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Irrigation Caddy .vs. Rain8net Pro
#1
I currently have a Rain8net Pro, well I did until a few hours ago when a lightning strike took it out for a 3rd time. I know I can probably send it in and get it fixed (again), but would like some feedback on the Irrigation Caddy. What I like about it was that it controls 9 zones (which I have), and it has a Wifi version that will somewhat isolate it and lightning strikes from my electronics.

Any pros / cons? There were some comments on previous posts about the Wifi version not working with the older driver. Was that fixed?
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#2
Personally, I would use a ClickPLC. There is a new version with Etnernet (but no CQC driver support yet - once I get mine I will develop the driver), but the serial version works fine over a serial server.

Its more powerful, more flexible, expandable beyond 9 zones, has analog inputs and outputs should you want them.

There is no reason why you could not make it your weather station as well as you irrigation controller.

I thinks it may be cheaper (PLC CPU anyway) than a rain8 as well.

Mick
Mykel Koblenz
Illawarra Smart Home
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#3
znelbok Wrote:Personally, I would use a ClickPLC. There is a new version with Etnernet (but no CQC driver support yet - once I get mine I will develop the driver), but the serial version works fine over a serial server.

Its more powerful, more flexible, expandable beyond 9 zones, has analog inputs and outputs should you want them.

There is no reason why you could not make it your weather station as well as you irrigation controller.

I thinks it may be cheaper (PLC CPU anyway) than a rain8 as well.

Mick

Mick,

I would love to see a driver for ClickPLC. I've had one for about a year that I had planned on using for irrigation. Got around to programming it a little, but never finalized my programming schema. Wasn't sure how I was going to connect it yet; run low voltage to the garage from the media closet, or run serial over cat5 to the garage. Either way, I'd be interested in your approach.

Russ
Flamin' Noobie...
Warp speed now and don't give me any of that dilythium crystal crap!
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#4
So.... Is this essentially the irrigation driver and an irrigation caddy wrapped up in one?

http://Www.rachio.com
Flamin' Noobie...
Warp speed now and don't give me any of that dilythium crystal crap!
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#5
rtarver Wrote:Mick,

I would love to see a driver for ClickPLC. I've had one for about a year that I had planned on using for irrigation. Got around to programming it a little, but never finalized my programming schema. Wasn't sure how I was going to connect it yet; run low voltage to the garage from the media closet, or run serial over cat5 to the garage. Either way, I'd be interested in your approach.

Russ

If you have had it for a year then you have the serial based one and not the Ethernet enabled PLC. There is already a driver the Click. I have two running with CQC now and its rock solid.

http://www.charmedquark.com/vb_forum/sho...hp?t=10010

The Ethernet enabled version has one serial port instead of two so in theory you can still use the existing driver with it, just use the serial port instead of the Ethernet port.

Now, if lightning is an issue I would use a WiFi iTach and electrically isolate the PLC from the server. CQC has inbuilt support for the iTach (same as a GC100) and WiFi gives you the air gap needed.

If you don't want to do that, then run the single cable (the Cat5) to the PLC in the garage where the zone wiring starts. Its cheaper that way and serial over UTP is good for quite a distance (I get up to 40m here). This also gives you more flexibility in the future if you get another device. You re-purpose the cat5 for Ethernet and use device servers (like the iTach) to connect as many devices as you need to.
Mykel Koblenz
Illawarra Smart Home
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#6
I have also recently had a power surge / lightening issue that affected my rain8 pro. I have 2 of them (master & slave) and use 14 zones. The rain8 is not responding on the serial port and now I can start the zones manually, except to push and hold the buttons sequentially. I am trying to decide if I should try to get them (or only master?) fixed, replace them, or try another route as is being suggested here.

The surge also seems to have messed up the Ethernet card on my ELK (M1XEP). It is not connecting on the LAN and is making a hissing sound unless I unplug the power to the card. I also had to replace my router after the storm, and the house phone lines that go thru the ELK are not working. I had to plug a cordless base station into the phone line coming out of the cable modem.

So while I am trying to recover from all these hardware issues (including rebuilding my CQC setup), I need to decide on what to do regarding keeping my lawn watered. So a solution that is not totally dependent on CQC might be worth considering.
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#7
I sent my Rain8pro in the last time it was surged, and it cost $99 to repair. This time I decided to go with Irrigation Caddy. I use the scheduler built into the IC, but can monitor what is going on and control if needed.

Right now I am using the IC software to control when to turn off the sprinklers due to rain. It is a cloud based system, and you go and pick one or more rain stations nearby you, and then tell it when to turn on, turn on for a shorter time, or turn off completely. So far its working pretty good. Long term I want to do what the Irrigation Scheduler does as far as keeping a history in a text file of when the sprinkler came on and off, which should be pretty easy to do.
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