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Wednesday08 December 2021

Why TIC?

 

Summary

  • 11 Years decoder production - 28,000+ decoders shipped - no returns.
  • 12 Years controller production. 300+ controllers shipped. 
  • Robust lightning protection - Decoders and Controllers - Single earth per zone.
  • 5 Year decoder warranty - including lightning damage. (Subject to correct controller installation & grounding)
  • 3 Year controller warranty - excluding lightning damage (Subject to proper installation)
  • Signalling algorithms and decoder electronics that yield reliable and repeatable signalling performance.
  • High tolerance of earth leakage. (leaky cables and joints)

Mission

  • To become the world-wide preferred manufacturer of (Watermation and similar) 2-Wire decoder and controller systems.
  • To maintain and constantly improve quality of manufacture and design
  • To support all our products for the foreseeable future.
  • To continuously develop and innovate new ideas to integrate into new and existing products.

Detail

TIC Irrigation Controls has wide and extensive experience in Decoder Irrigation systems, and the electric and electronic techniques behind them. TIC have been electronic design engineers since 1991, and involved in decoder irrigation since 2000.

Since 2007 we have been manufacturing our FieldSwitch range of 2 and 3 wire decoders. In this time we have shipped in excess of 28,000 decoder stations. To date we have not had a single one returned, and have not been advised of any that have failed. That is not to say for sure than none have failed, but if they have, we have not been informed. On a recent visit to Montrose (Scotland, UK), we found some very early TIC decoders in a box with some others. We couldn't resist testing them - all were good.

The TIC 2-wire decoder system uses the same signalling protocols that have been employed for decades - pioneered by, and commonly know as Watermation. Unlike earlier products, TIC decoders use clever software to analyse the incoming AC waveforms and the superimposed signalling - to make intelligent and reliable decisions about instructions and addresses, and act accordingly. Furthermore, TIC controller products employ accurate signalling timing algorithms to get the best from older (non-TIC) decoders. 

Our 2-Wire Watermation decoder is compatible with many controller types including TIC, Tonick, Logic (Wall mount and PC), Watermation TW-2, and ANY OTHER system that specifies the "Watermation" decoder type.

In additional to Watermation, we have used the same techniques to develop an irrigation decoder that is compatible with the Underhill protocol used on the Hunter ICC (with decoder module), Novo, Sapien and "Universal". We have also developed an irrigation decoder that will co-exist with the Underhill decoder, and allow expansion (with a TIC controller) up to 127 stations WITHOUT the need to replace the original decoders.

Our 3-Wire decoder is compatible with systems that specify SC1000.SC3000 and Trident etc.

Our design and manufacturing addresses the shortcomings experienced by irrigation decoder users over the years. Our decoders are encapsulated in a PU resin system that was developed for encapsulating deep sea cable joints. Our electronic design uses robust lightning protection techniques that result in a need for just one earth stake (one per field cable) at the controller end. Our electronic design and software as a combination provide robust and repeatable signalling responses - even at long cable distances, and with significant earth leakage. Typically our decoders will function at any cable location where a solenoid on it's own will pull-in when directly connected to the cable.

We have invested heavily in producing our own hardware and software - as well as extensive jigs and machinery for decoder production, and custom injection mold tooling to produce our robust and professional decoder enclosure.

All our production PCB assembly is split between two high-volume sub-contract partners - one in Hungary, one in Bulgaria. Both these companies provide high quality, fully inspected and tested, robotic 'pick and place' assembly and tight temperature profile solder re-flow.  

All of our design and development is in-house, and no part of any of our products rely on external consultants, non-TIC software, or bought-in hardware etc. Everything we make is made from commercially available electronic components plus our own tooled custom parts.

All our products run TIC software - running 'native' on our own hardware. That means that none of our products rely on operating systems (such as Windows or Linux) and are therefore not at risk from changes within software that's not under our control.

Our policy is to make all firmware available (as binaries) on our website, with all improvements available to all users. All of our controller products accept in-field updates either via a file that can be downloaded to SD-Card, or a file for use with our freely available PC based update program.


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