Focus On: Irrigation Software

Flexibility. In no aspect of your business do you need it more than irrigation. Long gone are the days of setting sprinkler run times based on your best guess of turf needs and rainfall. Today's irrigation technology not only can design and evaluate your irrigation system, but also provide more weather data than The Weather Channel. Some even calculate evapotranspiration, so that your irrigation schedule can be as accurate as an atomic clock. To learn more about these irrigation software systems and controls, visit the web sites provided below.

Hunter introduces the ICC Controllers, which allow you to personalize and tailor the system to more effectively handle the odd number of stations your system may require. A controller built by combining sets of modules creates a system that can handle up to 48 stations and the different irrigation needs for turf, shrubs as well as any special watering restrictions. Features include a large, easy-to-read display, programmable master valve, 365-day calendar, rain sensor bypass, seasonal adjustment, and a choice of plastic, metal or stainless-steel cabinets.

Onset Computer Corporation introduces the wireless Radio Modem for its HOBO Weather Station and Micro Station products. Grounds care professionals can retrieve and analyze climate data from multiple HOBO weather stations deployed up to five miles away without having to physically travel to those remote sites. The independent battery-powered operation provides up to one year of operation using six D-cell batteries without taking power from the weather station. The Radio Modem uses 900MHz spread-spectrum technology, so no license is required.

The Golf Division of Rain Bird introduces the WS PRO LT Weather Station, designed to help superintendents eliminate the guesswork in determining accurate sprinkler run times. The sensors collect weather data, such as temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, solar radiation and rainfall amounts over a 24-hour period. This data is used to calculate an evapotranspiration (ET) value, which determines the precise amount of water that must be replaced in order to maintain soil moisture at a desired level. Additional features include ET override, weather data reports and unlimited data storage.

Senninger Irrigation introduces Irri-Maker software that provides flexibility in irrigation design. Irri-Maker evaluates installation alternatives in advance: surveys any terrain, produces a contour plan, draws the details and applies irrigation design. The software contains a built-in CAD module that allows you to add specific details to the contour plan, including text and bitmap images. Details like roads, fences, boundaries, rivers and trees can also be incorporated. You can control each element of the design, whether it's defining block areas, adding emitters and pipes, sizing the pipes or calculating the hydraulics.

Smart OSMAC software from The Toro Company provides standalone satellite operation for flexible irrigation control. It is designed for use prior to central control installation or in the event of a central failure or shutdown. The software utilizes over-the-air radio commands to set the maximum number of simultaneous stations, satellite time of day, satellite percent adjust, program percent adjust and program run time. Smart OSMAC allows up to 10 programs to run simultaneously with one station per program.

Tucor's full line of Flowmaster products provides economical, water-saving irrigation control. The controllers manage individual valves and come with built-in modems to allow two-way and remote communication. The line decoders receive power and control signals over the line, and contain a microprocessor that allows for easy controlling and testing. The sensor decoder is installed on the same two-wire path as the line decoder and may be programmed to operate with a 4-20mA, analog or digital input.

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