Autopilot PX1 Digital Lighting Controller Questions & Answers
How do I utilize the PX-1 to create a checkerboard arrangement?
The PX1's dual zones can be used in several configurations based upon the grower's needs. The PX1's dual zones can be used in two independent rooms, or in more elaborate configurations such as checkerboard or alternating rows. To configure in a checkerboard pattern, one would run both zones' RJ trunk lines parallel for each lighting row. The first ballasts in the row would be connected to Zone A's trunk line, the second ballast to Zone B's, the third to Zone A's, the fourth to Zone B's, and so on. The neighboring rows on both sides would be the opposite, with the first ballast being connected to Zone B. This configuration will result in a checkerboard pattern that allows the grower to dim, boost, or turn off every other ballast to suit his/her needs. Additionally, the zones can be alternated by row in certain applications such as greenhouses. Row one would be connected to Zone A, row two would be connected to Zone B, row three would be connected to Zone A, and so on. Additional patterns can be configured utilizing multiple PX1 controllers. Contact your Hydrofarm authorized partner for more details.
Can the PX1 control more than 512 fixtures?
The PX1 is designed and priced with redundancy in mind. If you are running in excess of 500 lights, it would be advisable to have your lighting control divided among several controllers for redundancy.
Does the PX1 controller interface with other Hydrofarm lighting products?
At this time, the PX1 controller is compatible only with the Phantom 40 Series ballasts (PHB4010, PHB4015, PHB4020, and PHB4025). However, there are plans being developed for expanding compatibility to other Hydrofarm ballast models in the future.
Where is the best place for my temperature sensor to be placed?
The best location for the temperature sensor is roughly in the center of the grow area, over the canopy but not too close to the ceiling (where heat can stratify). Shield the probe from direct light exposure for accurate readings.
What is the maximum distance I can place the temperature sensor away from the controller?
A maximum of 75 feet.
Where can I purchase an extension for the temperature sensor?
The temperature probes can be extended with common 3.5 mm audio extension cables.
Should I shield the temperature sensor from direct light?
Yes. If significant radiant heat from your lights is reaching it, this could influence the temperature that it is reporting to the PX1 controller. If possible, position the sensor so that it is in the middle of the room and is shaded from direct light exposure.
Are there different lengths of link cable available?
Not at this time.
Can the PX1 control other auxiliary equipment?
Yes. There are wire connectors for auxiliary equipment on the bottom panel which, when used in conjunction with the optional Autopilot External Equipment Relay (EER1), will allow the connection of one auxiliary appliance per zone. Once properly wired to the EER1, these will allow an auxiliary appliance in each zone to be turned on or off in tandem with the on or off status of the lights in that zone, or to be triggered to turn on by user-defined overtemperature events. For example, an air conditioner wired in to a zone's "On" connector pair would be turned on only when the lights in that zone are turned on, and off when the lights are switched off. Another example scenario would be a dehumidifier wired into the "Off" connector pair of a zone so that it is turned on only when the lights in that zone are powered off by the PX1. Yet another example would be an air conditioner wired to a zone's "Hot" connector pair, which would be turned on if triggered by the temperature probe sensing an extreme temperature in the grow room (which you should have already defined in the settings as the "Stop" temperature that will trigger emergency shutdown). NOTE: The auxiliary connectors use low-voltage (5V) connections. Do not plug 120V trigger cables into the PX1's auxiliary wire connectors.