You are here: Home PRODUCTS Wall Mount Irrigation Controllers iT508 - Full Feature Decoder Controller

Wednesday08 December 2021

 

Image of Aquarille branded version

 

iT508 Multi-Zone Decoder Irrigation Controller

 

A break-thru in functionality versus cost.

 

Operation

The TIC iT508 (Aquarille Touch) is perfectly suited to replace ageing (and failed) TW2 and Aquarius 2100 2400 controllers as well as Tonick TW-3, RM1 and DemiRain controllers, plus the older (Tonick designed) Irri-Monitors.

The Tonick/UI "Hunter ICC module" controller is also well suited for replacement with the iT508. Expansion up to 127 stations on the existing single field cable is possible by adding TIC's Landscape Plus decoders, and of course further expansion with up to 3 further field cable paths - all without having to replace existing 63 station decoders.

Flow control is built-in - allowing each station to belong to one or two (or no) flow zones. Flow management will turn on every station that it can (that has been programmed to run) provided it 'fits' within it's enabled flow zones (if any) and within the master flow capacity specified for the whole system.

Flow breaks can be programmed as steps within programs to prevent the flow management from turning on stations after the break, before the prior ones have finished. This prevents later stations from watering early (due to available flow).

The general watering order is executed in accordance with the order that the program is written. As well as the ability to create fully configured programs, sequences may be simply created by specifying a range of watering areas, or stations, a run time for each, and the program number for the new program. Further filtering is available to be able to select what watering area types are to be included. e.g. if you specified every watering area defined in a system, and set the filter to 'Greens' - that would create a program that watered every green on the site ... all done with a dozen or so key presses.

At "Start Time" - the started program is compiled into a list of up to 999 decoder run times, with any required flow breaks inserted. Flow management then searches forward in this list looking for stations that it can run, turning on as many as possible. Flow management can easily be disabled leaving the controller to turn on as many stations as electrically possible. Alternatively the decoder type can be set to cause only a single station to be run at a time on each cable. 

Run time activity can be monitored in real time - showing the flow management in action. Also at run time, and in real time, Timer, Flow and Line Current information is available. Flow information is particularly useful as it shows just how much of the available flow is getting used. e.g. if every flow zone was set at 199 lpm, and every station was 100 lpm - there would forever be 99 lpm of flow going to "waste". This may be what's needed, but clearly watering efficiency could be improved in this scenario.

As well as flow control, the controller will not attempt to turn on more electrical loads than are permitted per cable for the system's decoder type.

Up to 10 program starts per day can be specified within a calendar that is configurable for 1 ~ 14 days rotation.

Each start specifies a program number, and a budget (50 ~ 250%) which scales the set time for each program step.

Additionally each scaled step time can be divided into 1 ~ 3 separate applications - to reduce run-off.

Each start has a Must End Before (MEB) time. If for any reason the program is still running when the MEB is reached, the program will be ended. Starts will queue, preventing overrunning programs from cancelling later starts. This in combination with MEB gives powerful control to prioritise watering without having to be precise with calculating program run lengths(*), or worrying about power outages causing program delays.

There is also a global MEB time. If this time is set, then all watering will cease at that time.

Intelligent algorithms detect whether MEB times are "today" or "tomorrow" when programs are started. Programs that exceed 24 hours computed run time are not permitted.

     (*)The controller is pretty good at calculating program lengths. Each program's length is calculated using a full simulation of it running under the programmed flow parameters.

Programs can be started 'on the fly' with a "run now" function. Budget and Splits can also be set for this.

Each entry in the database has a 20 character text tag, allowing the user to name, and easily identify items. This is completely 'free text' with no shorthand or notations. e.g. When writing and reviewing programs, they are listed showing the text tags for the selected watering areas or stations. All these tags can be entered into a CSV file (with other data) - giving access to all the cut/copy/paste capabilities of a PC. See the example CSV file.

 

Diagnostics

The iT508 also features powerful diagnostic capabilities to greatly assist with debugging field cable wiring and decoders.

All decoder switching fails that occur during automatic watering cycles are recorded in the ERROR logbook - as well as the most recent event being recorded in the record for the errant station. Each station record also maintains a count of successful and failed switching events, as well as total water applied since last zero'ed.

All program starts, ends, MEB ends and many other events are recorded in the EVENT logbook. Both logbooks can be written to an SD card - as plain text files that are easy to review on a PC, or printed for review or archive.

A manual mode allows the switching of up to 4 decoders per cable/zone. Quick links take you to station records (if decoder is configured as a station).

Automatic zone testing of every decoder address can be performed - on individual cables, or all 4. The results of these tests (date, time, result, current changes seen both ON and OFF) are written to separate results records, which are not overwritten by automatic operations.

 

 

The iT508 is equipped with an SD-card slot. The main benefit of this, is the ability to import (and export) the controller database in CSV format. This allows all station, program, flow zone, starts and many other aspects of the internal database to be designed and configured on a PC in the comfort of an office, then written to SD card and transferred to the iT508. Additionally in-field firmware updates are easily dealt with vis SD-Card(*). The ERROR and EVENT logbook files can also be written to a card for review on a PC.

   (*) Our policy is lifetime firmware upgrades. Any added functions are freely available to all users.

  • The iT508 is available in 2.3 and 4 zone/cable versions.

Standard guarantee is 3 years, with several support options available to augment and/or extend. The standard guarantee covers all parts, materials and workmanship, but does not cover damage, misuse - and also does not cover damage by lightning. The iT508 is designed to withstand indirect lightning events IF installed properly. Failure to properly wire the EST terminals to substantial earth rods or plates (one per cable zone) will invalidate the guarantee. Guarantee does not (in any circumstances) extend beyond repair or replacement of faulty equipment or parts. Repair or replace at TIC's sole discretion.

 

Summary

The iT508 a simple and easy to use decoder sequencing irrigation controller - ideal for replacing TW-2, Aquarius 2100 & 2400, Tonick RM-1, Demirain, SC1000 & SC3000.

BUT - The iT508 is also a sophisticated full featured wall mount irrigation controller that's almost as powerful as a PC system. In front of this sophistication is the ability to easily use it as a simple watering controller in the same vein as the successful and ubiquitous TW2 and Aquarius 2100 & 2400 wall mount controllers.

Our 2-wire decoder system does not require multiple earth stakes along the 2 wire path, simply a single earth rod/plate (one per cable zone) at the controller, wired by 4mm2 (or larger) wire to the EST terminal(s) on the controller. The decoder signalling system is very tolerant of old leaky cables and joints, and will work with horrendous earth leakage. All this means that fitting an iT508/Aquarille touch eliminates the expensive and disruptive prospect of having to replace field cables and decoders.

For applications where the familiarity of an existing TW-2 is considered too valuable to lose, please see TICs TW-NEWThis is a set of PCBs, (user install-able if required) that replaces the original electronics with TICs proven decoder electronics - whilst retaining the exact user interface as before.

 

Features / Specification

  • Automatic programs -  by watering areas or individual station or mix of both.
  • Simple programming ability - specify range of stations or watering areas, and a duration for each - and set a station type filter.
  • Full two layer flow control.
  • Programmable flow-breaks. 
  • 127 flow zones, stations can belong to two.
  • Station records, record time/date of last run/fail, and total counts of good and failed attempts.
  • Total station water volume. (assuming correct flow rate set in station record)
  • Up to 4 Cable paths. 
  • Tolerant of old leaky cables and joints.
  • up to 4 solenoids 'on' per cable. (depending on decoder type)
  • up to 508 Stations (up to 127 decoders (stations) on each cable path.)
  • up to 127 Watering areas - each containing up to 16 stations. (i.e. decoders)
  • 127 Flow zones.
  • 8 Station types. (e.g. for golf applications ... Greens, Tees, Approaches, Fairways, Putting etc etc)
  • up to 14 day calendar. (User selected) 
  • 10 Starts per day.
  • 255 steps per program. (Step may be single station, or single watering area)
  • 999 decoders per run-time program.
  • Programmable sprinkler drop delay.
  • User & Contractor password protection. (Each can be disabled by setting "0000")
  • Fully free-text tags for every database item - aids easy identification.
  • Manual decoder operation for testing.
  • Full system cable/zone tests, with detailed results for each decoder address, including on and off current changes.
  • Home page error count displayed - no count means no errors.
  • Two rain switches, 1st switch halves computed watering times, 2nd switch stops all watering, and deletes any queued starts.
  • Suspend all watering - simple to access from home screen. Obvious visual indication when suspended. Clock is Red for suspend, Blue if 2nd rain switch active.
  • Next program details shown when program not running.
  • Extensive real time information on running program.
  • SD Card - Import of Database & Firmware, export of Database and Logbooks.
  • FAT16 and FAT32 supported. (Single cluster FAT32 root directory only at this time)
  • 5" Colour TFT touchscreen display.
  • Reliable TIC decoder signalling and monitoring. Tolerates old (leaky) cables and joints.
  • Power in - 32VRMSAC from 240VAC or 110VAC TIC standard external Transformer in wall mounting housing.
  • Consumption - <10W. (Lines off)
  • Power out (field cables) - Nominally 32VAC RMS.
  • Decoder types - TIC Fieldswitch 2 and 3 wire. TIC Fieldswitch Plus 127. Tonick/Watermation originals. Tonick Stubby. Landscape 63 station. TIC (and others) Trident SC1/3000 (3 wire)
  • CPU - Powerful ARM M3 at 120mhz (Main CPU)  AVR 8 bit at 8Mhz. (Decoder signalling)
  • Real Time Clock - Precision temperature compensated.
  • Memory - On-board NVRAM and flash for data storage. On chip Flash and RAM for firmware operation (approx 50% currently unused)
  • Lockable stainless steel wall mount enclosure cabinet.
  • Display can be mounted remotely from cabinet. 20m (non-iso RS485) for standard iT508, longer distances (Iso RS485 - up to 1.5km) by special order.
  • CE - Marked.

 

(The iT508 is also known as "Aquarille Touch", and is born out of a cooperation between TIC and Aquarille.)