Author Topic: incomplete cycles  (Read 13659 times)


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incomplete cycles
« on: July 30, 2010, 04:30:06 pm »
I am a new LawnCheck/EtherRain user.

I am having a problem where a lawn check initiated cycle stops before completion.  Twice I have noticed it stopped after completing zone 1 and zone 2 for 20min each.  Other times I believe it has stopped but was not present to observe.  But I think another time it stopped during or after zone 3.

I can start a quick cycle where it left off, setting the time for the zones already completed to zero, and it re-starts as it should, and finishes to the last zone.

The 'statistics' page indicates that rain is not currently detected.

The 'reports' indicate the proper irrigation command was sent.

There are no other commands sent to the unit.  There was no loss of power or ethernet connectivity.

I ran a quick test of one minute for each zone, and it completed normally.

Are there any other logs or diagnostic tests I could run to determine why it is stopping?  The ViewLog option of OptiRain indicates the log file was not found.

Could this indicate I have a defective device?


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Re: incomplete cycles
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2010, 06:40:39 pm »
Hi Len,

Thanks for the notification.  I have had one other EtherRain user earlier in the year who a similar finding with the controller stopping it's cycle before completing the cycle.  I confirmed the issue through LawnCheck logs.  My LawnCheck log analysis showed that the controller would sometimes stop after a certain zone was run, about 25% of the time.  The controller seemed to be stopping at the end of a cycle which to me indicated the possiblity of interference from the relay closure causing a reset.    If this is your situation, and it sounds like it might be, then I can recommend a few things:

1.  make sure the sprinkler wires are not intertwined with the Ethernet cable, try to keep them 6 inches apart or so.  
2.  Attach your common connection to one of the terminals close to the power supply.
3.  Attach some snubber filters across the terminals of the last valve that is running before the cycle stops.  I have these filters I can send to you, no charge, - I'll contact you via email.

The controller that was previously not consistently completing cycles is now consistently completing cycles (I monitor this via the logs), though I don't have any confirmation at this time that the filters or wire placement helped.

Conditions that might contribute to this, if this is the cause, are very long sprinkler connection wires, (longer than 150 feet).  I'll send you an email to see if you wish to try installing some filters (they are easily installed at the terminals)

« Last Edit: July 30, 2010, 06:47:32 pm by Jim »


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Re: incomplete cycles
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2010, 08:00:56 pm »
The ethernet cable runs left and the valve cable runs right, so they are not intertwined.

The common is on zone 1, so I will move it to the other end.

The valves for zones 1-3 are quite a bit further than zones 4-8.  Roughly 60ft for 1-3, and 15ft for 4-8.

Thanks for your suggestions.