What is the SPinkler?
The SPinkler is an irrigation controller. It controls your in-ground 24V sprinkler valves. What's different about the SPinkler is that it is completely hacker/maker friendly. It is controlled by a Raspberry Pi that you can program in any way you like.
The SPinkler is a PCB board designed with flexibility and simplicity in mind. As such, the board is very straightforward. You simply plug in a Raspberry Pi computer and (optionally) a 20x4 LCD display, hook up a 24Vac power supply and your sprinkler valves, and you're in business.
The Pi talks to the the board primarily by shifting data into 74HC595 shift register. One (or two, if you are using the 16 zone model) are connected to triacs, which drive your sprinkler valves. Another 74HC595 drives the LCD display.
- Available in 8-zone or 16-zone configurations
- socket to plug in a Raspberry Pi Zero
- Optionally, install a header in the Pi socket location and use an IDC connector to plug in any other kind of Raspberry Pi
- socket to plug in a Hitach HD44780-style LCD. Mounting holes match the 20x4 model
- Instead of the LCD, you can use the I2C pins of the Pi to drive a 0.96" OLED display
- Two tactile buttons to allow user input from the unit
- robust screw terminal connections for power, zones, and common
- two common terminals on the 8-zone model, four on the 16-zone model
- mounting holes to match a Hammond RP-1285 box
- Arduino/FTDI serial connection for serial access to the Pi serial port/console
- LEDs to indicate power and watering status
SPinkler is provided with open source libraries written in Python that make it a snap to control the SPinkler. You can easily write Python code to turn on any combination of valves or write arbitrary text to the LCD display. (No library for an OLED yet, though.)
In addition to the basic library code, an example complete application is provided. The application is based around Google Calendar. Instead of using a special sprinkler app on your phone, you can simply create a watering schedule as a Google Calendar. Then point the application at that calendar, and the SPinkler will faithfully execute your schedule, no matter how complex or how often you change it.
The SPinkler will be available for sale, but the software and basic hardware information are available openly on github: https://github.com/djacobow/spinkler.
Why is it called the SPinkler?
It is a portmanteau of of "Pi" and "sprinkler".