The DRO-Matic OS has been built to automate nearly every aspect of hydroponic farming for you! From nutrient dosing to pH / EC drift fixing, feeding types to draining, top-offs and even timers; we have quantified everything you need to automate successful crops.
Users create, configure and share what are called "crops" by interfacing with an LCD screen and external MicroSD card. A single DRO-Matic crop disk size (SD card) can vary, but in very extreme crop configurations (10 channels, 100 weeks of dosing sessions per channel) were found to be just under 5MB. The OS has also been built to scale to nearly any size farm; so, have no fear if you are considering using this for a large-scale farm or a small personal garden.
Why do we need this?
Before diving into the OS configuration, let's ask ourselves why this even exists? It's undoubtedly true across all cultures that agriculture and food growth is not just a necessity, but is also very expensive. Agriculture is not only expensive in amount of land used, but also time spent to get a harvest and even energy burned to obtain consistent quality. While humans can expect another 9 billion people over the next 30 years; we need to seriously address the fact that as of today 90% of all farmable land is currently being used at its max capacity.
The technology to solve feeding 9 billion people is available and also removes the costly impacts of large soil based farms, it’s called vertical hydroponic farming. Vertical farms save vital land usage by summing farms up into much smaller (stackable) areas. Vertical gardens save time/money at food production because it's quicker to achieve a consistent crop quality ALL YEAR LONG.
However, the down side to vertical farming (or hydroponics in general) is you do have to learn A LOT about nutrients, dosing regimens, regimen drifting, EC/PPM and PH testing etc etc. Because of the large learning curve, we still don't see a lot of traditional farmers make the jump to this more cost-effective solution. So, to answer the question of "Why DRO-Matic"; it all comes down to farmers need a way to simplify the process of hydroponic farming and what better way to do this than to go fully automated.
The DRO-Matic OS is here to take care of all the heavy lifting our of your hydroponic farming needs. The goal is curve all time spent learning and maintaining hydroponic farms by automating nearly every aspect and ultimately bring a much more efficient way of food production option to the world. Please note that this OS is only the OS part of this solution; without the actual DRO-Matic dosing cabinet (not commercially available, must DIY build), this OS makes no sense for you yet. For detailed instructions on how to DIY build your own DRO-Matic cabinet, please visit our hardware requirements page videos.
Th DRO-Matic OS has the ability to fully automate the follow process for you:
- Regimen dosing (full feedings and top off feedings with drifting amounts)
- pH adjusting (both plant and reservoir water sources)
- EC adjusting (plant water source top-offs)
- Irrigation (feeding, draining and topping off)
- Timers (4 120v/10amp power receptacles that can be timed)
Because of the sheer flexibility of the DRO-Matic OS, there is a lot of a screens to configure a single crop. Below is a overview of the available OS features.
- Displays current date / time, and plant water's current PPM/EC levels and current pH level
- Date/Time = Allows you to set the date and time of the DROMatic OS
- EC Calibration = 3 point calibration (Dry, Low, High) for both EC probes.
- pH Calibration = 3 point calibration (Low, Mid, High) for both pH probes.
- Pump Calibration = Calibrate how many milliliters per minute your peristaltic can pumps.
- Pump Delay = Calibrate how long of a delay each dosing pump should take between dosing each solution (allows time to fully mix each solution).
- New Crop = Start a brand new crop project on your SD card
- Load Crop = Load an existing crop project on your SD card
- Delete Crop = Delete the available listed crops on SD card (except for currently loaded crop)
- Reset Crop = Resets crop back to first configured regimen and timer day/week. Does NOT reset crop back to factory settings!!
- EC Range = Sets the desired range of EC you would like your DRO-Matic to maintain for this crop for a given regimen.
- pH Range = Sets the desired range of pH you would like your DRO-Matic to maintain for this crop for a given regimen.
- Number of Regimens = Sets desired number of regimen doses you expect your plant's life cycle to take.
- Prime = Primes a pump line to remove any excess air during first setup.
- Amount = Configure how many milliliters a pump will dose for a given regimen. No need to calculate reservoir volume, OS will do this already.
- Delay = Configure how long of a delay between each pump to prevent nutrient lockout.
- Reservoir Volume = Configure the volume of water your reservoir / plants will be using throughout the life of plants.
- Top-Off Concentrate = Configure the fraction amount of dosing amount top-off water gets.
- Drain Time = Configure how long of a plant water drain time you will need. You can may want to over estimate this.
- Flow Calibration = Configure pulse count per second IN and OUT flow meters are manufactured to send. These numbers are different for per size/manufacturers of flow meters.
- Manual Flush = Utility that allows you to flow either IN and OUT irrigation valvels to do any manual flushing during setup / testing.
- Start End Times = Configure start and end times over a given day of the week, for an infinite amount of configurable weeks.