US Patent No. 9,814,190

IRRIGATION CONTROLLER WITH ROBUST GROUND PATH


Patent No. 9,814,190
Issue Date November 14, 2017
Title Irrigation Controller With Robust Ground Path
Inventorship Richard C. Stange, Oceanside, CA (US)
David M. Hurrle, Encinitas, CA (US)
Kok Huat Chong, San Diego, CA (US)
Assignee Hunter Industries, Inc., San Marcos, CA (US)

Claim of US Patent No. 9,814,190

1. An irrigation controller, comprising:
a housing;
a control panel mounted in the housing and having at least one manually actuable control;
a processor operatively connected to the manually actuable control;
a memory operatively connected to the processor and storing programming that enables the processor to execute a watering program
selected by a user through the manually actuable control;

a metallic backplane mounted in the housing;
a plurality of modules removably mountable on the backplane, at least one of the modules including:
a plurality of drive circuits controllable by the processor for generating a plurality of valve control signals in accordance
with the watering program;

a circuit board having at least one conductor;
a top cover positioned on a first side of the circuit board;
at least one electrically conductive mounting screw comprising a head portion and an elongate portion extending from the head
portion, the mounting screw extending through the top cover and configured to secure the module to the backplane and establish
a ground path from the at least one conductor on the circuit board within the module through the backplane; and

a bushing physically fixed to the top cover that is positioned between the head portion of the mounting screw and the circuit
board, the bushing extending completely through the top cover such that a first end of the bushing is positioned between the
head portion of the mounting screw and a first side of the top cover and a second end of the bushing is positioned between
the at least one conductor and a second side of the top cover, wherein the bushing is squeezed between the head portion of
the mounting screw and the at least one conductor and contacts the at least one conductor on a first side of the circuit board;

a plurality of terminals operatively connected to the drive circuits for connecting wires on which the valve control signals
can be transmitted to corresponding valves installed on an irrigation site; and

a plurality of connectors for establishing an operative connection between each module and the processor when the modules
are mounted on the backplane.