Well, it's been a while since I've added a forum discussion but I need some advice and thought immediately of LJN.

Here's the situation (I'll try to be as brief as I can, but irrigation is never simple!):

I've managed to get myself gainfully employed at a nursery in Cobham and have inherited responsibility for the irrigation system. We're currently running 6 Galcon DC4 (model 6004) controllers which are controlling various numbers of PN-10 valves. The old valves were insulated against the cold winter, to varying degrees of success, which has left me in the situation that some of the old ones work and the others leak like a very leaky thing indeed. We have duly bought new PN-10 valves but now are stuck with a compatibility issue - the solenoids which were supplied with the new valves are not compatible with our DC-4 controllers. The old solenoids (which are compatible with the controllers) are not compatible with the valves.

So at the moment we're looking at either investing in new controllers or shifting to a new system entirely and my question is this: Does anyone have experience (good or bad) of any systems, particularly I'm looking for a system which will hopefully bypass this compatibility issue so that we're not facing the same problems in another twelve month's time. Also, (before anyone tells me the obvious!), I'm not planning on leaving the valves in the system over winter - I think we've learned that lesson the hard way!.

Any advice would be very welcome.

Thanks,

Andy F

Oh, by the way, we run the system from a 2 bar pressurised tank, if that makes any help?

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Hi Andy,

What I always found useful when in this situation, is scan the Hort Week for specialist Irrigation companies and get them in for some free advice.

They, quite rightly, want to sell you one of their "new amazing systems" but from my experience most, when pushed, tend to offer practical solutions to problems.

I usually say, Well I just do the plants mate, I don't really understand how this stuff all works, and am normally surprised by the free information given.

Good Luck

Steve
Hi Steve,

Thanks for that. I'm rapidly trying to learn the system and am not finding it all that easy. The infrastructure seems to work reasonably well - with the odd blockages caused by high levels of chalk in the water. The main problem is getting the controllers and valves to work, so we're thinking about changing those to a new system which won't become obsolete without warning (needing further investment...). What system are you working with?

I think another issue that we have is that we're closed on Sundays so it's all the more important that we get a system which can cover the plants while we're away.
I dream of automated irrigation systems...so can't offer any practical advice, but can recommend the good people at Access irrigation, or Aquamatic Irrigation both of who have very knowledgeable and helpful staff ( or at least they did last time I spioke to them!).

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