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Author Topic: NEW Skydrop  (Read 12498 times)

Offline Pseudomizer

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Re: NEW Skydrop
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2015, 03:45:56 pm »
I have been using RainMachine,  and I am happy,  but I still can't find a way  to monitor water consumption over wifi or zwave.  Any suggestions?

I bought the Skydrop now. Got it up and running. Looks sleek and works. The integration into the NEST monthly report doesn't work at the moment as they found a bug but once that is done it should report with the NEST report which is I think what you are looking for.
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Offline salbcrumb

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Re: NEW Skydrop
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2015, 10:14:01 pm »
Quote
Can you point me to SkyDrops method/formula? Formulas are crude and if you really want to get the truth you need to put a soil moisture sensor in. None of the three systems seem to fully support that. Open sprinkler being open source does have people using it but it's not out of the box supported.

Sydrop's algorithms were developed in conjunction with the University of Utah, which is one of the top horticultural schools in the country.  It uses Weather Underground to pull real-time data for temp, precipitation, humidity, wind speed, solar radiation, etc.  It combines that with each zone's settings of soil type, plant type, shade level, slope severity, sprinkler type with precipitation rate, and more.  You can dig even deeper to enter plant coefficients, custom sprinkler efficiencies and more to determine evapotranspiration rates.  And of course you can set however many manual programs you want for very precise control.  It also uses any watering restrictions you enter in its scheduling calculations.

Other smart controllers take your set schedule and use their ET and weather data to adjust how long they run, but still within that schedule.  The Skydrop does the opposite.  It starts with the weather and ET calculations, and then creates the schedule from that.  So each zone gets a custom schedule of when to water, and for how long.  It has proven to conserve significantly more water than the competition.  Any plant expert will tell you that deep & infrequent watering is the key to long-term health.  Make the roots reach down to get to the water, and they grow stronger.  If you're watering on a set schedule (even adjusted for time) the water stays close to the surface, which isn't as good for the plants.

Nothing will ever be as exact as probes and sensors and constant monitoring and adjustments of sprinklers.  But for 99% of people, the ability to "set it and forget it" while still getting excellent results will trump anything else.

And Skydrop does integrate with Nest.  I'm not sure about plans to open the API.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2015, 10:20:28 pm by salbcrumb »

Offline rstrouse

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Re: NEW Skydrop
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2015, 12:46:07 am »
That sounds like fun to play with.  However, it also sounds a lot like constant tweaking.  Simple loam testing and crop coefficients even on cool vs warm season grasses get pretty involved.  On a deciduous tree, crop coefficients and effective root zones vary greatly between bud break and canopy.  When you throw in distribution uniformity vs precipitation rates the average user may find it a bit confusing as to which value needs adjusting when stress is noticed.  Getting it wrong won't show up right away and an effective model will prove elusive.  For that reason, you may find that you are constantly tweaking.

That's also why empirical testing is typically performed with permanent and semi-permanent plantings until the models stabilize.  With row crops the irrigators get to know the land, pull a root or two, and bomb a few leaves to be sure.  Empirical testing is constant.  A mistake on when and how much can spell the difference between a profit or loss.  Most residential landscapes are a combination of the two but the stakes aren't nearly as high.

Keep in mind that I have done this in practice for over a decade on thousands of test points.  In most cases irrigators find that they have been irrigating too infrequently and too deeply during the highest reference ET periods.  When it comes to the professionals all this science is great but interpretation of it is very much based on years of experience.

I'll be looking forward to watching how this works out.  Maybe I'll even get one to fart around with.
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Offline salbcrumb

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Re: NEW Skydrop
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2015, 10:25:41 am »
Quote
I bought the Skydrop now. Got it up and running. Looks sleek and works. The integration into the NEST monthly report doesn't work at the moment as they found a bug but once that is done it should report with the NEST report which is I think what you are looking for.

I'm one of the beta testers and I know v1.8 of the Skydrop app is supposed to be released wide probably next week.  And the Nest integration will be all set.  There will also be reporting directly from Skydrop

Offline Aaron

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Re: NEW Skydrop
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2015, 10:00:54 am »
rstrouse
what are you using?

I found someone compiling a comparison page of MANY controllers...
http://socialcompare.com/en/comparison/smart-networked-sprinkler-irrigation-controllers

I'm trying to decide what I want. Leaning to Skydrop, not sure I really need Vera integration since I can't see any real benefit... if you see use cases, let me know.

Offline ndstate

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Re: NEW Skydrop
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2015, 02:02:01 pm »
Check your local Lowe's. I found some that were $100 off. I have a few I'm going to sell.

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: NEW Skydrop
« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2015, 02:27:00 pm »
not sure I really need Vera integration since I can't see any real benefit.

I have a Open Sprinkler and have since deleted the plugin as I have had no use for vera integration also.

Offline Aaron

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Re: NEW Skydrop
« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2015, 11:31:08 pm »
Check your local Lowe's. I found some that were $100 off. I have a few I'm going to sell.
Not on sale in CO near me.

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Offline Aaron

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Re: NEW Skydrop
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2015, 01:23:07 am »
I've been using my SkyDrop for a few weeks now. So far I like it, tech support is excellent - makes up for some gap in the documentation.

Is it saving me money? not sure.

But it is definitely a cool gadget, the web UI and Android app are very good too. And, of course, MUCH better for custom programming schedules than anything traditional and easy to turn on/off remotely when doing work on the sprinklers/drip system.

Not sure it is worth $300 but I paid about half of that used on ebay and I'd say for $150, totally worth it - maybe $200.

Offline Pseudomizer

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Re: NEW Skydrop
« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2015, 01:33:23 pm »
After using this device now for 2 months I can report that my water usage for irrigation went from 8.000 gallons down to 4.000 gallons. With that said my lawn is green with a tint of yellow which recently started to show. I am going to increase my watering duration to address the yellow tinting.

So basically I cut the usage by half from before watering on a fixed schedule every three days down to smart watering when it is needed. The fine tuning what I am going to do next will increase the water consumption but it cannot be that much raising the minutes.

Overall I am happy and pleased with the results especially my county gave me 50% in form of a rebate.

In regards to Vera integration which was on my To Do list I am not sure anymore if this is required. This is a smart watering system and you set it and forget it. I can only see a need from a few uses cases e.g.

1) you want to be able to start manual watering for whatever reason
2) you want to report to Vera actual usage and water consumption

Open for any other feedback/ideas and/or experiences.
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Offline TC1

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Re: NEW Skydrop
« Reply #25 on: September 04, 2015, 08:32:00 pm »
After using this device now for 2 months I can report that my water usage for irrigation went from 8.000 gallons down to 4.000 gallons. With that said my lawn is green with a tint of yellow which recently started to show. I am going to increase my watering duration to address the yellow tinting.

So basically I cut the usage by half from before watering on a fixed schedule every three days down to smart watering when it is needed. The fine tuning what I am going to do next will increase the water consumption but it cannot be that much raising the minutes.

Overall I am happy and pleased with the results especially my county gave me 50% in form of a rebate.

In regards to Vera integration which was on my To Do list I am not sure anymore if this is required. This is a smart watering system and you set it and forget it. I can only see a need from a few uses cases e.g.

1) you want to be able to start manual watering for whatever reason
2) you want to report to Vera actual usage and water consumption

Open for any other feedback/ideas and/or experiences.


Most obvious use case: You have guests over and outside, say a garden party. You don't want the sprinklers to turn on when Vera is in say "party mode". So you would temporarily suspend your irrigation controller.

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: NEW Skydrop
« Reply #26 on: September 05, 2015, 10:12:05 am »
Most obvious use case: You have guests over and outside, say a garden party. You don't want the sprinklers to turn on when Vera is in say "party mode". So you would temporarily suspend your irrigation controller.

I thought the same thing...... but your suposed to run sprinklers early in the morning not at night so the leafs dont stay wet all night.

Then i realized that my sprinklers are set to 5am and im to old to party until 5am.

With my open sprinkler i never have used vera to do anything useful. Plugin is just a waste of ram. I could send http command via a scene or Pleg, but have yet to need that.

Think of the reality vs. The cool factor.

Offline Aaron

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Re: NEW Skydrop
« Reply #27 on: September 05, 2015, 10:24:04 am »
I would like Vera integration for a few basic and useful things...
1. Quick way to bypass zones - as mentioned before, in case of guests, party, etc. I run water in early morning but skydrop varies the on/off times.. And the grass can be wet well into the afternoon if it is overcast, etc
2. Visual indicator of the currently running zone
3. Total daily run time tracking for each zone. This would give me a way to record history and calculate/estimate water usage... It also helps figuring out how to tweak the times - if plants are growing too fast, or browning, etc

Sent from my HTC6525LVW using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: September 05, 2015, 10:26:38 am by Aaron »

Offline TC1

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Re: NEW Skydrop
« Reply #28 on: September 05, 2015, 10:42:03 am »
Most obvious use case: You have guests over and outside, say a garden party. You don't want the sprinklers to turn on when Vera is in say "party mode". So you would temporarily suspend your irrigation controller.

I thought the same thing...... but your suposed to run sprinklers early in the morning not at night so the leafs dont stay wet all night.

Then i realized that my sprinklers are set to 5am and im to old to party until 5am.

With my open sprinkler i never have used vera to do anything useful. Plugin is just a waste of ram. I could send http command via a scene or Pleg, but have yet to need that.

Think of the reality vs. The cool factor.

The *reality* is that most people are idiots and unaware. I see people all over town running sprinklers in the afternoon when they get home or in the morning. Folks educated on lawn care realize that a good amount of that water just evaporates into the air during daylight hours.

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: NEW Skydrop
« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2015, 12:22:25 am »
The *reality* is that most people are idiots and unaware. I see people all over town running sprinklers in the afternoon when they get home or in the morning. Folks educated on lawn care realize that a good amount of that water just evaporates into the air during daylight hours.

So are you suggesting they are smart enough to buy a smart sprinkler controller, install a Vera, the plugin, and set it up, instead of changing the watering time to an appropriate time which also happens to be when your not partying or need a sprinkler party mode?  LOL