What's new in the RainMachine Mobile App

Dec 28, 2015, by admin

We constantly update our RainMachine iOS and Android Mobile applications, but version 4.0.600 is a significant release that contains major usability improvements as well as several new features. We will describe them below, but first, make sure you download our latest App from the app store.

 

Water Saved at a Glance.
Vital information for your Garden.

 

Starting with version 4.0.600, in the Dashboard Screen we are introducing a gauge that shows how much water has been saved. Depending on the view (Week, Month, Year) this gauge will show you how much water has been saved for the respective Week, Month or Year. DashBoard screen Vitals animation RainMachine iOS mobile app

 

Landscape Mode.
Obsessing about weather? We display more!

 

Obsessing about monitoring Weather and RainMachine activity? Rotate the phone in Landscape mode to view your data in panoramic view! Landscape mode will show ~2x more data on the same screen. Of course, if you want more, you can always swipe right/left to get more information. DashBoard screen Vitals animation RainMachine iOS mobile app landscape view

 

Improved readability: Bigger Fonts where needed.

 

Version 4.0.600 improves on readability by using bigger fonts in the most used screens. Easy to read, easy to operate even without glasses. Make sure you download our latest app from the Apple App Store. Android users will be able to get the app at the Google Play Store.

Web Interface: Access from any device from anywhere

Oct 11, 2015, by admin

Web Interface: Access from any device from anywhere
Android, Iphone or web browsers

 

For the past few weeks we have been quietly pushing device firmware updates containing the building blocks for a RainMachine browser interface. If your device (RainMachine Mini-8, RainMachine Touch HD-12 or RainMachine Touch HD-16) is running firmware v4.0.574 or higher you will now be able to use the web interface by going to my.rainmachine.com

 

How do I access my RainMachine using a web browser?

 

No matter where you are located (at home, at work or in vacation) from your PC/laptop simply point your browser (latest modern browsers like Firefox, Safari, Chrome, etc) to my.rainmachine.com and enter your credentials (email login and password) and you're in! Alternately, if you know your local RainMachine IP address, you can access it directly by simply going to https://LocalRainMachineIP:8080/ui/ (eg: https://192.168.0.100:8080/ui/).

 

This is work in progress (BETA). We are working in refining the Dashboard look and general usability and we expect a new and improved look very soon! This is just the beginning. Our goal is to provide the best interface ever, where the user can clearly understand the state of their RainMachines weather adjustments as they happen.

 

Attached are two snapshots of our beta web interface.

  First snapshot of the my.rainmachine.com web application   Second snapshot of the my.rainmachine.com web application  

Note: This feature is available for RainMachine Mini-8, RainMachine Touch HD-12 and RainMachine Touch HD-16 released in 2015 and beyond. Enjoy!

RainMachine is now EPA WaterSense certified

Jul 13, 2015, by admin

All our Devices are EPA WaterSense Certified
A WaterSense Primer

  All our Devices are EPA WaterSense Certified  

WaterSense is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program designed to encourage water efficiency in the United States through the use of a special label on consumer products.

By promoting and enhancing the market for water efficient products and services, WaterSense makes every drop count by leveraging relationships with key utility, manufacturer and retail partners across the U.S.

EPA develops specifications for water efficient products through a public process. If a manufacturer makes a product that meets those specifications, the product is eligible for third-party testing to ensure the stated efficiency and performance criteria have been met.

As of 07/02/2015 all our devices, RainMachine Mini-8, RainMachine Touch HD-12, RainMachine Touch HD-16 are WaterSense Certified with a perfect score of 100% for all test categories:


 Irrigation Adequacy (%)

100

100

100

100

100

100

 Schedule Efficiency (%)

100

100

100

100

100

100

 Scheduling Excess (%)

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

Rebates and financial Incentives from your Water company
Cash for efficient machines

 

The EPA's WaterSense Program offers rebate information but does not directly provide any rebates for products. Please contact your local water provider directly for more information about a rebate or rebate program. Here is a federally maintained database with links to the rebates programs available for various local Water agencies. The list is not complete so you might want to also check with your local water company.

RainMachine Mini or Touch?
Which smart Wi-Fi sprinkler is right for me?

Jun 04, 2015, by admin
 

Which device is smarter? Mini or Touch?
Both devices are equally smart.

  RainMachine Mini or RainMachine Touch  

Given the price differen​ce,​ one might ask if the RainMachine Touch is smarter than the Mini. ​T​he simple answer is No, both machines are equally smart. As a matter of fact​,​ the Evapo-Transpiration science running on ​both controllers is identical! Both machines simulate the hydrological water cycle using the same data sources, ​and ​using the same code.

 

RainMachine Mini or Touch?
Independent Device vs​.​ Device + Remote Control

 

In order to setup or monitor the RainMachine Mini you need a smart phone or a tablet. Think of your phone as a remote control for the RainMachine. The only direct input​ means available on the RainMachine Mini are 3 buttons: Zone​ UP/DOWN​,​ and Start. With this interface you can only manually ​start ​water​ing​ your garden​, stop ​it, ​or stop an on-going program. That's it.

Similarly, w​hen using the RainMachine Touch, you can program, monitor or manually​ start/stop watering ​from the device itself​.

Both devices can be setup and be operated from your smart phone or tablet. Even more: you use the same app for both devices. There is no need to learn other app operation conventions, screens, etc. when switching from RainMachine Touch to RainMachine Mini, or vice-versa.

 

RainMachine Mini or Touch?
Luxury or Necessity?

 

That depends on ​you. I prefer the RainMachine Touch because it is​ an​ 'all in one' device. More than half of our customers are also opting for the RainMachine Touch.

However if you​ are an iPhone geek and control everything around you and beyond by your iPhone, then the Rai​n​Machine ​Mini is the perfect fit. There are situations when the device is out of sight, therefore having ​the iPhone control-only option is all that you need.

If your device is located in the garage or indoors, the RainMachine Touch definitely makes a good addition to your smart home. The main screen (weather statistics) ​is simply addictive and allows ​you to understand the ​watering and weather history and outlook with a simple touch.

 

Can both devices be accessed remotely?

 

Yes, both devices can be accessed remotely (vacation or when at work) using the mobile application (available for both Android and Iphone)​. No more firewall configuration required, it just works.

What is new in RainMachine 4.0 software?
The future is here.

Jun 01, 2015, by admin

The RainMachine 4.0 software framework represents a radical departure from the old ways, setting the foundation for the next generation of modern internet connected, smart Wi-Fi sprinkler controllers. In this article we will outline the features and benefits of our new software framework.

 

Will this be available for older Rainmachine models?
Stay tuned, release for previous RainMachine users will be available in late 2015.

 

The short answer is Yes! Some of the new features are resource intensive (require more CPU and memory footprint); as a result not all features will be available for the older 2013 RainMachine irrigation controllers. We are currently working on an Android/IOS software update that will bring RainMachine 4.0-style graphs to older Rainmachines. The target release date for this is late 2015.

 

Works outside the US.
Works even at the North Pole, weather permitting!

 

One of the major enhancements we made in the 4.0 release was to add the capability of extracting weather information from multiple data sources. RainMachine is now able to access weather from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency) as well as MET.no (Norwegian Meteorologic Institute) or other data sources, whenever available. While NOAA is the most trusted source for weather in the US, MET.no has weather data for Europe as well as the rest of the globe.

An official International release schedule will be available in late 2015 or early 2016.
Get notified regarding the International rollout here.

 

Multiple data sources.
The ultimate redundancy.

 

By being able to extract weather data from multiple weather data sources the RainMachine is mixing multiple data feeds into one coherent and stable weather data channel. In case one source fails, one the other ones will take over, thus RainMachine using a reliable and virtually uninterruptible weather data stream. Peace of mind for your garden!

 

Dashboard.
Your Garden at a glance.

 

The entire RainMachine state is now beautifully represented on the Dashboard screen. From past and future weather data to individual program activity spanning for multiple years, the RainMachine reports everything in one simple screen: The Dashboard. Swipe though time to view at a glance the entire EvapoTranspirative process. People love the new graphs as they are very easy to understand or operate. Watch out - they are truly addictive and soon you will replace your preferred weather info source with the most powerful personal weather station on Earth - the RainMachine!

 

Wind and Rain Sensitivity.
Effects of Wind and Rain are well known, so why tune Rainmachine's sensitivity to them?

 

Everything can be tuned. You are The God for your Garden. For example, wind intensity can be reduced up to 50% by buildings or tall trees. Even rain (and how much rain is stored in the ground) is affected by your local garden environment. We are now allowing you to adjust wind and rain sensitivity with a simple slider control that allows you to decrease or increase from 0% to 100% of the reported rain amount or wind intensity.

 

Connect from anywhere.
Cloud-based proxy makes RainMachine remote access a breeze.

 

One of the main complaints about our pre-2015 RainMachines was that remote access (connect to RainMachine from outside the home network) was difficult to setup. We agree.

The new RainMachine allows you to auto-magically connect from within or from outside your home network in a transparent manner. Cloud independence is still maintained - the RainMachine is still a 100% standalone apparatus that can operate independently from any cloud services.

 

Improved Evapo-Transpirative Science.
Precision with ever increasing resolution though OpenSource.

 

The Nature's water cycle simulator is now improved in terms of simulation capability. Each program is simulated ahead of time and displayed on the Dashboard as future activity (a feature not available in 2013 RainMachine model).

We now freely provide our evapotranspiration algorithm code. As a consequence, our work is verifiable and can be trusted. User contributions from around the world continue to support the RainMachine community, helping us enhance the product.

By using Python — a high-level scientific interpreter language — we encourage customer reading and commenting of the internal code and algorithm as an important core value of the Open Source movement. All RainMachines run on hardened embedded Linux operating systems. The RainMachine is using only open data sources from national and international weather research institutions. Hence, the weather data is forever free to you.

We believe that free and open platforms are the only way to promote sustainability and advancement of the SmartHome.

Learn more

 

Develop once, deploy everywhere.
Enabling future generations of RainMachines with the same software framework.

 

With this new framework and with inter-operability from our 4.0 API, newer generations of RainMachine hardware will be easily merged into the existent device and client software upgrade path, allowing developers to produce code that is independent of their CPU architecture. Please contact developer@rainmachine.com if interested in licensing our software or hardware framework.

Say Hello to the RainMachine Mini-8.
Spartan Design meets Utility.

May 01, 2015, by admin
mouse over to remove the lid

Right after we finished developing the RainMachine HD in the summer of 2013, our design team began designing the 2nd generation of smart Wi-Fi Sprinkler Controllers. The result of our work has come to light—the RainMachine Mini-8, our latest 8 zones, smart Wi-Fi Sprinkler Controller.

 

The RainMachine Mini-8 is not a replacement for the RainMachine HD as the devices provide different levels of functionality. One major difference between the Mini and the HD is the level of local control the device offers: The RainMachine HD has a fully graphical user interface on a 4.3" capacitive touch screen. As a result, the HD version allows the user to have 100% control of the machine via the local interface: you can program, edit, start or stop zones from the device itself, no mobile devices needed. The RainMachine Mini has a simpler interface that allows the user to manually start and stop a certain zone. Both the HD and Mini look the same when accessed remotely via a mobile iOS or Android Phone. Both machines are equally smart; the differences are on the device itself with the touch interface and number of zones allowed.

 

RainMachine Mini and HD.
100% capacitive interface, 100% LED. Long live the RainMachine.

 

Unlike traditional irrigation devices, the buttons do not rely on mechanical contacts. Instead, the RainMachine HD and Mini provide a projected capacitive interface. Projected capacitive interface is a superior method to resistive or surface capacitance screen, providing a virtually impossible to destroy user interface on beautiful super-planar, ultra-pure Japanese Asahi glass (RainMachine HD) and anti-scratch, anti-reflective + UV coated 'tough as nails' Polycarbonate cover lens (RainMachine Mini). This is how we provide a 'clear' difference over the competitor's offerings. The life of our devices is backed by a 5-year standard guarantee. By using capacitive touch sensing on all our products, we are virtually extending the life of the product to 'infinite'.

 

Dark Garage?
Back illumination to the Rescue!

 

The RainMachine Mini keypad is illuminated by 3 individual white LEDs. The keys are visible during low or no light situations.

 

Wi-Fi signals, as well as the 7-segment display are made out of white LEDs, providing an amazingly cool and easy to use local interface. Because LED life is very long, the projected life of the backlight and/or display is virtually infinite.

 

Teardown pictures.
Electronics geeks: here is how it is made!

 

We always wanted to show off our new device but we couldn't because of the stealth requirements during the developmental phase.
Now we can show you the device, explained in less than 100 words people use regularly:

 
mouse over for back view  

More information about the RainMachine Mini-8 can be found on our Products page.

What is SMAP?
Weather data for the "Garden 2.0"?

Mar 01, 2015, by admin
NASA Launches Groundbreaking Soil Moisture Mapper Fig 1, NASA Launches Groundbreaking Soil Moisture Mapper. © NASA  

A United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket with the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory onboard launches from Space Launch Complex 2, Saturday, Jan 31, 2015, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

 

SMAP is NASA’s first Earth-observing satellite designed to collect global observations of surface soil moisture and its freeze/thaw state. SMAP will provide high-resolution global measurements of soil moisture from space. The data will be used to enhance scientists' understanding of the processes that link Earth's water, energy, and carbon cycles.

 

SMAP data useful for Irrigation Satellites?
Mix that data, Evolve.

 

We don't know how useful the global soil moisture will help the RainMachine compute better Evapotranspiration but we know we are ready for the data once it becomes available! The RainMachine was designed from the ground up to use multiple data sources. A meteorological data parser fetches each data source.

 

Since the RainMachine can simulate nature from data sources such as temperature, moisture, wind, barometric pressure or rain fall, we are already envisioning how to extract more useful data from SMAP's data streams.

 

Freeze/Thaw states and moisture along with canopy and ground cover photosynthesis are factors that can and will be added into our future Evapotranspiration Engine, as data becomes available!

 

Open Data, Open Source, Python and Embedded Linux.
Code. Share. Evolve.

 

Providing out Evapotranspiration formula source code and API we make our work trusted and verifiable. User contributions from around the world will help the community evolve the product.

 

By using Python—a high level scientific interpreted language—we encourage readability and provide instant verification, which are core values of the Open Source movement. All RainMachines run on hardened embedded Linux operating systems.

 

The RainMachine is using only open data sources from Governmental, National and International weather research institutes. We believe that free and open platforms are the only way to promote sustainability and advancement of the SmartHome.

Learn more