Automatic Irrigation with Rain bird 100DV 9v solenoid valve

Hi all,

Hope you can help my out with this issue because I am getting quite mad.

I am trying to make an scheduled irrigation system for my garden. My idea is to keep the schedule in the Arduino and start the at an specific time. For timing I have the DS3231 and everything works, my issue comes with the Rain bird 100DV 9v solenoid valve.

These are the links for the valves I have:
https://www.rainbird.eu/products/valves/dv-series

I have attached my hole project Fritzing Schematic which have 3 main parts:

  • A small Circuit with resistors to measure the remaining battery voltage. (In PCB with few resistors)
  • A relay board to control the valves with a 9v battery
  • A DS3231 to sleep and wake up at specific time and safe battery

So, as I have read, the solenoid are pulse-based solenoid valves. Therefore, I just open the relay board for 100ms. The valve opens. After the irrigation time, I open again the relay board for 100ms but the solenoid valve does not close.

This is my first post. I am a computer scientist but a noob in electronics… Hope you can help me out!!

PD: When finished, I will publish this project somewhere.

Regards

Fritzing diagrams are useless, as yours clearly demonstrates. Please post clear, hand drawn diagrams instead,

Start with just one valve and the relay board, and get it to reliably turn on and off before moving on. 100 millisecond pulses may be too short.

I suspect your Fritzing diagram is entirely adequate and tells the story better than you are likely to do with pencil and paper - you are using 9v PP3 batteries, and even your valiant effort with two of them is probably for nought.

The starting current for the valve is 300mA, which is surely stretching the friendship with a PP3. If everything else works, I would blame the batteries before the valves, and get some decent power. The same applies to the one for the Uno. If you aren't already having grief with that, you surely will tomorrow.

Prove your setup with a 9v wall wart, or two, and then, if you must use batteries, indulge in the dark arts thereof later - with proper batteries and regulators, and perhaps something other than a Uno.

Rainbird 100 DV9v valve is specified as 24VAC when I look it up.

LoL I thought 9v was a pretty funny voltage for such a device, but I still only looked at the current. My comment about running Arduino on PP3 still applies!

I made an incredibly similar project earlier this summer that’s been humming along quite nicely for a couple months now.

I used 12V 1/2" solenoids from AliExpress that were about $4 each and control them with a custom PCB I made that has mosfets on the board to run the solenoids from a pro-mini. I also added a rain-sensor so it can adjust the watering schedule accordingly.

There is also an NRF24L01 integrated on the board so it can communicate with NodeMCU’s inside to get time, report status, enable wireless control, etc. But I haven’t actually implemented that portion yet.

In case you’re interested, I attached the PCB outline below.

Pro-Mini SOT-232 MOSFET Wireless RGBW Driver_INVERTED.pdf (172 KB)

silly_cone:
There is also an NRF24L01 integrated on the board so it can communicate with NodeMCU’s inside to get time, report status, enable wireless control, etc. But I haven’t actually implemented that portion yet.

Well, if you have explained that like I think you have, don’t rush it, and I think putting the NRF24L01 on the PCB might have been a little premature. But don’t worry, if you already have the Node-MCU, you should find it will do a better job, replacing the Pro-Mini and NRF.

I didn't explain that well. I have an RF24 network covering different parts of my house and the outdoors, and there are a couple NodeMCU units as part of that RF24 network that act as internet gateways for that branch of the network.

My "Backyard" portion of the network has multiple nodes covering the irrigation system, outdoor lighting, environmental sensors, pool pump relay, etc, and is almost completely out of range of the wi-fi. So I will have a NodeMCU inside the back door with an NRF that covers all the outdoor nodes and makes them remotely accessible through a browser on my wi-fi.

So if it was in range of my wi-fi, then yeah, using a standalone NodeMCU would probably be best, but its not. Plus, this configuration lets me integrate it into my larger home RF24 network.

ancalotoru:
Hi all,

Hope you can help my out with this issue because I am getting quite mad.

I am trying to make an scheduled irrigation system for my garden. My idea is to keep the schedule in the Arduino and start the at an specific time. For timing I have the DS3231 and everything works, my issue comes with the Rain bird 100DV 9v solenoid valve.

These are the links for the valves I have:
https://www.rainbird.eu/products/valves/dv-series
https://www.amazon.es/Rain-Bird-100-DV-9V-Electroválvula/dp/B01GOGPAMG/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?s=tools&ie=UTF8&qid=1532335367&sr=8-1-fkmr1&keywords=rainbird+100dv+9v

I have attached my hole project Fritzing Schematic which have 3 main parts:

  • A small Circuit with resistors to measure the remaining battery voltage. (In PCB with few resistors)
  • A relay board to control the valves with a 9v battery
  • A DS3231 to sleep and wake up at specific time and safe battery

So, as I have read, the solenoid are pulse-based solenoid valves. Therefore, I just open the relay board for 100ms. The valve opens. After the irrigation time, I open again the relay board for 100ms but the solenoid valve does not close.

This is my first post. I am a computer scientist but a noob in electronics... Hope you can help me out!!

PD: When finished, I will publish this project somewhere.

Regards

Very interesting, I never saw irrigation valves designed for battery operation. I looked around but could not find any specifications that described the pulse characteristics for these valves. If you cannot get the specifications here are two wild guesses that you might try:

  1. Since you say it latched with a 100ms pulse, perhaps it would unlatch if you reversed the polarity of that pulse.

  2. Are you testing with water pressure actually applied to the valve? I could be that it needs water pressure to close.

Good luck, let us know what happens.
Frank

frank2644:
I never saw irrigation valves designed for battery operation.

Time for you to read reply #3.
This might also explain the deafening silence from the OP

Nick_Pyner:
Time for you to read reply #3.
This might also explain the deafening silence from the OP

Hmmm..I didn't notice the "deafening silence". Thanks.

Although I did originally read #3, but Googling I did find such battery operated Rain Bird valves. Apparently for controlling irrigation systems in large fields where power may not be available. Or even in some places in my backyard.

P.S. Like others here I made my own lawn sprinkler controller and mine is based on a Nodemcu. In my area odd street address homes can only water on odd calendar dates, likewise for even addresses. I couldn't find a controller that did that so I made one. It gets the time and date from the Internet and is controlled via a browser on my smart phone. Turned out to be a lot more work than I anticipated, but I am very happy with the results. It's been in operation for two years and I still occasionally make enhancements.

Hi I have been looking around your posts and learning a bit about batteries and voltage regulators (I am still a noob by the way).

Nick_Pyner suggested not to use two 9v batteries. But why? I mean, if I need 9v batteries to pulse the solenoid valve, and the Arduino only can get 5v from it’s digital output… I need to switch with a relay the 9v power supply.

However, I have seen in the rain bird web page the following information about the valves:
• 24 VAC 50/60 Hz (cycles/sec.) solenoid
• Inrush current: 0,30 A (7,2 VA) at 60 Hz
• Holding current: 0,19 A (4,6 VA) at 60 Hz
• Coil resistance: 42-55 Ohms
• Not compatible with ESP-LXD decoders.
Use Rain Bird commercial valves (PGA, PEB, GB, EFB-CP and BPE series)

So, what I have tried is to regulate the 9V voltage to 7,2V using LM317 (LM317 - Circuito para regulador de voltaje variable - HETPRO/TUTORIAL).

It is true, I should only try with one valve, minimizing the errors.

So, my project consists on turning on and off that solenoid valve with an arduino. Could you please give me some advise?

PD: I would never have expected your helpful comments, I am impressed about how many people have contributed. Thank you!!

frank2644:
Very interesting, I never saw irrigation valves designed for battery operation. I looked around but could not find any specifications that described the pulse characteristics for these valves. If you cannot get the specifications here are two wild guesses that you might try:

  1. Since you say it latched with a 100ms pulse, perhaps it would unlatch if you reversed the polarity of that pulse.

  2. Are you testing with water pressure actually applied to the valve? I could be that it needs water pressure to close.

Good luck, let us know what happens.
Frank

I Frank,

All the valves are put in place and they have pressure by the way.

I will tell you my first experiment with the valves. Since the original Rain Bird programmer is broken (that’s why I am doing this project) firstly I had to know if the valves were not broken. So firstly I directly connect the valve to the 9v battery and the valve started to let the water pass. When I tried to do the same to close it. It remained open. So, I bought another solenoid valve (same model) just because I though that I had burnt the coil. The next weekend I tried with the new one and same happened. However, when I applied current to the “apparently broken” old valve, I “fixed” it closing it again.

My thoughts are that since I had applied too much current to the solenoid 9v instead of 7.2v, the coil was overloaded and hence, I had to wait to the coil to discharge.

As you can see, I am a complete noob haha.

Regards

You need to know what you are reading, and do some junior high school physics, learning about volts, amps, and watts.

ancalotoru:
Nick_Pyner suggested not to use two 9v batteries. But why? I mean, if I need 9v batteries to pulse the solenoid valve, and the Arduino only can get 5v from it's digital output... I need to switch with a relay the 9v power supply.

I said don't use 9v PP3 batteries. You refer to them as "power supply" but this is a contradiction in terms, as they have no power, so put them back where you stole them from - your mother's smoke detectors, the only place they belong.

However, I have seen in the rain bird web page the following information about the valves:
• 24 VAC 50/60 Hz (cycles/sec.) solenoid
• Inrush current: 0,30 A (7,2 VA) at 60 Hz
............
So, what I have try is to regulate the 9V voltage to 7,2V

Bad idea, the result of improper reading. 7.2VA is not 7.2V. The A means something, and you don't need 7.2v anywhere, you already know that you need 24 and AC to boot for the valves, 5v for Arduino, and reducing the number of valves will not save you. Indeed, as I remember it, there is nothing wrong with your wiring and nothing wrong with your code, so, once you understand what watts go where, and where they come from, which isn't from a 9v PP3, everything may be hunkydory.

The 7.2VA is 24x0.3 (VxA)

Ok you catch me.

However, I am confused now because the old programmer (Rain Bird WP4) uses two 9v batteries (not power supplies ;D ) and it was able to turn on and off all the staff…

Any clue?

Thanks!

ancalotoru:
Ok you catch me.

However, I am confused now because the old programmer (Rain Bird WP4) uses two 9v batteries (not power supplies ;D ) and it was able to turn on and off all the staff...

Any clue?

Thanks!

The programmer's electronics can work with the batteries, but the valve is powered by 24VAC.

.

That's true. The thing is the way that they are doing it. I know that is possible because otherwise, how could the programmer work?

So, the question is how to run a 24VAC solenoid latching valve with an arduino

something like this https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E0NSORY

That is exactly what I am using. The relay is activating the solenoid valve directly with a 9v battery. However, the solenoid get stacked since the valve is 24VAC valve.

In the first post I have posted the Fritzing diagram.

Thanks!!

I think some of the Rain Bird valves have an option that uses a 9V latching relay specifically designed for battery operation. I suspect that you have that 9V option and not the more common 24v AC version.

The other posters are correct there is no need for 7.2V.

I couldn't find any specs on the 9V optional latching relay so I have no idea how to activate/deactivate it. A wild guess is that a momentary pulse turns it on(latches) and a similar momentary pulse turns it off(unlatches). "Momentary" could be up to one second or so...

Another possibility is that unlatching might require reversing the polarity of the battery.

In summary, if you have the 9V option as I suspect you have to find out how to apply the 9V to turn it on and off. Maybe you can make phone call to Rain Bird Customer Support and ask them for the 9V option electrical specifications.

Frank