First timer needs help: DIY Cab

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself' started by implacable, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. Hi everyone, I'd like to share my plans for heat/exhaust, lighting, and the layout for the grow cab I'm trying to build. I appreciate any thoughts, comments, and suggestions anyone might have to share on this, so don't hesitate to do so.


    For the cab, I'm repurposing an old (heavy as fucking rocks) dresser measuring 16" (rough, give or take an inch) deep, 36" wide, and 30" tall (rough). Some of the measurements are listed as rough as I've made them from the frame, which is odd-shaped in the front. Were I to measure from the walls towards their middle areas, I assume I could probably get anywhere from 0.5" to 1.5" in additional space.

    At the moment, I have a few questions regarding the cabinet's design:

    1) Should I use a single chamber, or should I split it into two separate chambers (veg/flower)? What are the benefits/effects of each, particularly when it comes to heat and yields?

    2) How large should my passive intake be? I want to use a false floor with a gap around its edges (no more than 1" to maintain stability), and 1" of vertical space between it and the actual floor. I currently have plans to use two 110CFM PC fans for exhaust (CoolerMaster Megaflow 200, supposed to be SUPER silent).

    3) Should I partition off a few inches of horizontal space (width) for cable/ballast storage (assuming 150w ballasts can be separated from the reflector/casing they usually come as part of), exhaust tubing (so it can be vented in my home's ventilation system), and other things to be kept out of the grow area? Given how little I have of it, using vertical space is unfortunately not an option.

    4) How many ladies can I expect to comfortably fit into the box, given the depth and width available to me? I have no problems using LST methods to improve this count; my original intention was for 1-3 plants with ScroG, coiling, or some other method to improve horizontal growth. Which method would be most efficient for improving my yield, given the space I have available to me?


    Originally, I was considering something crazy for lights: a 400w cooltube. After doing plenty of research, I came to realize that this was complete overkill considering the tiny amount of space I have available, and that despite the relative cheapness of a 400w cool tube system, the costs of ventilation and space limitations weren't worth trying it.

    Instead, I've decided on a relatively easy, beginner-style setup using CFLs to veg and a combination of CFLs with a 150w HPS (hopefully in a DIY cooltube made from a pyrex bake around) to flower. To begin, I've picked up the following items:

    8x 5000K CFLs rated at 23W each (advertised as 1500 lumens)
    2x 2700K CFLs rated at 26W each (advertised as 1750 lumens)
    4x plastic light outlets (the atypical circular ones for easy wiring)
    4x Y-splitter for outlets (splits one bulb outlet into two)
    Wiring and a plug

    The current plan is to veg with 6 of the 5000K lights (138W total) and 2 of the 2700K lights (52W) total for a mixed spectrum effect. I'm concerned I won't have enough lumens for the ladies, so I'm thinking about getting a fifth outlet and Y-splitter to add the last 2 of the 5000K lights.

    When wiring the outlets, would it be better to wire them in a series or parallel? I read somewhere that lighting is typically wired in a parallel, but given that this not the typical "housing light wiring" scenario, I figured it best to ask.

    Will this be enough light for 1-3 plants in vegging (as I mentioned as planned above)? If not (or you think I can fit more plants and they'll need more), how much more should I use?

    For flowering, I'd like to use the HPS directly above and probably 4-6 of the CFLs for lighting on the sides. Considering the HPS is rated as 2000K for its spectrum, how should I distribute the CFLs spectrum-wise?


    I know that in any enclosed grow space, heat will always be an issue. For this, I'm planning to use a passive intake built with a false floor (to hopefully prevent light leak), two 200mm PC fans rated at 110CFM for exhaust (CoolerMaster fans), and most likely one or two 80mm PC fans for air circulation in side.

    Considering the lights I currently have, as well as plan to eventually use, does anyone know how effective this will be in removing heat?

    I'm hoping to eventually use one of the CoolerMaster fans (or get a third) to vent my cooltube. Do you think it'll be effective? I do realize that it will be well oversized (8" fan that will have to be juryrigged to fit 4" vent ducting) - will that be an issue pressure-wise?

    I'll try and get some pictures up later. Thanks for your suggestions and feedback! :smoke:

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