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Micro-grow noob ideas, doubts & progress

onlinesponge

New Member
Hi all from Spain! After some time researching about DIY microgrowing i decided to give it a try, and since many threads in this forum already helped me with a lot of questions coming to my mind, i consider this can be the best place to, hopefuly, get some extra help and get the thing working ;) cause even being an online sponge (use to find any answer by my own), i still find questions and im completely noob on indoor growing and all this amazing DIY growing stuff.

My first attemp some weeks ago was with an old Pc, wich is almost finished (missing bulb sockets and electrical connections), but then i tried to get a bigger pc box for free (unsuccessfuly) and now i just got my hands on an old kitchen "wardrobe" (don´t know the right word for it in english, sorry) and im thinking on using that cabinet as "main room" and the little pc box for seeding, and later, for keeping a "bonsai style" mother plant.

Combined microgrow: standard pc box + kitchen cabinet
  • Main cabinet messures: 56,7cm (H), 41,5cm (W), 28cm (D)
  • Lighting: combined "cold" and "warm" 23W CFL bulbs (not yet decided, probably 3 bulbs)
  • Incoming Airflow: 3x 8cm & 12v pc fans, connected with 5v phone chargers
  • Extraction: 1x 12cm & 12v pc fan connected with 12v charger
  • Odor control: DIY carbon filter attached to the 12cm pc fan
  • Growing medium: soil (probably ALL-MIX, Biobizz) + some humus + some guano
  • Strain: NL5 Haze Mist (GreenHouse)
A quick scheme i did of what i have in mind for this cabinet


Front panel of my pc box (posted just for sharing it and for a more detailed view of the mylar roll i got)


Both pc box and cabinet, the door of the cabinet was temporally removed so i can work easily.


So for now i got just a couple of questions:

1) About the white painting: i read white mate painting is recommended, but mylar too... so, what would you advice me? Should i use some of my mylar (as the one in the pc cabinet, i got plenty of it) or keep this current white painting? ¿What would be more effective/reflective? (For now i pretend to use the mylar, since the paint is a bit old & ugly, but if its better as it is, i won´t)

2) I searched for odorless strains, and i know there is no such 100% odorless strains, but acording to some info i found, it seems NL5 Haze Mist (GH), Durban Poison (Dutch Passion) and Northern Light (Royal Queen) are some of the less stinkiers... im thinking on NL5 Haze Mist, although im reading a lot of bad reports from GreenHouse... any suggestion or experience with it? ¿Maybe another odorless strain im missing?

Im also completely lost on how to connect my bulbs sockets, cause i wanted to use those that can be plugged directly to a power strip, but sadly for me, they are completely forbidden in this country since 2005, i think... anyway im trying to get help with that from a friend... so for now i won´t bother you with all that.

Thanks in advance, sorry for my english, and i´ll try to post more pics as i progress!
 

Robert Celt

New Member
Hello onlinesponge and welcome to :420:

Looks like you have a good start to a nice little setup for your grow :thumb:

As for your first question, its really a matter of preference. Some will say mylar creates "hotspots" but I use it and have had no problems with that.

As for least smelly strains, I can't help you there, I have only grown THC Bomb and Cherry Bomb inside and my sense of smell isn't the greatest LOL

For your lighting, if they have what we refer to as "pig tails" they work good. They are basically an insulated socket with 2 six inch wires used for temporary lighting in construction.
 

onlinesponge

New Member
Hello onlinesponge and welcome to :420:
...

Thanks for your reply and that welcome, TheCelt. :Namaste:

I guess i´ll use that mylar since it has been on the garage for years just waiting for some kind of use ;)

As for the electricity and the bulb sockets... i was thinking on using the ones i had found on a store, that can be screwed to the wall or ceiling, (the one shown in the first image of my initial post) and certainly temporary lighting in construction also offers some interesting options i wasn´t thinking about!

Anyway this morning i went to some of these mega chinese bazaars we got around here and, forbidden or not, they are selling the plugable sockets i initially thought to use.


And even while the quality of the products on those stores is not always the best, im considering using them.
Their blisters say they are approved by the EU safety standards, and that they are meant for bulbs of a max of 60w, and considering im thinking on using 23w bulbs, i suppose i could give them a try just screwing or hanging a good quality power strip on the ceiling, and alternating the direction of these bulbs, left and right...

That power strip would have 6 sockets, 1 for the charger of the 12cm extraction fan and 5 for bulbs, so i can always choose to use 3 or 5 bulbs. Another 3 sockets power strip would be located close to the "front" fans, for their chargers.

To be honest i "suffered" some fire on a room of my home when i was a child, and im an ignorant on all the electrical installations stuff, so i just think the more electrical work i can avoid while keeping some safety, the better xD Pc fans, phone adapters and stuff like that are not problem, but i dont see me doing much more than that in this matter.

About the intake pc fans, i was thinking on just screwing them directly to the wall (as "drawn" on my diagram), but while testing it i have just realized i would be cancelling or greatly limiting their airflow. I guess its obvious, but as i only have the experience of the pc box and there the "walls" were already prepared full of holes, i was just missing it.

Im thinking im gonna use these thingys i got to hang the fans by their holes at some distance from the wall. I guess some fishing line could do the trick.



I guess this way i should open the door of the cabinet everyday to renew the air, but unless im missing something, it´s my first choice...
 

onlinesponge

New Member
Wheels, mylar, holders for the fans and weatherproof box, all in place.


Also i finally found the way to do what i had in mind for the intraction pc fans. Im gonna drill the cover of the weatherproof box so i can fit 3 pass switches inside and turn on/off each fan as needed. All connections will be inside the box and each fan will have its own 1 click switch = fuck yeah! ;)



Now im trying to figure out how to make the smallest, efficient and INTERNAL diy carbon filter. I just want to avoid as many signs that something is been grown in there as possible, so even if i loose some valuable space, i prefer to put it inside. I think i understand it would work better if the air is pushed by the fan inside the filter, instead of the (easier) inverse.

I still haven´t found a big pencil holder as shown in the DIY carbon filter previously linked (no wallmarts here), so im trying to figure out a plan B in case i can´t get one.



This is a "box" of tobacco ready to roll (the one i smoke), the cutted zones would be surrounded by some mosquito net, glued by the inside, then i would fill all the space between both the pencil holder and the mosquito net with the activated carbon.

But im thinking on drilling full of holes both bases, and let the air flow through them too (both separated by some carbon as well), and all this "gadget", would be inside a 12cm pipe, that would only allow the air to go outside, pointing to the big extraction hole i drilled on the cabinet...

(All this would be with a 9cm fan, instead of the 12cm i initially thought to use...)

What do you think of all this?
Any other idea on how to make an efficient carbon filter to be inside the cabinet and occupy as litle space as possible?
 

Faic

New Member
Hmmm. I like what you've got going, but let me point out a couple of things that might be worth considering.
When I set things up, I underestimated space for pretty much everything.

The 5v cell chargers wont' cut it powering 12v fans. You'd be much better off re-tasking the psu that came from the computer case. Or you will need 12v chargers with amp ratings that will accomodate the number of fans you want. I had two fans on a old 12v power block that melted. It melted because I had two .5amp fans on a 12v .5amp power charger. My bad for not reading the fine print.

For smell mitigation you only want passive intake, and active exhaust. Three intake fans will overpower the exhaust fan and you will get smelly air 'pushed' out of every opening possible in addition to the exhaust. Just make holes in the bottom of the pc case and you're good. In the mid tower you don't even really need active exhaust except for green growing odors.

For interior space concerns, I'd consider putting a shoe box on top and putting the scrubber/exhaust in that, not in the grow space. And the fan will work best if it is pulling air through the filter (directly attached to the fan to minimize any cavitation. Since the colored box (it's a anime thing, but it's a "Colored Box" :D) is small as well, I'd still look at a piggyback set up.

For your lighting, I'd point out that your lights should be horizontal, not vertical if you havn't looked into that much beyond space issues. Check out Snugg's setup for what I mean. And they should move, vs moving your plants. If they don't move, the plants will stretch toward it, and in such a small space, that's the last thing you want. With cfl's the useable light falls to nothing about 5inches from the lights per my cheapie meter, so, closer the better.

If you take the 10,000 lumens per sqft as a guide (and I'm not going into the whole lumens vs watts vs whatever...) you'll need 6 23w cfl's to make daylight , so two alternating rows of 3, on a movable frame of some sort is what I'd shoot for. Or 4 bulbs at the very least. For maintaining a mother and clones or seedlings in the mid tower, you can get by with one or two lights.

And most important thing I can think of suggesting, is that you fully understand fimming, topping, LST and scrogging if you want a easier time growing in such a small space. One plant will easily fill out your colored box, and the trick there is to keep the canopy as flat as possible to make the most out of the cfls anemic light (I'm not knocking cfls cause I'm using them, but they are anemic!). It's how you want to do it for sure, but I can say that I personally ate more than my head weighs when I implemented my first grow.
 
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