mcsSprinklers is an
integrated commercial / residential irrigation control package that uses
readily-available personal computer resources to optimally irrigate an
installation. It is available in three versions
ranging from timed-only control in the basic, ET and timed control in the
standard and full irrigation management in the professional. It takes advantage of internet technology to obtain current
environmental conditions as well as forecast data from which projected rainfall
and evaporation is determined. It uses the Rain8 family of valve controllers to
provide control via the existing powerline, wired to the PC, or wireless. It
also supports integration with Homeseer and xAP to augment the family of valves
that can be controlled and further integration with other aspects of
|As well as the
sophisticated automated modes of operation, mcsSprinklers allows for several
forms of manual intervention. Handheld remote control can be used to roam the
irrigation zones and selectively turn on/off valves for head flow adjustments.
Voice can be used to control zones and the current irrigation status can be
vocally delivered with a voice request. mcsSprinklers maintains a
record of all control actions taken from which utilizations reports can be
operate as a simple application with the only interface being the connection
to the Rain8 or similar valve control hardware. It can also operate as
a robust central control site with redundant copies running in a coordinated
manner to maximize the availability of the irrigation function.
When operating as a
smart environment-dependent controller it can obtain environmental data from
the internet, from a local weather station, from other automation sources
local to the site, or any combination of these.
It is able to control
valves using a X10 or UPB powerline, direct serial cable, WiFi/IP, or RF.
Any combination can be used at the same time. It can control
distributed multi-drop irrigation wiring as well as the more typical single
point routing. This gives the capability to control irrigation of a
single building or a campus of buildings.
It is able to accept
water meter inputs and keep track of water utilization on a zone-by-zone and
day-by-day basis. When a meter is not available it can calculate water
utilization based upon valve head flow rates.
mcsSprinklers runs as an
application under Microsoft Windows W98, W2000, or XP.
An icon is available
in the tray from where desktop control can be gained. This control will
turn green when irrigation is underway.
The same control and
visibility can be gained remotely from the internet with a browser connection.
In addition email notifications can be setup to
become informed of events that require attention
complete manual is available that fully describes the setup and theory of
operations. Typical setups are included as case studies.
Irrigation strategies are described and full reference description of each
setup item is included.
The setup is guided by
an interview process that tailors the interview based upon prior answers.
In addition, context help popups are available and activated by hovering
the mouse over any setup item.
control can be based upon calculated waterfall/evaporation, measured soil
moisture, or three forms of periodic timed control. Mixtures of these
modes can be used as well.
Historical record of
soil moisture level is maintained and graphically displayed to provide a
visual feedback over the recent months or for the entire year.
The control is
organized to allow zones to be grouped into areas that share a common
scheduling strategy. Zones can be run in sequence, in parallel, or a
combination depending upon available water pressure and desired scheduling
Water supply, if
controlled by a pump, can be controlled on an area-by-area basis so when
any zone of the area becomes enabled the pump for that area will also be
watering periods can be altered based upon current conditions such as wind
speed, day-of-week, forecasted rainfall, and several other criteria to
assure that water is applied only when needed and only when allowed by
Control and viewing can also be made from a area/zone
In this case the predicted next watering cycle for each zone is display
as well as a color-coded graphic for a quick view of the overall
Note that the two zones in Area 1 are controlled by calculated soil
moisture content while the zone in Area 2 is controlled by a Monday,
Wednesday, Friday schedule.
of past activity and zone-related information are available with mouse
clicks from several different views. The calendar provides
access to recent and near-term information ranging from daily run times,
moisture levels, water utilization, general rainfall and irrigation status.
A click on the day's cell
in the calendar drills down to the detail for the day.
Another click provides
the bigger-picture annual trends for the zone, sensor, or other status item