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OK .. Problem Solved.
Since my hose bib was so close to the ground there was no way to install the orbit timer directly to that male fitting. So I purchased an Ames brand hose reel that came with a two-foot leader hose which allowed me to connect the Orbit Smart Hose Timer directly to that and then to the hose reel. There was nothing to seemingly think about since everything connected fine. But, after all this trouble with the timer working in reverse it turns out the 2 foot leader hose provided with the hose reel was a female-female fittings thus changing around the input to the smart timer to the male end instead of the female end. After purchasing a few brass fittings to change the gender of the fittings around the smart hose timer now works as it should. Guess it must have been a way for Ames to get customers to purchase their leader hose instead of the universally found male/female hoses sold everywhere.
Still don’t understand how the on/off valve of the timer cares what direction the water is running through it and opens when water runs in the opposite direction and the software says it’s off but am happy this issue is resolved.