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I do not recommend the Irrigation Caddy

SteveSteve Seattle, WAAdministrator
edited July 2015 in General Smart Irrigation

I've had an Irrigation Caddy (wired, not wireless version) lying around for a couple of years waiting to be installed at our cabin. I finally got around to it this week, and I'm already regretting it.

Initial installation went fine. Interface is cludgy and very outdated. Seeing there were a number of firmware updates, I selected the latest one and followed their instructions for updating. Even the firmware update process reminded me of how things used to be in the 90s, not how they should be in 2015.

First, you have to download the firmware file yourself. You also have to download a Windows-based firmware updater. OK, that's a little old-school, but still fine. I can manage that.

The update process is also a bit old-school. You have to unplug the system, press a button in the updater program to "capture" the device, turn on the system, hope it finds it (mine did), then run the update.

My updated reported that it worked... but from that point, the unit was a brick. I never saw it on my network again. I tried the hard reset option a few times, but I could tell this wasn't the unit I wanted. And to add insult to injury, I've read that you have to pay $3.99 if you want a mobile app.

Unplugged it, went to Home Depot, and picked up a Rachio Iro. I plan on using it out here at our cabin, so I can compare it to the Rain Machine units I use back at the main house.

But run.... run away from the Irrigation Caddy.

Comments

  • SteveSteve Seattle, WAAdministrator

    Also forgot... the upgrade instructions say you should turn off your Windows Firewall to do the upgrade. Again, for a geek like me that's no trouble, but for a consumer device these days... it's excessive.

    Read the firmware update instructions for yourself:

    http://irrigationcaddy.com/docs/Firmware Upgrade Instructions.pdf

  • Too bad about your Irrigation Caddy.

    I'm really interested in the Rachio Iro as my next home automation addition. I'll be looking forward to your review and comparisons with other systems you've seen!

  • SteveSteve Seattle, WAAdministrator

    Writing the head-to-head review now.

    Both the RainMachine and Rachi Iro are awesome. Just depends on your particular needs/likes as to which is right for you.

    I LOVE that the Rachio can use a local internet-connect weather station (like the one I have on my property). That's something the ecobee3 should really do.

  • a0128958a0128958 Dallas, TXMember

    I too am looking forward to your review of the Rachio. Thank you. Bill

  • MatrixMatrix Los Angeles, CAMember

    Yeah, I'm just getting into this home automation craze. =) Considering that water is my largest single contributor to my utility bill after A/C, I'm interested in your thoughts on those 2 systems.

  • MatrixMatrix Los Angeles, CAMember

    After a little research, it appears the Rachio is EPA-certified (WaterSense), whereas the Rainmachine is not. Given that WaterSense is a requirement for the Los Angeles rebate program, the Rachio becomes $200 cheaper, assuming rebate funds haven't run out yet...

    briansusername
  • SteveSteve Seattle, WAAdministrator

    ^Compelling argument, and I'm stealing it for my review! :)

  • ourstanleyourstanley KansasMember

    Hi Steve,
    I got myself the wireless version last year and have been similarly disappointed, especially as it has such great potential.

    What I like:-
    Zones can be programmed in minute intervals.
    Zones can be named.
    Firmware updates since I bought the device now allow me to select a local weather station and adjust my watering based on local rainfall. So I now use the rainfall measured at an airfield a mile from my house.
    Cloud connection means I can control it from anywhere.

    What I don't like:-
    Even though I'm signed up for their cloud service I get no notifications when there are firmware upgrades. One upgrade released last fall actually required my V1 unit to be sent back to the manufacturer for it to be upgraded to a V2 - but the turnaround was swift - it was sent 2 day shipping on a Monday, and was back with me on the Saturday.
    Each connection type sees different things - so a browser connection on your local network sees a different set of options than connecting with a browser through the cloud, and the iOS app has s different set of options again.
    Help/Tech Support can be slow to respond to e-mails.
    Response time from the unit can be slow, or the browser page can just freeze.

    I sometimes yearn for the simplicity of the Rainbird dial driven controller I had previously, but the slow evolution of this device's capabilities could win me over yet

    Cheers

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