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Old March 19th, 2023, 12:39 AM   #1
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ford50killa is offline
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Home automation

Im looking at automating my house. My question is my dpinkler system. If it has been rating the past few days, I want it to gather the latest rainfall info. Can you think how I would do that? I want a tan I can compare to. If the rainfall is more than an inch in the last 3 days, then it not need to active my sprinklers. Can any of you advise me on how to get this info into a register.
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Old March 19th, 2023, 08:29 AM   #2
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cardosocea is offline
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I'll start off that if I arrived at a home with a PLC, I'd make a heavily discounted offer or simply move on. PLC's are expensive to maintain and I would not want to have my wife as the production manager on a Tuesday night complaining something isn't working as asking "is it fixed yet?"

Have you considered collecting that data yourself with a vessel where you can measure the volume and automatically empty it by opening a valve?

Is there an online service that provides this data for you? If so, perhaps a networked Arduino or Raspberry pi or some server you may have already collecting and transmitting this to the PLC?
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Old March 19th, 2023, 03:15 PM   #3
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You haven't told us what PLC you are working with or going to work with.

I have used Node Red before to get local weather station data into a Groov Epic. As cardosocea alludes to, that is WAY overkill for home automation, though.

I believe you can use Node Red on a Pi though.

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Old March 19th, 2023, 05:32 PM   #4
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I did something very similar a few years back and it's still chugging along well!

Check out this thread, in post #38 I give a brief run down of how I get the hourly/daily weather data. This was in Australia, using the Australian weather bureau, so my approach won't be a direct cut-and-paste for you, but it might help get the ball rolling!
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Old March 19th, 2023, 05:36 PM   #5
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I_Automation is offline
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Look for (or make) an analog output rain gauge with a controlled dump valve.

Watch the collected level in the gauge and log it, if it gets too full empty it and keep counting.

Some Jobs Are Best Started With A Sawzall And A Dumpster On Castors
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Old March 20th, 2023, 05:06 AM   #6
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BryanG is offline
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Rainfall obviously does affect soil moisture levels, but so does temperature and wind velocity, and if you measure all those things you still don't get to the important bit. If you want to know the moisture in the soil, measure the moisture in the soil. A quick online search found this on Amazon:
Knowledge is power, share the knowledge.
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Old March 20th, 2023, 06:16 AM   #7
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cardosocea is offline
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Originally Posted by BryanG View Post
Pretty cheap... a hobby grade solution is more expensive.
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Old March 20th, 2023, 06:36 AM   #8
PLC Pie Guy

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I second the Node-Red application.
You can get a refurbished desktop PC from Staples for a couple hundred bucks. Node-Red will handle any Automation you can throw at it and gather the data you want from the internet.

Node-Red is really great for talking to a CLCK PLC from Automation direct, just to keep it cheap when looking at I/O. Raspberry PI will do it to, but I much prefer to run things on PC than on PI.
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