Frequently Asked Questions

 

1)    What is GroLab?

GroLab is the world's first universal crop assistant with the ability to handle all kinds of eventualities through user-designed programs. GroLab is much more than a machine, it is the key that will open the door to a new revolutionary way of farming, in which users from all over the world will share their knowledge so that GroLab constantly improves the quality of your harvest.

Welcome to the future.


 

2)    Why GroLab is the best growing assistant on the market?

The system is composed of Hardware (modules) and a Software. Currently the hardware offers almost total coverage of all the variables in a crop (electrical control, temperature, humidity, irrigation, PH, EC, and others). This physical part is complemented by software that is constantly evolving. Therefore, the user will constantly receive updates with new tools totally free.

GroLab never stops growing.


 

3)    What is the support offered by Open Grow?

We know that GroLab is a system that some users are not familiar with and therefore we offer a unique technical support. We assist each user in a completely individualized way, offering help in both installation and configuration of GroLab. We also offer through GroPedia.com assistance to anonymous users who do not want to compromise their identity and the safety of their crops.


 

4)    Is it justified GroLab’s price?

The price never fails to amaze growers who already have experience with other growing controllers. It´s not only the most economical controller on the market, but also the quality, functionality and price ratio is the GroLab's own banner. Any grower who knows how to take advantage of GroLab, should be able to amortize it from its first harvest. The goal of Open Grow is to provide access to the latest technology and methods of cultivation of the 21st century to all types of growers for both best price, ease of installation, configuration and control.


 

5)    Is it difficult to install GroLab? Who can help me?

GroLab has been specifically designed to be easy and intuitive both in its installation and configuration. Thanks to the video tutorials, the majority of users have demonstrated to be able to put it into operation in half an hour without need of support. However, if you have doubts and need support you are lucky because GroPedia.com it´s our anonymous social network with which you will receive all the help you need from our technical support team and also from other users that will be happy to offer you the best tips to squeeze the potential out of GroLab.


 

6)    Does GroLab stand alone?

Although it may not seem like it, GroNode (the brain) is a powerful computer that supports the management of up to 16 modules. He communicates with them receiving information and also issuing orders. It is the only controller on the market capable of recording hundreds of user instructions and storing hundreds of thousands of data to query charts about the state of the crop and its sensors. Therefore, it will not be necessary to have a computer connected 24 hours to GroLab to keep it working.


 

7)    But, is GroLab for small, medium or very large grows?

Size does not matter! The magic of GroLab is precisely in its ability to scale and adapt to any type of environment, whether it is a small and improvised crop or an industrial one. No matter how many lamps you want to turn on or how many plants you need to irrigate. GroLab is a universal controller and as such should be intelligently used to improve the potential of each electrical outlet and sensor. If you have doubts, there is nothing like asking to find out that GroLab can do it.


 

8)    Which modules do I need for my grow?

We will always start from Starter Kit as you have the basics to get started. Only one brain (GroNode) is needed, with which we will control up to 4 modules of each type. This kit includes a PowerBot with which we can automate the basic elements of the crop (Lighting, temperature, humidity and irrigation). The first thing to think about when choosing extra modules is the needs of the crop. Electrical elements we need to control and groups of plants or number of grows we have. This will give us an idea on how many extra PowerBots we'll need. Finally, SoilBot and TankBot will offer us advanced control capabilities to improve irrigation management, automate water tanks and create special safety systems. If you are not sure what you need, at Open Grow we advise you.


 

9)    How much power can I control with PowerBot?

The limit that supports PowerBot is 2300W, that does not mean that a single module is not able to control hundreds of lamps distributed in up to four independent areas. The secret is to channel all the energy properly through electrical contactors that will provide all that power. PowerBot will simply be in charge of activating the contactor managing all that energy without problems.


 

10)    Do I need to have GroLab connected to the internet? Can I trust it?

Although GroNode (the brain) needs to be connected to a Router to access from a PC using the Software, it does not mean that Router must be connected to the internet. On the other hand, that the Router has an internet line will offer you the possibility of receiving both e-mail notifications of the status of your grow and the possibility to connect remotely to GroNode with the software. Regarding security, think that GroNode is no different than your Smartphone. It is a small computer that manages ones and zeros. There is no compromised information in GroLab that could jeopardize your safety or identify the type of plants you are growing. With respect to security, in Open Grow we take it very seriously and for this reason, there are several layers that prevent access to your system without proper identification. In addition to that, all the notices GroNode sends via email, they go through a private server bouncing to your email. This means that the IP identification of the mail cannot be linked to the location of your crop.


 

11)    What is the distance between modules?

It is necessary to start from the fact that GroNode is the main module and it must be in constant communication with the other modules. A loss of communication at a bad time could be dangerous. In Open Grow we recommend that the modules are always at a safe distance. And what is a safe distance? The modules communicate by radio frequency, which means that like a Wi-Fi signal, it can be compromised by electromagnetic interference, noise caused by other radio frequencies or even walls or obstacles blocking the signal. To ensure a safe distance, it is advisable to turn on each module near GroNode and go away from it. From the software you will be able to perform communication tests and receive warnings every time GroNode loses communication with a module. If this happens do not think about it, bring your GroNode closer to the modules or vice versa. Below there is a tip to keep your GroNode near the other modules without losing your connection to the Router.


 

12)    How can I connect to GroNode if a network cable does not reach the growing Area?

A good wifi signal repeater with Ethernet connector will solve this problem. Place your GroNode close to your crop to ensure good communication between modules. Then configure your Wi-Fi signal repeater to connect to your router. Finally connects GroNode to the signal repeater. If you are not interested in having GroNode connected to the Internet because you are concerned about security and you do not mind not getting real time notifications, then you only have to put a Router without internet connection in your cultivation area and connect with GroLab through your Wi-Fi signal.


 

13)    How is it to control independent grows and areas?

Every grow and grower is a world. There are those who mix species, large with small ones, some plants that absorb more water than others, and growers who have all plants separated in different isolated rooms and even by growing states. This is a handicap for many controllers since control can become tremendously complex and chaotic. GroLab completely solves this problem by separating each peripheral, sensor and module by Area and Grow. This allows you to completely forget the installation by providing a quick and easy navigation from the Software’s Overview.


 

14)    If I grow in soil / hydroponics, is it logical to have both SoilBot and TankBot modules?

Although it seems that SoilBot is for soil and TankBot for hydroponics, that is not so. SoilBot monitors substrate’s moisture regardless of whether it is soil, rock wool, coconut, or a recurrent dipping of roots in water. The important thing is to be sure that the roots have the moisture rate they need. This will also offer you security as it will allow you to create protocols against droughts and floods. On the other hand, TankBot offers a complete support for water tanks (PH, EC, temperature, levels, recycling, etc ...). The correct thing is always to irrigate your plants with the water of the tank so you can control in detail what your plants drink regardless of the substrate you use. On the other hand, TankBot offers the possibility of irrigate independently various groups of plants with a single water pump using solenoid valves that direct the flow to one group or another. Finally, you can create with this module special safety systems that could protect your crop and even your home from a misfortune.


 

15)    Where can I buy EC sensor and TankBot compatible items?

TankBot is compatible with all EC and PH sensors with BNC connector 1.4 Ø12mm as well as 12v actuators and switch type sensors. You can always buy this sensors from us, or with a quick search on ebay you can find a good selection of sensors and probes.


 

16)    What platforms does the GroLab software support?

Currently GroLab only supports from Windows 7 to higher versions. We are working on a multiplatform application compatible with Android and iOS. A first version of this APP will be available by mid-2017 for all GroLab users.