Hunter Industries has introduced the first wireless decoder programmer and diagnostic tool for the company’s ICD two-wire decoder control systems. With an August 28 release date, the ICD-HP (ICD Handheld Programmer) is approximately the size and construction of a professional technician’s multimeter, and is designed to simplify installation, maintenance, and diagnostics of two-wire decoder controlled irrigation systems.
The battery- or USB-powered ICD-HP permits a full range of functions with installed decoders, without having to disconnect waterproof connections of any kind. The instrument’s “programming cup” communicates with the decoders through the waterproof module using a patented wireless induction technology. The programming cup is supplied with six feet (two meters) of cable, to allow the operator to slip it over an in-ground decoder while standing or kneeling above the valve box.
Irrigation professionals can then set or change the address of an installed decoder without disconnecting, but that is only the beginning, according to Hunter Product Manager Dave Shoup.
“The ICD-HP can turn stations on and off, measure the current draw, and check the solenoids, without disconnecting a single wire,” said Shoup. “But it’s not just about convenience. The ICD-HP also gets more out of your existing decoders, by enabling features that the controller just couldn’t do alone.”
For example, the ICD-HP can address multi-station decoders in any order and allow stations to be skipped (left blank) for future expansion, according to Shoup. The ICD-HP can also flash update the decoder’s operating system to take advantage of new features as they are developed. The programmer also has a built-in multimeter for measuring line voltage and built-in sensor testers for both click and flow type sensors.
“This is what innovation is all about,” said Jeff Kremicki, Senior Product Manager of Electronics for Hunter Industries. “The field guys think it is great. We can’t get our test units back from them, because they won’t let them go.” Field testers point to the time savings in diagnostics and system setup as key benefits of the programmer.
The ICD-HP is a “ruggedized” design meant for outdoor irrigation work. It includes a high-visibility shock absorbing cover, splash-resistant controls, and a potted waterproof programming cup. The backlit control screen has adjustable contrast for outdoor conditions, and is selectable to 5 different operating languages.
The ICD-HP is delivered in an industrial grade resin carrying case, complete with cables and programming cup. The programmer works on either AA batteries or USB cable power, both included.
The programmer can either be carried into the field or used in a “bench mode” with un-installed decoders, by attaching the decoder wires to the meter for power and running the programmer on USB power.
ICD-HP has global approvals for electrical and emissions safety, and is selectable from American to standard international (SI) units of measurement. The patented ICD-HP is available worldwide from authorized Hunter Irrigation distributors.