Real-Time, Sensor Driven Irrigation Using Two-Wire Technology
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Real-Time, Sensor Driven Irrigation Using Two-Wire Technology

Mar 30, 2018
Video Length:  43:00
Presented By:  Chris Wright

The effective management and monitoring of water applied to landscapes requires real-time data to start, stop, or pause, irrigation cycles. The use of precision flow, moisture, and pressure sensors enhances a system's performance by making intelligent decisions during scheduled or unscheduled irrigation events. Baseline’s two-wire technology makes all of this possible.


Webinar Contents:

Note: The following catalog of content covered in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions. You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS.)

  • Intro
  • Overview of Baseline's Two-Wire Technology
  • Multiple Use Case Applications
  • Requirements for Two-Wire Specification
  • Questions

0:00 – 2:50: Intro

2:51 – 26:28: Overview of Baseline's Two-Wire Technology

Real-time, responsive technology for site management (2:51)

These systems include:

  • Two-wire decoders for system operation
  • Smart sensors for conservation objectives
  • Powerful flow management and monitoring
  • Conventional wire retrofit capability


Raising the bar … expanding capability (4:20)

Recent introductions in the Baseline 2-wire family:

  • Clamp-on indoor flow monitoring
  • 4-20 mA pressure transducer


Smarter than conventional wire (5:40)

Tenets of Baseline’s two-wire systems:

  • Any combination of two-wire or conventional wire
  • Two-way advanced digital communication
  • Simplified programming
  • Devices are addressed from the controller or through the cloud
  • Addresses can be changed from the controller
  • LEDs on decoders to aid with diagnostics


Two-way communication to all devices (7:38)


Real-time electrical diagnosis (8:05)

Feedback from decoder devices reports the electrical health and functionality of components connected to them:

  • Solenoid status
  • Switch condition
  • Sensor status


Real-time flow data (9:04)

Flow values read every 15 seconds and are displayed every minute during operation.


The controller uses the flow values to monitor for variances of learned flow and to manage concurrent operation of zones based on the design GPM.


Managing and monitoring complex site hydraulics (9:58)

These systems provide:

  • Flow monitoring & management
  • Pressure management
  • Indoor flow monitoring


Real-time flow monitoring & management (12:51)


Real-time pressure data for operational delays (14:00)


Real-time indoor water usage or leaks (15:10)


Real-time measurement of soil moisture (16:00)

This system makes better irrigation decisions, resulting in real conservation.


Data is available every 10 minutes when the system is idle, and every minute when it’s operating.


Question: Can the sensors indicate soil moisture for different zones? (17:35)

Answer: Yes. You can create hydrozones, which combine areas with similar irrigation needs. The system can then irrigate each zone differently according to its water needs.


Question: If you have a single POC with a flow meter and then have three sections with multiple zone values, can you set up the system to record high and low flows in each section? (19:30)

Answer: When zones are assigned to mainlines and the mainlines are assigned to points of control (such as flow sensor devices), we can learn flow for each individual zone and have an operational flow value associated with that point of control so we can facilitate concurrent operation of zones up to that design flow value for that point of control.


Question: Can the controller or hydrometer be programmed so a normally closed master valve can read as a normally open master valve for quick coupler use? (20:50)

Answer: We have the ability to designate in the programming whether a hydrometer or master valve is normally open or normally closed. If it’s normally open, then we can have a high flow limit associated with that hydrometer so it can be closed in case of a rupture that causes the system to exceed the high flow limit.


Question: Can the indoor flow sensor you mentioned earlier be used as an irrigation sub-meter? (21:55)

Answer: Yes, it can be used as a sub-meter on a hydraulic system. The only caveat is that it needs to be installed indoors and is not waterproof. However, it can be tied to the irrigation controller to monitor how much water the system is using. It can also be associated with a master valve to facilitate a shutdown or a start-stop-pause associated with the given flow values.


SubStation component (23:15)

The SubStation works in conjunction with the BaseStation 3200 controller to serve as its performance component.


It connects wirelessly to a BaseStation 3200 via Ethernet working protocol:

  • Ethernet
  • Wi-Fi
  • Ethernet Spread Spectrum Radio


Up to 8 SubStations can be networked with one BaseStation 3200.


Reduces the number of programmable interfaces required for the efficient operation of a site.


Operates remote point-of-control devices, including:

  • Master valves
  • Flow sensors
  • Pump stations
  • Pressure sensors


Supports all Baseline two-wire and conventional-wire products, including:

  • Irrigation valve decoders – AC & DC
  • Soil moisture sensors
  • Event switches
  • Powered decoder boards


Each SubStation will support:

  • Up to 100 zones
  • 3 master valves
  • 3 flow sensors
  • 20 soil moisture sensors
  • 3 event switches
  • 15-zone concurrent operation
  • 16,000 total feet of wire

26:29 – 30:13: Multiple Use Case Applications

Retrofit (26:29)


Two-wire extension (27:55)


Two-wire segmentation (29:14)

30:14 – 33:15: Requirements for Two-Wire Specification

  • Wire type: Double-jacketed cable
  • Wire connections: waterproof (DBR/Y-6 or equivalent)
  • Wire length limits: 5,000-foot straight run / 10,000-foot loop / 16,000 feet total
  • Device limits: 110 device loads
  • Surge protection: Controller and wire field grounded to 20 ohms or less

33:16 – end: Questions

Question: Would the SubStation’s tying into a BaseStation 3200 work for applications such as tying into a school district, where it would be controlled by maintenance personnel? (33:22)

Answer:It could be tied to a BaseStation in this way, as long as the SubStations and BaseStations are communicating on the same network. However, note that the programming and operation would need to be done at the BaseStation 3200.


Question:Are these systems fully compatible with RainBird and Toro valves? (34:47)

Answer:Yes. They’ll operate any currently manufactured brand of solenoid, including RainBird and Toro.


Question: What about green-roof applications? (35:30)

Answer: This technology is used commonly in green-roof applications not only because of their two-wire capabilities but because of their soil moisture sensors and their ability to measure real-time moisture content of the engineered soils that are typical to this type of application, which can dry out or may not have as much water-holding capacity as a grade-level soil may have. The principles all apply the same – the main consideration is the proper grounding of the two-wire path, as grounding rods aren’t possible with a green-roof application. The grounding would need to be tied to the building grounds.


See the Data-Driven Smart Watering webinar Chris presented in 2017 for further information.


Question: Do you see any developments in two-wire technology over the next few years? (38:12)

Answer: Absolutely. Baseline is constantly pursuing innovation with these technologies.

Note that the BaseStation 3200 is capable of running non-irrigation systems, including lighting, door locks, pond or water feature fills, or anything else that would interface with a dry-contact switch.


To spec two-wire products using our software, you can locate them (along with other irrigation components) in our Irrigation Manager.


Have additional questions? Email

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