I’m working on a package that would include a diversion valve with the motorized actuator and a timer/controller for it. This complete kit will probably run about $300.
The Valves and actuators can be found through pool supply companies. I will be offering the valve/actuator combo for $149.99.
I have yet to find a low cost controller that does exactly what I would want without extra modification. I will start making a basic one that I can pre-set the time interval for people (I currently use a 10 minute to each side time schedule for my valves) I think I can make that box for $149.99.
If you are into electronic projects, I can sell my block diagram of the timer I’ve been using. The chips I’m using are picaxe M8 chips and the program is way simple.
The Bigelow Brook Farms controllers can also be modified to control the valves but it requires a 24 VAC transformer to be wired into a modified controller. The benefit of these controllers is that they can be programed in the field.
I will work on getting buttons for buying these set up but if I’m not fast enough for you, contact me and I can send you an invoice.
The valves and actuators can be packed up and shipped pretty fast but the controllers might take a little lead time to get them built for you.
The benefit of using the automated diversion valve is that they can divert the flow to and from an indexing valve without the need to turn the pump on/off which can be hard on pumps over time. I have even used these diversion valves in conjunction with true gravity flow installs of the indexing valves.
Many people plan to use solenoid valves for this, I must warn you that most aquaponic set ups are not using strong enough pumps to allow the solenoid valves to function let alone allow enough flow through them to flood the grow beds at a reasonable rate. Now if your set up uses a 1 hp pump, then maybe you should go ahead and try the solenoid valve, they are cheaper. My experience is that most people are trying to use less electricity in the aquaponics systems and the pumps won’t be strong enough to provide the differential pressures required to operate the solenoid valves in the first place.