Author Topic: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve  (Read 12580 times)

TomWS

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2015, 08:56:56 AM »
We'll make it work. Just imagine the satisfaction of seeing your sprinkler come on and knowing it was switched on (and will continue to be for the next decade) by a single cr2032. Watering your lawn will never be the same ...
Sure, and it will fit right at the very top of the Solenoid itself:
http://www.hunterindustries.com/sites/default/files/styles/product_header/public/null/valves_slider_00_pgv-solo-shots.png

No wires, no nothing.  Just screw the replacement Solenoid into your existing Irrigation valve, configure wirelessly from your laptop, and voila, another Sprinkler zone added to your system.  Easy-peasy...

When the battery is dead in ten years, unscrew the solenoid, toss it, and screw in a new one.    :D

Of course, there is the small matter of the 1000uF@16V cap needed to store the charge.  Perhaps 8 x 0.01F@2V supercaps...

Tom

WhiteHare

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2015, 02:27:45 PM »
@Tom:
You might find this interesting:  http://intelligentsprinklers.com/products/sprinkler-valves/
They made each sprinkler head both individually controllable and solar powered.

TomWS

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2015, 02:39:21 PM »
@Tom:
You might find this interesting:  http://intelligentsprinklers.com/products/sprinkler-valves/
They made each sprinkler head both individually controllable and solar powered.
Interesting.  Do they spec minimum hours of sunlight to guarantee operation?  Presumably you would turn on the main valve to the loop and then program these to operate within that time window...  Interesting concept, I didn't consider control per spray head.  Certainly makes upgrading an existing installation easy.  This would work well with my stream side irrigation - very localized control.

Why don't you get a couple, tear them down, and take a lot of photos?

Tom
UPDATE:  Looks like these are still in the prototype stage, 3D printed enclosure that don't look NEMA 4 rated to me.  Also, no 'where to buy' info.  That said, seems like a great idea to build from...  The photos look like they're using BLE, which would make sense.  Do you know?

UPDATE: Looks like they cancelled their Kickstarter campaign within a month of starting it.  Someone bought them out or naming conflict with a certain landscaping company in Louisiana?


« Last Edit: September 18, 2015, 03:13:30 PM by TomWS »

Felix

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2015, 09:13:59 AM »
This is awesome, I like 2 things :)
- You "save the earth"
- in their range world 100m = 900ft
Who's not sold?

WhiteHare

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2015, 10:10:19 AM »
  The photos look like they're using BLE, which would make sense.  Do you know?


I have no affiliation, so your guess is probably better than mine.  Their website made mention of LoRa, though not sure if that referred to this product, some other product, or all products.

After thinking about it a bit, I'm not actually keen on their sprinkler head solution.  The others may be fine though.  For the individual sprinkler head, it appears to have a big blue dome-like pad, presumably to hold down the nearby grass so it doesn't block the sun near the solar cell (?).  However, that would mean you have big blue blobs visible in or near your lawn, which is a non-starter if you ask me.  Even if they were green in color (a more sensible idea), I expect it might be an eyesore.  But that's me.  Perhaps there's a different use case where it's a fit.  Also, would it be a tripping hazard?  Or a mowing hazard?

You raise a very good point about the directness of available sun.  Would shaded ambient light be enough to power it?  You would know.  If so, then maybe there's a pony in there.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2015, 10:29:48 AM by WhiteHare »

WhiteHare

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2015, 12:16:15 PM »
Anyhow, the reason I brought it up is that your battery operated wireless solution could avoid those shortcomings.  The solar component wouldn't be needed, so it could sidestep the drawbacks I enumerated above.  While you're at it you could incorporate a soil moisture sensor in each one.  Then you'd get a map of your distribution uniformity, which you could feedback to adjust the next irrigation cycle at each of the valves.  Then it would be smart.

What would it cost to make such a thing?  COGS, I mean.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2015, 12:41:07 PM by WhiteHare »

TomWS

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2015, 01:46:31 PM »
After thinking about this I realized one major problem with their approach (at least from a retro-fit perspective).  In their case they are adding a valve between an existing plumbing fitting mounted in the ground and a commericial spray head.  Even adding a straight coupling between the two would raise the spray head about 7/8" - to one inch.  Adding a valve has to add even more than that. Now the spray heads only come in a fairly limited set of sizes so, without digging out the existing fitting or adding a swing joint, the spray head is bound to be a lot higher (or lower) than the original.

So, to your point, bumps in the lawn and potential damage by lawn mowers.

Of course, to Felix's point, you are saving the world.

But, niggling about the flaws in an unfinished product is not productive or worthy.  I do really like the concept of individually controllable spray heads and, to your point, batteries, 'chemical' or otherwise, have a certainly predictability that I find useful in irrigation systems...

Tom

TomWS

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2015, 01:52:20 PM »
What would it cost to make such a thing?  COGS, I mean.
Are we using Felix's prices?   ::)

Depends on volume.  In low qty the valve/electronic housing would be a killer.  In my limited experience, 3D printed material is great for a show and tell, but wouldn't have a prayer standing up to the pressure, weathering, or a Sprinkler Installer cranking down on the threads - there's a reason they use SLIP fittings...  In high qty, everything is cheap, but getting there is hard.

Tom

WhiteHare

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #23 on: September 19, 2015, 07:04:32 PM »
After thinking about this I realized one major problem with their approach (at least from a retro-fit perspective).  In their case they are adding a valve between an existing plumbing fitting mounted in the ground and a commericial spray head.  Even adding a straight coupling between the two would raise the spray head about 7/8" - to one inch.  Adding a valve has to add even more than that. Now the spray heads only come in a fairly limited set of sizes so, without digging out the existing fitting or adding a swing joint, the spray head is bound to be a lot higher (or lower) than the original.

There's a workaround for that: http://www.hitproductscorp.com/products/sprinklers/900T.pdf

Anyhow, without any cost numbers to go by, my WAG is that buried dripline would be more cost effective though for getting better uniformity and saving water and probably lower maintenance as well.  I guess maybe I'll look into that instead: http://www.rainbird.com/landscape/products/dripline/XFS.htm

« Last Edit: September 19, 2015, 07:08:21 PM by WhiteHare »

TomWS

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2015, 07:50:38 PM »
There's a workaround for that: http://www.hitproductscorp.com/products/sprinklers/900T.pdf
Sorry, I'm failing to see what the 'workaround' is... please explain.

Tom

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #25 on: September 19, 2015, 11:09:41 PM »
Telescopic spray heads.  You can get a higher stem height in the same size body, or use a shorter body and still get a comparable stem height.

EvanR

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2018, 03:16:34 PM »
Hi Tom,

This solution is exactly what I need.  After almost two years do you have improvements or optimizations?

Evan R.

TomWS

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2018, 03:21:00 PM »
Hi Tom,

This solution is exactly what I need.  After almost two years do you have improvements or optimizations?

Evan R.
Well, I'm probably on Generation 5 at this point, so yeah.  Would you like me to post the design files?  I won't post the code since I don't use the existing libraries and some of it is not my code to share.

EvanR

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2018, 10:19:23 AM »
Hi Tom,

I would very much appreciate the design files.  I am a software guy who dabbles in electronics. So software is easy, hardware is usually a challenge.

Thanks,

Evan R.

TomWS

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Re: Moteino Based Battery Operated Sprinkler Valve
« Reply #29 on: August 02, 2018, 10:45:37 AM »
Hi Tom,

I would very much appreciate the design files.  I am a software guy who dabbles in electronics. So software is easy, hardware is usually a challenge.

Thanks,

Evan R.
I have two different current designs.  One is for a standard US sprinkler valve using a DC Latching solenoid - I use Hunter (PGV-101G with 458200 DC latching solenoid - you have to buy separately for some reason), but there are a few others that would probably work (depends on trigger energy required to trip/release the solenoid).  Stay away from Orbit, they require a huge amount of energy and I have experienced reliability issues with them.

The second valve is made in Germany (Gardena 1251) and is very solid, but more expensive than US valves - it also has BSP thread vs NPT threads and that needs to be dealt with. There is a newer one Gardena 1278, but this has integrated electronics and I don't know if it can be modified - it appears to be potted.  In any case, let me know which one you're thinking about and I'll zip of the design files.

I presume that you would want Eagle files.  I've recently switched to Kicad and the original design is Eagle, but I can export to Kicad pretty easily.

Let me know.
Tom