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Weather Setup and Weather Dependent Cycles / Which weather feed should you use? (2019)
« Last post by Jim on March 07, 2019, 02:45:54 pm »
LawnCheck supports both Yahoo! Weather and DarkSky weather.   Both feeds provide accurate, to-the-hour, local weather conditions and forecasts on a worldwide basis.  So which one should you use?

Both services use base data drawn from national weather services, and they enhance based on their own meteorological knowledge.   The main difference from an irrigation perspective is in the type of precipitation forecast that they offer.   DarkSky provides PoP (Probability of Precipitation) numbers for today and tomorrow while Yahoo! provides daily condition codes for today and tomorrow.   When there is a high probability of precipitation in the forecast, Yahoo issues a precipitation code for the day.  The precipitation codes correspond to a high probability of precipitation or POP, but don't provide an actual number.

So both services offer very good data for blocking cycles for both today and tomorrow based on the information they provide.   We'd recommend trying either one and choosing one based that provides the best data for your particular location.

Please see our weather setup page for more info.
Weather Setup and Weather Dependent Cycles / Yahoo Weather Forecast Usage Enchancement
« Last post by Jim on March 07, 2019, 02:21:36 pm »
Yahoo recently updated their weather API  (February 2019)  so we updated our weather requesting code to use their new feed.    In addition to using their new feed, we also enhanced the use of the weather forecasts provided by Yahoo for better control of irrigation.

The old Weather Underground (WU) feed was very powerful because it provided a forecast for PoP (Probability of Precipitation) and also provided local rain gauge information - if you subscribed to a station that had a rain gauge.  This allowed us to easily provide an option to block irrigation based on a PoP threshold that you set.   And it also allowed us to block irrigation if the rain gauge met a settable threshold, for both today and yesterday - because we saved the rain gauge data for one day.   So WU provided good data to block based on forecast and actual precipitation but this feed is no longer available.

We have noticed throughout the years a strong correlation between certain Yahoo forecast daily condition codes and high PoP values in the WU and other forecasts.   When the Yahoo daily condition code shows precipitation that corresponds to high PoP forecasts from other services, generally 50% or above.   So we have recently enhanced the Yahoo feed to use their daily condition codes to be able to block cycles if the codes for today and tomorrow contain precipitation.    This greatly enhances the use of Yahoo weather to reduce irrigation if rain is on the horizon.   

Please see our weather setup page for more info.

The Yahoo daily condition codes have worked extremely well in blocking cycles during this year's (2019) very wet winter and spring in northern California.
New Questions, Ask Your Questions Here / How Can I Post a Question to the Forum?
« Last post by Jim on February 23, 2019, 05:30:52 pm »
The forum is subject to a huge amount of robot traffic that attempts to gain access to post spam.   So we require authorization prior to allowing a new account to be registered.

If you wish to post a question and want to register for an account on the forum please contact us via email before registering.  We will then clear out all of the spam requests and will notify you.  You can then register and we'll be able to find your registration to approve it.

Sorry for this inconvenience.

Feature Requests / Re: Increased polling frequency during manual mode
« Last post by Jim on February 23, 2019, 05:09:09 pm »
The ZonePopper apps are now available for both iPhone and Android.  These provide immediate local control of your EtherRain for both valve testing and running manual cycles.  This is the best solution in this era of the smart phone (or tablet).

ZonePopper for iPhone
ZonePopper for Android

Feature Requests / Re: two pause features
« Last post by Jim on February 23, 2019, 05:01:48 pm »
How many days would you like to be able to pause your irrigation?

New Questions, Ask Your Questions Here / Re: Zonepopper
« Last post by Jim on February 21, 2019, 08:41:23 pm »
Hello 19Cutter77,
Thanks for the notification.  Version 1.01 of ZonePopper for iPhone is now published on the App Store and has solved the issue as confirmed and is now displaying your EtherRain controllers.


Weather Setup and Weather Dependent Cycles / DarkSky Weather Feed
« Last post by Jim on February 19, 2019, 02:26:57 pm »
We have recently updated LawnCheck to support the DarkSky weather feed.  DarkSky provides accurate weather forecasts worldwide.   

To use DarkSky you need to supply a Latitude and Longitude coordinate for your location.   Such a coordinate can be easily obtained from Google Maps.    Open Google maps and click on a location until you see a small panel at the bottom of the page that contains coordinates.  Then click on the coordinates (they are linked).  A panel will open on  the left of the screen.  Select the coordinates and copy them (Cntl-C for windows) and then paste the coordinates into the DarkSky field in LawnCheck.   Select the "Use DarkSky" check box, then click save.    If you enter coordinates manually make sure to separate the values with a comma.

An example coordinate for San Jose CA is:  37.313372, -121.984729

DarkSky offers a weather forecast including PoP (probability of precipitation) so it is useful for controlling near term irrigation cycles.  Like most weather forecasts, it does not provide rain gauge information.

DarkSky offers free data up to a point.  If enough LawnCheck users decide to use DarkSky we will have to charge a slight fee for its use.    For now you can use DarkSky for no charge.
Weather Setup and Weather Dependent Cycles / WeatherUnderground Support Information
« Last post by Jim on February 19, 2019, 02:14:05 pm »
WeatherUnderground has decided to end support for their free developer weather feeds.  They are shutting down the servers that support this API.  If you have used WeatherUnderground on LawnCheck you will no longer receive weather feeds with your existing key.

WeatherUnderground has decided to offer free keys, but only to the owners of weather stations that feed data into their network.   They will post a gateway that will provide weather station owners with a key that will allow free access to some information, though not to the same extent as that previously offered.

LawnCheck might support this new API if there are enough LawnCheck users that would like to use this this new feed for controlling their irrigation.   Please contact us via email if you have an interest.
New Questions, Ask Your Questions Here / Zonepopper
« Last post by 19Cutter77 on February 18, 2019, 03:21:16 pm »
I was just about to order a different controller when Zonepopper appeared.
However, I am having some trouble.  Only rarely will it see my 2 etherains.
I have confirmed my phone and Etherains are on the same network.
I have confirmed the Etherains are receiving commands from Lawncheck as well as the admin utility.
I have power cycled everything.
Any further guidance would be appreciated.
Feature Requests / Re: two pause features
« Last post by pohoda on March 17, 2018, 01:38:09 pm »
I know this topic is old, but there appears to be nothing newer than 2015 in here. I wanted to piggy back off of this request. I too find myself having to pause my schedule and the with the 9 day limitation it requires me to stay on top of things so that my sprinklers do not turn on when the ground is still nice and wet. Living in Southern California we can go a long time without rain, but then when it does rain the weather forecasts are so inaccurate (even with local weather stations) that my only real gauge is the ground saturation. My request would just be to simply allow more than 9 days to the current pause feature. I already link my controllers so that makes it easier to just pause 1. I hope you will consider this.


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