Top positive review
238 people found this helpful
I think I finally found a smart irragation controller I like... only one little issue to resolve
on July 12, 2015
I received the RainMachine HD-12 today from Amazon. I've had several controller in the past... I started originally with a stock Rain Bird unit that was installed with my system. I immediately knew that it was not going to do the job, so a couple years back I moved to OpenSprinkler, a controller I built from a kit. This unit served me well, but the one feature I really wanted was the weather integration, which by the time it was available on OpenSprinkler my hardware was obsolete, which meant I was going have to upgrade hardware to take advantage of it. Since an upgrade was inevitable, I decided to take a look at what else was on the market. For better or worse (worse as it turned out) I decide to go with a Blossom controller. Blossom is fairly new to the market and I though they had a solid product. As it turned out, the hardware was great, but the software was riddled with issues. I sold the Blossom and today, after much research, I received the RainMachine HD-12. What drew me to this unit was the long track record, the open API, weather integration, the fact the unit could be totally controlled from the unit's touch screen (important if you have folks come to maintain your system) and most importantly the unit does not rely on a cloud service to run. If you are reading this review and trying to decide on a controller, in my opinion, this one single point should weigh heavy in your decision. If there is a problem with the service, the internet or the company just plain goes out of business-- where does that leave you? It leaves you with not so smart of a controller.
So, if I love the RainMachine so much way only four stars you may ask. Well, my brand new controller arrived with a defective zone. One of the 12 zones will not activate. I know that things are going to happen, so I'm not so concerned about this one issue. What is more important to me is how a company stands behind their products-- I think that says a lot. I have sent an email to their support and I'm waiting to see how they handle my problem. From everything I've read in other reviews about Green Electronics I have no reason to believe that I will get anything less then stealer service. Once I know more I will update my review.
UPDATE: I was contacted by support within a couple hours and they informed me that I needed to do a firmware upgrade to fix my issue. The upgrade was a simple process that I completed from the Rainmachine app on my phone and only took a few minutes. After the upgrade my issue was resolved. I'm impressed with the quick response from support and my HD-12 is working great now. I'll update my review again once I've used the HD-12 for a while.
I've been using the Rain Machine for a while now and it still works as well as the day I purchased, no issues. Green Electronics has update the firmware a few times and has added additional features. One I really like is the ability to choose other weather data providers, such as Weather Underground. Weather Underground is a whole weather eco system on it's own, which allows me to get weather data from other user's stations, one as close as a mile from my home. If you pick multiple providers then it averages the data from all your choices. Using weather data to help control the amount of water I'm using has saved me 80% over a conventinal "set and forget" stock controller... and that is a good return on my investment.