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IC Integrated Control Systems

IC is a system unique to Rain Bird. It is similar to a decoder system in that the whole course can be operated on one twin-core cable, but that’s pretty much where the similarity ends. Here is a brief description of how an IC System differs from a decoder system:

How an IC System works:

An IC module is a specialized microprocessor that is an integral component coupled inside a Rain Bird solenoid coil, so from the outside it just looks a bit bigger than a standard solenoid coil. It screws directly into the solenoid valve (via a valve adaptor) or golf rotor just as a standard solenoid coil would. The irrigation controller sends a signal out to all the stations on a twin-core cable path (this is the same cable as a decoder system uses), but again only station #79 will respond, using the example above. The IC module differs from a decoder in that it is a true microprocessor; it can tell whether the solenoid valve or rotor has turned on because of the change in current. If the solenoid valve or rotor doesn’t respond, the IC module will send an alarm back to the controller that there is an issue. Importantly you can test an entire IC control system (i.e. potentially thousands of solenoid valves or rotors) in a few minutes each morning (this can be done automatically from your Central PC) without any solenoid valves or sprinklers actually turning on; the current, resistance etc. is recorded by the control system. By this process you can see any problems in your wiring, even before the problem has caused a physical issue. For example, a cable joint that is corroding or loose will show up as an issue on your PC screen and can be located and repaired BEFORE the cable joint has even caused a physical fault! The IC system is hugely powerful. It is slightly more expensive than a decoder system but is faster to install and uses half the number of cable joints so can work out to be a similar price once installed.

IC Central Control Software – the new Cirrus Version 8:

There is a new IC system software platform which was released into the market last year. It is extremely powerful. Whereas in a decoder Central PC system there are 4 options to choose from, with IC there is only the one software platform which is top-of-the-range. This is called Cirrus.

For an IC Central Control System you will need the following inputs:

  1. Either a full new PC system, or if you are upgrading from a decoder system you might just need the software upgrade. If you have an existing Rain Bird central control system you’ll either need the upgrade below or the update depending upon how old your computer hardware is.
  2. An IC interface module. This links the outside cable network with your PC system.
  3. A Surge pipe & grounding plate. This protects the PC system from lightning etc.
  4. Replace your Rain Bird valve-in-head rotor solenoid coils with IC modules; replace your Rain Bird solenoid valve coils with IC modules too. Please note that you can’t connect an IC module to a non-Rain Bird rotor or solenoid valve.
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