Need a controller (or program) for low voltage solenoid valves, programmable to have a station stay on for days @ a time

I have 16 solenoids that need controlling to open air valves in sequence that create bubbles in a fountain that simulate moon phases.  Would like something that is stand alone hardware over a program that would require a computer to be on 24/7. 

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Brent Owen (author) 4 years ago
It looks like Millenium is a perfect fit. Don't know quite how to wade through all of their product options. From what I can make of it, Millenium is a min-PLC. I'm aware of what ladder logic is although I've never attempted to use it, not too hard to get the basics down for simple commands? Thanks, Brent
"Expandable" range with display XD26 Part number 88970161
Digital extension XR10 Part number 88970221

I am assuming that you don't want to switch your bubbles very fast, if you are using moon phases to drive them ! This selection has relays to drive your valves. You might prefer sold state switches,which are different part numbers.

Brent Owen (author)  steveastrouk4 years ago
Once again, Thanks Steve. I did go through the Crouzet web site and came up with the XD26 with one extension about 15 seconds before you provide the information. The switching is not time sensitive as to speed but is sensitive to the timing of the I/O signal. i.e. 12 of the 20 solenoids will be running a clock water feature that has water running each hour for an hour before switching to the next hour. Hate to be dense but I don't understand the solid state switch comment, are you saying the XD26 has internal relays that are replaced by a solid state switch in an upgraded model? I'm in Redding, Ca and would be happy to get a price quote of putting the system together. Brent
He he, great minds think alike ;-)

If they are only switching once per hour, I'd stick with the relay version of the MIII, if you wanted once per second, then the more expensive, lower current handling solid state ones would be the way to go. Its a case of "horses for courses" -relays are a better solution than solid state sometimes, sometimes the other way.

Brent Owen (author)  steveastrouk4 years ago
Steve, for some reason my last post did not post. I'll try again. I have the 20 solenoids already installed for testing purposes and they are 12v. The controller would go inside in an existing large low voltage cabinet. The solenoids and controller will be about 250' apart so the conductor we have is 16 gauge to make certain we don't fight voltage drop. The water solenoids with turn on one at a time, on the hour and run for one hour then turning off with the next valve opening for one more hour. Only one valve open at a time. The moon phase has 8 zones that will start turning on with the new moon, and each zone will stay on as the next zone is also activated. This continues until all 8 zones are on and the process then reverses itself turning off one valve at a time until all 8 zones are off and we are back to a new moon.

It may make sense to have me purchase supplies to be shipped to you so you can program and test and then reship back to me. Where are you located? I'm sure you have one of these moon phase/water clock fountains at you house so my explanation is probable redundant. Need any more information? Thanks, Brent
I would have thought it was more practical for you and I to agree what you need, and I send you a working program and wiring diagram ? I am UK based, but I do travel to the USA fairly often. I will be on the East coast in February.
Brent Owen (author)  steveastrouk4 years ago
Your UK base makes your idea much more practical. It may be best to switch communications over to email. Do you mind faxing me your email address to 530-246-8738? Not sure how Country codes work on faxes. Brent
try adding gmail { dot { com to my user name
Hi Brent,
You don't HAVE to use Ladder logic.

RTC is "real time clock" by the way.

Where are you in the world ? Perhaps I can help you.

Brent Owen (author) 4 years ago
Thank you Steve. Although I'm somewhat technically savvy these brand names and terms are pretty much unknown to me (with the exception of a PLC). The information you have provided will allow me to follow up. It sounds like a RTC is a piece of interface hardware and not a brand name? Thanks again. Brent
You could ALSO do this with a thing called a PLC. I recommend the Crouzet Millennium III for this - its more expensive than an Arduino, but its supplied complete, with all its interfaces, clocks and supplies.

No problem at all. You could do this with an Arduino, and a RTC shield. The moon phase can be calculated on the Arduino.