Advice for my first grow, legal in Oregon

Discussion in 'Grow Room Design/Setup' started by A guy, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. Hi there folks,
    With home grows becoming legal on July 1st, 2015 here in Oregon, I want to start setting up an indoor grow.  I have plenty of time to get it set up, I own my home, and have an entire basement at my disposal.  The legal limit is 4 plants which will produce plenty for me and enough to give away as I'm a pretty casual smoker.  Ideally, I'd like to grow 1 or 2 high thc indica heavy strains and the the rest mild sativa dominate strains.  I'm guessing I'd want to grow them all at the same time as I have a busy life and I think it'd simplify matters.  The basement is dirt/rock (1907 home) with lots of space and a pretty high ceiling.  There is the furnace, hot water heater, and general storage space.  It stays cool all summer.
    Question #1.  Given plenty of space and no need to filter air because of skunky scent, do you think it's still important to create a box or closet for the plants, light, etc. for light reflection or fungus control?
    I was going to use a 600 watt hps/mh system like this...
    Any other dream set up suggestions you have?  I have a decent budget for this but I have no reason to go overboard.

  2. I am a beginner but i would suggest some sort of enclosure for the simple fact i was a csble installer and been in plenty dirt cellars and the enclosure would help control humidity as soom dirt cellars can get rather damp. But you know how yours is, also do you have windows. If so block them. Not just so the light dont come in but snooping eyes dont see something if they are looking for the smell. I knoe you will be legal but there are plenty of people that will be more than glad to steal your stash. The state in live is not legal in any shape or form, but our newly elected governor said thats the first thing on his agenda. I hope he makes it happen cause i refuse to kill my liver with pain meds made by man. Give me mother natures cure anyday.
  3. This is just my opinion as many others may disagree and thats cool cause it is just an opinion. My didgital ballast starting leaking interference less than a year old and it gets into the cable systems, affects neighbors wifi, etc and the cable system will shut your cable off. If gou dont have cable i kniw they will call the fcc snd if they deem its a problem i believe they can shut your power off till you fix it, Even if your a legal grow. I installed a electronic ballast snd no more problems. Some will say they are really noisy but mine just has a low buzz where my digi ballast was way louder from the fan inside it. Neither noise will be a problem for you since its in hour basement
  4. Interesting, good to know about the interference issue.  I'll look into that.
    Alternately, I'll build a plywood grow space and paint it white or buy one of those mylar covered frames.  Sounds like I should probably use some enclosure, if for no other reason than as a drying space as well.
    You will not have to worry about Interference. Thats likely if you have some old ghetto wired piece of shit light fixture in a ghetto wired house.
    new lights will be no problem.
    A box? Not needed. All it will do is build up heat and turn the grow into a grow oven.
  6. #6 jblewballz, Nov 7, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2014
  7. Jus advice my friend. Just cause its new doesnt mean anythinv. Mine was brand new and went bad 8 months later. Also got mine on amazon and like i said im a cable guy so i installed all new cable in the house to tap. So YES it can happen
  8. I agree you dont need a enclosure but how cold does that area get. My gameroom will be in hi 50's and upstairs 72 and my enclosure is 78 lights on but when i had lights out with fans off it got 55 in there and my root zone temp dropped to low 60's until i turned my heat mat on. Its easier to control the environment in a small space instead of adjusting the whole basement where you plan on doing more than 1 stage at a time, growing and drying. My house is 3 years old eith nee electric, cable so the interference should not have been a problem. But unless i was gonna ask the neighbors if i can rewire their house cable then spending a couple extra bucks on a magnetic ballast is worth it IMO
  9. Reading a little about it, I see it happening to other folks with new gear but with their cable infrastructure or router very close to the ballast.  I'm still going to look into magnetic even though the ballast will be a minimum of 9' from any cable (and more likely 3 times that).  At least it's worth looking into further.
    I have no climate control in the basement so it gets pretty cold in the winter and I can just put some inline fans for the summer if it gets too hot.  The more I think about it, the better it sounds to have an enclosure.  If nothing else to have a more designated clean zone for the plants.  I'm so looking forward to having a legal, chill, grow.
    I appreciate both of your input.
  10. I tested my digi ballast with AM radio on tge other side of my house from my ballast and it went static, even a new one will emite noise but at a acceptible level and usually wont travel farther than a couple feet. But mine was screwing up my neighbors WiFi and my buddy who works for the sane cable company i did before my injury said i had leakage coming from my house and he was just driving by in his work van. Like i said its not legal here and i worried about a knock on my door, especially since i seen my old work buddies driving around in bucket trucks all around my house. They could never find it cause my lights were out 9am to 9pm and they usually dont check for leakage in the dark for safety reasons, like checking cable on sides of peoples house at night woukd not be safe. Good luck and are you growing just to grow or medical reasons? I have degenerating discs and 4 fused discs, curved spine and bone spurs in both hips and still have chronic pain and looking for a good strain to help
  11. I'm growing because I enjoy the occasional puff and it's finally legal (July 1st anyway).  I'm not worried about people knowing that I grow but I don't want to screw up anyone's interwebs, including my own.  I'll be sure the ballast I buy is shielded or see if there's a shield I can fabricate or purchase.  I have plenty of time to set this up so that's nice.
  12. Just buy a grow tent for a 100 and and 1000 watt apollo horticulture light(200-300) then the I power carbon and fan kit (100 ish)and bam. Your growing. I have a few of all of the for mentioned items and have had plenty of happy cycles. Also in Oregon but I grow medically o yeah get a small osolating fan as well and your in the game.
  13. Howdy, neighbor (Washington). Congrats on you Ducks for getting your collective heads out of your asses, a year behind us <grin>

    OK....let's have fun.

    A 1000 watt MH bulb gives 237 lux (lumens per square meter of direct light) at 18 inches from the bulb, 92,000 AT the bulb. Light's a fall off at a function of the square of the distance from the source changed. To get the same light intensity from a 100 watt bulb at 1 foot on an object at 10 feet, you need a 10,000 watt bulb.

    Sounds like you want to grow 'em big. And good for you! But that means you need more than 600 watts, so you get decent intensity at the bottom of the plant, too.

    Sunlight's 128,000 lux, here on Earth. The "100 watt per plant" rule you hear about is bullshit based on the fact that it's bandied about that the sun delivers "120 watts per sq meter" at ground level. But a watt isn't light intensity...or heat. A Watt is one joule per second, a joule is a unit of energy used to do work, create light, or create heat. The LIGHT energy that hits was converted to light 8.3 minutes ago, and has ZERO to do with the "wattage" that hits the ground.

    You're in Oregon, greenest of the green...I'll prove that simply...a standard solar panel is 12 feet square (a meter and a third, roughly). 400 watt sodium silicate solar panels (the best out there) are 18.1% efficient. Do the math. If that same panel was 100% efficient, it would produce 2210 watts with the same space. That's efficient for THAT medium converting light to electricity--an inherently inefficient process, itself.

    The joules/watts spent to produce light from the sun were used to do so AT the sun, not at the ground...light doesn't magically appear when it hits the grass. But the grass gets warm from the energy released as heat when it hits it. THAT is your "120 watts"...pure waste energy from nature.

    Reflection light is weaker light. Nothing reflects with 100% efficiency, and the closest thing to it was specifically invented to reflect and conserve HEAT....and ya don't want to do that.

    You'll have less problem with that in a nice big basement than you will a tent, if you don't enclose it, but you'll be sacrificing reflecting good light back to the sides of the plant.

    Only reason that's significant is, like I showed you up above, no man-made light produces anywhere near the 128,000 lumens the sun does. Reflect your light back and forth, and, even though it gets weaker with each reflection, the accumulative effect is to intensify it a other words, SOME direct light is getting through 3 feet down, but leaves shade one another, reducing how much of that weaker light gets might have a total of 5 feet of light travel PLUS reflective inefficiencies with waves going to the wall, reflecting, and going to leaves otherwise shaded from above...but just to throw numbers for an example, if you get a total of 10 lumens on a leaf from directly above, including shading, and you can reflect 50 more lumens, that leaf gets 60 lumens, screw inefficiencies.

    So an ENCLOSURE isn't necessary...but hanging some "reflective blankets" isn't going to hurt anything, and will help a bit. Don't seal the edges, air can move around more, the fact you have a big space becomes a HUGE advantage. Especially since bigger area means gas balances stay more natural more easily, and can more easily be exchanged "naturally" instead of using any sort of CO2 system ("open a window, George!")

    That said....1907 house. I used to upgrade Victorian houses' electrical, plumbing, and HVAC while keeping them in standard as "historical Victorian houses"'ll need to look into some things.

    BTW...while I lived and worked in Kansas City when doing this, my folks lived in the Rose Quarter, and I did their house, too. And it's still registered as a proper Victorian (they sold it, and now it's a "historic bed and breakfast", I'll get the addy sometime, so you can go take a look, if you care to).

    What's your breaker panel's main rated for? A lot of them had their last upgrade before 1980, and are 50 or 60 amp mains. A lot of them have 10 and 15 amp circuits, not 20's. A 10 amp circuit won't handle a single 1000 watt HID. 100 watts is 1 amp, not counting inefficiencies, and ballasts--the best out there--have a 4% inefficiency constant, and 8% startup. In other words, a 600 watt ballast pulls a constant 6.24 amps, and spikes at 6.48 amps when matter WHAT you do. That's if you buy the top of the line digital ballast on the market.

    So if the house isn't on at least a 100 amp main, you better be prepared to put $2,000-$2,500 into upgrading...if you do that, go to 200 more expensive to do, and it gives you wiggle room.

    But even after doing that....what's the rating on the basement circuit? Is there more than one circuit? Is anything upstairs ALSO on that circuit/those circuits? What equipment is ALREADY downstairs on that circuit/those circuits?

    You may have to run additional circuits.

    Upgrading is pricy, because the electric company charges you to pull and replace the meter, your permit (have to have if a pro does it, and a licensed journey electrician has to sign off on the work before the electric company will put the meter back) will cost you about $200, you pay for the hardware at the rate to contractor charges, plus his hourly...try to do it yourself, you'll be as crispy as Ted Bundy. If you pull the meter yourself, it's a felony, and the power company WILL prosecute.

    Running new circuits after that is another story. Homeowner upgrade, easily done, no permit (though if/when you sell, a grandfathered permit will be required because you are required to disclose by law). I can walk you right through that over the net.

    Most ballasts can run on either 220 or 110...if you run a 220, you halve the amps drawn (any time you do calculations for AC current, by the way, knock 10% off the rated voltage...AC is not completely efficient because the rating is for the "peaks" not the "averages", so pull up an Ohm's Law converter online, use "100" for voltage on 110 circuits, "200" on 220 circuits...and ALWAYS pad 10% on "rated wattage" or "rated amperage" on any equipment for constant, and 15% for startup or high load, for safety...more if the item SAYS that that's the inefficiency rating...which most equipment won't disclose).

    If you run a new circuit for lights, I suggest can put up to 4 outlets on one circuit, legally, all you have to do is watch current draw (amperage).

    Now the fun fun stuff....take a look at your electric bill, find your historical use.

    Average in America is 40 kWh a day. To figure out your peak draw, find the highest use month in your billing history. Say in July of last year you used 1800 kWh for the month. Divide that by 30 (yes, 31 days in July, but ALWAYS pad for safety). You used 60 kWh/dy average. Divide that by 4. 15. This means that overnight, and during the part of the day, you normally consumed about 30 kWh, but in the 8 hours between everyone getting home from work/school and going to bed, you averaged 30 kWh in that 8 hours..

    Divide 30 by 8. 3.75. That was your AVERAGE draw during those hours that month. 3,750 watts, or 37.5 amps. There will have been spikes. Dishwasher, dryer, laundry machine, hot water heater, A/C, stove, whatnot. So pad it to 40 amps "peak draw" on the main...and realize even THAT may not be enough padding. You have short term "brownouts" in your highest draw months, where when something comes on, the lights dim for a moment? If so it means you're JUST shy of blowing a breaker. If it's just on one circuit, no problem, really (unless it's the circuit you need for this). If it's the whole house that does it, your main was getting close to tripping.
    You're done then and there unless you upgrade the box. I said, 100 watts is an amp, and an amp is 100 watts. Pad by 10%. If your hardware, accumulated, is rated 3,600 watts total, calculate it as 3960, or 39.6 amps. That means 3.9 (call it 4, again, round up) kWh per hour running per day from your equipment, added to your bill. If you use 60 kWh/dy in your heaviest month, now you're using a MINIMUM of 132 kWh per day on an 18/6 light cycle, if ALL equipment runs 18/6.

    More than doubled your electric bill.

    The suggestions on your humidity are SOMEWHAT valid. I'm waterside in Washington, as I said. Don't matter what we do, here in the Pac NW on the west side of the hills, we're battling mites and fungal infections CONSTANTLY. Outside, inside, don't matter.

    That said...again, no worries. get the antifungals, and USE them. If you're smart, you'll soak the ground in the basement, and the walls, and the ceiling before even bringing a plant into the house. I suggest Greencure and a $15 pump sprayer from Home Depot. You'll be using it that often. Even in a tent. Might even be worth putting down 5 mil moisture barrier first, but that's a personal choice.

    As far as humidity can listen to them, or toss them out the window. I have yet to have someone BELIEVABLE justify an issue on too much humidity, and very few on too little (mostly, the too littles are "I didn't water my plants often enough", in reality).

    Think about this...where do these plants grow best NATURALLY? Mostly tropical latitudes, desert or jungle. Ever been to tropical jungle or tropical latitude desert? Jungle is OVER 100% humidity quite a bit, every damn day, during traditional grow season, and almost never falls below 80%. What was the line in Forrest Gump about rai every day? "There was little stinging rain, big fat rain, rain that fell off the leaves, rain that fell sideways, even rain that came up from underneath". That's tropical jungle from April to August.
    MOST tropical desert has a "monsoon season" where it rains a couple times a day, AT LEAST, every day, even if they're short, sharp showers....that only happens when humidity tops 90% in those places. Got any friends in Phoenix? Give 'em a call, ask what humidity's like during fall monsoon. It's worse in KSA and Quatar in Mar/April (been both me, it's fucking miserable. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out how the area was a desert, I felt like I could probably find a wadi and surf my way to India). Yes, the majority of the year, those deserts are dry, dry, dry.

    But that proves what I'm getting at...the plants are hardy as hell, and the humidity is NOT a danger, it's OTHER issues that IMPACT the humidity, or that humidity can cause or influence that are the problem. Concentrate on handling those issues, not worrying about the humidity, or you'll go nuts, up here. You're not going to get it down enough to matter. Best you'll do is have enough heat that the relative humidity is lower than that of the cooler air outside. And heat's not as big an issue as claimed, either.

    It doesn't get over 70 for an average high on the coast up here except in July and August. Doesn't get above an average overnight low of 50 except in June, July, and August. British Colombia has the same climate. Most the "coastal" growers are more inland, and higher (most of our locals in the hanging valleys or halfway up to the ski areas). What's the reputation of WA and BC outdoor weed? And EVERY strain can be found grown here, since it became legal...even new strains being invented constantly.

    Manage your heat...keep it DOWN, don't worry about keeping it UP. If it stays between 40 and 80, it'll do fine. It does in the wild. Just not CONSTANT as low as 40 or high as 80. Those are your peak and trough limits, not what you want as a constant. During peak grow period, yeah, keeping it cycling between 55 and 75 matches outdoor conditions, but having it get out of whack for a day or two is no big deal.

    This is mostly back assward from what most growers will tell you, but the support is WHAT IS FOUND WHERE THEY GROW BEST?

    They grow best outside, in certain places, in given conditions. You and I happen to live in a place where the conditions supplied by nature result in some of the best known high quality cannabis in the world. Whole point of an indoor grow is to have control of conditions to such a level we can do our best to mimic natural conditions, and to deliver EXACTLY what they want where we can, because no matter how we try, some areas we CAN'T.

    Throw a PM if you like, I'll either just have a convo with you, or, if you care to travel, I can arrange to meet you, and bring you to an activism meeting not being held in a dispensary or designated medical grow facility (doesn't mean none being grown, just means it's a "private" medical grow), where you can talk to a handful of growers who make their living at it, and HAVE been doing so for quite a while.
    That's a lot to chew on, thanks for the input.  Since my original post, I've decided to go with the 1kw setup.  I'd rather over-build on my initial investment than double pay if I want more later.  The house had the service/ panel upgraded a year before we bought it (guessing around 2009) and there's room on the panel so I was guessing I'd add a circuit.  I did that for a 220 AC unit in my last house so I feel comfortable doing it here.  Good notes on the power breakdown and planning though, I'll be coming back to your post off and on for considerations.  I did an early estimate based on my cost of electricity and calculated an additional $61 for veg and $41 per month on the flower so that's not too bad for me.
    I live on the dry side of the state but the house has a "wet" basement (dirt, gravel, with rock foundation) so it's more humid than the outside.  I'm going to buy or build a big tent/space so that I can grow em large and control the air conditions to the plant's liking.  I may even have a fresh air vent for them, ducted in from the outside.  The basement is my domain so I can pretty much build a dream grow room.
    Thanks again, we'll talk some more.
  15. #15 Indie-Kah, Nov 20, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2014
    Ahhh, an "up over the hills" boy.

    Wife has family in Pendleton...anywhere near you, by chance?

    If so, mayhap around the right time, I'll talk her into going to visit her cousin and..."drop me off" just at the border, take a couple steps holding a box of goodies,and help you get started. I've ALWAYS got clones going, as a "just in case"....though I prefer indica heavy hybrids (specifically, right now, I'm running a majority Orange Kush crop, with a couple Catatonics, but I have a pair of Dutch Treat #5's that were just stabilized properly from seed one crop ago, so these are the first clones off their mommy...first gen that'll not have seeds).

    Not like I have a need for excess clones, after all. Dispensary won't take them for other patients, as the top boys prefer to sell the seeds from their outdoor crops. I suspect because new growers kill seedlings so often, while pretty much any dolt (for instance, me) can clone over and over and over, with minor investment and reading, while the pros know how to use seeds right, so they have a "trapped market".

    Gotta love reciprocity Med legal in WA means I can be holding in OR, though I'm not SUPPOSED to transport across state lines, they don't really do more than lift an eyebrow if they don't catch someone selling or planting without an OR permit. Last I checked "giving away" isn't selling, and I sure as hell wouldn't be sticking 'em in your pots for you <grin>.

    Again, on the wet basement...dehumidifier might be desirable, but if it were me, I'd just bomb the place with a vengeance with antifungals, and prepare for a constant war with dry mold and'll be fighting it, anyhow. But I have time and freedom (and a teenage boy with friends who think being allowed anywhere NEAR my plants is just the coolest thing ever) to do that. You may not.
    Yep, I'm in Pendleton.  I don't have anything setup right now.  Probably won't for another couple of months to be honest so I'm not in any position to care for clones, though I appreciate the offer.  Maybe down the line a bit.  Ya the new Oregon laws are pretty good.  You can give plants and product but not sell it, which is great.  I know I'll be giving away plenty once I get going.  I figure I could live off of an ounce for year.  Maybe that'll change once I'm growing.
  17. An oz for a year....damn that would be nice lol. I Burn Oz A week no w and only climbing higher.just wait till you have weed coming out your ears and you'll smoke more. Ever since I've been a patient and grower I smoke just to smoke cause its my medicine.
  18. Wasn't talking in "right now"'re not legal until July. I should be cropping these in June, so I'll have a fresh batch of clones going in in May, they should be healthy little plants around the time you're legal.
  19. You and me, both.
    Smoked like a fuckin' nut in high school (yeah, high school was HIGH school for me). Put it down, joined the Army, didn't touch the shit again until my doc finally said "ain't nothing we can do for you son, it's just going to go its way....This helps control symptoms, though, according to what studies have been saying".

    A year of research, and I finally said "fuck it", and got my card. Now I'm good for between 3/4 and an ounce a month, plus my edibles.
  20. Do it right you'll be getting a minimum of an ounce a PLANT, short-cycling. Grow 'em the way you're planning, an easy 3-4 ounces a plant or more.

    Most strains are rated for between 200 and 300 grams per square meter of floor space taken up by the plant, indoor, in proper conditions. Take a plant to mature bushiness, but slightly less height than mature, so you have headroom (flower at 4 feet so they flower to 6, giving you headroom for lights in a seven and a half or eight foot ceiling), if you do it RIGHT, you should be pulling 75-100 grams per square meter of actual plant.

    When I find where I buried the link again, I'll link you to a strain/seed site I like that specifically discusses plant performance and yield. I don't contribute there because I'm still learning the plants themselves properly, but DAMN do those folks know their shit.

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