How can we help?


Simultaneous Zone Operation

Comments

18 comments

  • Avatar
    RainMachine Nicholas

    Hi Brian,

    The only 2 zone operation allowed is with Master Valve + another zone, although this can be used to water 2 zones in the same time, it's not exactly what you want.

    You could wire multiple zones to  the same output of RainMachine valve/zone (considering that you have low consumption). Wouldn't that do what you want ?

     

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Bh

    I had thought of that.  But it does not account for the difference soil types, vegetation or Sun exposure. 

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    RainMachine Nicholas

    True. I'll bring this up during development meetings but I'll need more feedback from users. The software can do it but it's specifically restricted to 1 zone at a time.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Bh

    There was another thread from Henry Wagner back in Sept on this. "Allow more than one zone to operate at the same time."  Thanks!!

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Robert Tomek

    I'd be interested in this too on my HD-12. I recently switched all of my zones to MP rotators, but with the old zoning setup it takes way too long to water the entire yard one zone at a time. The lower gpm means I could easily run 2-3 zones at a time from my water supply. One option would be to halve the zones and hook up two valves per zone, but then I lose the fine-tuning of the precipitation rate in each zone. Another use case for multiple zones would be drip irrigation where you want to drip for a different amount of time in each zone, but one could easily run many zones at a time.

    To me, it makes sense if there was a 'maximum simultaneous zones' option in the program editor. Some zones could be run solo on Program 1, and some zones could be run a few at a time on Program 2. Since only one program could be running at a time you wouldn't have to worry about unwanted overlap.

    Or, you already have the gpm option in the zone editor, and then set up a maximum total gpm option as either a system option or a program option.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Robert Tomek

    I purchased a 24VAC 40VA transformer in hopes that I could power multiple valves simultaneously. It seems that the current draw from each single output is limited. When I hooked two valves to the same output, the heads in one zone would bounce a bit but would pop all of the way up. When I hook up any more than two zones to the same output, nothing happens. If I manually open the valves from inside the valve box, I can run multiple simultaneous zones so it isn't a water pressure issue.

    Is it at least possible through the API to force a zone to start if one is already running?

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Stewart H

    Any hope for this feature in the software?  

    I'm designing a landscape and can run many drip lines and tree bubblers at the same time (GPM) if it was supported.  It does not make sense to run them all from one valve (PVC pipe nightmare).  Is this a software and hardware limitation or currently just a software limitation?  I would love to activate  4 or 5 zones at the same time but run for different total amount of time but could settle for 3.  Please implement and count my vote in as It would be hard to water all the lawn in the best hours of the day without the feature!

    2
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    James Macdonald (Edited )

    I also would love to be able to activate more than one valve at a time. I have 3 separate valve locations (faucets) around house.

    At the moment because it runs in sequence it takes all morning to go through all zones so I've had to adjust days/time to keep watering to the early hours.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    azj

    Why don't I see the correct answer to the "more than one zone" run?

    (1) How much water can you deliver - but I do not see any programming entry that would tell me that I am asked about how much water my water supply can do?

    (2) How many Ampers each connection on the controller can handle and how many Ampers the most popular valves drain?

    (3) Why don't you beef up the internal relays to accommodate required Ampers.

    (4) For now, if each internal relay can handle up to two consumer valves, make programming changes to let us run several zones at the same time - and sell us the bigger power supply.

    But of course - you could design the thing to be more flexible. After all your controller is not more than $10 in production.

    3
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Robert Tomek

    Hi all, I see there are more comments in this thread. I found another topic where a dev pointed out that they currently have two thermistors (similar to fuses) on their board. One thermistor regulates the current to zone 1 (for a master valve option) and the other thermistor regulates all other zones. Thus, it is an unfortunate oversight in the hardware design that multiple valves cannot be run at the same time except for the master + single zone option. If you're lucky and/or have low power valves you might be able to get two valves running off a single zone, but as I mentioned above, when I tried it the thermistor overheated and shut off the current flow :(

    It was mentioned that the next generation hardware will likely have separate thermistors for each zone, but right now it isn't possible. To solve my problem, I ended up buying relays and a DIN rail to mount them below my Rain Machine.

    2
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Mike Martoccia

    Adding onto this request. I’m using RainMachine as part of a home automation system. Currently, I have misters surrounding the 2 AC condensors and triggered via Nest when the AC unit switches to cooling. I also have this controlling two patio misters. The problem is that the control unit only allows for one zone to run at a time queing the others which is not ideal. As all watering components are misters, there is no problems with water pressure when all systems are active. Can we please have the ability to run all systems non-queued in a future update and have a zone specific stop created for IFTTT?

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Ralph Becker-Szendy

    Please, add whatever it takes in hardware and software to make "multiple zones simultaneously" possible, at least two zones.  As long as that's not possible, we won't buy more RainMachines for the remainder of our water system.

    Here's why: About a third of our sprinkler valves are for large sprinklers at the top of slopes around the house, and on the roof of the house.  Those are not used for plants, but for approaching fires.  And that's not a joke, we had a 300 acre brush fire within 1/2 mile of our house last fall.  Right now there are 5 such zones, but that's going to grow.  We have enough water supply (10K gallons), pump capacity (3+2 HP electric) and plumbing (2" on all main runs) to run 2-3 of them under remote control.  And if we're physically present, we can add a 13HP gas-powered pump and run all of them plus a fire hose (which we did when the fire was near).  For now, with a single zone at a time, I'll only move one of them to the RainMachine, and leave the others on our manual system (a little box with toggle switches).

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Joshua Angley

    This post is two years old but I hope someday they will enable this.... its ridiculous that I cant run multi zones at once....

    2
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Thom Thompson

    I'm currently looking to replace my toro evolution controller to something web friendly and that has a bit more smarts about it. One of the things I need is the ability to run multiple zones at once. I replaced my pump with one double in size so i can get the watering done twice as fast since it always gets windy so the quicker i can do it the less affected I am by the wind. I also run solar so like it to start when im producing solar power. I can get around that now by selecting two schedules to run at once but I have to link zones to the schedules. and then I cant use that schedule for something else and there is only a limit of 3 schedules.

    Sadly after looking at the demo and thinking this is what im after i cant do what i need so will have to purchase a different device.

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Brandon Moyer

    The unit only has the ability to run 1 zone at a time, this is a hardware restriction.

     

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Bh

    Brandon, I respectfully disagree with that statement.  

    The software is capable of running two zones at once, so is the hardware.  

    It is a current limitation in the current hardware.  

    A simple fix to this would be to modify the software to disable the Master Valve/Pump circuit operation whenever multiple zones are selected for simultaneous use.  While this will not solve everyones problem.  It would allow for two zone operation.

    I have already verified this with engineering.

    We're going on 2 years since this was first posted.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Ralph Becker-Szendy

    Brandon: Please contact Istvan and Nicholas in your support organization, and read the thread "Multiple Zone Operation "Relay Mode". And review the circuit diagram of the system (which can be done by staring at the PC board). The hardware is perfectly capable of turning all zones on simultaneously. If each of the output were loaded with the standard ~1/4 A irrigation style valve, this would cause both the transformer that is shipped with the unit to be overloaded, as well as the overcurrent protector on the board to trip. The restriction on only one valve zone (plus perhaps the master which is intended for a relay output) being on is in the software.

    I would like to request that an engineering or support manager from Green Electronics please make a clear statement in these threads about what is going on; we can't have different employees giving contradictory answers.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    RainMachine Nicholas

    While I'm not a hardware engineer, the statement that "hardware doesn't support it" is *true*. The protection circuit can only handle a certain load and it's also directly related to the power supply. If the power supply would be higher amps rated the protection wouldn't work as well. 2 valves can be driven and current design is master + 1 more.

    You could change the software to allow for example valve 2 + valve 3 but this was never approved by management because of multiple factors like UI and the possibility of having much more current drain vs master + 1 valve, etc.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.