Baseline Irrigation Solutions

 
BaseManager™
BaseManager™

 

BaseManager Central Control — Powerful. Simple. Innovative.

Save time and money by managing your sites with BaseManager™. BaseManager is a powerful cloud-based central control and remote access platform that allows any BaseStation 3200™ or BaseStation 1000™ controller to be managed remotely over the Internet. With BaseManager, you’ll be able to do everything you normally have to do at the controller, from the convenience of any Internet connected device.

 

The Right Tools for the Job

With BaseManager you can manage any number of BaseStation 3200 and BaseStation 1000 controllers from a single web interface. The map-based platform is simple and easy to use. The maps and color-coded icons in BaseManager provide a quick and complete picture of what is really happening on any site. You can also customize descriptions for any controller, zone, program, and other device so keeping track of what is what easier than ever. Plus, the descriptions entered into BaseManager show up in the controller too.

Built-in reporting tools allow you to generate soil moisture graphs, view water usage data and run-time reports. BaseManager can even help you diagnose a problem at your site without having to be on site. Most importantly, you’ll have the ability to manually operate and program the entire system remotely—saving you the hassle and headache of having to drive to the property.

BaseManager will also alert you if something goes wrong. Alerts can be configured to be sent by email or text message. You can even get reports emailed to you each day.

With a BaseManager Plus account, you can operate your Baseline irrigation controllers using WeatherAccess™. WeatherAccess applies real-time weather data from a weather station in your area (available in Weather Underground's weather station network), and configurable zone properties to a standardized evapotranspiration (ET) equation. This calculation estimates the loss of moisture from the root zone, and then the irrigation controller uses the calculated value to adjust the runtime in order to apply just enough water to replace that lost moisture. For more information, refer to the WeatherAccess User Manual.

When operated in WeatherAccess mode, the BaseStation 1000 and the BaseStation 3200 irrigation controllers meet the EPA WaterSense program's water-efficiency and performance criteria.

Connecting to BaseManager

Connecting a BaseStation 3200 or BaseStation 1000 to BaseManager is simple with multiple communication options including Ethernet, Wi-Fi, cellular modem, and spread spectrum radio.

BaseManager Subscriptions

A subscription determines what BaseManager and Mobile Access features a controller has access to.

The subscription is associated with a controller and all controllers belonging to a company will be set to the same subscription level.

New BaseStation 3200 controllers and BaseStation 1000 controllers with an MEXP expansion module receive a free BaseManager Plus subscription for six months. If a paid subscription is not set up following the six-month trial period, the first controller added to a company's account will be assigned a Lite subscription and only the first authorized user will have access. All other controllers on the company's account will be set to inactive.

Subscription Levels and Capabilities

 

Description Part Number Details
BaseManager Lite BL-BMW2-LITE It's FREE!  The BaseManager Lite subscription includes a LiveView only account and Mobile Access Lite for 1 controller.
     
BaseManager Basic
BL-BMW2-1 $75.00/year.  The BaseManager Basic subscription includes one year of basic BaseManager access and basic Mobile Access service for 1 controller.
     
BaseManager Plus BL-BMW2-PLUS $99.00/year.  A BaseManager Plus subscription includes one year of full BaseManager access and Mobile Access Advanced for 1 controller.

Subscription Term and Renewal

When you purchase a subscription, it is valid for one year.

If you add a controller to an existing company, the new controller subscription renewal fee will be prorated in order to put all controllers on the same renewal schedule.

The renewal date determines when you will be charged for your subscription.

If all the controllers' subscriptions expire in an account, the first controller in the list will be set to Lite, and all other controllers will be set to Inactive.

 

LiveView™

In addition to BaseManager, Baseline also provides a powerful tool for remotely connecting to any BaseStation 3200 or BaseStation 1000 controller called LiveView™. LiveView provides real-time access to any BaseStation 1000 or BaseStation 3200 that is connected to the Internet. Get complete access to your controller, just as if you were standing in front of it.

 

Mobile Access™

BaseManager is more than just a central control platform. It is also a revolutionary way to remotely control an irrigation system. Mobile Access™ is a mobile web application that turns any mobile device into the ultimate remote control. Mobile Access is included with every BaseManager account, which, in addition to starting and stopping zones, also allows you to start and stop programs, and initiate rain delays. With Mobile Access Advanced you can also get real-time flow and moisture readings, adjust run times and start times, and even geo-locate a device right from your mobile device.

Mobile Access Subscription Levels

  Lite Basic Advanced
Manually Run Zone X X X
Start Stop Program   X X
Initiate Rain Delay   X X
Test Devices     X
Read Flow Sensor     X
Read Soil Moisture Sensor     X
Geo-locate Devices     X
View Messages     X


BACNet Manager™

BaseManager offers the unique ability to integrate BaseStation 3200 and BaseStation 1000 controllers into a BACNet compatible building management system. With BACNet Manager, any BACNet compatible Building Management System can seamlessly integrate with a Baseline irrigation system for access to important information like water use data and system alerts and remote control of basic functions.

BaseManager Central Control — Features and Specifications

Hardware Options

The BaseManager server is a full-function Linux based server. This server is available from Baseline pre-installed on an all solid state server module based on the Intel™ Next Unit of Computing™ (NUC) hardware.  The self-hosted BaseManager server is fully web manageable and does not require a monitor or keyboard (a keyboard, monitor, and mouse are available as an option.)  The system is designed to be a low power, high reliability standalone server unit suitable for customers who do not have an existing rack-based virtual server environment, or for customers who do not wish to install BaseManager on a managed IT server.

 

See an Example of the Network Topology for Baseline’s BaseManager Server in a Self-Hosted Implementation.

 

For those who prefer to use existing managed servers, BaseManager is also available as a virtual machine image suitable for installation in modern rack mount server environments.  The BaseManager virtual machine requires a minimum of 4GB of RAM, 120GB of disk space, and an Intel i3 class processor or equivalent.

 

The self-hosted BaseManager server or virtual machine server can be fully managed via the built-in secure web server. The server must have access to the Internet in order to access satellite map data.

 

In order to allow mobile devices to access the BaseManager server, an externally accessible static IP address or hostname is required, and https web access to the BaseManager server will need to be enabled.

 

Basic Operation

The BaseManager server enables users to remotely connect to and operate Baseline irrigation controllers. Users operate their controllers through a web-based (browser-based) interface, and the controllers are connected through web-based ports (HTML-5 standard, WebSocket Protocol).

 

All traffic is TCP/IP with varying media types (cell, wireless, packet-radio) as needed along the route. The server routes communication, performs maintenance tasks, stores watering logs and information, and enables remote updating and configuration.

 

Networking Overview

All communication to/from clients (browsers) and controllers is done over SSL port 443. In order for controllers to work with the server, they must be able to talk to the server on that port. Clients also need to be able to be routed to the server’s Apache-httpd at that port. This approach prevents the need for opening firewall pinholes or configuring port mapping at an off-site facility. Typically most IT installations route HTTPS out-bound traffic. If an Ethernet port can get out to the Internet, no other special configuration will be required at the controller side.

 

An important part of the browser-based BaseManager client application is a map interface. The map data is loaded from a third-party. This data transfer requires general access from the server to the Internet and from the Internet back to the server. In the future, this data may be stored locally on the server, but for now, the server makes requests and downloads data over an Internet connection.

 

Security Overview

  • All IP traffic between the client and the server is SSL-encrypted.
  • All data is stored on a local database server (mySQL). Traffic is internal only to local drive. Data is NOT currently encrypted on that database server, but could be as required. There is no database access from external connections.
  • Firewall is established by Linux kernel IPTABLES (statewise). The only port essential to be opened is 443. (Although, port 22, ssh, could be useful for future updating.)
  • Standard Apache web security is employed. Further access limitations can be added via IP, network, etc. through the .htaccess facility of Apache.
  • Clients (browsers) can be allowed to remain connected indefinitely or can be logged off and dropped.
  • Controllers only access and talk to the IP address of a single assigned BaseManager server (programmable). Similarly, they only listen to the assigned server, only over the WebSocket Protocol (not HTTP) and only through encrypted traffic.
  • Controllers/clients need not respond over the same Ethernet device on the server. In some  situations, it may be preferable to have controllers on their own Internet-isolated network.
  • Webmin (web-based system configuration and management tool) is enabled by default on a specified SSL (https) port, 10001.  
  • For security purposes, webmin can be disabled from external access (i.e., localhost only) or disabled entirely.

WebSocket Protocol Overview

Communication in this system is based on the WebSocket Protocol and not on web representational state transfer (REST) transactions. This approach allows for instantaneous, full-duplex communication as opposed to the polling delay traditionally associated with RESTful designs. While most current browsers support this standard, noncompliant browsers are still in use.

 

A secure version of the WebSocket protocol is implemented in the following browsers (with the listed version and higher) Firefox 6, Google Chrome 14, and Opera 12.10. 

 

Using this communication protocol means that traffic packets on the network are not always in the format of a traditional HTTPS exchange (headers, body, etc.). Using this format and ensuring SSL-only traffic has proved to ease routing woes. We have found no difficulties yet in passing this traffic, even with sophisticated routers, packet-shapers (like F5), or web filters.

 

BaseManager Server Components

The BaseManager server has been run successfully on several flavors of Linux distributions, including Fedora, RedHat, CentOS, and Ubuntu.  By default, all BaseManager servers are built on the CentOS 6 distribution unless otherwise specified.

 

The lists below specify the required and non-required packages that are included by default in the self-hosted BaseManager server and in the virtual machine server image.

 

Required Packages (Included in BaseManager distribution)

Note: The following list includes only the packages that may be required in addition to those that are included in a minimum CentOS distribution.

  • httpd-server
  • mysql-server
  • MySQL-python
  • python-devel
  • flex
  • libtool
  • make
  • rsync
  • mod_ssl
  • subversion (for checkout of pywebsocket below)
  • php
  • php-mysql
  • bind-utils (provides nslookup)
  • gcc
  • httpd-devel
  • ntp
  • ntpdat
  • php-xml

 

Required Non-Package Software (Included in BaseManager distribution)

  • mod_python – May be needed to fix a line in the code
  • pyswebsocket – Required for web socket operations
  • ioncube_loaders_lin_x86-64.tar.gz
  • python Package
  • pytz  – time utilities
  • webmin.tar

 

Optional/Helpful Software (Included in BaseManager distribution)

  • bind-utils – Provides nslookup
  • mlocate – Locate and update database

 

Support and Software Updates

Providing external access for Baseline Support is not required for operation and is not allowed without taking explicit steps.  However, providing access for Baseline Support may be desirable for ongoing support and software updates.

 

Software updates can be delivered via sneaker-net with a USB drive or emailed as a .tar file.

 

Brochures:

Information on how to turn any web-enabled smart phone or mobile device into an irrigation remote control
Features of Baseline's Central Control product. Compatible with BaseStation 3200 and BaseStation 1000 irrigation controllers

Spec Docs:

Specifications and technical details for BaseManager. This product is compatible with Baseline's BaseStation 3200 and BaseStation 1000 irrigation controllers.
General specification information for Baseline's central control features in Microsoft Word format. Suitable for including in specifier's documentation.
General specification information for Baseline's central control features in Microsoft Word format. This non-proprietary spec does not give the manufacturer's name or the brand name of products, which enables the irrigation designer to specify Baseline products while complying with the requirements in the bidding documents.

Support Docs:

An overview of the BaseManager server for network administrators
Instructions for getting your BaseStation 1000 or BaseStation 3200 irrigation controller connected to BaseManager
Estimating how much data is transferred across the network when using BaseManager to operate a Baseline irrigation controller
The platform, browser, operating system, and device combinations that are compatible with the web applications that Baseline develops, such as BaseManager™ and Mobile Access™
Instructions for setting up WeatherAccess -- Baseline's weather-based watering technology on a BaseStation 1000 or BaseStation 3200 irrigation controller

Case Studies:

The City of Twin Falls Idaho manages more than 800 acres across 65 locations with their Baseline equipment
A look at how Red Diamond, Inc. in Moody, Alabama uses Baseline products to maintain their award-winning landscape
A look at how Bakersfield College uses Baseline products to save time and prevent overwatering at their athletic fields complex
A look at how Clif Bar Baking Company uses Baseline products to manage their facility in Twin Falls, Idaho
A look at how the City of Boise uses Baseline products to manage Esther Simplot Park in Boise, Idaho
A look at how Facebook uses Baseline products to manage the greenroof on their corporate campus in Menlo Park, California
A look at how FMC Technologies uses Baseline products to manage their corporate campus in Houston, Texas
A look at how Baseline products came to the rescue of the irrigation system at the Great Plains Business Park near Calgary, Alberta
A look at how the Baseline irrigation controllers on Kiawah Island stand up to a hurricane
A look at how Laughlin Air Force Base uses Baseline products to conserve water
A look at how Longwood Cricket Club uses Baseline products to manage their tennis court complex
A look at how the San Diego County Administration Center uses Baseline products to manage their campus
A look at how San Luis Coastal Unified School District uses Baseline products to manage their school grounds
A look at how Sanger Unified School District uses Baseline products to manage their school grounds and athletic fields
A look at how landscape managers are using Baseline products to care for the grounds of the Travisso Master-Planned Community in Austin, Texas

Install Guides:

Instructions for configuring a self-hosted BaseManager and/or BACnet Manager server that is deployed as a virtual machine
Instructions for installing and configuring the self-hosted server for BaseManager and/or BACnet Manager

Advanced Programming:

An overview of WeatherAccess -- Baseline's weather-based watering technology on a BaseStation 1000 or BaseStation 3200 irrigation controller

How to Specify BaseManager Central Control

Baseline Hosted Web Service

  • BL-BMW2-1   1 year of BaseManager Basic and Mobile Access Basic for 1 controller
  • BL-BMW2-PLUS  1 year of BaseManager Plus and Mobile Access Advanced for 1 controller

Self-Hosted Server

  • BL-BM2-VM   BaseManager Server Software for self-hosted applications
  • BL-BM2-COM  BaseManager Server Software pre-installed on computer
  • BL-BM2-MAA  Mobile Access Advanced plug-in for self-hosted BaseManager
BaseManager - Assigning Zones and other devices
See how easy it is to assign devices using BaseManager
BaseManager -- Adding a New Program
Learn how to add an irrigation program using BaseManager
BaseManager -- Performing Manual Operations
Learn how to manually start and stop zones or programs in BaseManager
BaseManager -- Selecting a Controller
A quick tutorial on how to select a controller in BaseManager
BaseManager -- Setting Up a Map
Learn how to geo-locate device on a map in BaseManager
BaseManager -- Testing Devices
Learn how to test a zone, moisture sensor, or any other device in BaseManager
LiveView
A short video demonstrating Baseline's revolutionary LiveView with a BaseStation 1000.
WeatherAccess™ -- Configuring Zone Properties
This short video shows how to configure the zone properties in BaseManager for weather-based watering.
WeatherAccess™ -- Connecting a Weather Station to BaseManager
This short video shows how to connect a weather station from Weather Underground's network to Baseline's BaseManager so you can use weather data to manage irrigation.
WeatherAccess™ -- Enabling Weather-Based Watering on a BaseStation 1000
This short video shows how to enable weather-based watering on a BaseStation 1000 irrigation controller through Baseline's BaseManager system
WeatherAccess™ -- Enabling Weather-Based Watering on a BaseStation 3200
This short video shows how to enable weather-based watering on a BaseStation 3200 irrigation controller through Baseline's BaseManager system