Installation thoughts

Just a few ideas that occurred to me while installing this.

Mainly for an eventual ‘version 2’ as I don’t think you’ll be able to implement them easily currently.

For the most part it i’s painless to install, but in comparison to other home automation / internet controlled hardware, there’s a few things that could be done differently. Not necessarily better, just differently.

1). Part of the install says ‘label any important wires’. Sensible. The NEST thermostat, which has to be the benchmark for easy install has a small sheet of labels to wrap round cables for this purpose, in the manual. Cheap, and a nice touch.

2). The NEST also has 2 self tapping plasterboard screws to attach it, no need to use plugs. The Iro may be a little heavy to use these, but it might be worth considering.

3). The NEST (last mention of it, I promise) has a mini level for the backplate built in. Hardly a requirement for a box that’s going to live in a garage out of sight, but like the other points, something that adds to the install experience.

4). Backplate. It would be nice to have a little more usable space in it, to store a little more slack in cables.

Finally, Blinking.

Clearly a clever idea, given the constraints of the hardware, but slightly erratic.

It worked for me on the fourth try - which is fine. Full brightness on the phone, darker garage, job done.

Something you might want to look at is the Belkin WeMo, which has a similar problem - needs to have a network configured, without a display - It comes up as its own network which you connect to via its smartphone app, then you send it the details of the network it should be on via the app, it reboots onto those details, job done.

Saves on the cost of the light sensor, at least.

Every other device I’ve seen, you connect to via ethernet, and configure that way.

Just some thoughts, for what little they’re worth.

@jimmyjimjim‌ Really appreciate your write up and suggestions on the install process. You have some great suggestions and echo comments from other customers.

We appreciate this kind of feedback and will incorporate your thoughts (worth a lot :slight_smile: as we begin to build requirements for our next version.

Again, greatly appreciated!

Had a similar problem getting the Blink to work right until I turned the brightness up to full on the screen, then it worked as advertised connected right to the wi-fi.

I installed my Iro yesterday. I previously had two standard controllers because one controller didn’t have enough “programs” for my irrigation system. I have 16 stations, so the Iro is perfect for me because it supports both my “hardware” and “software” requirements.

The outgoing controllers used screws to connect the station wires whereas the Iro requires that you poke the wire into a little hole while holding down a teeny-tiny button. I used a mechanical pencil to push the button while searching for the right place to stick in the wire. The first two were hard to do but I found the sweet spot finally. The next 14 were only moderately difficult – the little holes are very closely spaced and the “sweet spot” was still hard to find. I used needle-nosed pliers to do the poking. I felt kind of like a surgeon with my mechanical pencil and pliers.

Luckily this only has to be done once and now it’s over. I would encourage the Iro hardware engineering team to figure out a better connection method. This is one place the traditional controller is better than the Iro. Maybe I made it harder than it needed to be. Maybe this is something the video needs to cover more thoroughly.

You don’t need to hold down the button.

This method works best if you have newly prepared wires. If you’re using the ends that you’ve just removed from your last controller, then, if they’re not perfectly straight, they get a bit awkward.

Also, this form of connector is expecting solid core wire, not standed. Stranded bends waaaay too easily.

Tinned mine.

As for the blinking to setup the device, I think if you changed and went with “Ethernet” you would be going backwards…I think Bluetooth would be better, like my withings smart body scale…it requires an internet connection, but you touch a button on the device to pair it via Bluetooth. Then you use the app to finish setting up the network.
Of note, I had zero issue using the blinking light…was fast and no hassle.