Hi there, my name is Nathan and I have an idea for creating a device
which will help my grandfather maintain the flow of irrigation water
that comes into his yard. Currently, the city allots two irrigation
periods per month and essentially, my 80-yr. old grandfather is
responsible for ensuring the proper flow into his yard at odd hours in
the morning. For example, he'll have to wake up at 1:30 a.m. to go out
and lift the two small water gates (on each end of his house)...then,
he'll have to stay awake to maintain them until 5:30 a.m., or something
Anyway, my idea is to install a home-made mechanism at each of the
irrigation gates that will allow for the lifting and shutting of the
water gate (about a 12"x6" rectangular plate covering the water hole).
In my crude, non-mechanically-inclined mind, I thought of somehow
welding a straightened-out bicycle chain to the lift piece and
fashioning a sprocket to a motor (garage-door opener motor??), held by
maybe a pipe in the ground (in front of the water hole). The motor
would turn the sprocket which would be connected to the chain, somehow.
One of the tricky things is figuring out what I could use to automate
all of this...I was thinking of some type of connection between the
motor and say, a water-sprinkler timer, where I might pre-program each
of the two irrigation lifters to independently lift and shut their
water gates at specified time intervals.
Of course, once a motor is activated in lift or shut mode, it would
need to stop after a few seconds when it reaches the apex of each
motion. Wow! Am I insane or what?! I was also thinking that, instead
of a water-sprinkler timer thingy, maybe I could just set up some kind
of radio transmitter/receiver from the two irrigation points to my
grandfather's computer...that way, maybe we could take advantage of
some customized software solution or computer timer of some sort. With
something like that, perhaps we wouldn't have to worry so much about
running a bunch of underground wiring (it would just be the power to
the motors, I think??).
I don't want to drag on about this, so I'll pretty much leave it at
that and ask for any advice/comments/suggestions that ANYONE might
have. Is there a company or a machine or some product out there that
provides something close to what I want? Is it really expensive??
Maybe there's a better way to accomplish this all together (probably an
easy one, like hire someone to lift and shut the water gates, ha!).
Anywho, thanks again in advance for any light shed on my crazy idea.