Why light and temperature?
Measuring light and temperature in a glasshouse or igloo is a roundabout
way of determining evaporation and therefore the required frequency of
misting to keep cuttings moist. It is also a very robust approach working
reliably with little or no human intervention year in, year out. Measuring
humidity directly, on the other hand, especially at very high levels of
relative humidity, is difficult to do accurately with reasonably priced
How does the 'Weather Watcher' sensor compare to leaf type sensors?
About 20 years ago we used to make a leaf type sensor which relied on
the electrical conductivity of a piece of blotting paper varying as it
became wet. This worked well but suffered from the same problems as most
leaf sensors on the market today regardless of the leaf sensor material.
Namely, iron and salts in the water get left behind as the water evaporates
off the sensor causing the leaf to go out of calibration and a broken
leaf element will usually be interpreted as dry and not wet resulting
in far too much water being applied until the problem is rectified.
How about balance arm systems?
Because measuring light and temperature is easy it is a much more robust
approach than delicate balance arm systems. We have many systems in and
running reliably after 25 years of service.
Can you put more than one sensor on the 4 station
No. When all stations are in the one house or igloo then sensing light
and temperature at one point will suffice. If the stations are located
in different glasshouses where the conditions vary dramatically, such
as one house is ventilated and another one closed up, then you may be
better off installing 2 single station controllers.
What happens at night?
Misting stops in the dark. Upon request, we can do a modification so the
unit will mist once or twice during the night but this is unusual.
What are some other applications for the 'Weather
The misters have been installed into piggeries, ferneries, fruit and vegetable
retail shops and hydroponics nutrient supply systems. The unit would be
suitable wherever moisture application needs to be determined by ambient
Does the Cloudmaster unit have built in lightning
Yes. There is surge diversion protection on all cable terminals. This
protection, however, is only as good as the earth that the unit is plugged
into. In applications such as golf, which can have very long communications
cable runs, extra protection should be installed on these long runs.
Is the Cloudmaster 'PC Ready'?
Yes. The Cloudmaster unit has an RS232 DB25 Female connector wired as
a DTE so no extra hardware is required to connect a Cloudmaster unit to
a PC apart from a serial cable. The software that runs on the PC is extra.
How many start times does the controller have?
The Cloudmaster is a little different than most controllers on the market
today. Most systems typically have, say, 4 or 6 start times. The Cloudmaster
unit has 500 entries or effectively an unlimited number of start times.
For example, a back
to back sequence which runs through stations 1 to 10 at 6:00 AM on Monday,
Wednesday and Friday would use 10 out of the 500 entries. You can set
up as many of these sequences as you wish, they can be of any length and
can run separately or together. An entry can also be set up to water only
a single station. In this way each station can be programmed totally independently
from each other.
Is the unit easy to use?
Yes. The programming philosophy of the Cloudmaster described in the previous
question allows very simple or very complex watering programs to be set
up, but it does take a bit of getting used to. The controller has an LCD
which prompts the user for all details required. The operators manual,
which explains this in detail, can be downloaded from this site.
for Windows PC Software
Is the PC software required?
No. The Cloudmaster unit can be programmed stand alone using its keypad
will the software do for me?
All the features of the software are too numerous to mention here but
1. Provides graphical
representation of the installation and current system activity. At a glance
you can see what is currently watering and if any problem issues have
been detected that may require attention such as a broken solenoid valve
2. Enables irrigation
(and special control channel) schedules to be generated, modified and
viewed easily and quickly. The Auto-Scheduler can be used to generate
schedules which apply the required amount of water in the minimum time
whilst ensuring optimum pump flow rate.
3. Keeps track of
all irrigation schedules for all conditions and enables the relevant ones
to be selected at the relevant time.
4. Allows easy, graphical
manual override functions. For example right click on a region on the
image that represents a station and give it 10 minutes water.
5. Retrieves the
history log from the Cloudmaster and generates detailed, printable event
and warning reports.
6. Generates graphs
of station run times and water consumption over any time period.
7. In the municipal
Council application it generates the accounts for the floodlight users
for actual time they had the lights on. This also results in a much fairer
user pays system for the sporting clubs.
What if I don't need all the features?
The features of the software are individually purchasable. A nursery would
never require the floodlight billing which is a feature developed for
Councils. Features not purchased can be run in demonstration mode so they
can be evaluated in detail and purchased at a later date or they can be
hidden from view completely.
How many Cloudmaster units will the software control?
The software can be purchased to control one or many Cloudmaster systems.
An example of a single site would be a single nursery, golf course or
landscape area. A single site includes the master unit and any slave units
that are attached to it.
A good example of
a multi site application would be a Council wanting to control and monitor
each individual Cloudmaster system installed at all parks scattered around
How does the copyright scheme work?
The demonstration CD loads the full version of the software and all Help
information onto the PC. All features will run in demonstration mode for
an unlimited period of time to allow a leisurely and detailed evaluation
. Certain restrictions exist in this mode, such as the software will not
communicate with the Cloudmaster controllers.
If you wish to proceed
with the purchase of the software, decide what features you want, ensure
the software is loaded onto the PC on which you want to run the software
and contact Jeffery Electronics with the copyright code that is displayed
by the 'Help/About/Register' button. You will be given a code that will
activate the relevant features on that PC only.
What happens if I need to load the software onto another
The software can be loaded onto a second computer from the demonstration
CD and the users database copied from the first computer (or a recent
backup). If the database was registered on the first PC, the user will
have 14 days of full functionality before a new copyright code needs to
be obtained from Jeffery Electronics for the new PC. In this way a registered
user can ensure continuity of service in the event of a computer failure
We understand that
many situations can arise where a second code is required such as upgrading
to a new computer or wanting to run the software from a desktop in the
office and a notebook in the field. We would usually not have a problem
with issuing a registered user with a second copyright code.
What sort of computer do I need?
See PC & image file requirements on the Downloads