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The original FullStop was an electronic version!

Irrigation was turned on via an irrigation controller. The FullStops were connected in series with the solenoid valves. When the wetting front reached the FullStop an electronic float switch was activated. This cut the power to the solenoid valve.

The method worked extremely well. If the wetting front reached the FullStop before the allotted run time on the controller had expired, the FullStop shut down the solenoid valve.

The conversion to mechanical was made for three reasons. First, many people do not run automated irrigation systems. Second, controlling irrigation from one or two locations in a field can be risky and you need to be sure it's placed at the right depth. Third, you need to know how deep water moves after the irrigation is turned off.

Mechanical detectors are used in feedback mode. The irrigator decides how much water to apply based on experience. The shallow and deep detectors respond to the irrigation event. The irrigator then adjusts the next irrigation if necessary. Over time, the 'predict, monitor and adjust' loop is a powerful way to improve irrigation.

An electronic detector would be useful if the irrigation interval is very short and detectors respond frequently, or if you would like to record the entire season's data on a logger. With experience, automatic shut down of irrigation can be considered.

An electronic cap is under development; it will fit existing FullStop installations so the data can be logged or radioed back to base. The electronic version will not have the magnetic latch, and will show the time the float rises and falls.

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