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I have been in search of an irrigation valve field for weeks!

This has actually been a mission. I’ve a valve field someplace in might garden that is been lined by grime. The home is about 5y outdated and I wasn’t right here after they put the system in and lined it with sod.

To the very best of my information I’ve two valve containers. I discovered the one on the tip of the chain (I will name it field 2) very early in my mission – however now I have to discover valve field 1.

Field 2 (which I discovered by trenching to it the laborious method, following the water pipe as a result of I already wanted to) was buried in 4+ inches of grime.

There are 8 coloured wires that come from the controller, go into valve field 1, after which to valve field 2. Commonplace stuff.

The one wires that they handed alongside from field 1 to field 2 are Frequent and the three wires for the three valves in field 2. They did not hassle sending the remainder of the wires. That is high quality, I do not blame them for this. However I want that eighth unused wire in valve field 2 now – **The GD black wire** that wasn’t wanted in any respect on the time stays disconnected in field 1.

Months of effort for a number of seconds price of labor once I be part of the black wires in field 1.

I’ve tried

* Poking the bottom randomly with a poker
* A good friend’s transmitter/receiver line location machine (not an costly mannequin) – this solely let me hint the trail from controller to valve field 2 (the whole wire).
* Poked once more across the path of the wire
* Used google maps to created a drawing of my sprinkler system so I might make educated guesses
* Somebody on a publish someplace stated “watch the sprinkler heads that come on first in a zone, these will probably be pressurized first and be nearer to its valve field”
* Poked once more round these educated guesses
* Referred to as the corporate who put in the system to ask if they’d a drawing. The woman *laughed*.
* Had my son crawl round and hearken to the bottom whereas I manually pulsed 24V to the valve on the management field. My mother had him put a funnel to his ear like some form of garden stethoscope. This was as hilarious because it was ineffective.
* Used a thermal digicam to see if there are temperature variations within the form of the valve field, each within the day and hte night time. I plan to do this once more if there is a night time when the air temp is significantly totally different from the bottom temp (not the case within the spring).
* Poked the place there was a touch of a temp distinction (grass clumps maintain warmth in an fascinating method – many crimson herrings).
* My son’s Nat Geo metallic detector (it is a toy).

Here is the map I’ve drawn:

View post on

Some notes in regards to the transmitter/receiver – since this *ought to* work.

In each configuration I attempted – from both field 2 or the controller, would *solely* ever make the whole line beep. It really works nice for sniffing the whole line from controller to field 2. 10/10 if I needed to search out field 2. However discovering a *break* in a wire… which it is imagined to do.

I attempted connecting transmitter crimson to the goal/find wire, and transmitter floor to Frequent… or to earth floor with a stake… or to earth floor by way of an outlet. It doesn’t matter what configuration the *complete* traces squeals (the beeping would not cease on the break within the wire, which astounds me). I additionally tried disconnecting all of the wires within the management field (sending all of them to floor, letting them float, and so forth).

Humorous sufficient, when it was related to earth floor by way of my home’s floor, my homes floor additionally was a transmitting antenna.

Someplace deep down I do know it is doable there’s not 1 extra valve field however 2 extra valve containers and that i’ve to search out each.

Comments ( 3 )

  1. If anyone has any suggestions, I’m all ears.

  2. I just gotta say that I respect the effort here dude. Good luck!

  3. If this was me, I’d use signal generator to transmit power _thought the solenoid_ and try to pick up with the coil attached to the input of amplified speaker. The key idea is that most line location devices transmit using voltage and almost-zero current, as it allows just one wire.. but as you have discovered this way transmission easily “jumps” to neighboring wires. But if you transmit power over the loop, and send non-trivial current, then the radio emission will stop right at the solenoid.

    Unfortunately I don’t think I can describe well how to do this in a single reddit comment. If you know basic electronics (or have a friend who does), you can assemble the device from cheap modules from amazon/aliexpress. For transmitter, connect together 555 generator board, motor driver (for robots) and few batteries. You want from 100 to 2000 hertz (nice audio range) and at least 10 milliamps of current, maybe more (but no more than solenoid current rating which is usually 500mA), tweak voltage/frequency until you get what you want. For receiver, you want to get one of those amplified speakers and connect a large coil of wire to the input.. you really want to experiment there, start with whatever you have in your junkbox and see it it works, you’ll know you got it when you can pick up “hum” from the regular power cords.

    Alternative crazy idea: rig the timer + transistor to toggle solenoid 5-10 times per second, it will click/buzz. Then try to listen again. But this may decrease lifetime of the solenoid.

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