Multiple controllers / remote zones?

We just purchased a new home and unfortunately, its 9 irrigation valves are split across 3 controllers. It’s not easy to fix the wiring to connect them all up to a single controller.

So, I would like to request some features that would help dealing with multiple controllers:

  1. [EASY TO IMPLEMENT] Would simply like to be able to give controllers a nickname. Having to select between three “Rachio-FFFFFF” controllers is annoying as it’s not obvious which one is which… Simply being able to set a nickname (like I can with zones) would make life simpler.

  2. [HARDER?] Would be nice if multiple controllers could be scheduling aware. Instead of micro-managing start times, would be nice to keep the “finish before sunrise” on all controllers, but make them aware of each other somehow so that they automatically arrange schedules.

  3. [HARDWARE SOLUTION] It would also be cool if Rachio sold a “Wifi extender” or something that allows attaching other zones to a controller. Or even simply combine 3x 8-zone controllers into 1x virtual 24-zone controller

Hey @int2str!

Thank you so much for the feedback. I don’t think I’ve come across this situation before - going to touch base with the team to see if they’ve heard anything similar. I did want to address your suggestions though.

  1. Good news! You can name your controllers something other than the default :slight_smile: Just head to the More tab > Controller Settings > Name, to change the name of the controller.

  2. While we don’t have an option for controllers to speak with each other at this time, this is a request we’ve seen, so you can trust that it’s something we’re aware of and have logged.

  3. I’m not quite understanding this (or how it’s different from #2). Would you mind elaborating on this a bit so I can log it for the team?

Thank you :slight_smile:

:cheers: Lo

Heh, well, not sure how I missed that setting, but that’s wonderful. Renaming works already, thanks for pointing me in the right direction!

For 3., I meant you could design/sell a [cheaper?] hardware device that is not a “full fledged” Rachio controller, but simply allows other zones still in Wifi range to be connected to the extender and the extender talks either directly to the “full” controller or through the cloud, but the zones simply get added to the existing controller.

If a hardware solution is not cost effective, then it would be nice to simply be able to “bundle” multiple Rachio controllers into a single schedule. Appear as a single “virtual” controller in the app/web site that lists all the zones and allows a single schedule.

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Thank you SO much for clarifying that. My brain was not comprehending today :slight_smile: Cool idea though! I don’t think I’ve seen a suggestion like that before.

I’ll be sure to share those ideas with our team. Let me know if there’s anything else I can answer or log for you. Welcome to the community!

:cheers: Lo

I agree with @int2str as I have 3 controllers also (2 -8 stations and 1-16 station = 30 stations). It’s a real pain trying to set up schedules that don’t conflict with one another. I’ve had to resort to a
spreadsheet to manage the start stop time of each station. I have long run times necessitated by 30 avocado trees that need massive amounts of water due to the summer heat in Southern California.

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Why do you think the previous homeowner installed three controllers for just nine zones? Are they all connected to the same meter or well? I am just curious. Nothing else.

Nope, all same meter. 4 zones front of the house, 2 zones in a side yard and 3 in the back of the house. I think they simply expanded/remodeled and did not run the wires from the back of the house to the front, for example.