Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller Gains HomeKit Support

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    #1
    [​IMG]


    Rachio today announced that it has added HomeKit support to its Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller, allowing the device to work with Siri and other HomeKit accessories to control sprinklers.

    According to Rachio, its Smart Sprinkler Controller is the first sprinkler controller to offer HomeKit integration.

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    The Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller works with the Home app or through the Rachio app, and connected sprinklers can be controlled from any iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, HomePod, or Apple TV. With a HomePod or an Apple TV available for remote access, connected sprinklers can also be controlled when away from home.
    Rachio's Wi-Fi connected Smart Sprinkler Controller, priced at $229, offers up features that include easy installation, a Flow Meter for monitoring water usage, and Hyperlocal Weather Intelligence for turning on sprinklers only in appropriate weather.

    The Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller can be purchased from the Rachio website.

    Article Link: Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller Gains HomeKit Support
     
  2. jmh600cbr macrumors 6502a

    jmh600cbr

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    #2
    this is exactly what I was waiting for. Will buy next spring.
     
  3. mac.cali macrumors 65816

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    Mar 16, 2012
    #3
    You’re move Orbit. Don’t know what’s taking you so long considering you announced back in January.
     
  4. MonstaMash macrumors regular

    MonstaMash

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    Dec 24, 2011
    #4
    Awesome! Curious what kind of HomeKit automations people make with this. I recall someone wanting to integrate their sprinklers with a motion sensor to prevent people from cutting through their lawn :p
     
  5. tasset macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    #5
    You better believe it buddy, I already have automated a doorbell with HomeKit via an Aqara button. I'm totally going to turn this loose on door to door salespeople!!
     
  6. imola.zhp macrumors 6502a

    imola.zhp

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    Mud Island (Memphis), TN
    #6
    Seriously?

    I have a Gen 1, if its software related, whey do I have to update hardware?

    I still haven't received an answer from them either, on Saturday morning I came out at 8am to find my last zone had been running for 4 hours! To add insult to injury, the zone was running in the rain. The history shows the rain sensor shut off the last zone 2 minutes into its 4 minute run, but they did not shut off, instead it stayed on. Likely negating any water savings the rain sensor has EVER had.
     
  7. RC Mike macrumors member

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    Aug 6, 2015
    #7
    Think carefully before buying a Rachio. The company has made some promises about HomeKit support to owners of earlier products, and hasn't followed up. Rachio keeps sending out surveys about future products, and I wish they'd focus more on keeping promises to existing customers. Adding HomeKit support to their current product feels like an attempt to churn their existing customer base.

    More than that, I don't have great control over my sprinklers. Rachio regularly modifies my schedules--even completely manual ones. I can't even sequence manual runs with their app--it's all one at a time. Their software is supposed to let you queue zones one after another, but in my experience that's broken.

    It's great to have sprinkler control from your phone--any Internet-enabled controller is going to change the way you work on your system for the better. If I had it to do over again, I'd take a hard look at all of the alternatives. Rachio's promise is water-savings, and that's really where their focus is. My lawn isn't looking anywhere near as vibrant as it did with my old sprinkler controller, and I'm not thrilled about that. I'm very comfortable with spending a bit more on water.
     
  8. GIZBUG macrumors 68000

    GIZBUG

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    Chicago, IL
    #8

    Please share some better alternatives
     
  9. RC Mike macrumors member

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    Aug 6, 2015
    #9
    There's a whole slew of Internet-enabled sprinkler controllers out now. I'm not in the market for a new one, and you're not yet paying me to do your homework for you. All I can say is that I wish I'd done more research before buying a Rachio.

    Another downside to Rachio is that you're entirely dependent upon their backend system to use their controller. The phone app doesn't connect to your controller, it connects to their servers. Not all controllers work that way.
     
  10. imola.zhp, Sep 25, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018

    imola.zhp macrumors 6502a

    imola.zhp

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    Mud Island (Memphis), TN
    #10
    On the rachio forums they are claiming that their delay was because they were trying to get Gen1 and Gen2 to work with Siri, but the hardware does not have enough memory. They are offering a $30 coupon code to upgrade.

    I think I can accept that statement, but I'm still not upgrading. I would like to have the capability if it worked with my existing hardware but to upgrade for something that I would rarely use just doesn't make sense at his moment.
     
  11. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

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    Seattle, WA
    #11
    Dang...4 hours! Never had that happen. I have a Gen 2. Would also like to see if it can be upgraded to HomeKit. Otherwise there isn't really a need to upgrade.
     
  12. SigurTom macrumors member

    SigurTom

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  13. 1rottenapple macrumors 68020

    1rottenapple

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    Apr 21, 2004
    #13
    I know my gen 2 isn’t covered. But HomeKit isn’t that useful so for me so far so eghhhhh. Gen two is great and has been working great for me. I got it for less than $130 on Amazon. HomeKit isn’t that useful. I usually set it and forget it with my setup. You can always use a google home and it’s cheaper.
     
  14. imola.zhp, Sep 25, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018

    imola.zhp macrumors 6502a

    imola.zhp

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    #14
    Agreed, I think I paid about $75 for our Gen 1 at least 2 years ago, maybe longer, used on ebay. Set it and forget it is right. In the heat of the summer I do like to manually run a short sequence in the afternoons but it is very easy to open the app and trigger the command.

    They just responded to my thread about the sprinkler staying on for 4 hours, they said they pushed out a new Gen 1 firmware update. Hopefully that cures the issue, I may rig up a way to test it!
     
  15. alexnyc8 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2018
    #15
    I have OpenSprinkler (google it) by far the best wifi enabled implementation. Very light weight, no fluff and does exactly whats needed. And the best part - no reliance on any sort of "cloud" backend - you connect directly to the embedded mini-webserver on the controller. Everything is open source. The iPhone app is also great but even that is not necessery - you can hit it using mobile Safari. Now if only they made a thermostat like that (with no cloud backend).
     
  16. podlasek macrumors newbie

    podlasek

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    USA
    #16
    Got it, but I went with quality over flashy when upgrading my Irrigation controller to a smart controller. Picked the Hunter Hydrawise and am VERY happy that I did. Have seen huge water savings estimated at over 70% since installing it, and the water bill proves it out.
     
  17. hughesne macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    #17
    Live in Ohio, had a Gen 3 all season, saved me approximately $125 on watering this season so far. Since I pre-ordered with the FlowMeter pretty early on, I got a great deal. Either way, having had irrigation controllers for many years, this is the first one I've had that actually saves me money and my yard/flowers don't suffer.

    Related to the article, I have it set up with Alexa and never use it, doubt I would with HomeKit either.
     
  18. ksnell macrumors 6502a

    ksnell

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    Aug 26, 2012
    Location:
    Texas
    #18
    Says here the memory was not large enough to fit the HomeKit firmware. For anyone considering, they are a great product. I have the Gen2 and love it.

    https://support.rachio.com/hc/en-us..._cid=89d1fe5534&mc_eid=164787dbc9#limitations
     
  19. 1rottenapple, Sep 25, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018

    1rottenapple macrumors 68020

    1rottenapple

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    #19
    I bought rachio mainly for the reviews. Highest rated so far and many recommendations.

    Yes I would have preferred a none-cloud version but this works. I doubt they’ll go down in 20yrs time and take the server out. And I live in Southern California. Internet and electricity is stable here.

    The best feature I see is the fact you can water and alternate with soaking. I do that for my grass. 2 mins water, 30 min soak.
     
  20. wrz0170 macrumors regular

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    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Reno, Nevada
    #20
    I have a wireless Davis Vantage Pro2 weather system (with a rain meter)and I have my own “station” via Weather Underground. Anyone know if I can tie into that. I.e Rain meter senses water, turns off irrigation. Thanks!

    William
     
  21. 1rottenapple macrumors 68020

    1rottenapple

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    Apr 21, 2004
    #21
    The rachio one can link to weather stations that’s professionally run and amateur station. Mine is link to an amateur weather station in my hometown. The nearest pro weather station is in the next valley about 10 miles away.
     
  22. k2director macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    #22
    Just in case anyone's ordering in next week or so: there's a discount code available when ordering direct via Rachio: HOMEKIT30

    It's good till Oct 7 apparently.
     
  23. hdrummon macrumors newbie

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    Aug 11, 2008
    Location:
    Aldie, VA
    #23

    I've had all three generations and they have paid for themselves easily. The savings are definitely observable and my 2 acre lawn looks great always. I really appreciate the technology and updates. Rachio, in my book, is the best controller I've ever used and researched. They do a great job supporting customers and keeping things updated.
     
  24. hokiepokie07 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 20, 2009
    #24
    How does this work? Do you need a full irrigation system for this to be useful?
     
  25. imola.zhp macrumors 6502a

    imola.zhp

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    Location:
    Mud Island (Memphis), TN
    #25
    Pretty sure you can, I use someone close that has some sort of weather station and shares with WU in addition to my rain sensor. Rachio has an AMAZING forum, you can probably check for sure on that forum.

    I think Rachio has the potential to save water on any size irrigation system. Our small property just has 4 zones.
     

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