Electronic control unit with modifiable pre-set programs for...

Data processing: generic control systems or specific application – Generic control system – apparatus or process – Sequential or selective

Reexamination Certificate

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C700S016000, C700S017000, C700S018000, C700S284000, C239S064000, C239S069000, C239S070000, C379S010030, C379S014000, C379S029010, C379S324000

Reexamination Certificate

active

06240325

ABSTRACT:

TITLE OF THE INVENTION
“Electronic control unit with modifiable pre-set programs for the control of automatic watering systems with plural lines”
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention refers to an electronic control unit with modifiable pre-set programs for the control of automatic watering systems having plural lines.
The increasing demand for watering systems capable to activate and to disconnect themselves at programmable pre-fixed intervals and for time lengths is known.
This gave rise to a corresponding increase in the designing of electronic control units for the control of the aforementioned systems.
Among the control units with easiest employment by the user there is the one described in the European patent application EP-A-0748584 of the same applicant, in which a rotary selector that at the time of its utilisation can be positioned in a plurality of different angular positions, each one corresponding to the selection of a respective watering cycle, is provided.
With this type of control unit the user can avail beforehand of a certain number of watering cycles, among which the user can choose the most convenient one, simply by setting the rotary selector in the angular position corresponding to the desirable cycle, opportunely indicated by a numeric index and/or an inscription.
This known control unit is however suitable for the control of one watering line and more precisely of one electro-valve or other type of actuator.
In addition, the pre-set cycles are fixed and there is no possibility of their modification by the user.
On the other hand there is the development of a large market for control units capable to control plural watering lines and that provide for cycles modifiable according to the needs of the single user.
At the same time the ease of employment associated with the existence of pre-set cycles that do not require, for their pre-setting, the intervention of specialised personnel at the user's who purchased the control unit continues to be appreciated.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In view of the state of the art, object of the present invention has been to provide an electronic control unit, that would be suitable for the control of plural watering lines and, having a certain number of pre-set cycles, would however allow to modify those cycles so as to adjust them to the specific needs of the single user.
According to the invention, such object has been attained with an electronic control unit comprising an electronic circuit with a programmable processing unit and a manually operated selector positionable in a variety of selectionable positions, to each one of which a specific watering cycle corresponds, characterised in that said electronic circuit is arranged in such a way as to control in sequence a plurality of distinct watering lines and means are provided for modifying the programming of said processing unit so as to associate a respective watering cycle, different from the ones otherwise selectable by means of the selector, to each single line.
In this way, the user avails of a control unit utilisable for plural watering lines, with which he can select in an extremely simple and quick way any watering cycle comprised among a plurality of pre-set cycles. Besides, he has the possibility to disregard the pre-set cycles in favour of new cycles, possibly different for the different lines, which are more suitable for the particular needs of the system being controlled.


REFERENCES:
patent: 4454505 (1984-06-01), Harney et al.
patent: 4661719 (1987-04-01), Burchfiel et al.
patent: 4937732 (1990-06-01), Brundisini
patent: 4993640 (1991-02-01), Baugh
patent: 5251153 (1993-10-01), Nielsen et al.
patent: 5363290 (1994-11-01), Doup et al.
patent: 5479338 (1995-12-01), Ericksen et al.
patent: 0703516 (1996-03-01), None
patent: 0748584 (1996-12-01), None
patent: 0821433 (1998-01-01), None
patent: MI96/001563 (1996-07-01), None

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