So that you know up front: I have neither purchased nor ordered the device yet.  I’m not promoting it.  I am just publishing this because so many people I talked to over the past few years really wanted what this device does and, like me, couldn’t find anything like it.

I’ve been repairing my 5-year old Irrigation system recently, and I am revisiting an idea to control and monitor the irrigation system via the internet. The first time I did my research, I could only find controller systems in the $300+ range that could do this, and they were mostly designed for commerial use instead of residential use. Even worse, they wanted a monthly subscription fee, because the device would only interface through a server provided by the seller.

Enter 2011, and I am revisiting the issue as I do my repairs and maintenance. After digging a bit through the forums, I found a link to Irrigation Caddy, and it is exactly what I am looking for.  It is a self-contained controller with a 10/100/1000Base-T interface (i.e. hard-wired Ethernet). It has the zone controller connections for the solenoids, and a built-in web server for configuring the device.  And the cost… a really cool $129.95.

So this device is half the price of the cheapest typical commercial units, and requires no monthly fees.  To connect this to a wireless router, since I have no way to get an ethernet cable to it, it only needs a cheap bridge to add wireless to it. This is a great solution for people who manage their network routers themselves, and want to interface their irrigation system control to it.

The company now also mentions an iPhone app written by a third party, which can control the application as well.  See thier blog for details.

I don’t know whether the device is capable of detecting and reporting a faulty zone controller (I would think it does).  The S1 version of this device ($149.95 instead of the $129.95 for the base model) also includes support for a rain sensor, which signals the controller to cancel the watering action when it has detected an adequate amount of rainfall.  This is a requirement in a number of places, including the area of Florida I live in (managed by the St. John’s Water Management District).

I am excited and pleased to see that someone finally built an irrigation controller for DIY’ers.