Saturday, April 27, 2013

Dang, I'm old.

I remember when the only modifications I cared about involved vehicles that went very very I'm concerned with modifying a sprinkler system.  Yep, I'm officially an Old Fart.  I'm still not rocking the black socks and garters with bermuda shorts, though...yet.

So I've got four sprinkler systems on this house.  The previous owner set them up on two different timers, for reasons I will never comprehend.  Here's the timer he had operating the lower two sets:

Yep, it's an old mechanical timer, which you actually had to screw pins into, in order to set.  On the back, it's engraved "Property of Fred Flintstone," which gives you an idea of what I was dealing with.  A while back, I was wandering around the local Ace and found a timer on clearance that didn't involve screw-pins, wheels or pterodactyl spit.  So I replaced Timer Number One.

OK, that worked well, but the upper sprinklers were still:

a)  On another timer

b)  On a timer that had been beaten to hell by the wind and wasn't working great anymore. 

So, time to get rid of this thing that had been unceremoniously tacked to the phone pole out back.

When I opened it up, it just got me more curious about the mental capacity of the previous owner.  This thing has 12 terminals.

He could have run every sprinkler in town off this one box, yet he went with the Stone Age POS pictured earlier, for the lower system.  Apparently, it was easier than running 100' of wire.  Maybe in his world.

It took me a while to get it all set up.  I tore apart the old wiring, put it together using the new input wires to the Orbit timer, ran the ground to the old ground in the upper system and couldn't understand why it wouldn't work.  I ran around in circles, both physically and mentally, until I realized:  "Common Ground" means COMMON, you jackass!!  So I ran another ground wire from the lower system ground and it worked like a charm. 

And so now all the sprinklers run off one timer.  A more pathetic thing to be proud of, you will probably never find, but I'm happy about it.

For my next trick, I'm going to do something about this...

At least I know my way around bikes better than household electrics.

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