Linux sprinkler controller project

Dave Smith dave at
Sun May 10 23:57:01 MDT 2009

On May 10, 2009, at 11:21 PM, Merrill Oveson wrote:

> <snip>

Thanks for all the info. After a little research, but no empirical  
evidence yet, I think residential sprinkler valves are solenoid driven  
and require 24 VAC (yes, AC I think). I'll measure mine with a  
voltmeter tomorrow. I'll need to get my hands on some relay boards  
that speak either RS-232 or some TTL magic (the latter would require  
my embedded board to have some GPIO headers that I can control).

> One question, would your sprinkler box have a static ip? - like a
> 192.168.x.x, if so which ip would you give it and how could you be  
> sure it
> wouldn't have the same ip of a computer on the home network?

To answer this question, I have two ideas:

Option 1. The boxs gets an IP address via DHCP. It runs Avahi so it's  
discoverable, and then I'd hack together an iPhon app to connect to it  
and control it. That way, users would never need to know what the IP  
address is, and as long as they have DHCP, they are set.

Option 2. Make the sprinkler box itself a wifi access point running  
DHCP, and then you just connect your PC to the correct wireless  
network (I would probably factory default the SSID to "Your Sprinkler  
System" or something). And you're done. It could still be running  
Avahi in case I make an iPhone client, but would probably be  
the IP address (which is easy enough to type into your web browser).

Whatever the case, I don't really care for static IPs because of the  
pain they bring if the user has a different network than the factory  
default IP address of the box.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a board? I would love to just  
hack a WRT54G since it already has the wireless access point stuff  
built right into it.


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