Valve controllers

Ok, I can do it. Make a controller for the automatic diversion valves (and thus the indexing valves as well.)

valve controller quick bang up prototype

valve controller quick bang up prototype

Definitely nothing fancy. Now I have not worked out any elegant way to be able to change the programing in the field so if I made one of these for you, I would need to know what sort of timing schedule you wanted so I could pre program it. Right now my prototype is running 5 minutes per side.

I still need to work up the price for one of these.

Let me know what you might be willing to pay for it seeing as to do it without a custom made control requires some form of repeat cycle timer, a power supply to plug into the timer to control a spdt relay that can control switching the 24VAC power supply to the different sides of the actuator.
So the cost for the above listed parts for me was
$75-$85 for a repeat cycle timer
$16 for 24VAC power supply for actuator
$12 for 12VDC power supply to switch the relay
$5 for relay
$2.19 for circuit board
$10 for wire, tape, solder etc and bucket to put over it all to keep rain from frying the non outdoor electronics that I couldn’t fit into a box.
Total $120.19-$130.19 (and that doesn’t include the price of the soldering iron or other tools needed for doing electronics, nor the shipping or taxes on those materials, let alone the time to figure it all out or the trial and error and education along the way.) So what I’m saying is if you want to just fudge it on your own, you probably can with the above listed inelegant bundle of parts. This would be far more appropriate to indoors where you wont’ be worried about it getting rained on.

Now if one wanted to build their own, they are not especially complex and the programing board isn’t especially costly because it is based on the PICAXE 08M chip and the software is free and there are free forums that can teach how to use them. I am estimating the cost to build one of these yourself (if you already have the tools for soldering and playing with electronics) to be around $110 including the nice weather resistant box.

I’m currently in the process of sourcing parts so I can put together more of the above pictured basic timers but these will be very basic just meant for timing the diversion valves. If you want any additional features or control I will recommend the Bigelow Brook Farm IX Series Sequencing Timer

6 comments to Valve controllers

  • Mark Isham

    You may consider going with an irrigation controller. 120v input to 24 v output.
    Can program to cycle multi cycles multivalves.
    price from 30 bucks for rainbird indoor at HD to Hunter XC outdoor available for up to 6 valves cost under 100.

    Florida Irrigation Supply stocks both. The Hunter XC is very ez to program. Comes in weatherproof box.

    Just a thought

    • TCLynx

      I own one irrigation controller and as far as I’ve been able to figure out, it won’t let me do enough cycles. I need something that can essentially operate as a repeat cycle timer and do something like 5 minutes on 5 minutes off. So far in my experience with irrigation controllers, they want to let you do only 4 or maybe 6 cycles per valve per day.

      And with the pool valve actuator, I need a controller that is equiped to send voltage down one side to activate it one way and then voltage down the other side to switch it the other way so an irrigation controller isn’t going to automatically do that without some special wiring and thinking.

  • Rahman

    Can I order gear motor for automatic fish feeder? also appropriate timer for it?
    howmuch cost it take including transport fare to Indonesia?

    • TCLynx

      I can’t even order the gear motors separately for myself. I also do not ship the new ones internationally.
      If you want a used feeder and timer I might be able to figure out international shipping for it but I expect it would be really expensive.

  • hunter tech

    the Hunter ICC controller has 4 programs labeled A,B,C,and D.
    each are capable or 8-9 start times each…
    that would be over 32 cycles per 24hr period and that’s only one station or zone. this controller has 32 stations and the ability to add more if the special modules are installed.
    My point is you can have multiple zones or (pumps,aerators,valves etc.) running simultaneously,separately or consecutively.

    Im using the ICC paired up with a pump relay to cycle my aquaponic vegetable grow and am using it to water the lawn thru the irrigation system as well. So between misting the foliage and cycling of the ebb and flow in the aquaponics system I’m also watering the lawn and potted plants with drip irrigation. I have more then enough programmable freedom do this and then some. Im planning to add an automatic water feeder for my pet ducks this summer. I just like the idea of feeding them while away and not having to fill their two 5 gal. water feeders 2x daily. that will be nice for a change. Not to sound to techie but all of this can be adjusted, activated or halted from a cell phone app and computer program provided by the same company from hundreds of miles away!
    All i need to do now is get an outdoor pet cam and I can watch to make sure im feeding the little quackers while on vacation haha how cool would that be. anyway I know this blog is an older one…
    just hoped to shed a little light on the possibilities. <–that word wears glasses =]

    • TCLynx

      My experience with irrigation controllers is that they are NOT repeat cycle timers and even through the timer might be able to manage quite a lot of cycles in a day, they are meant to do them on separate channels and you still have to go in and program the start and stop times for each one. (and I don’t really understand the 4 separate programs? Does that mean you have to call the thing with your phone 4 times a day to switch programs to be able to utilize all the cycles?)

      If what you want is a repeat cycle timer, then get a repeat cycle timer so all you have to do is set the on time and the time between cycles and it just repeats.

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