Yes - I agree that it may be an improvement on Andy's current situation (wired valves, scheduling, just one rain gauge), but does not serve the more general vision we were describing. And I think the flow sensor may be a must-have - and I missed that EZ-VRC is not accepting new subscribers! (?!)
It might be interesting to contact both of these companies to see what their stories are. They might not want to talk to or encourage a potential open source competitor, but then again they might. The relationship between the two would be particularly interesting to hear; looks like EZ-VRC may just be a value-added reseller, but I'm not sure I understand what value they're adding beyond cloud hosting.
This one is also wired, not wireless - same hack could be applied as I mentioned in my other post to make it wireless. But the other product looks maybe more viable for US purchase?
I think the main drawback of the Irrigation Caddy is that it requires direct wiring from the central controller to each of the valves. But that may not be a problem for you, Andy, since you've already got a lot of wire runs.
But it could also be adapted fairly easily for ZigBee use by connecting their valve controllers to a "virtual wire" made up of a Zigbee transmitter, and then a node like Louis's on the other end that's connected to the valve. The XBees support this kind of usage directly without an additional microcontroller - there's some configuration, but you can essentially say "Make this switch output on this remote node mirror the state of that input on the home base." Digi used to sell individual XBees in sealed enclosures, so that could be the glue that makes it wireless.
No, we abandoned it due to too much competition. The competition didn't necessarily get it right either, though. We applied for an NSF SBIR grant, but were turned down, then found and lost venture capital, then I considered taking it open source, but decided it would take way more time than I could afford to donate, especially since there seemed to be a lot of efforts going already in both academia and industry. That was around 2005.
Thanks so much! I need to work out child care arrangements for that day, so I'll get back to you privately - hope to have a plan this weekend.
I worked on an open irrigation control project some years ago, when ZigBee wasn't quite done yet; I built a solar-powered node and ran it for several years, but the overall project got derailed in politics. Would be happy to chat about it.
I'm a non-driver living in Fall Creek [downtown Ithaca] and would love to hitch a ride up to EcoVillage for the event on Saturday, and back.