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Author Topic: "Skip Day" option in Timer Function  (Read 17574 times)

Derrill

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"Skip Day" option in Timer Function
« on: May 02, 2006, 11:13:41 AM »

The ActiveHome Pro timer function allows timers to be applied to specific days of the week (e.g., Monday and Thursday). It lacks the ability to apply timers to what is referred to as "skip days." One application where skip days is necessary is with landscape sprinklers.

Common sprinkler timers available on the market today such as those from Irritrol, Toro and Rainbird allow a sprinkler valve to be set to come on either on specific days of the week or to come on every X number of days (i.e., skip days). The skip day option means that a user can, for example, set a sprinkler valve to come on every 3rd day without regard to what day of the week it is.

Where lawn sprinkler valves are normally set to come on certain days of the week due to regular mowing schedules (e.g., mow every Saturday so do not want the water to come on Saturday morning), in contrast plant and tree sprinkler valves are normally set to come on every X number of days, again without regard to days of the week. For example, a shrub valve may be set to come on every 4th day and a tree valve to come on every 10th day. The idea is that skip days allow for a pure regular watering schedule (i.e., the same number of days pass between each watering).

Further, a skip day option should allow for the skip day number to be set by the user up to say 30 (e.g., activate valve every 30 days; maybe virtually no limit is possible given just a loop). Hence, the user could set the skip day option from 1 to any number up to 30.

On a side note, with typical sprinkler timers the number set is not actually a skip day but rather means that the valve should come on every X-day. So, if set to 1 the valve comes on every day and not every other day (means that it comes on every 1st day). If set to 3 it means that the valve comes on every 3rd day (skipping only 2 days). However, probably fine if the number actually denoted skip days and in this case entering a 0 would mean that the valve would come on every day (i.e., 0 skip days between on days) and entering 2 would mean the valve would come on every 3rd day (i.e., 2 skip days between on days).

On an interface note, within the ActiveHome Pro interface the user should be able to see what day each valve is currently on in its cycle. Also, again with common timers, the valve actually comes on the first day of the cycle and not the X-day (e.g., if a valve is set to come on every 7th day, it actually comes on when the timer reaches 1 again and not when it reaches 7). But, effectively doesn't really make a difference which method is used.

User's guides for common sprinkler timers could also be referenced when designing a skip day option for ActiveHome Pro.
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steven r

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Re: "Skip Day" option in Timer Function
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2006, 11:50:43 AM »

A test for odd or even days would be useful during watering restrictions, also.
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roger1818

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Re: "Skip Day" option in Timer Function
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2006, 02:34:47 PM »

Derrill:  This can be done with SmartMacros.  You need to create an "else" macro for each day in the cycle.  For example, if you want the timer to run every 3 days (skip 2 days) you would create the following macros:

Trigger:  M1 ON
Conditions: flag1 & flag2 cleared
Actions:
Turn on sprinkler
set flag1
delay
Turn off sprinkler

Trigger:  M1 ON
Conditions: flag1 set and flag2 cleared
Actions:
delay 1 sec *
set flag2

Trigger:  M1 ON
Conditions: flag1 & flag2 set
Actions:
delay 1 sec *
clear flag1 & flag2

* I find a delay (or action) is necessary before setting the flags otherwise the next else macro will also be executed.

This can be adjusted to skip more or fewer days as needed.
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Derrill

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Re: "Skip Day" option in Timer Function
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2006, 11:21:01 PM »

Thanks. Appreciate it.

But, this really is a capability that belongs in the Timer function as a peer (as an "or", e.g. radio button) to the week day capability (I'm sure there are other applications where a skip day program is more appropriate than using days of the week) and I would hope that X10 Product Management takes note and adds.

Using Smart Macros seems like a lot of work just to add skip days to a single station. Keep in mind that, for example, plant nurserys and resorts who use many valves (e.g., 100) may want the ability to control many of these valves independently. Now, a smart macro would have to be replicated across each station and then the loop variable adjusted for each. Then, if the skip day needs to be adjusted seasonally, the smart macros each need to be modified again as opposed to a simple change to a skip day field for each valve.

Heck, imagine if there were no week day setting in the Timer function and smart macros had to be used for them too ;-)
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roger1818

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Re: "Skip Day" option in Timer Function
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2006, 10:31:20 AM »

But, this really is a capability that belongs in the Timer function as a peer (as an "or", e.g. radio button) to the week day capability (I'm sure there are other applications where a skip day program is more appropriate than using days of the week) and I would hope that X10 Product Management takes note and adds.

I agree.  It would also be nice if SmartMacros included smart timers so that you don't have to create a dummy macro to add conditions to a timer.
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