Posted in OpenSprinklette on February 17, 2020 by asteriondaedalus

So, who knows why the Zone 1 sprinkler goes off 4 minutes before sunset? No, I am not asking. I am seriously not going to ask on the Home Assistant “help” as I am not feeling I need wade through any “unhelp”. There is quite obviously a hiccup but for the purposes to which I put this hack, who really cares?

The easiest way around the problem of watering the zones in succession was NOT trying a trickle of triggers. I thought about it and I simply had four triggers on sun events or states that had four different delays before spilling into the action section. As I have timers on the zones, to turn them off automatically after 15 minutes, I simply triggered on sun state, sun state + 20 minutes, sun state + 40 minutes and then sun state + 60 minutes (aka 1 hour).

Good enough for a home setup with four sprinkler zones. Though I will be adding more zones as I go. One idea is to use ball valves instead of the 24VAC valves. That way you can use a solar cell and battery setup and plant them any place you like (away from the mains and the 24VAC powerpack).

So I need design another board. That will be a real version 2.0.


Posted in OpenSprinklette on February 9, 2020 by asteriondaedalus

Still a little dusty from my Dremel work. I say Dremel work, I got a $30 “Dremel” from Aliexpress some time ago (is it or is it not a Dremel?). It says on the case “Made in America” but its bought from China! A little shady then.

It does run on AUS 230VAC.

I cut the foreign plug off and connected an AUS plug. Only problem, it seems to have a preference in the wiring up the active and neutral (would work one way but not the other). The problem being the way it is happy to wire up seems to have the spindle turning the wrong way, so it loosens instead of tightening the chuck. Oh well. If it becomes a problem I guess I will buy a real one from a local supplier. No problem so far.

Keeping the price down on this sucker is hard. I used up all the 100uF caps I got from Aliexpress, the sucker in the photo is $8! The case is, yes, big. The problem, the next size down would just fit the board if I redesign the board. I may do that since the use of the screw posts inboard turned out to be clumsy (might as well solder to board). Not to mention, it interferes with lid of this box, so I will remove screw post and solder to board. The box is $24!

This is fine for my personnel hacks.

Yep, I will have to jump the 24VAC inputs from side terminals to end terminals … clumbsy. So, more thinking through things required in future.

Works a treat with ESPHome on board and hooked into Home Assistant. I have “switches” to manually turn it on/off. You can turn it on and it will water for 15min and turn itself off using an automation. To run all four I am using sunrise and sunset events and simply chaining the watering of zones, so that all four are not on at once.

I will still persist with the node-red version, with my own sprinkler code, as an alternative. As I am still keen to glue the parser I wrote into the node-red and as the means to interpret the google calendar event title.



Posted in OpenSprinklette on February 8, 2020 by asteriondaedalus
Note the common linked to left most post
New version on right

New boards have arrived

Posted in OpenSprinklette on February 2, 2020 by asteriondaedalus

So, I have set up the quad board to be able to wire the relays up and be a little tidier.

The 24VAC comes in the side via two of the three posts. The third post passes up the 24VAC to the commons of all of the relays on the relay board. The four N/O outs of the relays go to the inward 4 posts. They then neatly exit on the 5 posts on the end along with a common. The additional 4 posts on the end are for inputs/outputs, not currently assigned. The breadboarding was added to allow for hardware hacking (including the small matrix near the input posts or are they output posts? Up to you).

The horse has bolted

Posted in Rant on January 18, 2020 by asteriondaedalus

Microsoft promises to be carbon negative by 2030. In an around the extinction of wild rhinos and elephants. Just short of the last glaciers disappearing. Not to mention the raft of predicted extinctions because of plastics in the ocean.

Qantas dog killers

Posted in Rant on January 18, 2020 by asteriondaedalus

Go figure. The Qantas response to its killing a dog by leaving the dog for an hour on the tarmac in 40 degree Celsius heat was to ban the breed. If the owner had killed the dog that way, the owner would be charges by the police The ground staff involved need to be named. The staff who did not act need to be publically named. Sackngs are in order. Qantas personnel are amoral and unethical. Snub nosed breed owners should shame Qantas. Unite. Post “Shame Qantas shame”

Oh the pain

Posted in Docker, Home Assistant, HypriotOS on January 12, 2020 by asteriondaedalus

Trying to get Clicksend integrated with Home Assistant appeared to be easier, once you find all the goss, but its finding the goss.

The clicksend config is at Home Assistant site. Straight forward enough.

To set up an action the trick turned out to be use a “Call Service” with:

alias: ''
message: Zone 1 turned on
service: notify.clicksend

Now the hint was at the Clicksend integration page for Home Assistant. That it, it was a service call.

That pieced together something for me that didn’t stand out from the mess of help at Home Assistant. That is:

   - platform: clicksend
     name: ClickSend
     api_key: CLICKSEND_API_KEY
     recipient: PHONE_NO 

Leads to a service call, in the actions and likely scripts, of:


Makes eminent sense.