Sprinkler controller with smart things


(Greg) #1

ok so my Rainbird controller looks like it is ready to kick the bucket and I have been waiting to see a new connected controller. Do any of the current available (or kickstart) products integrate into ST without custom programming or building an shield?
Thanks,
Greg


(Chrisb) #2

Funny you should ask… I just heard about this: Eden
http://eden.plaidsystems.com/

No idea when it will be released, but they are saying they will be doing a kickstarter campaign so it’ll likely be a while yet, but the website indicates that:

Designed for SmartThings

Eden is designed for SmartThings from the ground up, enabling your garden to integrate into your home network.


(Brian Smith) #3

That looks like it has a lot of promise. I especially like the local controls for when the sprinkler guys come out to work on the system. There are several other “wifi” systems either on KickStarter or now being sold, such as Rachio. However, I don’t know if any of them have an open API. In this day and age, not having one makes you look like a http://www.grit.com/~/media/Images/GRT/Editorial/Articles/Magazine%20Articles/2007/03-01/Mule%20and%20Donkey%20Definitions/mule-and-donkey-definitions.jpg

EDIT: Darn, I was hoping that image would display inline! :frowning:


(Chrisb) #4

upon further reading on their website, you HAVE to have a ST hub to make everything work together. You use a SmartApp within the SmartThings mobile app to do any work with the system. This makes them fantastic for SmartThings users. This will definitely be something that is 100% SmartThings compatible.

Now, there are two downsides: First, if you ever decide to leave ST, you SOL on your irrigation setup. You need to buy a new setup as far as the controller and/or sensors. Second, because only ST users can use it, it might limit the market for it and this might cause the project to fail due to lack of support.

Depending on cost I’m very interested in this project… I hope they launch their KS campaign soon.


(Brian Smith) #5

I like the inclusion of the moisture sensors. That is something that seems to be lacking in other systems.


(Longhorn84) #6

http://postscapes.com/smart-irrigation-controllers I’ve heard good things about the rain machine. Seems like for now you may just have to have separate apps. What type of true integration would you use if you could get it all into SmartThings?


(John) #7

I have rainmachine for a week now. It’s fantastic, gets constant weather updates and adjust your watering schedule. Today for example it pouring rain here in Michigan and rainmachine hasn’t turned on the sprinklers at all. It has a touchscreen local control interface. Plus I can control it from my phone. So much easier when adjusting sprinkler heads.


(John) #8

Forgot to mention they have an open api I’m not a programmer so I’m not sure how to investigate /work with that.


(Chrisb) #9

What do you mean pouring rain in Michigan? Why here in Grand Rapids I only had to forage three streams on my way to work and then paddle down Monroe Ave. This is a mere sprinkle!


(Chrisb) #10

Well, the one thing that the Eden has (according to their site) is that moisture sensors that can tell how wet the ground is. I believe they are also going to allow you to indicate what plant is at the moisture sensor so it tell better how much water that plant needs. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily require ST to do this. There are plenty of stand alone systems that probably can do this.

So what’s the benefit of having irrigation combined with ST? A few things I can think of:

  • Pest control. If you have a garden, put a motion sensor near it. If motion is detected at night, turn on the sprinklers to the garden for a minute… that should scare the rabbits away.
  • Turn off irrigation when you arrive home. Okay, I stole this idea from another HA system that does this in their promo video. If your sprinklers are running near the door you use to enter your home, have them turn off for 5-10 minutes when you first come home.
  • In a similar manner, have them turn off in the backyard if you open the back door.
  • Having everything all in one location so you don’t need multiple apps for multiple things.
  • Get notifications (text, push, email, heck… even facebook or twitter if you use IFFFT) if an area is getting too much water or too little.

Some (or all?) of these things could be handled with other systems and hacks as well, but with ST fully integrated it should be a piece of cake.

That’s not to say that there isn’t an obvious downside to this as well. If you get a system that can only be used with SmartThings and then ST dies (I really don’t see that happening, but it could)… well, then you have a useless bunch of hardware, right?


(Brian Smith) #11

Wow, that looks very cool.


(Kristopher Kubicki) #12

I have a Rain Machine. I was intending to write a plugin though the API might be difficult. The RM is basically an Android machine with busybox – you can shell into it as root. It is totally self contained, there is no cloud-based API to pull.

This means RM users will have to forward a port from their firewall into the machine. I think the RM is great for what it does but if you put it out on the public net I suspect it will get hacked in about 10 minutes.

Personally, I love my RM a lot, but if another device comes out with ST integration, I’ll probably just spring the few bucks.

Random aside: I have no idea why ST doesn’t let you do more on the client side. I am a former Vera hacker and that is basically the only functionality I miss


(John) #13

I forwarded a port from my firewall so I could turn my system on from anywhere some places in my yard I can’t get wifi. Plus liked I could manually run zones from work if I wanted to. I haven’t had any hack problems yet. Time will tell.
I was hoping someone could get the api working with smartthing.


(Kristopher Kubicki) #14

I’m getting closer with the local GET commands. I’m still running into some issues but I’m relatively close to being able to do that.


(John) #15

Kristopher,
That’s fantastic. Please keep us posted on your progress.


(Marc) #16

Hey guys - Any update on this? I just got a RainMachine and I love it! It would be even more awesome if I can get the integration working in ST.


(Jason) #17

I just noticed the eden and eve smartThings designed irrigation controller kickstarter campaign is on-going.


(Chrisb) #18

Yep… here’s the direct link to the kickstarter page:

Eve Kickstarter

Just over two weeks… but still a LONG ways to go. :frowning: I wonder if the new office space that the ST crew will be moving into in California needs an irrigation controller? :wink:


(Leads Rating) #19

If anyone has any information if Rachio or Skydrop integrate with ST?


(Brendon) #20

I’m keen to know about these too!