All posts by Rand Simberg

Weird Technical Issue

So we put in a new irrigation system in the backyard a few months ago. I installed this timer, and it was working fine. But a few days ago, we realized that the sprinklers were no longer coming on.

Instead of waiting for the anointed time, I started them manually (that is, I pushed the “Manual” button that starts the sprinkler sequence). It started up, and started flashing the thirty-minute notification, then twenty nine, for the first station. But the valve didn’t open.

So I put a voltmeter on the timer terminals for it, and it read zero. Which of course explained why the solenoid wasn’t engaging. I finally concluded that the timer was no longer functioning properly, and since it cost less than thirty bucks, I just went to Home Depot to get a replacement.

After installing and programming the new one, I tried it again. Exactly the same result. It acts like its running the zone, but there is no voltage at the corresponding terminal. I sent an email to Orbit to see if they had any ideas, but haven’t gotten a response. I’ve followed the instructions to the letter. Does anyone have any ideas that I’m missing somehow?

[Afternoon update]

After being on hold for half an hour, I finally talked to someone at Orbit. I explained the problem, and all that I’d done, and she said, “Wow, that’s weird.”

They’re going to ship me two more in case one of them is bad. So it’s good customer service, at least. So I could set up a store to sell timers that don’t work.

[Update a few minutes later]

I should add that I didn’t tell the whole story. When I went to Home Depot to get the replacement, it turned out to be open box when I got it home, and it was dead. So I had to go back to get another one that hadn’t been opened, and that’s the one that acted like the first one, with no voltage output. So if I get the next two I’ll have five of the things, but I plan to return them. If the ones I get work, I might even return the second one they send, for store credit.

Refuse To Be Silenced

As Glenn Reynolds often notes, it was a mistake for the blogosphere to move into the walled gardens of social media. Kurt Schlichter writes that it’s time to take back our own communications.

[Update a few minutes later]

The Left wants to silence conservatives, all of them.

It’s because their terrible ideas don’t stand up to scrutiny, or debate.