, the tile is white. The tile turns blue when the zone is on and is gold when the zone is in the queue. You can enter your manual run times using the Preferences tile.
###Irrigation Scheduler App
The Irrigation Scheduler App allows the system to run automatically. You can set up as many instances of the Irrigation Scheduler app as needed to cover every irrigation scenario. For example, set up one instance for to water the lawn and another instance to turn on a drip system.
This flexible app allows you to select days of the week and an interval to start your system. The days of the week option is handy if you are under watering restrictions or if you want to skip watering on the day you mow the lawn. The app also allows you to schedule up to three waterings per day. Multiple starts per day is useful after re-seeding you lawn when its important to keep the soil moist.
The Irrigation Scheduler is also smart! The app uses a user supplied zip code to look up the local weather history and forecast. A virtual rain gauge measures the rain from yesterday, today and adds in today’s forecasted rainfall. The app will push a message and skip watering if the virtual rain gauge exceeds a threshold. The threshold is set in the preferences. Here are a few pics of the Irrigation Scheduler app:
All of the code for the project and step by step instructions can be found on github. Matt and I have been using this project to irrigate our yards this summer. Several others, including @billwitt27 and @ziemba_jason have also successfully installed the project. Its cool having a connected sprinkler system that can be controlled by an iPhone. And the smart Rain Gauge is conserving water while keeping our lawns/gardens healthy.