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Author Topic: Rainbird sprinkler timer replacement  (Read 20071 times)
Brandt
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« on: February 13, 2010, 08:49:07 PM »

This house has some old Rainbird timer that is not even listed on the website anymore
http://www.rainbird.com/homeowner/products/timers/index.htm

It seems to have some sort of control cable that goes out to some sprinkler mechanisms in the front yard.

Could this cable be unhooked and somehow be ported into the computer for use with x10 timers?
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dbemowsk
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2010, 09:23:07 PM »

Can you at least give us the model number.  Even if it is not listed, we can probably do some searching to find information that may help.

Dan
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Dan Bemowski
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hawk1
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2010, 10:17:45 PM »

Maybe talk to these guys.  I don't know if this is what your talking about.  But look at this link.  http://www.wgldesigns.com/rain8.html   Wink
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Brian H
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2010, 03:50:10 AM »

The mentioned the Rain8 maybe an answer.

I looked at some of the present Rainbird Interfaces and it seems they are using 24 volts AC with each valve connected to a common power and the other lead to a individual control output. I believe the Rain8 is connected that way also. It is X10 controlled.

Do you know if the original has any of the fancy additions? Like moisture sensor so it didn't water if it had recently rained.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2010, 04:04:46 AM by Brian H » Logged
Brandt
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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2010, 11:34:17 AM »

I took some photos of the valves....The ones in the backyard are manual, so I'd have to replace them with electrical ones I assume. I'm not to familiar with sprinkler systems...



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dave w
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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2010, 11:48:10 AM »

This house has some old Rainbird timer that is not even listed on the website anymore
http://www.rainbird.com/homeowner/products/timers/index.htm

It seems to have some sort of control cable that goes out to some sprinkler mechanisms in the front yard.

Could this cable be unhooked and somehow be ported into the computer for use with x10 timers?
Piggy backing on to Brians response, I worked at a place that had some Rainbird and Toro zoned sprinklers and both used 24V AC to run the valves. May be some kind of a standard.
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Brandt
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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2010, 12:21:01 PM »

Whats that black valve on the top left photo?
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Brian H
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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2010, 12:28:59 PM »

Guess here.
Maybe an older version of this: http://www.rainbird.com/homeowner/products/valves/DV-DVF.htm

It maybe the master valve that turns on water to the system. It also seems to have a vacuum breaker feature that would not allow water to back flow into your drinking water. You know don't suck any fertilizer back into the drinking water.  laugh
« Last Edit: April 19, 2010, 12:56:04 PM by Brian H » Logged
dbemowsk
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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2010, 03:31:48 PM »

I do think that 24 VAC is the standard for sprinkler valves.  I have heard of systems that have a main valve and some that use what is called a pump start relay, but any system should have one or the other.  The pump start relay would be used in a system that has a separate irrigation pump for the system which is the type that I have.  The pump start relay is controlled much like the master valve in that they both accept a 24 VAC signal to turn them on.

If the black one is acting as a main valve, it may be larger to allow more than one zone valve to be opened at a time.  This might explain why it looks different. 

The bad part about the way your system is buried in the dirt is that if you needed to change a valve, you would have to dig up the pipes and risk breaking a pipe in the process and making the problem worse.  When I added my valves, I dug a big hole and made a pressure treated plywood box with a cover to house everything for easy access if I had to do work on the system. 

But getting back to your setup, what I would try is to see if you can trace the wires to all your valves and mark them.  I would then try applying 24 VAC to your larger black valve and also to your other valves one at a time.  This should tell you weather or not the black one is a master valve or not.  If it is, take it from there to figure out what sprinkler heads each of your zone valves control.  If the black is not the master, then I would try different combinations of valves until you get a combination that works and deduce which one is your master from there.

hope that helps a bit.
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Brandt
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2010, 07:24:27 PM »

The wires go into the wall behind it which is the garage, from in there it goes to the Rainbird EZ timer

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Brian H
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« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2010, 02:01:04 AM »

You maybe able to look at the timer and see what wire goes to what. I would expect one wire from each valve goes to a common and then each valves other control wire to a individual output on the timer.

Though your timer may no longer be in production. You may find its manual on the Rainbird site or you maybe able to download the manuals for newer ones to see how they connect to the valves.
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Brandt
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« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2010, 07:46:24 AM »

since the backyard valves are manual at this point, I would have to replace the valves and run a cable from the backyard to the garage in the front of the house. At this point It looks like I only have 2 (or 3) valves that are on the timer and that does not seem like enough to invest in a Rain8. Can a regular relay type module be used? Or would I need three of them such as the Uni Mod?
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Wishlist: AB8SS, ISY-99i, RFXCOM, Oregon Sensors
Owner: Rain8II, RCS TXB16, Switchlincs, w800usb, XTBM, XTB-IIR
Brian H
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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2010, 08:40:19 AM »

If you went with a relay type appliance module that switches 120 volts. You would probably have to have a 24 volt AC wall wart or transformer to power each valve.

If you use three Universal Modules. You could use one transformer that has enough power to pull in all the valves. In case all three are on at the same time.

One other thought is if you only want all three on at the sametime. Then a appliance module controlling the transformer or universal module  controlling the 24 volts to the valves; could control all three.

Yesterday I did see an X10 special of six three pin appliance modules for $29.99. Unreal. I thought the $39.99 for six appliance modules and we through in a stick-a-switch and transceiver was a good deal.
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JeffVolp
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« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2010, 10:04:19 AM »


The Rain8 has a nice feature where you can program the max run length.  So then if anything corrupts the command, it will automatically turn off by itself when it reaches that timeout.

With Rain8, you can actuate the valves individually through X10 commands, or initiate either of two program cycles that will run through a pre-programmed sequence.

While you can do all of this with individual appliance modules feeding 24VAC "wall warts", I think the Rain8 is worth the extra cost.

Jeff
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Brandt
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« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2010, 12:26:28 PM »

yes, the rain8II is on my wishlist, but the costs keep adding up...

I'd have to replace the manual backyard valves, run cable, build some sort of enclosure on the backyard valves, etc, etc...

ho-hum-maybe another paycheck  whistle
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Linux, Heyu, and CM11a on a Sheevaplug
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Wishlist: AB8SS, ISY-99i, RFXCOM, Oregon Sensors
Owner: Rain8II, RCS TXB16, Switchlincs, w800usb, XTBM, XTB-IIR
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