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    Configuring Lower Threshold Moisture Sensor-Based Watering

    BaseStation 1000 & Soil Moisture biSensor

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    BaseStation 1000 Irrigation Controller

    If you have a Baseline soil moisture sensor (biSensor™) installed in your landscaping and connected to your BaseStation 1000 irrigation controller, you can program the controller to water based on the moisture levels in the soil. This watering strategy can reduce outdoor water use by up to 62 percent or more over traditional irrigation methods. And, by watering your plants when needed, you can increase landscape health, promote deeper root growth, and make your plants more disease resistant.  

    The BaseStation 1000 irrigation controller supports several biSensor-based watering strategies, but Baseline recommends the lower threshold (also referred to as “less than limit” or “lower limit”) configuration as a general watering strategy.



    Set Up the Soak Cycles for the Program

    When you set a program to start based on a biSensor reading that is less than the limit, you should set up at least 3 soak cycles with a soak time that is at least twice as long as the cycle time, and enable Intelligent Soak Cycles™. Soak cycling breaks the total runtime into shorter water “cycles” with “soak” periods in between to allow time for water to soak into the soil. Intelligent Soak Cycles prioritize runtimes for zones that have already started to water over zones that have not started in order to maximize watering efficiency and minimize total irrigation time.

    1.  Press Program Setup. The Program Setup menu displays. 

    2.  If the program that you want to modify displays in the upper-left corner of the screen, continue to step 3. Otherwise, press the PRG button until the program that you want to modify displays in the upper-left corner of the screen.

    Note

    To move backward in the list of programs, press and hold the PRG button, and then press the – button repeatedly

    3.  Press    or    to highlight the Soak Cycles option, and then press OK. The Soak Cycles screen displays. 


    4.  Notice that the Soak Cycles field is highlighted. Press + or to change the number to indicate how many soak cycles will occur.

    5.  Press    to highlight the Soak Time field. Press + or – to change the time in this field to indicate how long you want the applied water to soak in.

    6.  Press    to highlight the Intelligent Soak field. If you want to enable Intelligent Soak for this program, press OK to display a checkmark in the field.



    When you enable the Intelligent Soak™ feature, the BaseStation 1000 uses intelligent watering algorithms that apply cycles in the optimal order to maximize water penetration and minimize evaporation loss. If there are many zones in a program, zones will be cycled and soaked until all have been completed. Zones that have completed their soak cycles are prioritized higher than zones that are still waiting to water so the first zones to start watering will be the first to complete.

    Set Up a Moisture Start Condition for the Program

    1.  On the BaseStation 1000 controller, press Program Setup. The Program Setup menu displays. 

    2.  Press the PRG button until the program that you set up to water-based on biSensor readings displays in the upper-left corner of the screen.

    Note

    To move backward in the list of programs, press and hold the PRG button, and then press the – button repeatedly.


    3.  Press    to highlight the Setup Prg. Start option, and then press OK. The Setup Prg. Start screen displays the list of start conditions.

    4.  Press    to highlight the Moisture Start option, and then press OK. A checkmark displays next to the Moisture Start option. 

    5.  Press    to configure the moisture start settings.

    6.  Notice that the serial number for one of your biSensors is highlighted in the Moisture field. If this is the serial number for the biSensor that monitors the zones in this program, no change is required. If you need to use a different biSensor, press the + or button to select a different serial number.

    7.  Press    to highlight the Limit field. Leave the default entry in the field for now. You will enter the limit later.

    Note

    In the Limit field, the value in parentheses is the most current reading from the soil moisture biSensor. Keep in mind that the biSensor is read every 10 minutes.


    8.  Press    to highlight Less Than Limit, and then press OK.

    9.  Make sure Only on Day & Time is not selected.

    10.  Do not start the Calibration.



    Set the Limit

    When you use the lower threshold watering strategy, you are telling the controller to start watering when the biSensor detects that the moisture content in the soil is below the lower limit, which is equivalent to, or slightly above, the maximum allowed depletion (MAD).

    Remember that MAD is typically based on observation and opinion. You can use one of the following methods to determine the lower threshold value.

    • Allow the landscape to dry out to the point where it should be watered again, and then take a biSensor reading. This value is the lower threshold.

    • Run a biSensor calibration. When you enable calibration, the process either starts immediately or at the next day and time start. The program puts down 150% of the required water (based on the runtime of the zone) and then waits for 24 hours. The calibration reading is taken when the soil moisture is at field capacity, and the MAD limit is calculated mathematically.


    Taking a biSensor Reading and Manually Entering the Lower Threshold 

    1.  Run the program that the biSensor is associated with.

    2.  Temporarily disable the program to allow the landscaping to dry to what you would consider MAD:

    a.  On the BaseStation 1000 controller, press Program Setup. The Program Setup menu displays. 

    b.  Press the PRG button until the program that you set up to water based on biSensor readings displays in the upper-left corner of the screen.

    Note

    To move backward in the list of programs, press and hold the PRG button, and then press the – button repeatedly.


    3.  Press    to highlight the Enable/Disable option, and then press OK.

    4.  Press OK to remove the check mark from the Enabled field.

    5.  Allow the landscape to dry out to the point where it should be watered again.

    6.  On the BaseStation 1000 controller, press Test. The Test menu displays. 

    7.  Press    or    to highlight the Test Moisture Sensor option, and then press OK. The Test Moisture Sensor screen displays.

    8.  Press    or    to select the biSensor that is installed in the landscape.

    9.  Press OK to test the biSensor.

    Note

    If any zones or programs are running when the test is activated, watering will pause for 10 minutes. The test results display the moisture percentage.


    10.  Write down the moisture reading. 

    11.  Press Program Setup. The Program Setup menu displays. 

    12.  Make sure that the program that you set up to water-based on biSensor readings displays in the upper-left corner of the screen. If it doesn’t, press the PRG button until the correct program displays.

    Note

    To move backward in the list of programs, press and hold the PRG button, and then press the – button repeatedly.


    13.  Press    to highlight the Setup Prg. Start option, and then press OK. The Setup Prg. Start screen displays the list of start conditions.

    14.  Press    to highlight the Moisture Start option, and then press OK. A checkmark displays next to the Moisture Start option. 

    15.  Press    to configure the moisture start settings. The Moisture Start screen displays.

    16.  Press    to highlight the Limit field, and then press + or – to change the number in the field to match the moisture reading that you wrote down in step 8.

    Note

    In the Limit field, the value in parentheses is the most current reading from the biSensor. Keep in mind that the biSensor is read every 10 minutes.


    17.  Make sure there is a checkmark in the Less Than Limit field. If not, press the    button to highlight the field, and then press the OK button. 

    18.  Press the   button to highlight the Only on Day & Time field, and then press the OK button.

    19.  Press the   button to configure the day and time start settings. If you need help configuring the settings, refer to Setting Start Conditions for a Program in the BaseStation 1000 User Manual.

    Note

    An active program must have at least one start time. Programs that have no start times will not run.


    20.  Make sure that Start displays in the Calibration field. This means the calibration is not enabled.

    21.  Return the program status to Enabled:

    a.  Press Back to return to the Program Setup menu.

    b.  Press    to highlight the Enable/Disable option, and then press OK.

    c.  Press OK to replace the checkmark in the Enabled field.

    22.  Set the controller to run by pressing the RUN button.



    Running a biSensor Calibration

    The biSensor can automatically set a lower threshold for you based on the measurement of field capacity; however, keep in mind, this setting is based on a calculation, and we encourage our customers to fine-tune their thresholds.

    1.  Press Program Setup. The Program Setup menu displays. 

    2.  Make sure that the program that you set up to water-based on biSensor readings displays in the upper-left corner of the screen. If it doesn’t, press the PRG button until the correct program displays.

    Note

    To move backward in the list of programs, press and hold the PRG button, and then press the – button repeatedly.


    3.  Press    to highlight the Setup Prg. Start option, and then press OK. The Setup Prg. Start screen displays the list of start conditions.

    4.  Press    to highlight the Moisture Start option, and then press OK. A checkmark displays next to the Moisture Start option. 

    5.  Press    to configure the moisture start settings. The Moisture Start screen displays.

    6.  Press    to highlight the Calibration field.

    7.  If the calibration has not been enabled, the Start option displays on the right side of the screen. To start the calibration, highlight the Start option, and then press OK

    8.  If the calibration has been enabled, the Stop option displays on the right side of the screen. To stop the calibration, highlight the Stop option, and then press OK

    9.  Set the controller to run by pressing RUN.

    After you enable the calibration, the process either starts immediately or on the next day, and time start. The controller adds 50% to the runtime of each zone in the program that’s being calibrated. This additional runtime should water the landscape up to Saturation level. When the program is finished, the controller waits 24 hours for the landscape to dry to field capacity, and then it takes the calibration reading. The controller uses this reading to calculate the lower threshold, and that value is automatically entered into the Limit field. 

    After the calibration cycle runs one time, it is disabled in the controller.