Author Topic: Moteino Based Sprinkler Controler  (Read 14602 times)

billchurch

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Moteino Based Sprinkler Controler
« on: October 27, 2013, 10:52:45 AM »
Not a completed project, but just starting. I have a 2 zone sprinkler system currently (will probably expand) and I hate the controller.

I've seen some of the projects out there, but I really like the Moteino platform.

My thoughts are:

- Ability to turn the zones on and off remotely at will
- Ability to load and run a schedule
- Input for rain sensor
- Input for soil moisture meter (to bypass a schedule if ground is saturated)
-- Maybe add the ability for a "MoistureMote" to locate this sensor farther away from the controller, could be polled periodically.
- Input for external temperature / humidity sensor (why not?)

What we'd need for a shield:
- an RTC (if you wan to run schedules, could make this optional and have the schedules controlled by a Rpi or something else).
- SSRs / diodes for a few zones, I have to see what the current ratings are for a "typical" sprinkler valve are
-- These from GarageMote **should** work I think http://lowpowerlab.com/shop/JRC-23F-003
- screw terminals for connection to sprinkler valves and sensors

Any other thoughts?



Felix

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Re: Moteino Based Sprinkler Controler
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2013, 08:00:41 PM »
Spot on, another one of the things I want to get to eventually.
My controller is fairly good, but still hate it a little bit. I'd love something I can control at will, or use a moisture sensor like you said. Mine has a rain sensor but I think soil moisture sensor would make more sense. There's the OpenSprinkler project which looks pretty nice.
I think triacs would work better than relays, easier to control and assemble. That's what my current controller has and the same thing in OpenSprinkler I believe.

So yes it's on my long list of things *TO GET TO*. Hoping sooner rather than later, cause it's one of the cooler things.
I think this project would be a little more feasible than other mains powered things since it's low voltage, so less to worry about.

KanyonKris

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Re: Moteino Based Sprinkler Controler
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2013, 09:06:48 AM »
Lots of good ideas.

I switched to a new controller this year based on a RaspberryPi. OpenSprinkler has an interface board for the Pi that's very nice but also $80, so I used a cheap relay board instead (solid state relay boards are also available at ~2x the price of a relay board, but still fairly cheap). The standard program is Python and works well, also very easy to change to your needs. It would be easy to add a Moteino to the Pi. Check out the OpenSprinkler project for more info, especially the forums, lots of good info there.

merge

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Re: Moteino Based Sprinkler Controler
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2014, 12:11:15 AM »
I stumbled upon Moteino a few days ago, and like you thought of the sprinkler controller.

However the approach I'd like to take is to make a Moteino shield  to switch 24VAC loads with triacs.  4 loads per shield, with a header to cascade a second shield.   The smarts would come from the linux server in the garage.  The two would talk over RF of course with some simple protocol, including a watchdog of some sort

so planned design details include...
- Moteino power sourced from 24VAC solenoid power.
- Linux server would need its own Moteino connected to a serial port, or maybe just the USB version.
- Linux scripts to turn on/off relays.
- Cron job to run scripts as needed.
- possible (linux) web page for remote status and control
- possible (linux) connection to weather report.
- possible 7-segment display on shield.

Plan to make the board on oshpark.org, but the arduino coding will be a new thing for me.
anyway, let me know what you think...

Felix

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Re: Moteino Based Sprinkler Controler
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2014, 07:40:11 AM »
Yeah I was hoping I would get some time to make something like that at some point to wirelessly control my sprinklers. There's the open sprinkler project which I think is worth taking a look at: http://rayshobby.net/?page_id=160

The only small challenge would be to get your low DC voltage from the 24VAC which can be done with a switching regulator.... then add everything else like Ray did, and a Moteino header and you're all set :)
If you end up designing this please keep us updated in this thread, I'd love to see it coming into being :D

merge

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Re: Moteino Based Sprinkler Controler
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2014, 01:25:06 AM »
I went ahead and designed something up.  4 channels, 40x60mm with pluggable terminal blocks (1x8 for output, 1x2 for AC in).  images attached.  Still at placement stage - not routed yet, but that shouldn't be a  problem.  Any comments are appreciated.

It would be helpful to have a model of the Moteino in both forms, just to be sure there is no interference problem.  If anyone has step files I'd appreciate it.


Felix

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Re: Moteino Based Sprinkler Controler
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2014, 09:00:34 AM »
Nice design!
Unfortunately I don't have a model for Moteino, maybe someone else has one...
A few thoughts:

- I see you have 2 boards with the 2x4 mating headers, from what I can tell the Moteino ends up between them, so that might be a tight fit, even though Moteino is not a very thick PCB
- I have a 12 zone(9 wired/used) zone sprinkler system, so it would be nice to have an expandable main board. How about a shift register expandable driver solution? I don't know what is main stream in terms of zoning, but maybe a multiple of 4 makes sense. I'm thinking 8 is a good starting number which should cover most houses. Then 4X and 8X expansions could be added.

merge

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Re: Moteino Based Sprinkler Controler
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2014, 06:34:03 PM »
the motieno would be on top.  I don't know if I have the order correct or not in the design, but that's the idea. 

I kept it small because OSHPark will give you 3 copies of your board but charge by sqin of one board, and in my case it works out to have the doubled board in front of the house and the single out back.

The serial idea is good.  If I were to do it, I'd use one of the Microchip SPI or IIC expansion chips, but ths would be a different design - a different board.   I don't think there's anything stopping on from using the expansion header for that purpose, other than it's on the wrong side of the board.

I'll think it over and maybe change it around to support that method of expansion better.

Thanks for your comments.

merge

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Re: Moteino Based Sprinkler Controler
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2014, 10:28:20 PM »
Well, I took your advice and changed it somewhat.  There will be a carrier with Moteino, AC-DC converter and two "grove" connectors for LCD and sprinkler output.  These will provide 5VDC and I2C.

Then you connect an 8-channel 24VAC solenoid driver to it.  You can use the other connector to add an I2C LCD screen/keypad, and you can cascade additional 8 channel boards if needed.  These driver boards use Microchip MCP23008 expansion chips, and have a 3-bit address switch, so you can add up to 8 MCP23008's.

the driver board is 45x65mm, the carrier will be about twice the moteino size.

schematic and images attached.  Any input, including links to using MCP23008 with Moteino would be appreciated.

I'll try to post the carrier soon, and layout the attached unit.  May take some time to get around to it.

Please note that this will not be 120/230VAC capable!  spacing will be too tight - It'd have to be about 2x the size for that.  Plus I don't want to be responsible for that!

luisr320

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Re: Moteino Based Sprinkler Controler
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2014, 02:38:14 PM »
Hi!
Any new developments on this project?

merge

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Re: Moteino Based Sprinkler Controler
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2014, 01:49:37 AM »
some.  i re-did the 8x triac driver board to take in I2C, thinking that would make it more flexible.  one could add an I2C keypad, or more boards and connect it to a moteino over i2c.  anyway, i can restart that soon i think, and more importantly start work on the software.

here's the link to the shared board project...
https://oshpark.com/shared_projects/Ic23AFof

also i'm in california and stopped watering due to drought.  looking forward to a el-nino winter though and hope to see some changes soon.

hexibot43

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Re: Moteino Based Sprinkler Controler
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2014, 12:33:56 AM »
also i'm in california and stopped watering due to drought.  looking forward to a el-nino winter though and hope to see some changes soon.

I second that! 


ieris

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Re: Moteino Based Sprinkler Controler
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2014, 03:05:06 AM »
Hello,
  first I would like to say big thanks to Felix for his superior work! I'm reading your blog from early begging. Keep going the same way!

I have working on several projects for home automation and one of them are similar to sprinkler hw and can be adapted. What is it, I will keep as secret for now. :)
My initial revision had possibility to control 8 zones(5V logic support), hardware pulse debounce, OneWire connector, but now I need to control more and I'am on the way of building it expandable. There are my initial version picture of RelayMote v1.0:


So, the new one will use shift register to control stuff. And will be expandable with possibility to control <50V devices w/o additional board. But if you want, you can add Relay, SSR, etc board to control bigger power sources.
Currently I'm thinking to include or not include on board 24VAC to 5V switching regulator. I would like to hear your comments. My project do not need it, as I'm trying to keep it small as possible to make it universal, but to be compatible with sprinkler functionality seems it must have it.
If skipping then by example we can add cheap LM2596S Chinese board to get needed voltage for power.
If to include then which one solution to implement LM2596S-5.0, MC34063/MC33063 or some other?

Waiting for comments and questions. :)

Felix

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Re: Moteino Based Sprinkler Controler
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2014, 11:22:58 AM »
Regulating from a high voltage to 5V or 3.3V I would recommend the LM2596 switching regulator or an alternative, and not a linear regulator.

ieris

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Re: Moteino Based Sprinkler Controler
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2014, 01:55:58 PM »
Regulating from a high voltage to 5V or 3.3V I would recommend the LM2596 switching regulator or an alternative, and not a linear regulator.
Thank you. Will think how to add it, maybe as a module.