May 1, 2018 at 7:44 pm #1361
I am enjoying the B-Hyve timer and overall it works well, but there are always ways to improve and the need to correct issues. I figured I would make some suggestions here so others could also weigh in with their own suggestions, or possibly inform me of how my intent is covered already in a different way.
1). When we have a major rain event that totally saturates the lawn, there needs to be an easy way to tell the app and the timer to consider the lawn 100% moisture for ALL zones and have it recompute next watering accordingly. This should be an easy one (or few) button action to tell the system it just rained allot. I would expect the timer would then recompute when it should water next, and not just rely on rain delays. Could even have the app ask you how much rain you did get and then it could take that into account.
2). There needs to be a way in the app to easily find out if the app and system has a good communications link to the timer. If that feature exists now Orbit needs to tell folks what that is and how it works. I have seen many instances where I open app and it “seems” to be connected (antenna symbol doesn’t have and X on it) yet when I try to start a manual station it times out, and then I try again and it works. Sometimes it requires multiple attempts. It would be great if there were a “test comm link” button or option that we could use that would verify that it has good communication all the way to the timer and back to the app.
3). Related to the comm link comment above, I have also seen many times where I start a manual zone, and then try to stop it before time is up and nothing happens. No response from app and zone keeps running until timer ends. App gives no message of lost comm, and actually appears at first to be locked up, but other options work and respond so it’s not frozen. There may be a bug somewhere as this happens allot. This is really annoying when we are trying to troubleshoot a zone or a leak, and start the zone and then can’t shut it off without running back to the timer or waiting for time to run out.
4). Orbit needs to add more options for notifications, and the option for sounds to notifications. There should be a notification option that watering program has begun in addition to completing. There should be a notification option that the timer which has a rain sensor installed has tripped and detected rain, and again when the rain sensor has reset. Also a notification when the timer detects faults.
5). How does the timer detect faults and what type of faults can it detect? I was surprised recently that after I created a dummy zone with no wires connected to it, I could still set it up and even manually “run” that dummy zone and no messages from timer saying it was an open circuit drawing no current. Seems like that would be an obvious fault the timer could detect. I thought I read that the B-Hyve has built in fault detection but I don’t see any documentation of that or what faults it looks for, or how it tells the user when it detects one. Faults detection info needs to be documented, or point us to where to find it.Spread the love!May 2, 2018 at 5:29 pm #1372
And here is a number 6 items for the list that I just thought of:
6). Smart watering suggests running zones on poorly draining soil multiple times for shorter periods to help prevent runoff. This is a great concept and I would like to sometimes be able to run manually in that same manner. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear the app allows it, and it should be modified to permit this. I should be able to create a program or even a manual event where the same zone runs more than once, separated for example by other zones or even a programmed delay. I have maybe 3 or 4 zones out of 7 that could benefit from staggered repeated watering, but not all of them. I doesn’t work well to just repeat the whole program.Spread the love!May 9, 2018 at 9:23 pm #1604
Any comments from Orbit regarding my suggestions, or should I be sending these to another location or address?Spread the love!May 19, 2018 at 3:58 pm #2011sslupskyParticipant
These are all GREAT suggestions.
1. This was how I expected the Smart Watering feature to function. It is almost useless in its current form. I have had too many occassions where we had saturating rain and then the B Hyve kicked in and started a water cycle. Moreover, I have had occassions where the B Hyve starts watering and it is still raining.
2 & 3. I like this idea. Bad comm is infrequent for me but aggravating when it happens.
4. Agreed on all points.
6. Yes!Spread the love!May 22, 2018 at 9:53 pm #2127
Hello Orbit, is there another way y’all would like to receive suggestions for improvements? When I started this thread I was expecting/hoping that Orbit might weigh in on them and acknowledge and comment on them. Thank you.Spread the love!June 1, 2018 at 2:50 pm #2492
Here is suggestion number 7, if anyone at Orbit is listening?? We would really appreciate it is Orbit would comment on these, tell us if there are other ways to work around, or if they have any of these on their list of improvements?
7). When setting up programs, we should be able to select zones in any order and have them run in that order we select. Right now it appears regardless of what order you setup in, the app reordered them in numbered zone order. Sometimes I need zones to run in a different order for a variety of reasons, such as activity in the yard, pet activity, etc. I don’t want to have to reprogram each zone to reassign them for a temporary change.Spread the love!June 4, 2018 at 7:19 pm #2567StephenKeymaster
@timb Thank you for all of this feedback, I”m sorry it has taken so long to get a response from us.
1. This option is currently in the app. If you go to zones, you can adjust the soil moisture for each zone individually. Simply click on the soil moisture circle and it’ll allow you to adjust. When the timer recalculates at night, it double checks the amount of rainfall you received that day and implements it into your algorithm.
2. As of right now, the only way this is done is by sending a manual rain delay command or a manual watering command. I can suggest to the devs team to implement a test connection button.
3. Its possible this was firmware related, please let me know of your MAC address and I can look into this some more.
4. We are working on getting a notification for the rain sensor set up, but I will pass the other suggestions on to my developers.
5. The timer will detect shorts in the solenoids or wiring. It will not detect if there is no wire attached to it (orbit timers have never done this). The timer allows so many mA out of each terminal, and if a solenoid tries to pull more than allowed by the timer, the timer will trigger a fault.
6. You can accomplish this right now by setting up separate programs. This may not be the easiest and best way to do this, but I see what you’re requesting and I can pass that on to my dev team as well.
7. I will suggest this as well.
Thank you for all of your suggestions, these are great and this is how we improve our product, and in turn, our company.Spread the love!June 5, 2018 at 7:28 pm #2695
Thank you for the post Steven and comments on my input. I have a couple more below 🙂
For item 1 above, I don’t think I clearly described what I was looking for. Let me try again. I know that you can INDIVIDUALLY go into each zone setup and change moisture level. What I was suggesting or asking about was an EASY one or two step way to tell the app that ALL zones should be a 100% because we had a drenching rain. I have noticed that after heavy rain (whole yard squishy), moisture doesn’t always reflect that for all zones. I am suggesting you need to add an easy way to tell the app to set all zones to 100% and react accordingly, and not try to sprinkle the next day or even several days. No one is going to go into individual zones when you might have 10 of them to set each moisture level separately…
For item 2 above, what is the purpose of the “antenna” icon on the home screen that can sometimes have a cross though it? I assumed it was a connectivity icon, but maybe that’s only to the server? What I have done which is not very pretty is to setup a “dummy” zone that has no wires to it. To check connectivity I manually “start” watering the dummy zone, and if it completes right away I think I can possibly conclude I have a successful connection to the timer?
For item 3, I have since determined that this happens mainly when my phone has connected to house WiFi from outside, but with a weak signal. This probably means that when I try to manually start or stop a zone, due to slow or weak WiFi it times out. If I turn off WiFi, and rely on cell network, I don’t see this issue.
Here are a couple more suggestions:
8). When setting up a program or editing a program, or when manually running multiple zones, it should show on the screen somewhere as you add zones what the total run time would be if you saved at that point. When setting up a program with watering restrictions in mind for example, I need to make sure watering if OFF by a certain time, so I need to make sure I select a start time that completes appropriately. This would make programming easier and avoid math in head errors 🙂
9). I would be very useful and nice to have more information on the history page when looking back at the calendar. Maybe have the app include if it recorded rain that day and how much? Also what the high and low temps for that day were?
Thanks.Spread the love!June 5, 2018 at 11:16 pm #2703RyanParticipant
Thank you, for all of your feedback and suggestions!Spread the love!August 18, 2018 at 9:29 pm #6956OzonatorParticipant
B-hyve is great and could be better with another suggestion that should be easy to update into your app.
Please change Program slots A, B, C, & D please allow users to set a calendar range for each of the active program slots A, B, C & D.
I have A, B & C slots programmed as follows.
A. Summer May thru Aug water MTWTFS
B. Fall/Spring Mar-Apr & Sept-Oct water MWF
C. Winter Nov thru Feb water only Fri
If you added the calendar range ability for each programming slot I would never need to touch my unit until I add more zones.
In the Las Vegas we have water restrictions that change with each season. See the Las Vegas Water Valley District web site for more information.
JoeSpread the love!August 22, 2018 at 5:02 pm #64433Josh WheelerKeymaster
Thanks, that’s actually been brought up as a feature, for other reasons though, namely as a grow-in program for new lawns but there’s no reason it couldn’t work for any lawn as you have suggested.
As we begin working on next season features we’ll consider this.
Thank you!Spread the love!
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