Hack Puts Aging Sprinkler System Online

Water conservation is on a lot of people’s mind, and with an older sprinkler system one may not have the finest control of when and where the lawn is getting its water. Faced with such a system [Felix] decided to hack into his, adding better computerized scheduling, and internet remote control.

The brains of the operation is handled by a Moteino, which is a Arduino compatible micro controller board with WiFi on board. In order to interface with the sprinkler system, an interface PCB is made. The interface has an on board buck power supply to regulate the 24 volt AC power of the sprinkler down to 5 volt DC for the micro and the 74HC595 shift registers.

The output from the shift registers connects to a pin header where the stock computer normally would have plugged in. With a little software and a phone app, the new micro-controller takes over the sprinkler’s TRIAC’s turning on and off zones with a push of the thumb.

Join us after the break for a quick demonstration video.

17 thoughts on “Hack Puts Aging Sprinkler System Online

  1. It’s worth digging through the documentation to see that there’s a lot of back-end hardware in the Framework gateway system making this work rather than the phone app/x_duino system that it appears to be.

  2. Edit: the motino does NOT have wifi it uses a RFM module which provides wireless connectivity so he has another unit which is interfacing with it where the base of his home automation is.

  3. I built a wifi sprinkler controller to replace my dead consumer unit, with the ESP unit as the brains. My project had a 4 channel relay board to handle the 24vac to the solenoids, but I now wish I had used some of the original controller to manage that!

  4. Yep, I’m selling the arduino dev board on Tindie and we have a full feature version that is connected to a RPI B+ that enables total control remotely via our Web Application. Control your existing controller using WATERKARMA. I even enter it in the Hackaday prize contest last month and the judges kicked me out for some reason.

    1. Dude, is this your project ? It’s nothing but a bunch of memes for pictures and TEXT THAT IS RANDOMLY CAPITALIZED. There’s also no project details or a video, which were required for all entries.

      You should be glad the judges even let you in the contest, not mad they kicked you out.

      1. I have all the protocols and I’ve been running a Rain Bird ESP, Hunter Pro-C, Toro Evolution and Irritrol Total Control from my phone via my web application in my office for 6 months straight (we did have several power interruptions) flawlessly. I’m an irrigation contractor,, landscaper and lawn care guy. Hardware and Applications Development are new to me, I haven’t been able to locate the developers instruction manual or the hackaday laws. I also have a business I’ve been running so unfortunately I have been unable to give this beautiful hack it’s deserved time. If you’d like a free Arduino Pro with all the protocols feel free to message me. Thanks ;-)

  5. I’m hoping someone here can help. I have the same RainBird controller shown above and I’m trying to run it from a Rpi which has 3.3v I/O. Will the Rpi be enough to drive the SCR’s or do I need to translate it up to normal TTL levels? Is it active hi or low? Do I need pullups or pulldowns and what size? From the picture of the RainBird controller board it looks like it has 270 ohm resisters, is that correct? Thanks for the help.

  6. I know this is an old post but I was wondering if anyone has done the slightly more modern Rainbird ESP-M unit? It uses the rainbird modules not the triac board for switching. Given new automation hubs like Hubitat I’m looking at adding either Zigbee control or Z-wave control of my sprinkler system.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.