Toro Precision Soil Sensor User Manual

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PrecisionTM Soil Sensor System

User’s Guide

 

Introduction

Leveraging the same Toro soil-sensing technology used on high-end commercial sites and world-class golf courses, the Toro PrecisionSoil Sensor continuously monitors the soil moisture and determines when watering is actually needed – greatly increasing the efficiency of your sprinkler , reducing wasteful over-watering, while promoting the overall health and beauty of your landscape.

The Precision Soil Sensor system consists of a wireless soil moisture sensor and digital receiver, making installation quick and simple. The compact receiver installs alongside the timer, either indoors or out, and connects directly to the timer’s power and sensor terminals, or simply taps into the valve common wire circuit. The sensor is placed in a suitable lawn area where it sends soil moisture and air temperature readings to the receiver every 10 minutes. When automatic watering is scheduled to start, the Precision Soil Sensor allows the sprinklers to run only if the soil moisture has dropped below the minimum moisture setting, and the air temperature is favorable for watering.

The sensor simply plugs into the soil – so there’s no holes to dig or wires to bury. All you’ll need to complete the installation is a small Phillips screwdriver, three AA alkaline batteries and a bit of do-it-yourself enthusiasm.

The Precision Soil Sensor system is designed to help grow and maintain healthy landscape vegetation while reducing water use by improving the operation of your sprinkler control timer. It cannot improve or remedy a sprinkler system that’s improperly designed, installed or maintained. So, to gain the maximum benefit afforded by the addition of the Precision Soil Sensor, it is vitally important to make certain your automatic sprinkler system is in good working order; capable of providing proper sprinkler coverage–where and when it’s needed.

Table of Contents

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . .

. .

.

.1

System Component Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

System Operating Modes . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . .

.

 

.4

• Normal Operating Modes . . . . . . . . .

. . . . .

.

 

.4

• Watering Permitted . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . .

.

.

4

• Watering Restricted . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . .

.

.

4

• Smart Bypass Mode . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . .

.

 

.4

• Freeze Shut-off Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

System Status Indicators . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . .

.

5

• Warning Mode Indicator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . .

. .

.

.5

• Restoring Operation . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . .

.

 

.5

• Battery and Signal Strength Indicators . .

. . . . .

.

.

5

Soil Moisture Adjustment . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . .

 

.5

• Fine-tuning the Soil Moisture Level . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . .

. .

.

.5

System Calibration and Learn Modes . . . . . . . . . .

.

7

• System Calibration Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

.

7

• Sensor Learn Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Installation and Setup Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

.8

• Install Receiver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

.

8

• Connect Receiver to Timer . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

.

8

• Select Sensor Installation Site . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

.8

• Install Sensor Batteries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

.

8

• Install Sensor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

.

8

Adjust the Automatic Watering Schedule . . . . . . .

 

.9

Troubleshooting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

10

Specifications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Toro Commitment to Quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

11

Warranty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

11

Advanced System Operations Menu . . . . . . . . .

. .

.6

FCC Part 15 Rules

12

• Smart Bypass Timer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

.6

System Operations Menu - Quick Reference . .

. . . . . 12

• Freeze Shut-off Temperature

 

6

. . .

 

 

• Watering Completion Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . .

6

 

 

• Signal Strength . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . .

6. . .

 

 

• Battery Voltage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . .

.6

 

 

• Sensor ID Code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . .

.6. . . . . . . . . .

 

• Air Temperature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . 6. . . . . .

 

• Temperature Format . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . .

6

 

 

• Calibration Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . .

.6. . . . . . . .

 

2

 

System Component Overview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Receiver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

- Antenna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

- Bypass Sensor Button

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

- Bypass Sensor LED Indicator

 

A

B

C

D

E

10

4

- Setup Menu Access Button

 

L

 

 

 

F

5

- Cover

1

 

 

 

 

6

- Connection Wire Cable

 

 

 

 

 

G

 

7

- Setup Menu Adjustment Buttons

 

K

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

- Watering Status LED Indicators

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

- LCD Display Symbols

 

J

 

I

H

 

 

 

A - Soil Moisture Control Indicator

 

 

 

 

9

 

 

 

B - Watering Suspended

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C - Watering Completion Time

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

D - Smart Bypass Mode Active

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E - Warning Mode (communication error)

 

 

 

 

 

13

 

 

F - System Setup Mode

 

3

 

 

7

 

 

 

G - Freeze Setting Indicator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

H - Temperature Display Format Indicators

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

I

- Alpha-numeric Display Characters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J

- Battery Status Indicator

 

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

K - Signal Status Indicator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L - Bar Graph Status Indicator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sensor

 

 

 

 

 

AA

AA

 

5

 

 

12

 

11

10 - Sensor Signal LED Indicator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 - Soil Moisture Probes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 - Size AA Alkaline Batteries - (not provided)

 

 

 

 

 

 

AA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 - Battery Compartment Cover w/Screws

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Receiver

 

 

 

Sensor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

System Operating Modes

Note: If installation of the Precision Soil Sensor system has not been completed or the system is not yet operational, refer to System Installation and Setup procedures beginning on page 8.

Normal Operating Modes

Watering Permitted

When the Precision Soil Sensor is in the

Watering Permitted mode, the current soil moisture

% value is displayed, and the Green LED is on. In this example, the current soil moisture level is 42%, which is below the *50% soil moisture

maintenance level, and watering is allowed.

Watering Restricted

When the soil moisture is above the *50% soil moisture maintenance level, the Precision Soil

Sensor switches to the Watering Restricted mode. A delay period of *4 hours begins counting down before watering is actually

shut off. The delay period allows any remain-

ing sprinkler zones in the watering cycle to operate. The display will toggle between displaying the current soil moisture % value and

the amount of time remaining in the current

watering cycle completion period.

In this example, the moisture level is 96%, and

the Green LED is on since watering will be allowed to continue for 4 hours. The Watering Restricted mode will begin immediately

following the watering cycle completion period. While in the Watering Restricted mode, the current soil moisture % value with the No Watering symbol will be displayed, and the Red LED will remain on.

Note: Ideally, one watering cycle should replenish the moisture level to 100%. Watering program changes may be required to achieve this condition. Refer to your control timer user’s guide for information regarding programming options.

*Note: A value shown with an asterisk (*) indicates that it is the factory default setting within an adjustable range. Refer to Advanced System Operations Menu beginning on page 6 for detailed information regarding system settings and adjustment options.

Smart Bypass Mode

The Smart Bypass feature enables the sprin-

kler system to operate while the Precision Soil Sensor is in the Watering Restricted mode.

Pressing the Bypass button toggles

the Smart Bypass feature on and off. When switched on, the Bypass mode will be automatically canceled in *24 hours, or it can be manually canceled at any time.

While the Precision Soil Sensor is in the Smart Bypass mode, the Green LED will be on and

the Yellow LED will blink continuously. The

display will toggle between the current soil moisture % value and the amount of time remaining until the Watering Restricted mode resumes. In this example the moisture level

is 85% and the Green LED is on. There are 24 hours remaining in the Smart Bypass mode.

Freeze Shut-off Mode

If the sensor detects that air temperature has dropped to near freezing, the Precision Soil Sensor automatically switches to the Freeze Shut-off mode to restrict watering. When the temperature rises, the Freeze Shut-off mode is canceled. Normal Operation mode will resume after the delay period set by the Smart Bypass Timer.

In this example, air temperature is detected at the minimum setting of *39°F and watering has been canceled. The Freeze temperature and No Watering symbols are displayed, and the Red LED will blink continuously.

4

System Status Indications

Warning Mode Indication

If the sensor does not communicate with receiver within a 24-hour period, the Precision Soil Sensor switches to the Warning mode, indicated by all three LEDs blinking continuously. Watering will be permitted until the loss

of communication has been corrected.

Restoring Operation

Loss of communication can be caused by a damaged sensor, relocating the sensor to different area of the yard, or a temporary obstruction, such as a car or truck parked in the signal path. However, the most likely cause is the sensor batteries have become too weak to provide adequate signal strength.

If the sensor appearance and location is unchanged, and the signal path is unobstructed, replace the sensor batteries with three new AA alkaline batteries. Press the Bypassbutton to cancel the Warning mode. If communication is reestablished, the Precision Soil Sensor will automatically resume normal operating mode within a short time.

Note: If the above measures do not restore normal operation, contact Toro Customer Service for assistance at 1-877-345-8676.

Battery and Signal Strength Indications

The receiver display provides current battery and signal strength status during all normal operating modes. The number of stacked bars that appear with the corresponding antenna and battery display symbols, indicate the current conditions as shown in the chart below.

Signal

Battery

6 Bars = Excellent

6 Bars = Excellent

4 Bars = Acceptable

4 Bars = Acceptable

2 Bars = Weak - Check Sensor

2 Bars = Weak - Replace Batteries

Soil Moisture Adjustment

Landscape plants are the heartiest when their roots become established several inches down where water is stored for the longest period of time. Watering often, for short periods of time, promotes root growth near the top of the soil, where the moisture evaporates quickly.

The key to maintaining healthy plants with minimum water waste is to water thoroughly–only when it’s needed.

The Precision Soil Sensor is preset to restrict watering until the soil moisture level drops to 50% of capacity, or 1/2 of the total moisture that can be

retained in the soil. If you were

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

to draw a comparison to a

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waste

car’s fuel tank, 50% of the soil

 

100%

 

moisture capacity would be

 

 

 

 

Capacity

 

similar to using 1/2 of the fuel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Optimum

in the tank before stopping to

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

refill. A 50% setting restricts

 

50%

 

 

 

 

 

the sprinklers from refilling the

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

soil to capacity until 1/2 of the

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

moisture has been lost; caus-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Permanent Wilt

ing the roots to go deeper for

 

0%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

water. With the capability to

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

adjust the setting incrementally from 0% to 100%, the Precision Soil Sensor can be fine-tuned for virtually any soil condition.

Fine-tuning the Moisture Level

Changes to the 50% setting should be made initially in 5% increments in order to see results within a few days. The objective is to find the moisture setting that results in a mild stress condition in the lawn, indicated by slight wilting and dryness. At that point, adjust the setting 5% in the opposite direction. This should result in moisture maintenance level that’s very close to optimum.

Press and release the Plus button to display the current setting (50 % by default).

Press the Plus button to increase, or the Minus

button to decrease the setting.

Press Menubutton to return to the Normal Operating mode.

5

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