Smart Sprinkler System

I’m also looking for an alternative. Nothing wrong with this sprinkler system, but everything else SmartThings is terrible and not worth the headache.

I do like the project but it seems like getting a SmartThings Shield for Arduino is almost impossible.
Is there some way to have an Arduino device integrated into ST ?

Me again, sorry, it’s just that I don’t want to abandon this project so easily.
So my question is, in case I decide to maintain this whole setup, can I just replace the ST Shield for Arduino with a WiFi Shield instead ?

Is there too much to customize in this project to make it to work with a WiFi shield instead?

Tks for your advice and help.


Thanks for your interest. I haven’t recently scanned community posts to see if there is a general work around to the ThingShield that could be easily incorporated into this project.

One solution that I am aware of is to use a Particle Photon board, The good news is that @aacordon did some really cool work (apparently ahead of his time) to port this project onto a Photon board. You can search this thread to see his progress reports. Perhaps he can chime in on the current status and whether he has posted his code.

So far the photon has been working continuously since May.

I am using an IO expander to control the relays using a carrier pcb for the photon as shown in post: Smart Sprinkler System

The end product is in post: Smart Sprinkler System

I normally work out of bitbucket. Just moved the files to git.

-The *.groovy file is the ported Smarthings App. No changes were made to the scheduler.
-The relay-controller.ino is the file used with the particle photon.
-The is just a python script i used to print out the syntax for the smart things app for n-many relays
-The was how i tested the string commands sent to the photon via python, the photon device_id and access_token need to be provided in lines 43/44

Have fun.

Maybe this will help keep your sprinkler system project alive and well? Should be an easy change of your sketch to support either the NodeMCU ESP8266 board with integrated WiFi, or an Arduino with a W5100 Ethernet shield (more wiring though!) Check out my new “SmartThings v2.0” library. It still supports the ThingShield, but adds some new options. My goal was to keep the basic ThingShield functions the same (i.e. run(), send(), the callback function) while adding support for some new methods of connecting to the ST Hub over Ethernet (hard wired or WiFi). The new “SmartThings v2.x” library could easily be expanded to support other network connectivity if desired.

SO the winter is over and I turned my system back on. I went and replaced all the emitters that the pack rats stole and tested the system. Manually everything worked great. Well over the last day it was warm enough to start the system through the scheduler. Well it did not want to go on through the scheduler. Tried two times and gave up. three days in a row. Manually works fine. Anything I need to check?

I really like the scheduling aspect of this. I however just have a single valve that controls my drip system in my garden. It is connected to a 24v power supply plugged into a z-wave outlet. Is there a way to incorporate my small scale need? I tried using the scheduler and used my switch as the selection for the relay, but that did not work. I appreciate any suggestions!

For one single valve an alternate solution to consider is to use a combination of ST_Anything and CoRE. This project uses the ST_Anything library, but ST_Anything has an example of different devices. You could reuse the Switch type and CoRE could be used to setup a simple schedule. You would lose functionality, but you could eventually add that back. (Switch is on/off by default, but that can be changed. Also, not sure if CoRE handles weather but it is VERY powerful and is something any ST power user should use.)
Just an alternate solution for you to consider.

Update: All sold out, thank you

I had a ThingShield, Arduino Uno and 8-channel relay set. Pretty much everything you need for this project already tested just add power and pair it with your hub. message me if you want it.

Hello Paul,

Didn’t find a way to message you, so posing it here. If you still have it for sale, please let me know, how much?


Seems like a lot of work and expense. I bought the Rachio 8 zone controller during their earth day sale for $150 (usually $199). My water company gives a $125 rebate for installing a smart controller so my price out the door was $25. Seems like the Rachio does everything you want and more and looks cleaner and certainly less work. I installed it in about 15 minutes. I understand that building it from scratch is more fun but just a note for those that don’t want to or cant’t figure out how, there is a very easy alternative. Go to and you can put in your zip code and see what kind of rebate your water company offers.

I’m going the Opensprinkler OSPI route. I like being able to customize, and access remotely, but want the schedules to not be 100% dependent on an internet connection. The only way to fix it would to be to build an Arduino shield with a Real Time Clock, and a wireless card. For $75 I can get a Raspberry Pi Shield and use one of my existing PIs with a wireless. If I figure out a way to tie it into SmartThings then cool. I’m not going to worry about it too much if it functions.

This is still a fun project, and still works. Its not all about saving money its for those “makers” who like to build it them selves. Actually inspired a lot of my other projects.

I think we need to find a few other open sprinkler and smartthings users and work together to integrate.

I have a open sprinkler device that might be able to be salvaged by someone with soldering skills. I had a low voltage wire come in contact with a high voltage line and a chip literally blew up. I’d give it to someone who thinks they might be able to help us with some coding.

I’ve created an ESP8266 based port of this Smart Sprinkler project that does not require the ThinkShield. Since the ESP8266 is Wifi capable, it can communicate directly with the SmartThings hub over the local LAN. The project is on github and contains source for the SmartApps, Device Handlers, and ESP8266 firmware.

I’m not a developer, so the code could use a lot of cleanup. However, it’s been keeping my lawn green for the last couple weeks! Would love to hear your comments and suggestions for improvements. I’ve also created a new thread with additional details.

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I have this system working on ESP8266 or the Arduino Ethernet Shield if anyone is interested. Since this code uses the ST_Anything code base, it was pretty easy to update it with the new library that now supports ESP and the Ethernet Shield. To get it to work I got help from @ogiewon and had to fix some DH code errors that were uncovered with the new interface.
My goal was to make as few changes as possible. (I did add a Manual/Test Option and a couple more notification options.)

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Can you share your work? I have 14 stations, so I think l’d need 2 esp8266 boards :thinking:?

I’m pretty novice at this stuff, but I recently set up an esp8266 garage controller with relay, close contact, motion, lux, humity, & temp.

Sorry for the late reply, but I just got back from a week of biking across Colorado with no Internet. I will find my latest updates and will try to post.

OK. I committed my changes in the repository, so they should be seen under a fork branch listed as glcoone.

The esp8266 is just used for WiFi communications, so I don’t think that you need 2 esp8266 unless you plan on a major redesign of this project. This project uses the Arduino Mega to control up to 24 stations (I only modified the 16 station version). The esp8266 only is used for WiFi communications that would replace the ST ThingShield that is no longer being produced or supported by ST.
My changes actually use the Arduino Ethernet Shield, but it is a simple change to use esp8266 as I’m using the ST_Anything library. I actually had started with the ESP-01, but switched over to the Shield, so the esp code should still be there. You can look at the ST_Anything topic if you need info on using the esp, but basically the IP and MAC address of the ESP needs to specified as well as the IP address of your ST hub.

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@Garnet You might want to check out the ESP8266 Smart Sprinkler System links I posted above. That fork of this project directly uses an ESP8266 based device without an Arduino board. So far, there are device controllers for 4 and 8 relay boards, so you would probably need to use two 8 relay boards and create two schedules. The ESP8266 relay boards I’m using cost between $10-15 USD.

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