The Cloudmaster system was developed in conjunction with Bankstown City Council in the late 1980’s. The first systems were centrally controlled from a DOS based PC program via telephone land lines.
The network of controllers has grown to around 65 units installed at 50 remote locations including parks, reserves, tennis courts etc. scattered around the municipality. The PC communicates with the units via a dedicated radio repeater. A GSM modem installed at the PC enables Council staff to send control SMS messages to any site and receive SMS alarm messages from sites from/to their mobile phones.
Bankstown City Council use the system to control and monitor irrigation, floodlighting and hot water systems. Sporting clubs who regularly use the floodlights have been issued with a uniquely encoded keytag transmitter (or PIN numbers for SMS activation) and, within their allocated time windows, turn the floodlights on and off themselves. A bill for lighting time used is generated at the centralised PC for the actual lighting time used.
Other Communications Options
Although Bankstown City Council uses a dedicated radio repeater we have been moving more and more to cellular network communications. Staff control commands, alarm SMS messages and sporting club floodlight control commands are sent direct to the Cloudmaster unit at the park rather than being ported via the central PC.
The PC is used as a programming and report generation tool. The following screen shots shows the graphically based, highly intuitive, Windows Cloudmaster PC software running the Bankstown City Counci’s database. The first image is the main municipality map with regions representing each park. Double clicking the region brings up an image of the site itself with each irrigation station and floodlighting pole being represented by regions. Colour blinking and right click popup menus make manual override, irrigation schedule maintenance and report generation very easy tasks.
Irrigation schedules are downloaded to each Cloudmaster unit which then operate as a stand alone unit. Onsite changes or override operations can be performed via the keypad/LCD on the Cloudmaster or via SMS.