When I buy a new piece of technical equipment for my home, I want to be able to open it up and get it running, at least the basics, in about 5 or 10 minutes. Any more than that, and I think that I’ve bought an old version of a product. Nowadays technology isn’t just better, it should also be easier to use.

When you buy industrial or research equipment, the setup process is usually much longer. But, if what you’re buying is a computer or software based system, wouldn’t it be great if you could get the core functions running really quickly, say in under an hour? That’s our goal with the AlgaeConnect pond and photobioreactor monitoring system: you should be able to get the basics going in less than an hour for a standard system. Compare that to weeks setting up a turnkey integrated system using commercial PLCs, and even months once you try to go wireless.

So what’s involved in that first time startup with AlgaeConnect? First you plug in the central dashboard computer, the HubBox. That starts straight into the AlgaeConnect software. Then you go to the Setup page, enter a new SPARC wireless control device’s name, and pick your sensors, up to 8 parameters. Plug in the SPARC controller, connect the sensors, and you’re ready to start displaying, graphing, and controlling your pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, nitrate, algae density, and any other parameters.

Now, the easiest way to learn is to see something being done. That’s why we have a YouTube channel  with short one minute videos that show how to do all the most important things like adding control boxes, adding sensors, performing sensor calibrations, seeing and handling the saved data, automating your valves and lights, and others.  We’ll keep adding more to this channel, so feel free to request more content using our Contact page.

All the documentation needed for using and maintaining the sensors, running the software, and connecting remotely to the system is embedded into the software, so you don’t have to track down sheets and information from different sources. It’s a truly integrated monitoring environment.