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  • GC Connect

    The GC-Connect system uses the advanced, stand-alone GROWER’S CHOICE controller (shown at left), linked to a central host computer via a simple twisted-pair communications cable. This network of controllers can be programmed, monitored and adjusted from this central point, or from the controller keypad. The GC-Connect software operates in the user-friendly Windows XP environment, with point-and-click convenience. The host computer also collects and permanently stores historical data for your later use. Check out some of the benefits of this system.

  • BENEFITS

    • Stand-alone ‘smart’ controllers continue to work, even if the host computer is off line.
    • Low initial cost and easy expandability.
    • Local status and control at the controller, and centralized at the host.
    • Archived data for later use in graphs.
    • Easy installation of both the controller & the network.


  • GC-Connect utilizes a Windows-based software program to interface with Grower’s Choice controllers distributed around the greenhouse. These controllers are linked via a simple twisted-pair communications cable. The GC-Connect program, which uses a standard Windows graphical interface with point-and-click usability, collects historical data from each controller, uploads programming changes and displays current zone status. These capabilities are also available right at the controller via the keypad and LCD display.

    GC-Connect uses a state-of-the-art embedded microprocessor system designed for long-term reliable operation in a hostile greenhouse environment. Its architecture is modular, enabling simple and efficient expansion. Central to the design of all modules is their survivability and tolerance to noisy environments. The term “noise” here refers to the effects of lightning, low power voltage, power brownouts, and electrostatic and magnetically induced signals. What this means in practical terms is that your GROWER’S CHOICE should give you many years of precise, trouble-free control of your greenhouse environment.

    The central processor circuit board is the main module of the GC-Connect system. This circuit board contains the embedded processor, memory, real-time clock, six on-board relays, and all logic to interface the user to the processor. This circuit board uses a 4-layer design where the central two layers are power and ground, and the outer two layers are the signal layers. This design allows excellent isolation between the noisy analog circuits of the outside world and the digital circuits internal to the embedded processor. Additionally, opto couplers are used to provide an optical barrier between digital and analog circuits.

    The central processor circuit board couples to the outside world via three additional module types: individual analog modules (up to 8) which allow growth to 8 analog inputs, two 9-channel relay output modules which allow growth from the 6 on-board relay outputs up to 18 additional relay outputs, and communication modules which allow communications to a central host system via twisted pair.

    GC-CONNECT is a state-of-the-art system, designed for ultra reliable operation in the greenhouse environment. Special attention was given in the design to make the unit extremely tolerant to low voltage, power outages, and lightning

    The entire unit is housed in a waterproof fiberglass enclosure. A hinged, clear Plexiglas cover protects the electronics, switches, and keypad, yet allows the user to see the status of the operation at a glance.



    CONTROLLER CABINET

    • 13” x 17” x 7” NEMA 4 White Fiberglass Enclosure
    • Full Viewing Window
    • Hinged Lid
    • Watertight Fittings

    DISPLAY

    • Four Line, 40 Character LCD display with optional backlight

    KEYPAD

    • 20 Character Keypad with tactical feedback for accurate inputs

    POWER

    • Universal 85 to 220 VAC input power supply. Has ± 12 VDC, + 5 VDC and + 5 VDC relay power outputs.

    CLOCK

    • Real-Time Battery Back-up and continuous LCD display embedded processor

    EMBEDDED PROCESSOR

    • State-of-the-art Microprocessor
    • 8k Bytes EEPROM
    • 64k Bytes ROM
    • 10k Bytes SRAM

    ANALOG PRECISION

    • 10 Bit A/D Converter

    COMMUNICATIONS

    • 78,000 BPS Twisted Pair (2 wire)
    • RS 232 modem interface

    ANALOG INPUTS
    INDOOR SENSORS

    • Solid State air temperature with aspirated housing -30° to 225° F
    • Solid State hot water temp with ½ “ NPT S/S Bushing …. -30° to 225° F
    • Solid State soil temperature sensor -30° to 225 ° F
    • Solid State humidity sensor with aspirated housing 0 to 100% RH

    WEATHER STATION SENSORS

    • Solid State outdoor air temperature -30° to +225° F
    • Rain presence sensor Rain/No rain
    • Wind Speed anemometer 0-80 MPH
    • Light sensor – Total irradiance.. 0-1000 W/Meter Squared

    RELAY OUTPUTS
    UP TO TWO 9-RELAY MODULES

    • Each relay rated for 5 amp resistive load
    • Each relay with choice of N.O. or N.C. contacts
    • Option to interlock adjacent relay pairs

    SIX ON-BOARD RELAYS

    • Each relay rated for 1 amp resistive load
    • Each relay with choice & N.O. or N.C. contacts
    • Optional interlock between adjacent relay pairs

    ANALOG OUTPUT

    • One 4-20 mA output for control of proportional device


    • 12 User Definable Heating/Cooling Stages
    • 4 User definable Setpoints per Day
    • Temperature Setpoints
    • Humidity Setpoints
    • Bottom Heat Control
    • Astronomical Adjustment
    • Ramp Times
    • Drive to Setpoint or Step Control
    • Upstage/Downstage Timers
    • Humidification Control
    • Dehumidification – Two Stages
    • Equipment definable
    • Number of minutes per 15 minutes Active
    • Raise Setpoint for Dehumidification
    • Vents Proportional
    • Wind Override
    • Rain Override
    • Curtain Control Timed Operation
    • Control on Light or Scheduled
    • Energy Control
    • Chill Protection
    • Manual Scheduled Overrides on all Output Modules
    • CO2 Control
    • Alarms (Hi and Low Temp)
    • Software Sensor Calibration
    • Display and Control to 1/10th Degree Fahrenheit or Celsius
    • Outside Temperature Overrides
    • Heat valves
    • PID control