Does anyone know which brands of weather stations are compatible with Gen 2 Rachio? I want to put one in yard to support flex daily but not sure if it will see any brand. I picked up a LaCrosse Technology at Costco but will return if it doesn’t sync. Thanks.
I was thinking as long as it syncs through Weather Underground (WU), you should be fine. But, I guess it depends on the controller. Here is a link (I am not sure what one you might have as it lists “most Generation 2”).
In addition to working with Weather Underground, it may be nice to get one that also works with IFTTT, as Rachio does. I use an Ambient Weather WS-1550-IP and it works with Rachio, with Weather Underground and with IFTTT. In fact I have IFTTT applets that use all three.
I have an applet that looks at the WU forecast and if it is supposed to be over 100 degrees, IFTTT tells Rachio to water the Avocado zone preemptively. Then I have an IFTTT applet that looks at my Ambient Weather Station and if the temperature goes over 105 degrees, it tells Rachio to water the Avocado’s again.
Even though I have the Avocado’s on a Flex Monthly, if I am slow to react to a heat wave, the Avocado’s may suffer and drop their fruit, even if they have not met their allowed depletion in Rachio yet. So I water much more frequently in a heat wave, over water even, to keep the Avocado’s healthy and keep the fruit on them. Rachio automatically backs off the next scheduled watering if the weather cools down.
So just having a Weather Station that uses WeatheR underground and allows Rachio to use it for local weather, while that’s nice, using IFTTT also allows me to really fine tune my watering as if I was doing it by hand, they way certain plants/trees need.
Have you thought about switching the Avocado’s over to Flex Daily so that it looks at current conditions instead of just historical conditions?
Hi Linn, I miss spoke earlier, the Avocados are actually on Flex Daily, they are not on Flex Monthly. The schedule does look at current conditions, but its too slow to react to a heat wave. Avocado’s, unlike some other fruit trees, will shut down when it gets too hot and drop fruit very easily, unless they have water immediately near the surface where much of their root structure is. So while Rachio may see that they are not at their MAD (depletion) yet thus don’t need water right now, they still need water at the surface before it gets too hot, or the young fruit just drop. Rachio manages their watering well during normal conditions but here in my yard when it can hit 115 after the forecast says it expects 103, I use IFTTT and my PWS to react faster in an automatic fashion. The whole setup works very well for me and the Avocados hold their fruit through the recent 115 degree sat/sun heat wave in September.
You might try reducing your Allowed Depletion percentage, causing it to water more often, but less. Flex Daily should react within a day to very hot weather, provided there’s no restrictions to prevent it on that day. Reducing MAD should not affect total water received per week/month, just how much is applied at one time, and how often it does that.
I think I have the MAD dialed in where I want it, it definitely waters more often when its hot and less often when its cooler, but it uses forecasts to determine when to schedule the next watering, and here in my grove the actual temp is often much much hotter than forecast, so when that happens waiting until the next day or two to water sooner than previously scheduled may be too late.
One more thing about tinkering with MAD, is that here in my area Avocado’s are sensitive to the high salt content in the city water, and it causes whats called tip burn if I water for shorter durations. The salt collects near the surface roots and passes into the leaves and the tips turn brown and burn off. The only solution to that is to over water a bit to let the salts in the city water seep down below the surface roots. So I need to keep the duration where it is and ONLY adjust frequency. Flex Daily does this for me exactly like I want it, keeping the duration long enough to avoid tip burn and keep the trees healthy in the winter. I’ve got the whole settings (RZ Depth, Crop Coefficient, etc) set up to give me the right duration and I just let Rachio adjust the frequency as needed, but again my grove doesn’t match the forecast, sometimes by more than 10 degrees hotter, so I want a faster reaction to that scenario.
I see. Yeah, that all makes sense. Problem is, no Rachio program uses /actual/ temperature at any specific weather station (personal or otherwise). And that’s kind of what this thread is about, but even with a PWS of my own, Rachio ignores everything but rainfall from it.
There’s not much you can do about that at this time, unless your local temp is /always/ more than around you, but that won’t normally be the case. Having Rachio use a single, or even several very local, weather stations for all variables would be ideal, but they haven’t done that. I can understand them being hesitant, because a single PWS that is way off could ruin the law, or drown it. Sound like your IFTTT is your best bet at this time.
I think the flex daily schedule uses the closest weather station to you from the app Weather Underground. If you look at Weather Underground’s web site they have a list of compatible devices and you can email them directly to see if the station you purchased will work with their system. Once you get your station, you can apply to be one of Weather Underground’s personal weather stations and set your Rachio controller to use that station for your flex daily schedule.
I have my own PWS. But I have confirmed that Rachio only uses the rainfall from it, choosing instead to use localized weather from lots of neighboring stations to use for temperature and other values. I don’t think you have any choice there.
Are you a weather station on the Weather Underground network? It was my understanding they used data from the nearest weather station on Weather Underground. If I am wrong, let me know because I was thinking about buying a WeatherFlow PWS and getting on the Weather Underground network. If all they are using is the rain data, its probably not worth the $300 investment.
As I said, it is my understanding, from many sources, that when you specify a PWS in Rachio, done through Weather Underground with Rachio 3, it only uses the rainfall from the PWS. Other values, such as temperature and humidity, it uses some kind of average calculated for the area. But imho rainfall is the most important factor in determining sprinkler setting, and the other factors don’t vary as much as rain.