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How Growtronix Works

Published : 06/22/2015 01:50:50
Categories : Growtronix Specific

The Growtronix system can monitor nearly every aspect of an indoor garden. The system is modular in design. This means that you can locate Growtronix hardware where it's needed. For example you can have a temperature sensor located in the canopy and the controllable outlet controlling the exhaust fan located elsewhere in the facility.

All Growtronix systems start with a Growtronix Base System. The base system includes the Growtronix software that loads onto a Windows based computer. The computer becomes the brains of the system. The Growtronix Network Interface Module (we call it a NIM) communicates between the computer and the Growtronix hardware. A NIM can support up to 32 hardware items along up to 100 feet of cable. The Growtronix system uses standard cat5e cables. These are commonly used for internet connections and are widely available. It should be noted that while the Growtronix system uses the same types of cables as routers and cable modems that is where the similarity ends. The hardware shouldn't be plugged into one of these systems.

Setting up a Growtronix system is super simple. Once the software is installed you'll plug in an add-on hardware item (such as a temperature sensor) and select "Add New Hardware". You select the sensor type and give the sensor a unique name (Such as Veg Room Temperature) and hit the submit button. The system will then instantly start getting temperature readings from that sensor. Each hardware item has two jacks. Each jack can serve as either an input from another hardware item or an output going to the next hardware item. This forms a daisy chain setup where each hardware item is connected to the network one after the other.

Adding the controllable outlets is very similar. You plug the Growtronix Controllable outlet into the network. Click "Add New Hardware" and select "Controllable outlets" as the type. You'll then be prompted to give each of the two outlets a unique name. Each outlet on the unit can be controlled independently of the other. So for example you may name the top outlet "Back Room Exhaust" and the bottom outlet "Back Room CO2 Tank". You can name the hardware anything you'd like, it's best to be as descriptive as possible so that when setting up control policies it's clear what the outlet is used for. Once you've added a controllable outlets unit you will be able to control them (on/off) from any web enabled device. A tablet, Smartphone or computer can all be used to setup, monitor and control the system.

Once the hardware has been added it's time to start sorting them into rooms. Even if you have just one room you'll want to add it. Adding a room is easy. From the settings screen click the Rooms tab, give the room a unique name and click the "Add Room" button. Once you've added a room you can add hardware to a room by clicking on the hardware's settings button. From there you can select from the available rooms to add the hardware item to that room. From the main screen clicking on any of the rooms tabs will show you only the hardware in that room.

Every room has its own set of settings. Here you can setup the rooms Grow Schedule. The Grow Schedule allows you to set the various desired set points by week or even down to each day. Such as Night and Day Temperature, Humidity, CO2, pH, EC or TDS, Reservoir Temperature along with the nutrient recipe made of up to 8 different parts. Each day in the schedule also offers the opportunity to set the days Tips and Comments. In the room settings you can decide if you want the system to automatically send you the daily Tips and Comments to your email or as a text message to your phone. Another room setting is the current phase of growth. Which can be Vegetative, Flowering or Other and the start/date and time for that phase of Growth. This date and time is the first day and time that the lights turned on. It determines the first day of the schedule. Another thing you can do in the Room Settings is to add Controllers. Controllers provide a specific function or set of functions. For example a Temperature Controller will maintain temperature, while a CO2 and Temperature may control both the CO2 levels and the Temperature. Each controller has a set of settings that allow you to setup how the controller behaves.

Another feature of the Growtronix system is the Grow Analytics. The Growtronix system is always collecting sensor and control data. The Grow Analytics organizes this data. Sensor data is displayed as Min, Max and Average for both lights on and lights off. The system also displays the total on and off time for devices down to the second. Further it takes that data and calculates the electrical cost for each device to run. Each day has a place for you to save notes and comments about the day. You can also save pictures to the Grow Analytics that can be reviewed later. If you're on a smartphone or tablet you can use the built in camera to capture and save a picture. Or if you have IP/Wi-Fi cameras installed on the Growtronix system you can set it up so that images are saved automatically to the Grow Analytics.

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