GrowDirector - Universal Grow Controller

Hi everyone,
I’ve been helping several growers with their setups and after a few upgrades, the command dashboard looked like this (thermostats are not visible, but they are there):

I have tried to find universal controller instead of all this and noticed that there are only few really multi-purpose controllers available for growing.
I did not like them (and their prices) so I have built my own grow controller (titled it “GrowDirector”), that can monitor and control everything in the grow room (don’t go too far, it will not cut your plants or LST them :slight_smile: ).

The controller is equipped with 7’’ touch screen, application for easy set up and configuration, central dash board where all controlled parameters can be observed.

GrowDirector has so far 4x analog inputs, 3x analog/digital outputs, and 3 x controlled AC outlets:

Also, the controller has built-in WiFi (and matching smartphone app), unlimited number of timers/cyclic timers.
GrowDirector supports virtually any 3rd party sensor (temp, humidity, pH, EC, CO2, whatever).
Since I have positive feedback from my beta-users, I am considering crowd-funding this product.
However, prior to deciding whether it worth trying and investing my time and resources, I’d be happy to get your feedback about the idea and it’s implementation.

Please, tell me what you think, is it useful for other growers?
Thanks a lot.

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Tech isn’t my niche but if it can handle being dropped and the occasional over spray it could work. It is bigger than most on the market. Throw two or three in your local hydro shop and see what strangers think about it.

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very cool! :+1: what is the software/operating system?

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ryasco, Muleskinner, thanks for your comments!

ryasco, I appreciate your comment especially for the reason you are not a tech person.
GrowDirector was designed for people who has no tech background and do not wish to start configuring or programming industrial controllers for growing needs. It’s completely GUI driven (menus, icons, touch screen).

The device enclosure is made of aluminium and 3D printed plastic parts (for prototyping), it feels stiff and rigid.
Well, if it falls on rocks, I think it’ll break, but in real life, the device is very stable due to it’s triangular geometry (the center of mass is low).
The size is dictated by a screen size (7’’). Cab be smaller, but then there is not enough space for 3 outlets, so this is kind of a compromise.

The enclosure is sealed and if you spill a few drops on it - it won’t harm anything. However, there are built-in power outlets, so water is not good. Probably, I should consider making water-proof outlets (and I will), thank you for the remark.

Muleskinner, the device is running on Android OS and utilizes many of Android features (Calendars, widgets, communication etc.). Are you using any kind of controller/monitor in your set up?

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How much? Can you sell one yet?

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I don’t want to put you off or hijack your thread, but if you are asking our opinion whether to work more on this to put it to the market… I’d consider that there is probably number of competing systems already… Some are also open (that I consider very convenient way for tech-savvy users). Two I know of are presented here on OG: Growmat and thoroughly tested Growduino. Last time I’ve visited cannabis fair there were probably two more but I don’t remember the names.

I agree that there is a future in these systems. You could log all relevant values (pH, temps, EC, …) and report them into some cloud app to compare results with other growers. This could lead to massive improvements (one could be inspired by success of others). I think that few companies are really aware of this and want to take their share of the market. This could be huge not only for marijuana growing.

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Hi MysteryMoog, HydroPower,

Thanks for your reply.

Definitely there are other options, but most (if not all) of them are Arduino-based devices. I like Growduino very much, it’s nice device. But it’s capabilities are limited by tech spec of the platform (micro-controller). GrowDirector runs on Android OS, dual core 1GHz CPU and other hardware from 21-st century :slight_smile:

MysteryMoog, there are only few prototypes, that are currently under testing by my friends - growers. The target price (if it comes to crowdfunding) is going to be around US$600, including temp, humidity and soil moisture sensors. If you look at similar devices (with touchscreen and WiFi), they all far above $1k, so I think, bringing better product for descent price is a fair proposal, what do you think? :slight_smile:

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Hi GrowDirector!

OK, it looks like I should play the devil’s advocate then :)…

It is smart approach building something stand alone. But, don’t you think that fitting touch screen is little bit redundant nowadays? Practically everyone has a tablet or touch screen phone. Developers are trending towards blackbox solutions that are wirelessly (through wifi/bluetooth) manageable by other smart personal device with screen. That also allows them to lower the costs.

Disclosure: I’m not affiliated anyhow with those alternative solutions I’ve mentioned or any other :slight_smile:

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Ill happily test one out for you…hehe

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Hi GrowDirector,
yes this is true. Growduino is Arduino based, so there are some technical limitations. It is 21st century technology as well as RaspberryPi or something similar, which looks to be used in your controller. If You’ll take a look at http://growduino.eu/ , you’ll realize, that it can drive almost anything a grower need and the only diference is that it doesn’t have touch panel. So this is nice feature, but obviously not critical for growers, right?

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Hi @GrowDIrector! I see you online, so I wanted to ask how did you progressed with the Grow controller. Do you plan crowdfunding?

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Yeah, this is a new thread to me. Very interesting seeing that i am setting up the new big spot. I want to run something like this the beginning of next year.

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I use the Agrotek gcc and love it!

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Sorry what is Agrotek gcc? I haven’t been able to google that out…

It’d be great if you could post a review under #equipment !

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Yes yes…automation! I find it hard to believe there is not an open source software we can use somewhere.

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Hi folks,

Sorry for long absence!

Was busy making the dream come true and today we are launching our crowd-funding campaign:

The initial design was re-factored and expanded and now the device has 4 integrated AC sockets, more inputs/outputs, USB support (for web-cams and USB microscopes), built-in 3G/Wi-Fi Connectivity - and everything I was dreaming to have to automate the process.

I’ll be happy to hear your remarks.

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Time frame on having these in peoples hands?

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It says April. Also I see that they met they goal, super cool!

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@Viva_Mexico, thanks for your help!

We are planning to try to send the controller to backers earlier than April, 2018, but there is always a chance to get stuck with Chinese New Year (in March), so with April delivery we feel confident.

Now, that we met the goal, we are pushing forward with manufacturing and licensing.

Additional task to take care of is preparing the good explanation and guidance - not only for using the device, GrowDirector, but also to automating various cultivation tasks.

Actually, I was thinking of writing a “Complete Guide for Home Growing Automation”, a series of brief articles, showing how you can automate this or that task in your grow room (irrigation or cooling or heating, hydroponics, mixing nutrients etc.). And this automation will be done using GrowDirector.

It’s like 15 articles to cover 80% of growing tasks, I can share here a proposed table of contents.

We are looking for someone who can both write this content and be a beta-tester of the device, assisting our Software team (yes, we have entire team now!) to fine-tune the features we are offering. Wishfully, that person will be legally approved to grow cannabis and thus can freely report on it.

If you have any idea - I will be happy to know, please, PM me.

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Wow, that was fast!

I’m sure one of our experience members could you with that and earn some money beta-testing your product! :thumbsup:

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