One thing that annoyed [Jashua] to no end was hearing his automated sprinkler system kick on in the middle of the night, when it had rained earlier in the day. He wished that his sprinklers were a bit smarter, so he decided to give the system an upgrade.
Rather than pay hundreds of dollars for a more sophisticated automation system, he spent about $45 on supplies and scrounged together some items he had sitting around the house to make a rain-sensing module of his own.
The resulting project, Pysprinklers, uses Python along with a handful of components to better manage his water usage. He got his hands on a cheap rain gauge, and modified it with a game controller and a set of magnetic surface contacts. If there has been a significant amount of rain in the last 24 hours, his system will prevent the sprinklers from turning on. Additionally, if there is rain in the forecast, the sprinklers will be delayed a bit to see if rain makes its way into the area.
We’re all for saving money (and water), so we think [Jashua’s] system looks great, especially because he ended up using a handful of things he already had on hand.