Patents Represented by Attorney Michael H. Jester
  • Patent number: 8313043
    Abstract: A sprinkler includes a riser, an impeller mounted in the riser, and a nozzle rotatably mounted at an upper end of the riser. A drive assembly including a reduction gear train couples the impeller and the nozzle. A friction clutch is located in the drive assembly between an output gear of the reduction gear train and an input gear of the reversing mechanism and provides a positive drive connection under a normal load and slips under an excessive load. An alternate embodiment utilizes the friction clutch in a rotor-type sprinkler in which the nozzle rotates continuously through a continuous 360 degree arc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2012
    Assignee: Hunter Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: John D. Crooks, Fred M. Danner
  • Patent number: 8301309
    Abstract: An evapotranspiration (ET) unit includes a processor and a memory for storing a historical set of components of ET data. The processor can communicate with one or more environmental sensors each capable of generating a signal representing an actual value to be substituted for a corresponding one of the components of the historical set. Preprogrammed algorithms enable the processor to calculate changes to a set of watering schedules of a predetermined watering program of an irrigation controller based on any substituted actual value and the remaining historical set of components. The ET unit 10 communicates the changes to the irrigation controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2012
    Assignee: Hunter Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter J. Woytoxitz, Christopher M. Shearin, LaMonte D. Porter
  • Patent number: 8297314
    Abstract: A solenoid actuated pilot valve includes a pilot valve housing defining a pilot valve chamber and a solenoid. The solenoid includes and end cap connected to the pilot valve housing, a reciprocable plunger, and a piston having a shaft with a first end connected to and end of the plunger and a second end connected to a piston head. The end cap has a bore through which the shaft of the piston reciprocates and a first port separate from the bore. A first seal on a first side of the piston head is provided for sealing a first end of the first port. A second seal on a second side of the piston head is provided for sealing a first end of a second port in the pilot valve housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2012
    Assignee: Hunter Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael L. Clark, LaMonte D. Porter
  • Patent number: 8297533
    Abstract: A sprinkler includes a riser having an inlet end and an outlet end and a nozzle rotatably supported at the outlet end of the riser. The nozzle has a plurality of circumferentially spaced, radially extending stream forming channels. A gear drive is coupled for rotating the nozzle. A stationary arc plate has an upper surface adjacent a lower surface of the nozzle and includes a first aperture that directs water into terminal ends of the stream forming channels. A manually adjustable orifice plate is mounted in overlapping relationship with the stationary orifice plate. The adjustable orifice plate has a second aperture shaped and aligned with the first aperture so that manual rotation of the adjustable orifice plate increases or decreases an arc of an arc shaped water distribution pattern. A ratchet mechanism including radially deflectable tabs releasably locks the position of the adjustable orifice plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2012
    Assignee: Hunter Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard M. Dunn, Glendale Grizzle
  • Patent number: 8282022
    Abstract: A sprinkler nozzle includes a nozzle plate having at least one orifice formed therein. A stream deflector is rotatably mounted adjacent the nozzle plate and has a plurality of flutes formed therein that face the nozzle plate. Each flute has an inner portion that can momentarily align with water flowing through the orifice in the nozzle plate during rotation of the stream deflector relative to the nozzle plate. Water flowing through the orifice will be channeled in a generally radial direction by the flute to form a stream of water that is ejected from the stream deflector. The flutes have a plurality of different tangential trajectories relative to the orifice in the nozzle plate so that in combination the streams of water successively ejected from the stream deflector establish a predetermined shape of coverage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2012
    Assignee: Hunter Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: LaMonte D. Porter
  • Patent number: 8275309
    Abstract: An irrigation system includes an irrigation controller, at least one environmental sensor and a vandal resistant data relay. The irrigation controller includes a two conductor hard wired communications link for accepting an actual value of at least one parameter of interest from an environmental sensor in the form of data encoded on the conductors via current modulation. The environmental sensor is mounted in a location remote from the irrigation controller. A circuit is connected to the environmental sensor for transmitting an RF signal representing an actual value of a parameter of interest detected by the environmental sensor. The vandal resistant data relay is connected to the two conductor hard wired communication link of the irrigation controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2012
    Assignee: Hunter Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Peter J. Woytowitz
  • Patent number: 8272578
    Abstract: A sprinkler includes a stream nozzle with a plurality of circumferentially spaced, radially extending stream forming ports. A non-rotating arc adjustment sleeve is mounted for axial movement relative to the stream nozzle to selectively block the stream forming ports to vary an arc of coverage of a plurality of streams of water ejected from the stream forming ports.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2012
    Assignee: Hunter Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael L. Clark, Daniel E. Hunter
  • Patent number: 8220723
    Abstract: A sprinkler comprises a nozzle, a turbine and a gear train reduction. The gear train reduction has an output stage that is coupled to the nozzle. The turbine is located between the nozzle and the gear train reduction and is coupled to an input stage of the gear train reduction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2012
    Assignee: Hunter Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael L. Clark
  • Patent number: 8183719
    Abstract: A drive circuit for a DC latching device includes a battery, a storage element, and a plurality of switches connecting the battery to the storage element for charging the storage element from the battery and discharging the storage element into the coil of a DC latching device. The drive circuit further includes components for determining a state of the DC latching device. The drive circuit may include components for terminating the discharge of the storage element into the coil of the DC latching device in response to determining that the DC latching device has changed states to add reliability to the system and reduce energy consumption.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2012
    Assignee: Hunter Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Lucian Scripca, Peter J. Woytowitz
  • Patent number: 8014904
    Abstract: A plurality of receptacles in an irrigation controller removably receive a plurality of modules. At least one station module is configured for insertion into a first one of the receptacles and is connectable to a corresponding solenoid actuated valve through a dedicated field valve line and common return line. The station module includes at least one switching device for selectively providing a first power signal that energizes the corresponding solenoid actuated valve. At least one encoder module is configured for insertion into a second one of the receptacles and is connectable to a multi-wire path for sending encoded signals and a second power signal along the multi-wire path for selectively energizing one of a plurality of solenoid actuated valves connected to corresponding decoder circuits connected along the multi-wire path. A processor executes the stored watering program and controls the station module and/or the encoder module in accordance with the stored watering program.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2011
    Assignee: Hunter Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Peter J. Woytowitz
  • Patent number: 7953517
    Abstract: A landscape controller includes a housing and a control panel in the housing. The control panel includes a display and at least one manual control that enables a user to enter and/or select a watering schedule. A memory is provided for storing an operational program for carrying out the watering schedule. A processor is connected to the memory and is capable of executing the operational program. A connecting device in the control panel operatively connects at least one feature module to the processor. The controller further includes station control circuitry controlled by the processor that enables the processor to selectively energize a plurality of valves to deliver water to sprinklers in accordance with the watering schedule.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2011
    Assignee: Hunter Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: La Monte D. Porter, Peter J. Woytowitz
  • Patent number: 7899581
    Abstract: A modular irrigation controller includes a processor capable of executing a stored watering program and controlling a plurality of removable station modules in accordance with the watering program. Each station module includes a station module circuit for opening and closing a plurality of valves. A plurality of connectors can mate each mate to establish a communications link between the station modules and the processor. A plurality of terminals are each connectable with a corresponding one of a plurality of field valve lines from the valves. The terminals are mounted separate from the station modules and are connected to the connectors. This allows the irrigation controller to have a more compact design, provides connection terminals for spare field valve lines, and eliminates malfunctions due to erroneous re-connection of field valve lines during station module replacement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2011
    Assignee: Hunter Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Peter J. Woytowitz
  • Patent number: 7891370
    Abstract: An irrigation device includes a chamber having a peripheral wall made of a material susceptible to damage from the expansion of water in an interior of the chamber during freezing. A freeze member is located in the chamber and is made of a compressible material. The freeze member is configured to allow unfrozen water to pass through the chamber and to accommodate expansion of the water during freezing to prevent cracking or other damage to the peripheral wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2011
    Assignee: Hunter Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard C. Stange
  • Patent number: 7877168
    Abstract: An evapotranspiration (ET) unit includes a first communication link, a processor and a second communication link. The first communication link receives actual ET data from a plurality of environmental sensors. The processor calculates changes to a set of watering schedules of a predetermined watering program based on the actual ET data. The changes can increase or decrease the frequency and/or length of ON times for selected stations. The second communication link transmits the changes to a separate irrigation controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2011
    Assignee: Hunter Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: La Monte D. Porter, Peter J. Woytowitz, Christopher M. Shearin
  • Patent number: 7861948
    Abstract: A sprinkler includes a drive mechanism mounted in a riser that rotates a nozzle at the top of the riser. The drive mechanism enables a user to select between oscillation of the nozzle through an adjustable arc and uni-directional full circle rotation of the nozzle. The sprinkler includes an automatic arc return feature that enables the nozzle to resume oscillation between a pair of original pre-set arc limits when the nozzle is twisted by a vandal outside of the arc limits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2011
    Assignee: Hunter Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: John D. Crooks
  • Patent number: 7863885
    Abstract: A sonde includes an elongate flexible ferromagnetic core and a coil surrounds an intermediate segment of the core. A housing surrounds and supports the coil. An electronic drive circuit is mounted in the housing for supplying the coil with an electric signal that will induce the core to emit electromagnetic signals at a predetermined strength and frequency that can be remotely detected. Self-contained battery powered float-type and pill-type sondes are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2011
    Assignee: Seektech, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark S. Olsson, Jan Soukup, Jeffrey A. Prsha, Michael E. Turgeon, David A. Cox, Ray Merewether
  • Patent number: D638914
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2011
    Assignee: Hunter Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Darrin Schmuckle
  • Patent number: D643093
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2011
    Assignee: Hunter Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Darrin I. Schmuckle, Donald M. Sheetz, III, Lance C. Elliott
  • Patent number: D653219
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2012
    Assignee: Hunter Industries, Inc., a Delaware corporation
    Inventors: Peter J. Woytowitz, Lance C. Elliott
  • Patent number: D668231
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2012
    Assignee: Hunter Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael F. Paul, Steven B. Cook