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Nofene's DIY LED - Easy Bud - Auto - MicroGrow - 2014

nofene

New Member
Welcome everyone to my sort of under construction maybe even a bit rushed microgrow!

Essential information:

Easy Bud auto feminized from Royal Queen Seeds, according to the brochure this hybrid contains 15 percent Sativa, 55 percent Indica and 30 percent Ruderalis. Basicly a White Indica and Ruderalis cross.

She is exactly 17 days old, grown indoor. Out in the room at the moment, which means she has got quite nice airflow around her the window being open next to her, also on sunnier days she can catch up to 5-6 hours of proper sunlight. As soon as she turns flowering though she will be moved to a 60cm x 60cm x 140cm tent.

She is in soil, in a 30cm etrusk style pot, which is (I am only estimating here) 12-15 liters in volume. The mix is straightforward, 50 percent perlite and 50 percent all-purpose compost (contains nutrients).

Now the light is a story of it's own, so I will introduce it properly in one of the coming posts. It is a DIY LED light, which is running on a nominal 33 watts (11 x 3W LEDs). It is drawing about 29-30 Watts from the wall according to the meter. It contains ~620nm, ~660nm, ~740nm, ~452.5nm LEDs, so reds, deep reds, royal blues and a infrared emitters. I really would like to go into some details about the light and process of constructing it, so if you are interested keep watching this space! :)

The temperature is between 24-27 Celsius degrees during the day, goes down to 20-22 Celsius degrees during the night. I haven't a clue about the humidity unfortunately, but it is in the works to get a meter for that, so hopefully when she moves into the tent I will be able to monitor this parameter effectively as well.

She has spent all her life in the same pot (having read at different sources that autoflowers really do not like being transplanted). She is under 18/6 photoperiod, I chose it and I intend to stick with it since she is an autoflowering strain. I am not using soluble nutrients, as mentioned before, the compost that I am using contains nutrients also I plan on feeding through the soil using chicken manure pellets if need be. I water roughly every four days, or whenever the top part of the soil feels dry to the touch.

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I hope I can grow alongside the plant this being my second only grow, I have yet a lot to learn, but I always belived in studying through practices. So, my grow might look like a bit all over the place, for example the light will still get 2 more emitters, at this moment the tent did not arrive yet, not to talk about dealing with the coming smell but I promise it will come together in the next two to three weeks. :)

IMAGES

Day 1 (20th of July)





Day 4 (23rd of July)





Day 11 (30th of July)






Day 17 (Today, 5th of August)











Growspace (5th of August)





Light (33W, 5th of August)





Feedback, input is absolutely welcome! :Namaste:
 

nofene

New Member
Light

Hello again everyone!

You know, what I was after really is just a very small grow that would yield me about an ounce every 2,5-3 months and for that I was looking to get a small,

low-consumption and low-heat light. First I was looking at CFLs but they are really not my cup of tea and to me just not that very appealing. But I got really intrigued by LEDs, I really love the idea of targeting specific wavelengths, there is so much room for experimenting and with todays advanced chips the performance and heat management is at a level where I thought I could venture into a project like this.

First I was looking at commercial products, I couldn't really find anything that would meet my requirements or wasn't a cheap-ass Chinese plastic piece of crap. If I was to buy a 90W UFO light should've just gone with CFLs.

There is one light out there though that has a proven record the Hydrogrow 21X-PRO which is a 36W lights looks really good, but ultimately out of my price-range.

This is where is really started reading upon the topic, and formed a couple of designs. The first was a 21W light although there were flows, it could veg a plant easily, but I wouldn't dream about flowering a plant under 21 Watts. After a few months of playing around, experimenting with wavelengths, lenses, manufacturers, this is what I came up with (and we are getting a bit more technical now):

The first stage of the light consists of nine 3W LEDs, which are being driven at a constant 710mA.

4 x 620-630nm Bridgelux emitters
2 x 660nm Bridgelux emitters
2 x 452.5nm Cree XT-E emitters (I was extremely lucky to put my hands on a bin that is one of the best in emitted light and really close to the range that I wanted to hit.)
1 x 730-740nm emitter

For drivers I am using the most primitive but reliable and finely tuneable MOS-FET driver circuits. Just google "MOS-FET led driver" pops up immediately. These can be really effective is the parts and power supply are chosen carefully.
(For example on this chain 22.6V drop, which means running it from a 24V power supply, in my case 24.4V, on the MOS-FET there is only 1.8V running through at 710mA, so only 1.278W which means the cooling is a piece of cake.)

This one chain is the backbone I vegged on this and it really is working (again, manage expectations, we are not aiming at pound monsters :) ).

The second stage is 2 x 3W 620nm COB LED. Now COBs are extremely efficient so to help flowering along I added these two chips. These are running at 350mA.

(I am aware that in this case I shouldn't be using the MOS-FET driver it's efficiency is poor, but because of the low current again easy to keep it cool.)

The third stage will consist 2 x 3W 3000K COB LEDs, but they are yet to find their way to me through the jungle of many nations post services. This is also to help the flowering of the plant, will be running at 300mA.

I am using a really sturdy very well designed piece of heatsink. It is a pin-fin design, 16cm x 16cm. Height is 47mm, and the base of it is 8mm thick. It manages the heat really easy, it is still just passive cooling, but when the white leds arrive I will put a little fan on top running at maybe 8-9V.

So this is it, a lot of work went into it and it is still not finished but at 90 percent I thought to share it with you.

Pictures coming soon!
 

OnTheMove

Well-Known Member
cool :) im personally no way electronically minded to make that so im going to buy one! good start to the journal :)
everything looks good so far :bravo:
 

nofene

New Member
Some pictures

Right, as promised the light while turned off:



You can notice that the MOS-FETs are glued to the heatsink, for better heat dissipation.

Now a bit more about the plant. I did not mention but the second pair of leaves (the ones with three leaflets) "came out" asymmetric, kind of deformed. With time they straightened out perfectly and they look just fine now, but on of these leaves have a bit of discolouration on them. To me it looks almost like she developed some kind of scar tissue.



Otherwise she is healthy this is how we are looking on day 18:





Her leaves are standing up towards the light soaking in everything she can get her leaves on :)



To me she is looking like a happy plant considering how small the light is.
 

OnTheMove

Well-Known Member
She looks very happy! that 45 degree angle is when they are there most :)
 

OnTheMove

Well-Known Member
Re: Some pictures

reps for you sir :)
 

Hiker

Member of the Month: April 2013
gotta love DIY :thumb:
 

nofene

New Member
09/08/2014 - Day 21

Hey girls and boys,

just a very quick update here. Unfortunately one of the red (620-630nm) LEDs died, shortly after another one. I took a look at the driver's current and unfortunately I wasn't monitoring it right (also changed a couple of things on it), anyways, t was going at 745mA which was enough to kill two of the reds. (I suspect they might not have been Bridgelux emitters, but this is where ebay sometimes takes ya.)

In the place of those two I put Cree XT-E Warm White (3000K-3500K) emitters. There are still two COB 3W warm white LEDs to come and go on the heatsink, giving a total final 39W.

That is the nominal wattage though, but I took a couple of measurements what is the actual real wattage:

1st chain: (2 Red, 2 Warm White, 2 Deep Red, 2 Royal Blue, 1 Infrared)
23.5V x 0.71A = 16.685W

2nd chain: (2 COB Reds)
12.3V x 0.35A = 4.305W

Total: 20.99W

It draws a steady 30W from the outlet, 2.4W goes on the power supply, oh and there is a 60mm x 60mm fractal design fan on the top running at 10V it is silent, unnoticeable and it leaves the heatsink really cool. At first I wanted the light to be passive cooled, but it is better this way. Anyways about 2W goes on that, and the rest is my LED drivers. Could a bit more efficient but I think it is absolutely acceptable.



Even better news, we are preflowering! :D



Just in the last couple of days, she grew quite a lot even judging by the eye. The stem is getting thicker the canopy larger. Brilliant :)



Oh yes the grow tent arrives on Monday, according to the DPD. :)
 

OnTheMove

Well-Known Member
cool man :) thats very cool
 

nofene

New Member
Thanks OnTheMove and Hiker for the reps, and for coming along the ride! :Namaste:


Update, Day 25 - 13th of August

So the tent arrived, we moved in, unfortunately this is where an accident did happen. The light didn't fell on the plant fully, but it dropped down thankfully it stopped before breaking the plant, just hit the top 2 centimetres a bit. Nothing broke, and she recovered quickly, standing tall and straight but I reckon it stunned the growth a little bit. There is no proper flowering yet no sign on the aptical bud, but where were 2 white hairs now there's four, so she is turning to flowering. At least I think or hope :)
I am using more and more water each watering, but still it is enough to do it every 3-4 days. (Btw. I am using tap-water after let it stand for about 24 hours in an open container so the chloride would disappear.

In spite of the stress she had in the last couple of days she is gaining really nicely, bushing up.

There are now two lights in but only the designated one covers her really, the other one is for a Hungarian strain of green peppers (in the smaller pots), plus the missus' fun experiment with strawberries from seed (Alpine variety, I believe they are actually from Switzerland ;))

Apologies for the cables running around and it is looking quite ghetto but as soon as all the emitters are on the lights plus the lenses and has been tested thoroughly I will solder up a proper board so it wouldn't look like this (plus now I have to move either the plants or he boards out if watering...).





Strawberry seedlings, around 10 days old.



Next job, proper ventilation, finishing touches on the lights.

Oh and some of the leaves are curling a little but upwards at the edges, it only affect the top 2-3 set of leaves the fan leaves underneath them are just flat, it might be temperature problems (it is crazy sheit weather outside), the temperature in the tent remains around 20-22 Celsius all day and night.

Peace!
 

nofene

New Member
Since never in my life have I gotten to this stage I am not sure, but can we say that she is flowering?

Baboj_Day25_5_Aug13.jpg


Thanks!
 

nofene

New Member
Day 37 - 25th of August

Hi everyone,

unfortunately I was bedridden for a couple of days due to health reasons, anyways I did not have much to do around the grow. She got a good 75 grams of chicken manure pellets, over three waterings, from day 28 to day 35.

She is around 40cm in height flowering beautifully, it looks like I am going to have a nice little harvest in a couple of weeks.

Just two pictures this time:


Smell is basically non-existent so I did not really bother with filters, but we will see how the proper budding will affect it. Oh yes we lost a couple of fan leaves from the bottom, but they basically did not get any light and were going yellow. After removing them to me it looked like the whole plant just started to grow even more vigorously. There is not much to do now, since it is an autoflowering plant, I am not going to feed it more, I am thinking of a DIY CO2 bottle of some kind, can someone give me some advice on that? I am a little bit concerned I am not sure how much yeast to use, I do not want to suffocate the people in the flat :D

:Namaste:
 

nofene

New Member
Hello my lonely little journal ;)

So it is Day 39, the 27th of August. To me it looked like she slowed down a bit in the last one weeks, but then again the lights weren't exactly ready and in place until a couple of days ago. But since then no stress nice routine of two-daily waterings.
So in return she just started to shoot pistils like mad, and my biggest fear about the size of light and its shallow penetration disappeared. And that is because even the lower bud-sites are filling up with pistils. There are only to unusable side branches, the ones coming from the very bottom. She is about 50 centimetres tall now looking good.

I had to use a little cord to tie her to the rim of the pot, she was starting to lean one side. Also I believe I will have to use something to support the branches.

Let the pictures commence!

 

nofene

New Member
Hi everyone,

quick update. She is still stretching quite a bit, about 60 centimetres tall now. Pistils shooting everywhere, and small crystals starting to form around the bud sites on the little sugarleaves. Most of them look like just popcorn nuggets, we'll see if they start to fill up.

Picture time!

 

nofene

New Member
Thanks for the kind words, appreciate them!

Day 54 - 11th of Sept

Hello everyone again,

a bit bigger update since I haven't been around in the last week or so.

Because of some electrical issues I redesigned the light and updated it a little, I think it hits better wavelengths now. I know the plant probably isn't too happy about me experimenting around but this is why I started this grow. Anyways the performance (33W) is the same I am using now 4x660nm, 2x630nm, 3x610-630nm (I had these kind of lying around), 1x730nm, 2x452,5nm Cree XTE, 2x3000K Cree XTE LEDs.




In the last two days the growth was really spectacular compared to earlier stages of the flowering. She really started packing on some weight now, the trichs are getting bigger now one can see the little round heads developing, getting bigger. Unfortunately, the lower branches and budsites don't look too promising, but oh well, hopefully I will still hit the 10grams mark. (My aim was 15grams, around 0.5grams per watt considering the it's an experimental grow with a small light.)

Unfortunately some spotting appeared on some of the higher fan leaves, it is worrying me a bit. I sprayed her a bit around with water the other day, that was the problem, but I don't know if it is serious or can I relax, any ideas?


The smell is quite citrusy but surprisingly little, when the tent is closed basically you can't feel it. The buds and sugarleaves are incredibly resiny, just touch them a little your fingers are glued together.

Pictures:


I tried to take some hi(gher)-res pictures with my phone so you can see the trichs, this is how they turned out


Thanks for reading/viewing!
 

Kneezykush

New Member
Great journal man, those buds look dank. For a strain thats supposed to be 55% indica and only 15% sativa the buds came out very popcorny.
As for the spots, sounds like light burn, move your light up a bit if you can and see how that goes, the light should still penetrate just as far.
Thinking of building my own LED light. How do you rate your design? Do you think a couple more LEDs would have been worth your while or do you reckon you were on the money?
 

nofene

New Member
Hey guys,

sorry for not keeping up with a journal but that's how it is. Anyways I wanted to finish this one up properly, so here come a couple of assorted pictures from the last two months of the plant:



In the end she had 20grams of dry buds (it could have been 25 grams but I sacrificed some of the buds for cannabutter) and I made 150grams of good quality cannabutter from the cuttings and some buds.
It turns out she only had calcium deficiency but I really couldn't spot it from the diagrams and pics that are going round here but a printed leaflet helped me spot it right away.
I think considering the injuries and accidents she had to fight through and the lack of experience on my side, she really did perform well. Also in hindsight I should have let her go for another week. But I learnt loads from my first grow that was successful!

The light preformed pretty well and I believe even a 30W LED could be enough to flower 1 smallish plant. However I already made another 54W design which already has a strain flowering under it. The journal about that is just round the corner going up tomorrow.

The smoke was actually quite nice, not at all strong (I would have been surprised if it was more than 10-11% THC) but it gave a really nice body buzz. It did not mess with my head in any way just a good relaxing smoke. Nice kind of earthy, a bit of sweetness coming through the taste, it is really sweet with a background of "dankness" on the nose.

For a first grow it is a nice little plant, very very strong and resilient.
 

David Bowman

New Member
Hope all is well in your world.

Thanks for sharing your grow with us.

Please head over to the 420 Strain Reviews forum and post your smoke report there too.

I’m moving this to Completed Journals now.

Have you started a new grow you would like to share with us?

If so, please feel free to start a new journal here: Journals in Progress

You can use the Report Post
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feature found at the bottom left of every post and we'll move it for you right away.

Sending you lots of love and positive energy.

:Namaste:
 
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