OpenSprinkler Pi

I’ve been meaning to write about this for ages: I hate watering the garden. I’ve met Ray, the Mind Behind, a couple of times now, I actually *own* one of these boards, and…I hate watering the garden. Did I mention that?

If you hate watering the garden but enjoy messing around with computers, OpenSprinkler Pi is a no-brainer. It’s the cheapest and most configurable system of its type I’ve come across, it’s open source (and this means that Ray’s not the only person working on it – tools from the community like Rich Zimmerman’s Sprinklers_Pi software add features like weather control, so you can adjust your irrigation depending on your local weather forecast), and there’s a big community adding features all the time.

You can read more at, find links to a ton of code, and buy a board there too. We highly recommend you take a look; Ray’s a great guy, and we love what he’s doing with the Pi.


Jim Manley avatar

This idea might strike some as being all wet or just a sprinkling of inspiration, but it’s really a gusher of a concept! Sorry, I’m still recovering from too much Thanksgiving stuffing … both the noun and the verb :lol:

elmsley avatar

Great stuff.

MK avatar

I love this. Any data on power consumption here?

Ray Wang avatar

The board itself consumes very little power. Each open valve draws about 150 to 200mA current from the 24V AC transformer; the board has a 24V AC to 5V DC switching regulator to power RPi.

Paultnl avatar

Looks like this could work with a heating system as well.

Earlton2 avatar

I was very intrigued with the link to the Google calendar. My un-pi solution is switching 24VAC with relays and using a step-up transformer to drive valves taken from old washing machines and the like.

Simon D avatar

Marginally OT, but the circuit board for a combie boiler wear out after a few years. There’s a company that sells refurbed boards for a fraction of the price of a new one. What happens is that the extra-low voltage electronics lasts for ever. The 240V relays on the edges get trashed. So their repair is mostly replacing the relays (dead cheap).

Because of the logic states required to run a combie sick relays cause all sorts of problems cos a relay can contact, the board’s happy to switch the next device, and then earlier relay changes its mind so forcing the controller to backtrack. This causes the poor relays to thrash, which in turn makes them sicker. So new board.

Presumably the best solution for heating control, like this lawn waterer, is to have a low power controller, such as an ATmega, and some custom electronics+ relays. That can hold a schedule, RTC and some relays. Also talk to a thermostat; either a traditional 240V one or cleverer. Then program it either via a RPi or laptop/tablet.

Conan avatar

Impressive stuff. Especially the interface with the website configuration. There’s seems to be no end to the innovation that is happening right now.

Dave Rensberger avatar

I’d had the idea to do something like this years ago, so I was pleased to see that someone else had the same idea and had put together hardware for it. I bought one of the early versions of this and used it to water my outdoor plants all summer long. The hardware and mechanical design is really nicely done (integrated into a durable case that requires nothing more than a standard sprinkler power supply that you can buy at any gardening store or home depot).

The demo software that comes with it is functional, but somewhat limited. I wish I had more time to work on a software stack myself. I think you could do some really cool stuff. I’d eventually like to use it to try to artificially optimize growing conditions to grow things that are otherwise very difficult to grow in the area where I live.

Gizmo avatar

It should be named the… ODENsprinkler… :)

Vlad avatar

Happy wife – easier life for me now!
Thank’ A LOT !
But my friends hate me because their wives want to have the same :-)
I mean the sprinkling system for sure.

Mike Vanderpool avatar

I have it working in my yard it it is awesome. I also built in a soil sensor so that it can work of of that as well. Its a great product and works very well. It was easy to set up, worse part was digging the lines but I am using a RainBird Solenoid and sprinklers.

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