Delay apparatus (16) also preferably includes a timer circuit (22) which, when power detection circuit (20) detects a short-term disturbance, acts with a switch (24) to interrupt the AC power to the microcomputer (12) for a preselected period of time.

The timer circuit (22) can produce a delay of approximately five or six seconds which is suitable for causing microcomputer (12) to restart or reboot, rather than lock-up or otherwise suffer a corruption of data were the momentary power disturbance to reach microcomputer (12). A delay apparatus suitable for connecting between a computer device and means for supplying electrical power to the computer device, comprising: (a) means for detecting a momentary power loss in the electrical power being supplied to the computer device and producing a power disturbance signal in response thereto; and (b) means responsive to the power disturbance signal for interrupting the electrical power being supplied to the computer device for a preselected period of time, whereby the computer device is not subjected to power disturbances of shorter duration than the preselected period of time. The delay apparatus of claim 1, wherein: (a) following the momentary power loss, electric power is supplied to the computer device after the preselected period of time; and (b) the delay apparatus converts the momentary power loss to a relatively long-term power loss lasting for at least the preselected period of time, whereby the computer device will experience the relatively long-term power loss rather than the momentary power loss and will restart itself. The delay apparatus of claim 2, wherein the interrupting means comprises: (a) switch means having an open state and a closed state for interrupting the electrical power being supplied to the computer device; and (b) timing means operatively connected to the switch means and responsive to the power disturbance signal for maintaining the switch means in its open state for the preselected period of time. The delay apparatus of claim 2, wherein the electrical power being supplied to the computer device is AC, comprising an AC power signal, and wherein the detecting means comprises: (a) means for producing a pulse signal for each half wave of the AC power signal supplied to the delay apparatus; and (b) charge storage means in operative contact with the pulse signal producing means, wherein when the momentary loss of AC power occurs the pulse signal producing means will not produce pulse signals and the charge on the charge storage means changes, thereby causing the power disturbance signal to be produced. The delay apparatus of claim 5, wherein the charge storage means comprises a pulse accumulating capacitor and the detecting means further comprises a transistor in operative contact with the pulse accumulating capacitor, wherein the conductive state of the transistor changes when the pulse accumulating capacitor is not supplied with a continuous series of pulses, and wherein the conductive state of the transistor affects the state of the power disturbance signal. The delay apparatus of claim 6, further comprising a timing capacitor in operative contact with the transistor, wherein the charge on the timing capacitor begins to change when the transistor changes state, and when the charge on the timing capacitor reaches a predetermined level the power disturbance signal is produced. The delay apparatus of claim 7, further comprising an integrated device in operative contact with the timing capacitor for monitoring the level of charge on the timing capacitor and for producing or removing the power disturbance signal depending on the level of charge on the timing capacitor. A delay apparatus suitable for connecting between a microcomputer-controlled irrigation system and the AC electrical power supply for the irrigation system, comprising: (a) means for detecting a momentary loss of AC power being supplied to the irrigation system and producing a power disturbance signal in response thereto, comprising: (i) a full wave rectifier for producing a pulse signal for each half wave of the ACpower signal supplied to the delay apparatus and the irrigation system; (ii) a pulse accumulating capacitor in operative contact with the full wave rectifier; and (iii) a transistor in operative contact with the pulse accumulating capacitor suitable for producing a power disturbance signal; (b) a triac having an open state and a closed state for interrupting the electrical power being supplied to the irrigation system; (c) a timing capacitor in operative contact with the transistor; and (d) an integrated timer in operative with the timing capacitor, wherein when AC power is present and continuous the full wave rectifier provides pulses which maintain the charge on the pulse accumulating capacitor such that the conductive state of the transistor maintains the timing capacitor in a continuous charged state which causes the integrated timer to not provide the power disturbance signal, but when there is a momentary loss of AC power to the delay apparatus the charge on the pulse accumulating capacitor changes which in turn changes the conductive state of the transistor to discharge the timing capacitor, which in turn causes the integrated timer to produce the power disturbance signal, whereby the delay apparatus converts the momentary power loss to a relative long-term power loss lasting at least the preselected period of time, whereby the computer device will experience the relatively long-term power loss rather than the momentary power loss and will restart itself. A control system comprising: (a) a computer device suitable for connecting to an electrical power supply; and (b) a delay apparatus suitable for connecting between the computer device and its electrical power supply, comprising: (i) means for detecting a momentary interruption in the electrical power being supplied to the computer device and producing a power disturbance signal in response thereto; and (ii) means responsive to the power disturbance signal for interrupting the electrical power being supplied to the computer device for a preselected period of time, whereby the computer device is not subjected to power interruptions of shorter duration than the preseleted period of time, and the computer device of the control system will be allowed to restart itself after the preselected period of time. A method for preventing a computer device from experiencing a short-term interruption of its electrical supply, comprising: (a) monitoring the electrical supply;(b) producing a power disturbance signal when the short-term interruption is detected; and (c) immediately interrupting the electrical supply to the computer device for a preselected period of time, whereby the computer device is not subjected to the short-term interruption but instead experiences a loss of power lasting at least the preselected period of time.

Since most computers are capable of restarting or rebooting themselves in response to a fairly long-term (e.g.

Some electronic devices are supplied with power back-up systems which are designed to maintain a continuous supply of power to the device in the event of a power outage. As discussed below, computer devices are particularly sensitive to momentary power outages, and the present invention addresses this problem.

While all electronic devices can be detrimentally affected by power disturbances to some degree, computer devices (computers and devices and systems including computers) are particularly sensitive to power supply problems.

Apreferred delay apparatus (16) includes a power detection circuit (20) capable of detecting short-term disturbances in the power being supplied to the microcomputer (12). Abstract of the Disclosure An irrigation system (10) including a microcomputer (12) and a delay apparatus (16).

Apreferred delay apparatus (16) includes a power detection circuit (20) capable of detecting short-term disturbances in the power being supplied to the microcomputer (12).

Storage or memory components within such devices are typically volatile. Finally, given the tens if not hundreds of thousands of logic gates in a typical computer, and given the critical nature of the data and computations handled by such devices, any power irregularities are undesirable.

Thus, although the present invention is applicable to a wide variety of electronic devices, for the sake of brevity the following discussion will focus on computers and computerized systems and devices.

Also, if the power loss lasts for a relatively long period of time (e.g., five or six seconds) the computer will simply restart itself or "reboot" once power is resumed.

The computer then simply determines the status of matters by reading a clock, polling humidity sensors and the like, and then activates the electromechanical devices as ; necessary.

Such problems can be attributed to the power generator or to the transmission system.