Hi! I would be interested in your experience in ways of controlling (semi or fully automated) irrigation system of a small or medium garden. Do you prefer a classical (inexpensive) control unit (such as the Hunter X-Core series) with a manual timer setting on the unit, or you've tried some more sophisticated solutions including a way you can set and change irrigation times, or including "more" automation by connection to more sensors? If so, in which solution do you see benefits?
I have used a manual starter with a simple built-in timer, but it did not suit me due to the need for greater variability of irrigation terms, nor did the classical unit satisfy me. Later, I have designed and created my own solution. The control unit has no controll buttons and it is located in an isolated box near the valves (due to location it is easier to connect the water level meter and the soil humidity sensor). I communicate with the unit wirelessly using my cell phone and I can set routine irrigation terms and also one-time terms. The set irrigation times are automatically turned off if the soil is wet. The control solution ove the app is similar to the classic Android alarm clock. I have tested it for one season so far and now I try to compare the features and look at what can be improved yet. Now I am also interested in your opinions about that.