After – Left the old sprinkler controller in place. I still need to clean up ends.

So this is not really about the Raspberry Pi, but will be.  The goal is to have the Pi powering all the home automation tools possible but in all honesty a Pi is not needed for the awesome that is EtherRain.

An EtherRain 8 lets you water your lawn without having to move away from your computer.  The best part is the API allowing unlimited fun time with your sprinkler system.  Just imagine a world in which your sprinkler comes on as a solicitor walks up to your front door (ok, maybe that is mean – we can pretend it is a burglar) or you want to have complex scheduling to allow you to skirt water restrictions.  I now live in this world.

Currently you cannot order them directly from the website, but Jim from QuickSmart is great.

Setup took under 30 minutes.  Nothing super technical at first – just follow the instructions and run the admin tool from the website.  It detects the device and reports back the ip/current configuration.  This step can be done from the API but honestly the admin tool was so ridiculously quick and easy.

I used PHP to schedule a quick test run of 1 minute per zone.  Everything went as planned.  Tomorrow morning is the real test – will update soon.

UPDATE – EtherRain is working great. Almost at the month mark.

EtherRain 8
Reviewed by Thomas Loughlin on July 11th.
It works! Customer service is great.
The whole process was easy. Filled out a contact form, Jim got back to me immediately and sent over all the information. Order was placed through Paypal and I received the order in only a couple days.
Rating: 5


  1. Michael -

    Don’t know if you are reading comments to this but I have a raspberry pi/EtherRain 8 setup running OptiRain Open V1.6 and basically nothing works but QuickCycle. I am wondering what version of OptiRain Open are you running, or are you running something entirely different?

    • Thomas -

      I have v1.16. My guess is that you might have a permissioning problem. If I remember correctly the code writes a file for inclusion in crontab. A quick grep of the code shows the writing occurring in or_main.php.

      Or if you don’t want to go digging, add this to crontab:
      */5 * * * * wget -O – -q -t 1 http://localhost/sprink/optirain/or_scheduler.php

      But with the appropriate path.

  2. Michael -

    You are right on the version, mine is also 1.16. It is a mystery, the cron file is fine and apache’s logs show the scheduler running every 5 minutes. After several failures, I just got it to run There are lots of undefined variables and undefined offsets being logged by PHP in apache’s error log.

  3. Jose -

    I think that it’s very interesting. I would like to know if you have the documentation about the EtherRain API because I would like to know more details about it for a personal project. When you bought the EtherRain device, did you get the api documentation to develop this test? Thanks

    • Thomas -

      I requested and received all of the api information from Jim at Quicksmart. He was a super nice guy and I am sure would help you with your project.


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