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Author Topic: Sprinkler Thoughts  (Read 11473 times)

grizzlyone

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Sprinkler Thoughts
« on: February 26, 2009, 11:36:07 PM »

Ok folks, I'm just looking for a simple on/off sprinkler control that you hook up to a regular old garden hose spigot.

I've been looking at the orbit automated systems and I've been checking out the extra valve for their automated sprinkler system. They cost about $15

http://www.smarthome.com/3106V/Extra-Valve-for-Yard-Watering-System-62035/p.aspx

It connects up to a regular hose connection and has what looks like a stereo plug connector that plugs into a separate timer unit.

How possible do the gurus think it would be to cut the connector off the end and connect this to a UM506 universal module?


I can't find any specs on the valve, but the timer it plugs and turns on the valve into is powered by 3 AA batteries....


Kevin
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HA Dave

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Re: Sprinkler Thoughts
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2009, 12:04:49 AM »

Ok folks, I'm just looking for a simple on/off sprinkler control that you hook up to a regular old garden hose spigot.I've been looking at the orbit automated systems and I've been checking out the extra valve for their automated sprinkler system. They cost about $15

http://www.smarthome.com/3106V/Extra-Valve-for-Yard-Watering-System-62035/p.aspx

It connects up to a regular hose connection and has what looks like a stereo plug connector that plugs into a separate timer unit. How possible do the gurus think it would be to cut the connector off the end and connect this to a UM506 universal module? I can't find any specs on the valve, but the timer it plugs and turns on the valve into is powered by 3 AA batteries....

Looks very doable to me!!! I wouldn't even cut the wire... I would pickup a female end at radioshack... and wire the Universal module to it.
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steven r

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Re: Sprinkler Thoughts
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2009, 12:44:03 AM »

...I've been looking at the orbit automated systems and I've been checking out the extra valve for their automated sprinkler system...
http://www.smarthome.com/3106V/Extra-Valve-for-Yard-Watering-System-62035/p.aspx

...How possible do the gurus think it would be to cut the connector off the end and connect this to a UM506 universal module?
I can't find any specs on the valve, but the timer it plugs and turns on the valve into is powered by 3 AA batteries....
I suspect that the timer supplies a small voltage that triggers a solenoid valve in the unit. If so, a simple connection to the UM506 universal module won't work.

You may need to have the UM506 universal module trigger a voltage to the unit.

In any case, as Dave_x10_L suggested, do not cut off the plug end of the units. It will void their warranties. Using a simple female plug will make the install neater also.
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Brian H

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Re: Sprinkler Thoughts
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2009, 06:56:43 AM »

The controller for the extra valve you linked to. Runs on three AA batteries. So I would say 3 to 4.5 volts for the valves power.
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grizzlyone

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Re: Sprinkler Thoughts
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2009, 08:36:47 AM »

Since the UM506 doesn't provide power (Thanks for the info guys), I was figuring a small battery pack attached could do the same. Now I just need to see if it's a simple toggle (on/off) or something else.

I'm calling orbit today. If this works, you can pretty well do this on the cheap since the extra valves cost about $15 each. Another couple bucks for a battery pack and the UM506 and you are golden..

I'll keep everyone informed. These valves and sprinkler kits are supposed to be available at Lowes, Home Depot and Crafty Beaver in my area. Also I've seen them on ebay as well.

Kevin
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JeffVolp

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Re: Sprinkler Thoughts
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2009, 08:59:19 AM »

Years ago I did a kludge sprinkler controller using an ordinary 24VAC sprinkler valve with the appropriate hose adapters.  Control was via X10 using a 24V "wall wart" transformer plugged into an appliance module.  It was cheap and easy, and it got the job done.  It kept the garden from drying out while we were gone.

Jeff
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steven r

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Re: Sprinkler Thoughts
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2009, 09:33:37 AM »

...I'm calling orbit today. If this works, you can pretty well do this on the cheap since the extra valves cost about $15 each. Another couple bucks for a battery pack and the UM506 and you are golden....
I'd avoid the battery pack idea and take an approach like JeffVolp is suggesting.
i.e. A DC power supply, wall wart, plugged into an appliance module.

The real trick is figuring out the actual voltage that you need. You don't know how voltage sensitive the values are and how much of the 4.5V (3 x 1.5) that the controller normally would send to the valve.

Also while you're visiting Radio Shack for parts, pick up an inline fuse also.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2009, 09:45:40 AM by steven r »
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steven r

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Re: Sprinkler Thoughts
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2009, 10:16:01 AM »

Looking at the manual for the timer, I found this manufacture contact information. They should be able to to give you voltage specifications.

OrbitŪ Irrigation Products Inc.
845 N. Overland Rd.
North Salt Lake, Utah 84054 USA
http://www.orbitonline.com
800-488-6156
801-299-5555

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grizzlyone

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Re: Sprinkler Thoughts
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2009, 11:15:48 AM »

ok, their response was:

13V DC
22ms pulse
1-2Amps

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dave w

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Re: Sprinkler Thoughts
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2009, 12:07:30 PM »

13V ??

That is kind of interesting...and strange. Where is the 13V coming from? Are they discharging a cap from the contoller to actuate the valve(?) retorical question.

If Orbits information is correct, it would be much easier to go the Jeff Volp route and find a 12 or 24 V valve and wall wart. Probably be a good idea to ensure the outlet powering the Universal Module and the wall-wart is on a GFI.
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grizzlyone

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Re: Sprinkler Thoughts
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2009, 12:25:53 PM »

It seemed weird to me too. I asked the lady twice, I pointed out that there was only 3 AA batteries there and she confirmed it.

I may just pick up a kit and see what kind of voltage is coming out of it.


Kevin
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steven r

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Re: Sprinkler Thoughts
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2009, 06:01:20 PM »

...Where is the 13V coming from? Are they discharging a cap from the contoller to actuate the valve(?) retorical question....
It seemed weird to me too. I asked the lady twice, I pointed out that there was only 3 AA batteries there and she confirmed it.
I may just pick up a kit and see what kind of voltage is coming out of it...
Interesting indeed. The plot thickens. Maybe a pulse through a step up transformer.
If it's triggered by a pulse, then the valve must have some sort of stepping latch.
Hmm... How does it know open from closed? Is there a different pulse to close the value. Maybe you could reverse the pulse.
I'd really like to see the insides of one now.
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Jsnlong

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Re: Sprinkler Thoughts
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2009, 10:52:40 PM »

I really don't think its 13vdc but hey I guess they could have done it the hard way lol Has to be something holding a big charger in the timer then!!

I was doing some checking and found that this valve is a latching valve so most likely you will need a on and off signal??

I was also reading over at cocoontech about this same topic and in it they mention doing this very thing even with this valve. The guys who tried it acted like it was alittle more then a Universal module but then again  read it close cause one guy didn't really know what he was doing and couldn't get it to work. But the guy huggy59 on page 5 of the post said he has one and explained how he thought it ran.
http://www.cocoontech.com/index.php?showtopic=7980&st=75

I would go with the plug in  power supply so you wont need any "charge pump" as the guy on cocoon tech put it.

Good luck
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Brian H

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Re: Sprinkler Thoughts
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2009, 06:18:02 AM »

Gee if it is a 13 volt latching valve. They could be charging a cap as mentioned and hitting it with a pulse.  ::)
Guess it could get stuck ON if your Batteries died while it was in the on position.  rofl
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steven r

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Re: Sprinkler Thoughts
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2009, 11:20:09 PM »

...Guess it could get stuck ON if your Batteries died while it was in the on position.  rofl
True but I believe there is a low battery warning and don't think that the system, as designed, has much chance of failing open. On the other hand, I wouldn't bet against it failing open once you get X10 controlling it!

I'm beginning to believe to make this project work you would need at least to see the controlling circuit to build your own or hack the original one. If I ended up needing to buy the controller, I would most likely end up deciding the sprinkler control was then to be a non-X10 automated item. i.e. This just might be better done without X10.

That said, I still am curious as to how the circuit works.
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