Evolution Of A GrowCab-From The School of hard Knocks

MisterPeabody

New Member
When I decided to give indoor another try, It had to meet certain criteria. First and foremost it had to be stealthy. It had to be able to support the full life cycle of a plant through maturity. Knowing very little about cab design, yet being a "jump in with both feet" kinda guy, I settled on a rudimentary set of plans and set out to find the building block of my dreams

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From there I began a search for the perfect cabinet (as if there is such a monster), but it first must at least have the potential. First on the list is the ability to light proof without a huge mess of redesigning. Once I found said cabinet, then began an education such I could never receive in any school or university. This is where I began. Enjoy. :roorrip:

The first order of business is to decide where to locate the main blower. Since the house has a crawlspace, and because of noise, it was decided to put a 170 cfm inline turbine fan in a Rubbermaid tub for sound control. Now to get the 4" return into the cabinet from the crawlspace. I carefully drilled a small pilot hole and adjusted it to be able to get a 4.5" hole through the floor, and have it lined up properly with the lower floor of the cabinet

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Here you can see the hole in the cabinet, the carpet cut out, floor cutout as well as the 4" PVC elbow. The one cord exiting is the power cord for the inline turbine fan. I want to have control of it in the cab, as I plan on wiring in a 5 amp ceiling fan control, allowing me to speed up or slow down the fan from in the cab.

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Time to install the rear 10" passive darkroom register. (I don't have pictures of it, but before deciding to add this in the lower cab, I only had a 6" passive return. The first time firing up the fan, when I went to close the doors, they almost smashed my fingers sucking it shut). I needed still more return.

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Note the 4" T-12's on left and right side of cabinet. Hey! They worked in the 70's!

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This shows the 4" PVC section that will seal the airflow from the 4" PVC 90 located in the floor. From this to 4" flex hose (dryer vent) to be distributed into the cabinet

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Gotta love the hardware store. 2 bucks. and a neat way to prevent losing whatever could fan into a 4" hole and get pulled into a fan

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Here is a photo of what I am using to kill odors. I drilled holes into it, capped the bottom and tied it into the return of the upper cabinet. Indecently, an ONA 1 qt jar will fit PERFECTLY into the 4" PVC. Remove the cap, and the air pulling into the 4" PVC draws MORE than enough ONA to kill even the most stubborn odors

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This view shows how the airflow moves through the cab. It draws in at the right side of the cab, into the upper cab that is light isolated from the lower area. From there it is drawn back to the left side of cabinet and back down to the fan located in the crawlspace

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Here's a view of how the light is vented. This hood was a 250 watt with ballast built in. This was short lived, as the cap start ballast is noisy and creates too much heat.

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A better view of how the light vent ties into the upper cab via a 4" T. This design has worked well and the airflow concept was kept throughout the design/redesign cabinet series, though fined tuned along the way

View of the completed first design cabinet. Looking back, I can see many errors in this design, however through trial and error, I have been able to improve this design considerably, and it has been a fun ride as well as an educational one. Hope you enjoyed! Time for Mr Peabody to sit back and enjoy the fruits of his labor...:51:
 

Caber1

New Member
In a different thread you were talking about starting your seeds in coco coir pucks and then getting rid of the coco coir and just putting the little guys in hydroton.
How hard is it to get them out of the coco coir and when you first put them in the hydroton what do you use to support them?
Also you said you were flooding about 9 times a day every two hours. How has this worked out? Any overwatering problems or is this a schedule that you have always used.

Thanks.
 

MisterPeabody

New Member
In a different thread you were talking about starting your seeds in coco coir pucks and then getting rid of the coco coir and just putting the little guys in hydroton.
How hard is it to get them out of the coco coir and when you first put them in the hydroton what do you use to support them?
Also you said you were flooding about 9 times a day every two hours. How has this worked out? Any overwatering problems or is this a schedule that you have always used.

Thanks.

Once the seeds develop a decent root structure, I pop them out of the propagation tray, and rinse under tap water immediately. The Coco rinses free like sawdust in water. From there they go right into a half filled 6x6 pot. I use the large hydrotron, and probably put the stem a little deeper than I would in soil. Hold with one hand and carefully fill in around it. I've never lost a transplant yet.

As far as the flood time. The hydrotron doesn't hold water very well. I have increased my flood time to every hour, just enough to fill to the overflow, then drain. So as far as OVERWATERING, no problems thus far. Now, if I were using rockwool, I'd probably flood 3 maybe 4 times a day, however rockwool retains a LOT more water than hydrotron. They receive a final watering just before lights out, then not again until lights on.:peace:
 

Caber1

New Member
Sounds about right with the coco coir. Do you leave the covering on or do the roots come back through easily?
What kind of timer do you have that you are able to do 18 waterings a day? All the digital ones that I find usually only have 8 entries.
And you say you don't have to water at night?
My wife is worried they will dry out, but my thinking is that with no light on the hydroton should stay damp enough and if the plants do get thirsty it will force them to expand the roots.
I have been using rockwool, but as you can probably tell I'm looking to get away from it.

Thanks again for your helpl
 

MisterPeabody

New Member
Sounds about right with the coco coir. Do you leave the covering on or do the roots come back through easily?
What kind of timer do you have that you are able to do 18 waterings a day? All the digital ones that I find usually only have 8 entries.
And you say you don't have to water at night?
My wife is worried they will dry out, but my thinking is that with no light on the hydroton should stay damp enough and if the plants do get thirsty it will force them to expand the roots.
I have been using rockwool, but as you can probably tell I'm looking to get away from it.

Thanks again for your helpl

I'm not sure what "covering" your talking about. When I remove seedling from propagation tray and rinse the coco coir from the roots, they go (only the rinsed clean roots) directly into ph adjusted hydrotron. I've yet to lose one.

Far as the timer, it's an MDT-1 and is actually two timers in one. One side of it handles lighting functions (2 event, on and off) and the other side handles my pump timing. Besides however many minutes are in a day, I can set it for whatever from a minute to a day and how ever many intervals I need. It is a repeat cycle timer, unlike the one that controls lighting. Here's a photo of the unit. Peace

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Caber1

New Member
That is a nice looking timer. Must be a pretty penny for one.

As far as the coco coir goes I buy mine in small puck form and they are covered by a red burlap like material and when you add water the pucks expand and of course the outer material helps to keep the coco coir from being washed away.
How do you buy your coco coir?
 

MisterPeabody

New Member
That is a nice looking timer. Must be a pretty penny for one.

As far as the coco coir goes I buy mine in small puck form and they are covered by a red burlap like material and when you add water the pucks expand and of course the outer material helps to keep the coco coir from being washed away.
How do you buy your coco coir?

I have a client that operates a hydro store, so I'm fortunate to get stuff at wholesale. I think it probably retails around 2 bills with tax and title.

The coco I use comes compressed. It's about the diameter of an Alka-Selter and twice as thick. I put one in a propagation tray, and water with ph balanced water and .5 ml (half strength) H&G Root Excellerator per gallon. It swells up bigtime. I plant seed. The roots hold it together, but as soon as it hits running water you are holding a naked plant with naked roots. In other words there is no net or material. :peace:
 

vspec

New Member
sweet, definitely got questions, however i'll read all your content as its a work in progress.
 

MisterPeabody

New Member
sweet, definitely got questions, however i'll read all your content as its a work in progress.

You are right. It's a work in progress alright...but that's the fun of it. You've sure ask some great questions. I like people who think outside the box. I'm just waiting for YOU to post a project. I'm betting it would be an interesting read. Cheers:popcorn:
 

vspec

New Member
Ive already got a project on the boards. My power cube.

Actually truth be known, Ive got 4 major projects on the go at the moment, 2 fish related, 1 frog/vivarium related & the Cube - all of which have almost stalled.

My interest was hit quite hard when the financial crisis hit, & haven't managed to bounce back into normality just yet. Hopefully not to much longer, but that phrase is getting old real quick i tell ya!
 

MisterPeabody

New Member
Man, I understand your plight. Since this Wall Street debacle, even after our newly elected king, messiah, shill, whatever you want to call him assured Americans they were in "good hands". Yea. OK. We might as well be ruled by Kim Jong Ill. I'm feel for ya, as over the last two years we have really taken a hit, and this year thus far is going to prove to be a doozy. I'm thankful my homegrown pain meds tend to give me a euphoric feeling, and everything seems to get better-if only for a moment in time.

BTW, how is the cube doing for you? I tried one, with no luck. I hope yours is better than mine.

Peace
 

vspec

New Member
aww Seclet weapons of west destruction

Haha. - Hey, you nailed it, it could be worst!!!

Talking off the books for a sec, the actual gain or lose of $$ never really bothers me, as it doesn't take a genious to realise the world's priority & hence the money within it are all a fallacy.
Problem is every other b@s@ard is so consumed & living that fallacy, effectivly making life unneedlessly harder. Give me the Star Trek [SIZE=-1]Methodology[/SIZE] any old day for the week. No money, pick a career & all work together to better humanity.

wow, for someone that doesn't smoke, i sure sound like i do..lol

Anyways, bud, your creative as hell, how is it your own power unit failed?

Yeah, for me, everything is going exactly how i imagined it would in my head. Ive opted to let a sparkie actualy connect everything under my dirrection, however thats more on the safety front - namely, "My own"

Im about 70% complete, so when extra time & funds become availible, i'll complete it.
 
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