A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
This project is a spin-off of our previously funded
Many of our backers, and subsequently web site customers, did not need the full functionality or the Mega-IO card, but only the relays.
There are may ways to add relays to Raspberry Pi. You can add a 16-relay board controllable through the GPIO interface, but this will use up most of the IO pins. If you need more relays, you need to use another Raspberry Pi. The end result is a multitude of wires that are hard to control.
So we proceeded to cut the cost of the Mega-IO card by removing all the IO functions.
We removed the processor, all the opto-couplers, all the analog circuitry and the right angle connector, and we ended up with a card costing 40% less:
We build the prototypes and debugged and tested the hardware. All the command line functions can be downloaded from GITHUB.
TYPICAL APPLICATION: 8 to 64 ZONE SMART SPRINKLER CONTROLLER
An irrigation controller is "smart" if it can take watering decisions based on weather forecasts. You can buy one for $10 to $30 per zone, or you can build it yourself for under $5 per zone.
The links below are only examples, there are many other sources on the net where you can purchase these components.
Connect your Raspberry Pi to your local network. Load the address of your router (something like 192.168.0.1), into your browser, look for the Local Client Table and find the address of your Raspberry Pi. (something like 192.168.0.x). Point your browser to this address and you will see the start-up page of your sprinkler controller:
Click on the SETTINGS icon in the upper right corner:
The SETTINGS page checks how many 8-Relay cards are installed. Make sure the card Jumpers are set as indicated, else the cards will not be found. Select the first card from the Card# column and give your Irrigation Zones some meaningful names.
Enter your location if you wish to use the Auto Rain Delay. Select the rain limit (10mm = 10 liters per square meter). The system will shut off when the forecast calls for more rain than your preset limit. The forecast is using the API interface from https://openweathermap.org/
Save your settings and close the window. The zone names will be transferred to the main screen:
Click on a zone name to turn on the corresponding relay. Click the zone name again to turn the relay off. Type the run time of each zone, or use the arrows to select. Click on the desired days when your system will run. Set the START TIME and press SUBMIT. All the changes will be saved into the database.
If you set the RUN TIME for all the zones to 1 minute, and the START TIME to the current time, you will see the relays on your 8-Relay card turning on and off in sequence, at 1 minute interval. You are now ready to wire your valves.
Install your hardware in a location where you can bring the wires from all your irrigation valves. Use the Common and Normal Open contacts of the relays to control the 24V power applied to the valves.
Rather than bringing the wires from all the valves directly to the relays, we suggest to use a terminal block to "tame" all the valve wires. Use short wires from the terminal block to the relay connectors on the 8-relay card.
Your Sprinkler Controller is now ready. You can now control your irrigation system from anywhere on the net with just a few mouse clicks.
The only risk this project faces is that nobody wants it. The prototypes are fully tested and the Linux command line software is working. Python drivers are tested and can be downloaded from GITHUB. If we have enough demand we will develop CODESYS and Windows drivers.