Computerized Sprinklers

If you want a green lawn, and you live in Denver (as I do) a sprinkler system is pretty much a must.  My house didn't have one when I bought it, so, I've decided to install one.  Naturally, I want to do this in the most geeky way possible.

After much searching, I found the rain8 icon product line of sprinkler controllers.  These are x10 protocol sprinkler controllers that allow you to control your sprinklers via a computer (with an x10 interface like a CM11) or with x10 tranceivers and remotes.  And, as always, they fill the base criteria of good compatibility with Linux.

I settled on the plain vanilla rain8 icon.  You MUST buy an interface module icon for this.  Even if you leave the rain8 connected to your PC, you cannot control it via the serial port.  The serial port interface is for configuration only.

There's a couple of motivations for using these (expensive) controllers.  One is that I want to log into my network from anywhere and control my sprinkers

The second motivation is that jackasses in my neighborhood routinely let their dogs shit in my yard.  Given the fact that A) I telecommute from my home and B) I can monitor my yard pretty easily with the advent of my surveillance project, I should be able to thoroughly soak any offending dogs/owners.  In fact, I installed a valve and heads aimed at the sidewalk, specifically to spray people.

I built a webpage for controlling the sprinklers from the web.  On the backend is a pretty simple cgi script that uses the x10 perl modules.  Here is that script.

As always, I installed my sprinkler system after what I learned from reading a book.  In this case it was 'Ortho's All About Sprinklers and Drip Systems'.  A good, easy to read, and thorough book.  If you're thinking about putting in an irrigation system, I recommend it.  Especially for the price that amazon is offering it.

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