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The Happy Cola Company's Official Ground Up Medical Cannabis Grow Op

The Happy One

Well-Known Member
Yesterday evening the new LED veg lights came in from Atreum Lighting, and this morning I went to work with a game plan for hanging them above the Veg ll tables. I wanted them adjustable but not swinging around like a swing set when being moved so a stationary design was in order.
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Mike from Atreum told me these new 144.2 LED boards are based upon the tried and true Samsung LM-301b led chips, except unlike the 288.2 boards in the GR=1 flower room, these are 4k boards, giving a better spectrum for vegging and don't even require a heatsink. The jury is out on that one, but I'll run her through a series a hard tests. I'm curious to see what the temp on the aluminum backing runs at full operational temps.
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I REALLY dig the new board connections. The connection is SO much better, and looks a lot easier to wire. I didn't receive the connector kit yet-It's due in Monday, but it looks about as plug and play for a DIY kit I've yet seen.

Our Veg ll tables are right at 75 inches long and 30 inches wide with each table holding a dozen plants in 5 gallon buckets. For a 400 canopy PAR, Atreum figured three of the 144.2 4k boards running at 48 volts and driven by one Meanwell 185 driver in what looks to be wired for a parallel board configuration.

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One mistake I've seen HLG do is securing the driver to the heatsink for the LED's. Seems a bad way to pick up heat, and isolating those two components just makes sense. An air pocket between the two sure cant hurt.

The boards are right at 10.5"x10.5" and weigh very little so I opted to build the frame from 14 gauge 1/2" angle and spaced the lighting footprint equally across the table. I used 14 gauge 1x1 square tubing for the vertical supports and used slightly larger square tubing for the pocket and the adjustment sleeve. I welded a few 3/8" nuts to allow locking down the lights after height adjustment
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The most exciting part of these lights, is the entire lighting above the 14 tables totals only 2590 watts! Not too shabby for driving 168 plants to the brink of flower...:ganjamon:
 

Backlipslide

Member of the Month: Mar 2020 - Plant of the Month: Feb 2020 - Nug of the Month: Feb 2020
It took a while, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading every page of that. Thank you for taking the extra time it takes to documenting everything. What a great read!! :popcorn:

I’ve got a few questions. For the drywall used, are you using “green board”? (Aqua board, which is mold resistant)
I would feel if your spending the money on this large of a project, you might as well protect your investments by spending a lil bit extra money on drywall, for the reassurance in your mind, you know that your eliminating a possible occurrence.

Second question, I know your gearing your self up for a hydro setup. Would you ever consider having one room for growing in soil? Or with the regulations you need to follow with your cultivation license, does it tell you, you have to grow in a certain method? (Hydro, coco, LOS, I.e)

I really like your fabrication skills. You set your mind to it, and do it. I’m impressed with it all, really! I love the long tables you built to slide one way or the other. It’s very inspiring to me, and I’m sure a lot of others. You were disappointed in the yellow paint, but it ended up looking really nice!

Keep up the hard work, keep up, on the updates, I’m rather enjoying this journal.:popcorn:

Just a few people off the top of my head, @Dkmg01 @780grow @Pbass dive into this journal guys, you’ll enjoy this one!
 

Chief Stickyfingers

Active Member
Today is day of celebration! I've spent over two weeks building a solution that was preventing us from being able to turn the lights up and flip into flower. Tonight, I removed the one ton chiller and installed my homemade 4 ton chiller I've dubbed "The Happy Chill", and it's earned it's name!
What began life as a used builders-grade 4 ton condenser, added some metal and some used hvac boneyard parts, and shazam! Problem solved! Not only has the problem been solved, but it's done so where I'll be able to add another flower room, if not two of them into this solution!
I can literally dial in reservoir temps, and the unit runtime has gone from 24/7 to maybe 10 minutes of runtime with a good 20 minutes before coming back on. THAT is a buffer my friends!
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In the time it took me to dial the system charge in, it had brought the 175 gallon reservoir down from 68 deg to 60 deg. This was before I turned GR1 chiller loop back on. Once I turned it on and began cooling down the 4 reservoirs I began picking up tools and cleaning up my mess, and before I knew it, the 175 gallon reservoir was into the high 50's!
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At that point, and since it's NEVER been that low, I thought I better check the temps in GR1's reservoirs. They had gotten to around 73 degrees while doing the swap out, and I had turned all lights off except the ones we call "overcast lighting" which is just enough to keep the light cycle happy.
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BAM! She's never read that low! Digging this guys!
So I went about putting my tools up, checking the outdoor unit, ect.
Then, I thought I'd check the reservoirs again.
20200222_191943.jpg


Whoa! That's getting TOO cool. No way, right?
Indeed. Being able to dial in a parameter as important as root temperature is second to none.
This also puts me where I needed to be....a step above the majority of the competition. Being able to truly control all parameters of a grow is pretty spiffy, to say the least.
Being able to react to changes "on the fly" gives us an edge I LOT of other growers simply don't have.
In closing tonight, being in the hvac industry has sent me to a handful of Oklahoma commercial grows dealing with heat and cool issues, and I have to brag a little.
They ain't got sh*t on me.....
My Hope's and dreams are to provide medicine to Oklahoma patients that is the most pure, undiluted and pesticide free medication available on the market, and to be able to do so in a consistent manner.
Now, finally this thread can move onto what it's really all about-your passion and mine....
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Now, it's time for The Happy One to do something he seldom does....
I'm treating myself to a large Redneck Ice Tea! I've f'ing earned it!
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Damn, not only a good trichome spotter, you can see the water goin threw the stem..i need a set of them ,do they come tinted?
 

The Happy One

Well-Known Member
Damn, not only a good trichome spotter, you can see the water goin threw the stem..i need a set of them ,do they come tinted?
I had a rather pricey Zircon-Encrusted tinted pair I got from Frank Zappa back in the 70's, but I kept running into walls thinking the wall textures were large milky looking trichomes...:ganjamon:
 

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Backlipslide

Member of the Month: Mar 2020 - Plant of the Month: Feb 2020 - Nug of the Month: Feb 2020
Today's post involves an opinion pole. There's no perfect right or wrong answer until all the variables are dialed in anyway, and your opinion MATTERS.
I look forward to reading the results. OK. Here we go....

What's YOUR canopy PAR desire (or requirement) in the veg cycle?
Let R Rip boys and girls:slide:
Wish I could answer that for you. I necessarily don’t have one. I get what my light puts off. I dint have a par metre so I have never checked either.
 

The Happy One

Well-Known Member
It took a while, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading every page of that. Thank you for taking the extra time it takes to documenting everything. What a great read!! :popcorn:

I’ve got a few questions. For the drywall used, are you using “green board”? (Aqua board, which is mold resistant)
I would feel if your spending the money on this large of a project, you might as well protect your investments by spending a lil bit extra money on drywall, for the reassurance in your mind, you know that your eliminating a possible occurrence.

Second question, I know your gearing your self up for a hydro setup. Would you ever consider having one room for growing in soil? Or with the regulations you need to follow with your cultivation license, does it tell you, you have to grow in a certain method? (Hydro, coco, LOS, I.e)

I really like your fabrication skills. You set your mind to it, and do it. I’m impressed with it all, really! I love the long tables you built to slide one way or the other. It’s very inspiring to me, and I’m sure a lot of others. You were disappointed in the yellow paint, but it ended up looking really nice!

Keep up the hard work, keep up, on the updates, I’m rather enjoying this journal.:popcorn:

Just a few people off the top of my head, @Dkmg01 @780grow @Pbass dive into this journal guys, you’ll enjoy this one!
I'm not sure if we used the greenboard. I do know everything received a few coats of Kilz with several moisture barriers between the outside wall and two stages of insulation. The Veg room still needs treated though.
On the hydro question, we've been growing hydro for a great many years. When I grew outdoors in the 70's, I used cow manure and dead fish tossing them in a hole I dug. Grew some pretty nice plants for "bag seed"...
I started hydo in 1978 using 3' PVC toilet pipe weaving back and forth through the room on a slight incline. They call NFT these days. Back then all I knew was I could grow baseball bats out of 12 oz plastic Dixie cups using rockwool mixed with....wait for it.... gravel. I didn't have to worry about critters or folks getting to my medicine any more. :ganjamon:
On the licensing thing it doesn't matter what you grow in provided the lab tests come clean far as I know. Truth told, we might be one of the few around here who do grow commercially using a true hydroponics system.
Down the road I may consider growing in a different media, but for now, having the kind of control we have over our plants and ability to react on the fly to needs and changes makes the additional cost associated with growing worthwhile. At least for now anyway.
Thanks for the kind words on the fabbing. Whatever it takes is my motto, and when your a poor country boy like me you look around the junkpile for what can be made TO work.
The tables have really worked out well, though they were a lot of work to build that many of them. I dread the next room. The cost materials wise was around .33 on the dollar over buying them and they are built quite a bit heavier than store bought units.
 

Backlipslide

Member of the Month: Mar 2020 - Plant of the Month: Feb 2020 - Nug of the Month: Feb 2020
I'm not sure if we used the greenboard. I do know everything received a few coats of Kilz with several moisture barriers between the outside wall and two stages of insulation. The Veg room still needs treated though.
On the hydro question, we've been growing hydro for a great many years. When I grew outdoors in the 70's, I used cow manure and dead fish tossing them in a hole I dug. Grew some pretty nice plants for "bag seed"...
I started hydo in 1978 using 3' PVC toilet pipe weaving back and forth through the room on a slight incline. They call NFT these days. Back then all I knew was I could grow baseball bats out of 12 oz plastic Dixie cups using rockwool mixed with....wait for it.... gravel. I didn't have to worry about critters or folks getting to my medicine any more. :ganjamon:
On the licensing thing it doesn't matter what you grow in provided the lab tests come clean far as I know. Truth told, we might be one of the few around here who do grow commercially using a true hydroponics system.
Down the road I may consider growing in a different media, but for now, having the kind of control we have over our plants and ability to react on the fly to needs and changes makes the additional cost associated with growing worthwhile. At least for now anyway.
Thanks for the kind words on the fabbing. Whatever it takes is my motto, and when your a poor country boy like me you look around the junkpile for what can be made TO work.
The tables have really worked out well, though they were a lot of work to build that many of them. I dread the next room. The cost materials wise was around .33 on the dollar over buying them and they are built quite a bit heavier than store bought units.
For the next floor, it might not hurt spending the extra couple cents a square foot for aqua board. The kilz will definitely help, but I’ve saw some nasty drywall in much drier conditions then your grow room before. Thought I’d throw it by ya!

I remember reading you started your plants that way back in the 70’s it would be interesting to see what kind of a difference in product the soil grows would do compared to hydro. In that quantity of a six of grow, it would be neat to see.

I’m very intrigued in your story!! Keep it coming!

@greenjeans you would get a kick out of this journal!! If you have the time, you’d love this one!
 

Chief Stickyfingers

Active Member
I currently have cheap ass blurples,:( but, i do get 310w from the wall, i am currently looking to improve to a quantum. During the research somewhere i think i read its around 400 to 450 veg and 600+ for flower ,dont quotte me on that.. i smoked Alot and feel aslept reading too..remember OCD.this is also my first indoor grow and i would like to know everyones thinking on this too.. for all stages of growth? also i do not have a par meter, who makes a decent one with a average cost. thinking of going with Spiderfarmer sp4000 light or DIY my own.
 

The Happy One

Well-Known Member
I currently have cheap ass blurples,:( but, i do get 310w from the wall, i am currently looking to improve to a quantum. During the research somewhere i think i read its around 400 to 450 veg and 600+ for flower ,dont quotte me on that.. i smoked Alot and feel aslept reading too..remember OCD.this is also my first indoor grow and i would like to know everyones thinking on this too.. for all stages of growth? also i do not have a par meter, who makes a decent one with a average cost. thinking of going with Spiderfarmer sp4000 light or DIY my own.
Your right on with your lighting requirements IMO. A 400 PAR canopy in veg will give your ladies with all they need to get ready for flowering. In flowering, without Co2, a good 600 PAR will grow some nice beasties. Once you get close to or over 1000 PAR, you can overdrive the gals by bringing up the Co2 levels to around 3 times our current atmosphere.
On the PAR meter, here's my opinion. They aren't cheap and the cheap ones aren't good.
Case in point: I'm on my 3rd Hydrofarm PAR meter. If you do get one, handle it with EXTREME care! Where the coiled wiring goes into both the meter itself and the reader eye allows that wire to move around a little on the inside of the plastic case. Tiny wires with a tiny PCB board, and the solder joints break.
So....if you DO go this route (cheapest PAR meter by at least 300 bucks) take superglue and glue a bead around the wiring where it goes into the plastic on BOTH ends.
Otherwise, lay down 400-500 buckaroos on an Apogee.... :hmmmm:
 

The Happy One

Well-Known Member
I promised a review on our new Veg ll table lighting, and here it is. First up, the first prototype I built I used 1/2" angle. Though the boards are light and there are only three of them, once I spanned the length of the table I ended up with a somewhat droopy center, something that drives a nutcase like me crazy, so with my newfound learned wisdom I took another shot at it, this time using a piece of uni-strut I had laying around.

First up, I needed a carrier for the 10.5"x10.5" boards, and infinite adjustment appeals to me and the uni-strut can allow just that.
20200403_183042.jpg


I used some scrap 1x1 and 1/2" angle for the board mounts. I made three of them

20200403_183036.jpg


I'll mount them to the uni-strut using these
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Once they lock into the rails, it allows easy movement for perfect board spacing.
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No more sag and perfect spacing ability. The driver mounts to the top of the uni-strut with a few self tapping screws.

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Now onto the fun part. Testing. When I spoke with Mike at Atreum Lighting about our specific needs for these veg tables, he came up with an idea specific to our tables to achieve my veg canopy bucket list of a good 400 PAR while keeping the goal of practical lighting with the primary goal divided between two mandates.
1. Cost of equipment + lifespan
2. Cost of operation compared to conventional lighting be it T5 or HPS (because it's all we currently have)
Here's a comparative. In the south end of the veg room we have 8 tables, each with 12 plants in final veg. Currently, we have 8 1000 watt digital ballasts covering these 8 tables with all the ballasts set to 50% of rated capacity. If this is fairly accurate, these leaves me with 4000 watts over 96 plants in final veg giving us a pretty even PAR canopy across the plants in the 400 to 500 PAR rating. This is with the lights up pretty high toward the 10' ceiling. That ends up using around 4 kw per hr of use, and we are 18/6 in this room.
Electrical draw for the three 144.2 boards per table is rated at @ 48 volts and 185 watts at the plug with the actual being right at 190 watts at the plug. I'll use the 190 watts because it's simply more accurate. With 8 tables of 96 plants under Atreum's design is 1520 watts total at the plug using real world figures. That a little above 1/3 the cost of the current setup. I did the math using T-5 lights over the tables and they cant compete...really, at all. Period.
Mind you, I COULD overclock these drivers and if it's close to how I can overclock the Meanwell 490's in our flower room, I might get about 1/5 more at the plug. Question is, is it really necessary? The short answer is no, but I shouldn't get ahead of myself.

20200406_161523.jpg


In our flower room , each 1000 watt HPS LED replacement light we have uses four of Atreum's 288.2 boards and are each driven by a Meanwell 490 driver. These are adjusted to specifically 500 watts at the plug. They EASILY replace a 1000 watt HPS light and are comprised of 288 Samsung LM-301 led's per board x 4 for a total LED count per light of 1552 LM-301-b LED's driven at 3k spectrum.
The above board is new to us, though it still used the proven Samsung LM-301's. Each board has half as many LED's and these babies are driven at a more veg friendly 4k spectrum. Total LED count per table of 12 plants: 432. Total LED count for 8 tables: 3456.

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PAR testing. My first PAR test was using only one table over 12 plants. I had some bleed off in the outer edges however remember, there are tables lined up next to one another so one tables bleeds to another, ect. I proved this with the 2nd light I built. Any decrease in lighting across the entire canopy is GONE!

I initially set the lights about 18 " off the canopy. Big mistake.:oops:. This setup at an 18" canopy height could drive a flowering plant and would make using 1000-1200 ppm's of Co2 a pretty wise choice. I don't need a flowering light though. . This left me with needing to raise the lights again, this time to around 30 inches. I am now WAY over a 400 PAR. This is the only way to go!
 

The Happy One

Well-Known Member
I also wanted to know what temps the lights were running at.
We keep this room right at 74 degrees. At full blown operating temp, measuring the backside of the light on the aluminum heatsink my board temps were right at 81 degrees specifically. I then checked the temp on the driver itself. 90 degrees.
As far as heat output, they post very little into the room.
Our veg room, properly equipped with these LED lights will drop electrical consumption to almost 1/3rd of what the room would be using with our current lighting solution. This doesn't even take into account how much less the two inverter mini splits have to run.
These lights are a big win for us in every way.
Cost: Not counting my labor which I tend to freely invest is around 200 or so per table. These will pay for themselves in energy savings in pretty short order..
In our flower room, that had taken lighting operational cost to around 50% over 1000 watt HPS lamps.
Now, we just need to build twelve more.
I also plan on equipping the 4x8 veg table with LM301'S for better coverage and smaller electrical footprint.
 

DeeCee112

Plant of the Month: Mar 2020
What a phenomenal documentary of this amazing undertaking! I am a Millwright by trade and a construction superintendent of all trades now, I can really appreciate your work, dedication and ingenuity. Your fabrication work is levels above a simple country boy. You should be proud of what you have accomplished so far with just the two of you and sweat equity!

Thanks for taking the time to document this adventure for us, I will be glued to every update.
 

Sätkis

Well-Known Member
The electricity savings with those leds is crazy! Im going that way little by little.. summers coming and soon i can toss the heaters away for next winter. Heres a question, how much and what type of LEDs do you recommend for 2 x 4x8 tents and growroom with about 5x9 growspace? Im making a new veg area about 3x7 footprint with the leds that ive gotten down the road, it consists 3x 40w boards and mars300(old one) about 130w. Still waiting for amazon bought dimmable 250 true watts from post. Think itll be enough? Plan is to veg them for few weeks before entering tents/rooms. That way im getting more frequent harvests, atleast 2 weeks sooner to flower. Okay, sorry for babbling, but if u could give some insight for the led question? Your vegtables seems to be spot on!! And the elec.savings..OMG!
 

The Happy One

Well-Known Member
The electricity savings with those leds is crazy! Im going that way little by little.. summers coming and soon i can toss the heaters away for next winter. Heres a question, how much and what type of LEDs do you recommend for 2 x 4x8 tents and growroom with about 5x9 growspace? Im making a new veg area about 3x7 footprint with the leds that ive gotten down the road, it consists 3x 40w boards and mars300(old one) about 130w. Still waiting for amazon bought dimmable 250 true watts from post. Think itll be enough? Plan is to veg them for few weeks before entering tents/rooms. That way im getting more frequent harvests, atleast 2 weeks sooner to flower. Okay, sorry for babbling, but if u could give some insight for the led question? Your vegtables seems to be spot on!! And the elec.savings..OMG!
First off, anything I say is simply my opinion,, and I don't want to get into a p*ssing match over brands, that's for sure. This said, in the affordable arena (which is the only area I dare venture into) the absolute best bang for the buck LED is gonna be one involving the Samsung LM-301's. My first introduction to this chip was with the 301-b series. Now they are up 301-h I think.
We went with a company called Atrium Lighting for a few reasons.

1. They used the Samsung LM-301s LED's. (These truly are HID replacements)
2. Reasonably Priced
3. Their frame is hands down better than any other light I've seen on the market, bar none. You can move all four boards around for a perfect footprint.
4. The driver is not attached to the heatsink like other options I've seen on the market. Most illogical idea IMHO, and I'll leave it at that.
5. Each board has their own true heatsink. Much more surface area to dissipate heat.
6. They could deliver in a timely manner

If your talking a true single ended 1000 watt HPS light LED replacement, then four "Quantum" boards, each with 288 LED's and driven with a 500 watt HLG driver will get you there.....and then some. We used a formula giving each plant in flower one Quantum board being driven at anywhere from 125 watts to 137.5 watts. Do we REALLY need 125 watts per plant? :oops:
Anyway, more on that one in the next room update.
 

The Celt

Well-Known Member
I hope to be about where you are at in 5yrs time. At 50 I am near done working foolish hours in the heavy construction industry and with the new Micro Cultivation licences introduces about a year ago here, it is within reach lol

We are limited to 2150 sqft of canopy area under those licenses though.
 

The Happy One

Well-Known Member
I hope to be about where you are at in 5yrs time. At 50 I am near done working foolish hours in the heavy construction industry and with the new Micro Cultivation licences introduces about a year ago here, it is within reach lol

We are limited to 2150 sqft of canopy area under those licenses though.
I can see 250 to 300 plants under a 2100 sq ft canopy!:Rasta:
 
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