We are planning to put some sprinklers in, and I wanted to try to use my computer as the controller rather than buy one. But, I need some help. Please comment if you have any expertise in this area or any tips.
This article is very similar to what I want to do:
Acacia Projects — Sprinkler Controller
First of all, I am not exactly sure how the “24 VAC Plug Pack” comes into play. I am assuming that the valve needs more power than what the card produces, and the plug pack gives it that boost, but where do you purchase one? I am assuming that you need one for each station.
I think I found where they were talking about buying the board from: Elexol.com
One of the problems that I might have is that my computer is on the opposite side of the house from where I might want to place the valves. I thought about using Ethernet to get the signal closer to the valves and place the card nearer to the valves. This product looked helpful:
Ether I/O 24R
I found a couple of other examples, but they didn’t have quite enough detail for me:
Embedded Linux Router Hacked for Sprinkler Controller
This link does seem to have more detail:
Sprinkler control with embedded…
They mention using the USB Bit Whacker board. I think I found where I could buy it: SparkFun Electronics.