Community Home Community B-Hyve Indoor/Outdoor Timer External rain sensor testing and understanding its operation

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 29 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #4706
    mooch91
    Participant

    All,

    One issue I’ve been having with my new B-hyve timer is with respect to the operation of the external rain sensor. From reading on here, it appears as if things are not working properly for most. I spent some time testing the sensor terminals today and wanted to post my results. I wanted to confirm whether issues I was experiencing were a function of the sensor or the B-hyve controller. I found that there’s a little of both.

    Simulated sensor
    I started by using a simple wire across the two sensor terminals to simulate a rain sensor connected at that location. I set a short dummy program to start and observed the operation.

    With the wire connected across the two sensor terminals (i.e., “no rain”), the program started and ran just fine.

    With the wire open across the two sensor terminals (i.e., “rain”), the display showed “SENS DELAY”, the app indicated that there was a delay due to the sensor, and the program did not start.

    This confirms that the sensor terminals are looking for an closed circuit to indicate no rain and an open circuit to indicate rain.

    Things got a little quirky when I disconnected and reconnected the wire while the program was running. This is a very real situation – rain starts while a program is running, or the sensor dries out while the program should be running.

    Under these circumstances, the controller itself always shut off or turned on as you would expect. That is, if the program was running and the wire was disconnected from the sensor terminals (i.e., rain), the program shut down. If the program was not running because of a “SENS DELAY” and the wire was reconnected to the sensor terminals (i.e., no rain), the program would restart. Everything seemed to function as you’d want it to at the controller when the sensor would make/break as the program was running.

    The app itself got very confused under these circumstances – it was very much out of sync with the controller. It would show a delay due to the sensor when the program was running, it would show the program running when the controller had it stopped, and many times when the program was running, the time remaining was very different from the controller.

    Hunter Mini-clik
    The wired rain sensor from my existing system is the Hunter Mini-clik. This is a fully wired sensor, with two wires, located outdoors about 15′ from my controller. It worked just fine with the Hunter Pro-C controller that the B-hyve replaces. From what I have read of its operation, this sensor should open the circuit when rain is detected and close it when there is no rain. It uses a hygroscopic disc to accomplish this – when it gets wet, the circuit breaks, when it dries out, the circuit makes. I confirmed this by measuring resistance and continuity across the sensor when it’s wet (“open lead”/very high resistance) and dry (closed circuit/very low resistance).

    I have the sensor wired simply in to the two sensor terminals on the B-hyve, similar to the tests I performed with a wire as a simulated sensor.

    All of that said, this rain sensor does not work properly with the B-hyve controller. I soaked it with water, measured no continuity (high resistance) across the sensor, yet the program started just fine. I’ve not been able to get it to delay or stop a program like disconnecting the wires would accomplish. It’s pouring now, so I have not been able to test the sensor “dry”, but I wonder if it will produce the on-off behavior that others have described.

    No explanation for why it isn’t working, but I speculate that since I always measure resistance across the leads when wet or dry, that it’s never fully making or breaking the circuit. That is, when it gets wet, resistance gets very high across the leads, but never fully opens the circuit. This might work effectively to have the Hunter Pro-C controller register as wet and shut down, but the B-hyve may be looking for something a bit higher resistance. I suppose it could be wired in series with the common wire to break the circuit to the valves, but then the B-hyve would never register it as a sensor delay, it wouldn’t be visible that it’s delayed in the app, and there would be no way to bypass it to even allow programs to run manually.

    I’m willing to try another sensor, even a wireless one, but I think we need to understand more about why some (most?) sensors are not working. Hopefully the support staff will be able to give us some answers. I really need to use the rain sensor on my system as I’m in a rural area and the nearest weather station is 10 miles away. Weather conditions can be vastly different across 10 miles, and it’s a huge waste to be watering while it’s raining.

    Thanks for reading.

    Spread the love!
    #4711
    mooch91
    Participant

    I’d be happy to help with any further testing or troubleshooting.

    I should also state that I am using the Hydro-rain HRC 400 B-hyve controller, which is the 16-zone version of the Orbit B-hyve. Firmware differences might make some of my experience different that those with the Orbit controller. I’ve asked to get the latest firmware for my device.

    Spread the love!
    #4723
    mooch91
    Participant

    The Hunter Mini-clik measures around 20 ohms when the sensor is dry.

    Spread the love!
    #5359
    TimB
    Participant

    So did Orbit ever respond to this thread with any information? I have the Hunter Rain-Clik sensor from my previous system installed, and it the Bhyve is looking for more resistance that the Hunter provides I need to know that.

    Sure would be nice if the Bhyve and the app gave a direct indication of when the sensor is tripped (at any time, not just when a program is running) and when it resets so we could tell what is happening. Folks have been asking for that feature for months and months.

    Spread the love!
    #5397
    Azervos3
    Participant

    Common issue no response or fix from them

    Spread the love!
    #5430
    mooch91
    Participant

    No response, but here is my suspicion.

    My Mini-Clik was connected to wires in my sprinkler wire bundle, and did not have its own wire running straight to the controller. This could have contributed to noise or resistance.

    Nonetheless, I installed an Irritrol RS1000 wireless and it has been working fine. I figured a wireless sensor would surely open and close the contacts, and this one worked perfectly.

    I suspect the wired sensors can be used, but might be more suitable as an interrupt on the common wire instead of wired direct to the sensor inputs based on my experience. Unfortunately, that will give you NO indication that the sensor has tripped.

    I do agree, we should get some notification from the app when the sensor is tripped, not just when a program is trying to run. Plus the ability to bypass the sensor from the app. I did request this in a recent forum post.

    Spread the love!
    #5463
    Josh Wheeler
    Keymaster

    Thanks all for the comments.

    This has been a bit of an issue and I’m not an electrical guy so I can’t comment to some of the questions here but I can say that if a scheduled program is supposed to be running and the physical sensor has been tripped the timer should report to the server as much and the server should then report to the app that the timer is in physical sensor delay.

    We have a new version of firmware that is set to go out at any time now that will notify the server immediately of a sensor delay being set regardless of whether or not a program is running. Hope to see this go live very soon. It’s firmware version 33, could be 33+ by time it does go out depending on if we squeeze anything else into it or not. But that’s the firmware version you can look for soon. We don’t have it on the production servers yet so I can’t push it out but maybe soon.

    Spread the love!
    #5464
    mooch91
    Participant

    Thanks Josh!

    This is exactly the way it should operate, and hopefully the app reflects the rain sensor status immediately as well. Should include a bypass option at the same time.

    Can you comment if the same update will go out to the HRC 400 (my controller) and what it’s version number will be? I’m on 0023 for a WT25G2H-0001.

    Thanks.

    Spread the love!
    #5468
    Azervos3
    Participant

    How do we get the update when it’s available?

    Spread the love!
    #5473
    TimB
    Participant

    Josh, thank you SO much for replying with actual information as to what Orbit is doing on this. We have been asking for improvements with sensor notification for some time and it’s great to hear there might be a response. Immediate notification that a rain sensor has triggered would be terrific, however as pointed out by another poster the app must respond to that information by notifying the user. Also, there should be an annunciation on the timer itself that the sensor is tripped regardless of if program running or not.

    Also Josh, can you possibly get someone who IS an electrical type at Orbit to read and respond to the other thread on the rain sensor where users have discovered that many sensors including Orbit brand often don’t work with Bhyve possibly due to noise or interference in the wire to the sensor? That thread can be found at https://orbitcomm.wpengine.com/topic/external-rain-sensor/ Folks have been waiting for someone at Orbit to weigh in on that for some time, and many smart users have been trying to figure out why their sensors misbehave all the way back to February. Thank you in advance for your help with that.

    Spread the love!
    #5476
    Josh Wheeler
    Keymaster

    AZERVOS3

    We have an auto update built in to the timers, they check in occasionally with the server and once a new version is available they’ll update themselves, unless we beat them to it and push it out manually.

    Frequently we’ll push the newest stuff out to a handful of random users, after we’ve tested internally of course, to see how it goes and then we’ll start rolling it out to larger batches until everyone has it.

    Ummm, we don’t manage a list per say of who to get it to first but I know there’s a thread around here where people have been asking for updates. Might be a cool feature to let users say they want the firmware as soon as it’s available and get them in the first few “beta” releases. I’ll bring this up.

    As of now it’s just kinda of a wait for it game. Sorry, wish I could do better but if I get a chance I’ll try to revisit these threads and let you know so you can ask for it if you want it.

    Thanks!

    Spread the love!
    #5477
    Josh Wheeler
    Keymaster

    TIMB

    You’re welcome.

    Currently the timer display will show “SENSE” if a sensor delay has been triggered and a program is scheduled to run. Not exactly what we want but I agree with you and I’ll take your comments to the team.

    I’ll take the electrical “noise” problem to them too, this has probably not been examined extensively either, especially with non-Orbit brands.

    Feel free to ping this thread occasionally if you don’t hear anything back, we do get a little busy and distracted at times.

    Thanks!

    Spread the love!
    #5485
    Azervos3
    Participant

    I’ll be a beta tester if u want or send me the update first I’ll let u know if it fixes the on off ocilation and if it notifies if a rain sensor delay

    Spread the love!
    #5539
    Josh Wheeler
    Keymaster

    Please post the last six digits of your MAC Address and I’ll upgrade your timer to the latest version we have available.

    Thanks!

    Spread the love!
    #5540
    Josh Wheeler
    Keymaster

    MOOCH91

    Please post the last six digits of your MAC Address and I’ll upgrade your timer to the latest version we have available.

    Thanks!

    Spread the love!
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 29 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Spread the love!