Author Topic: Connecting the wires from my Rainbird clock to EtherRain  (Read 7041 times)

Gangee

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Connecting the wires from my Rainbird clock to EtherRain
« on: July 10, 2010, 12:30:48 pm »
Howdy Jim,

It looks like the wires going to my Rainbird clock are a thicker gauge than what fits into EtherRain.  What gauge wire fits into EtherRain?  If so, no biggie.  We can splice the zone wires down to whatever will fit.

Also, here's the setup we're aiming for.   

What we want to do, is setup so that if the EtherRain device failed or the Internet was down for a day or so, it's easy to go back to the clock.

We're not going to leave the clock on, it'll be unplugged.  We'll use EtherRain for the irrigation.   

So our thought is to leave the clock mounted on the wall with the zone wires attached to it.  Then splice the wires from the clock over to the EtherRain device.  Now, if something is not working with EtherRain, all we need to do to go back to the clock is unplug the 2 EtherRain Terminal plugs, plug in the clock and turn it back on.  Of course it might lose it's setup, so we might need to reprogram the clock. 

Will this work?

If so, we might take it a step further and leave the clock plugged in, but set it to it's "Off" setting, so none of the Programs will run.  This way all we'd need to do to go back to the clock is unplug the 2 EtherRain Terminal plugs, turn the clock back to "Auto".

Thanks,

Jim

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Re: Connecting the wires from my Rainbird clock to EtherRain
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2010, 04:43:59 pm »
Hi Gangee,

Wire Gauge:  Standard sprinkler wire is 18 gauge.  Two or three 18 gauge wires fit nicely into each terminal connection on the EtherRain plugs.  A single 14 gauge wire will fit.  Make sure the tightening connector in the plug is opened fully.  Turn the screw counterclockwise and look into the plug.  You'll see the tightening band move down.  When it is at the bottom it is fully open.

Backup Timer Setup:  The backup setup you have described should work.  You'll want to make sure that your RainBird Timer is off when the EtherRain connectors are in place.   If both are on at the same time, you'll have to make sure you connected the commons correctly or the devices may short out (won't hurt EtherRain).

Going a step Further and leaving the clock plugged in, but off.   WARNING:  I would advise against this, but only because I don't know the circuit construction of the RainBird.  The possibility exists that active switching of a circuit could damage the RainBird timer relays if they are using solid state relays.  If the RainBird timer had mechanical relays then you could probably do this.  If you were going to do this the preferred method would be to switch the wires or build up a pluggable terminal to allow you to easily plug or unplug the sprinkler wires into the Rainbird. 

« Last Edit: July 10, 2010, 04:49:57 pm by Jim »

Gangee

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Re: Connecting the wires from my Rainbird clock to EtherRain
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2010, 05:43:02 pm »
Hey Jim,

Great.

So it sounds like you're recommendation is to leave the clock off and unplugged while running EtherRain?

Thanks,
« Last Edit: July 11, 2010, 06:00:34 pm by Gangee »

Jim

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Re: Connecting the wires from my Rainbird clock to EtherRain
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2010, 06:29:33 pm »
Hi Gangee,

Yes, without knowing anything about the outputs on the RainBird I would not have the active RainBird controller running in parallel with another working controller.   I think you could keep the wires attached in parallel as long as the RainBird controller was not on.   This would apply to any controller if the ouput circuitry of the controller were unknown.  Best would be to have some type of switch that could switch all lines for you but I don't think these are readily available.


Jim