Re: Opinions on new stealth set up

Discussion in 'Micro Grows' started by inda, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. Ok, here is the envisioned idea. After much debate between garage and closet set up went with closet for the reasons of security and not having a large cabinet that really does not have a purpose hanging out in back of garage.

    Situation: Long Term rental house, so not major changes to house and has to be stealth because management checks up yearly, they are not invasive just making sure the house is not falling apart for owners Have no problem with putting in vent in closet because I can patch it up later and paint it and no one is the wiser. I will also be able to run an additional breaker if needed but think i found one in attic that is on it own still looking into it to find out what circuit it is on.

    Overall space I have to work with is 48" wide, 18" deep, 65" High.

    This is just for flowering, have 2 spots I can put it in closet (will make sense once camera is charged). This is on second story so will be able to vent into attic or possibly if I can scrub air good enough into the heat return on furnace so i can reuse some of those BTU's.

    Looking at dividing that space by 4 parts so 24w 18d 30h chambers. (some loss of height for catch pan for water Size of, base at 5 " deep can hold over 18 gallons )

    - Each chamber will have 2 plants DWC shared container

    - I have two containers I am looking at both from Ikea same model just changes in drop menu. I own some of the 5 Gallon ones already and they are incredibility sturdy design and the lids are not flimsy at all A+++ recommend them to anyone.

    IKEA | Boxes & baskets | Secondary storage boxes | SLUGIS | Box

    22" L, 22" W Then either 6" D (5 Gal) or 12" D (10 Gal)

    If i use the deeper container I will have alot more room for root mass but I lose space above for grow room, but with the 6 inch I get more above space but may become cramped but I do gain alot of space above.

    So more root room with 14inch from container to max light height
    Or less Root room and 20 inches of space from light to container top

    So what do you guys think?

    Maybe I try one of each.

    - Screen about 6 inches off top of container.

    - Lights

    3 FT55W CFL (PL-L) with ballast located outside of chamber, uses about 4 inches of height for reflectors and also venting

    End Result will allow me to have them staggered by 2 weeks so bi monthly harvest hopefully hit a 1 to 1 ratio of grams to watts once dialed in. Also 8 Plants in Flower, 2 in a quick veg, 2 in clone and 3-4 mothers which keeps me by the rules for WA state MM.

    Pictures and drawing will get added later today.
  2. #2 inda, Oct 7, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2010

    Quick drawing I made to visualize what is in my head.

    Left side is front view

    Right side is from side

    Included both sizes of bucket to show how much room is lost going with a deeper buck

    The sides are framed with 1"x2" pine
    The shell is 1/4" plywood
    The center post is 1"x3" plywood with 1/4" plywood shell
    The base will be 1"x4" pine
    The shelf's are 1/2" plywood
    The doors will be 1/2 MDF with a vinyl coat

    In the base will hand lay fiberglass try to catch any errant water

    The light fixtures will be custom made and height adjustable

    The intake will come from the back of the cab each box will get a 4" vent hole which will be baffled to keep light in.

    The walk in closet this is located in will have a vent that can pull air in via a roof vent if needed in summer will set up some sorta of box to prechill fresh air entering room.

    The exhaust will be vented through the center of box to the top where will have some sort of collection point . there is about a 2.5" gap in center wall and will board in 5 inch channel one going to lower and one to upper boxes. That gap sould give me about the same area as a 4" exhaust.

    The exhaust collection point (not yet designed, but will sit on top of cab in the center) will serve as a odor scrubber then go into a 6" vent into attic at which point might remove humidity and then run though furnace return during winter and just exhaust into attic in summer.

    Once I get some more details worked out construction should begin in a next few days

    All the cloning and mothers are being kept in a separate cab located in a different area

  3. Good luck man and this makes my ocd very happy will definitely be following your grow
  4. thinkin about a similar project. cu/ft root-mass vs. fixed height for smaller spaces i was thinking today about a similar tub for roots. i can't be too helpful. no idea... maybe a higher powered pump --> stone..?

    how goes the research?
  5. Well Lights on order using 55w 2g11 (Biax,PL-L,dulux,or what ever you want to call them for the rest of this i will refer to them by the socket type) went ahead and got the better bulbs for some reason dont trust the other no names at half the price maybe after i get system stable will swap in cheap bulbs and compare results.

    Quick Specs 21" Long Bulb 55 Watts 4800 Lumen

    Then went with the GE Ultra Start Ballasts, There is cheaper ballast choices for use with t5ho and 2g11, such as Fulham workhorse 7 but there is a considerable loss in efficiency. (dont get me wrong Fulhams are also good ballasts but to save $10 each considering the lumen difference was not worth it) Both options are program start style ballast which is a lot better then rapid start electronic or even worse older magnetic style ballasts.

    ----- For Example -----

    Fulham workhorse 7 rrunning 4 t5ho 54w bulbs has a ballast factor of .80 uses 202 watts

    GE Ultra Start running same bulbs has a ballast factor of 1.00 uses 232 watts

    I used the t5ho 55w because I could not find data on Fulham running 55w 2G11

    The key thing being ballast factor, ballast factor simplified is how much power a ballast can drive a specific bulb and number of bulbs at. As the ballistic factor decreases, the power decreases, but along with power usage decreasing the lumen output is proportionally decreased.

    So under the Fulham each bulb is running about 43W Total of 172.8 and over head of about 19W Total Lumen 16000

    The GE is running the bulbs at 54W total of 216W and over head 16W Total lumen 20000

    So 32W increase means 4k more lumen with identical bulbs

    So if you look into ever building your own fluorescent set up might want to look deeper into the spec sheets other then what retailers say but as a rule of thumb what I saw from GE, Phillips seemed good but make sure you steer away from power saving models that usually means less light also. Also a lot of other bulb types such as your t8 or t12 have ballast out there that run factors of and upwards of 1.5 just more to consider.

    I am really curious what some of the manufactures are putting in the T5 light systems cheaper lights usually mean cheaper parts so if you can accept that the system could be putting out 20% (or worse) less lumen because the manufacture saved money on ballasts.

    ----- Back to my Stuff -----

    Anyways my Set up will be running 3 bulbs per ballast giving me Ballast Factor of .91 and uses 171 Watts and about 13100 lumen for 2.7 sq feet 4852 lumen per sq foot.

    As I said cant find specs for Fulham running those bulbs but considering there 20% under GE in T5ho sure they drop in the 2G11

    As for the lights and how close I can go that is for me to figure out on the way first time using the 2G11 they really do not seem to be used heavily yet but at least I can run the ballast outside the grow box But I figure there going to be running a little hotter almost same power as a T5HO in half the space also curious if at the bend there will be a hot spot.

    Still need to find Reflectors for the bulbs that will determine how thick my light will be planing for 4" but maybe get it as thin as 2"
  6. What did you decide on for dwc container deapth? i'm diggin the shared resivior. courious on the the gallon size/pump size and number of air stones.

    what got you started on this?
  7. Still have not decided one which buckets to use. I figure I am just going to put the thing together and set one of each size in the and see what looks best. I can imagine things pretty well spatially but still that 10 Gal bucket will cutting it close. Unless I can pick up some room by shrinking height of lamp assembly. I am pretty much locked into that space.

    My limits on over all height are 65.5" then a shelf. I am giving myself only a 1/2 inch of play up top to get this in its future home.

    Additionally after sleeping on it need to add some sort of drip pan on second level that drain down into the larger lover pan. Even with GFI I still do not like 5 gallons of water sitting right over a light. and need to come of with a better heat barrier between top of bottom lamps and bottom of top buckets.

    Have the wood to start constructing the frame but unable to pick up plywood in my car, I was surprised to find that I could get 8 foot lumber in there though i was going to have to trim them in the parking lot of HD.

    On a side not hit up the local thrift store and scored myself a light fixture.Going to screw around with it some it might find it way in with the mothers. Tossed some lamps and threw a cord on it works just fine. There was 2 of them there might go back for the other the more I think about it.


    4.99 is Great the ceramic lamp holders in it are worth more then that all together.


    Will open that are up maybe get some air flow would be awesome maybe throw a 40mm fan on it.


    Coming soon more on the 2G11 Lights
  8. Ok been a few days, closet idea got nixed. Going to the garage now reasons... Been monitoring closets temps usually ambient at 78 and RH like 45 not bad would rather have a lower intake temp then that. Could run a vent to outdoors since winter is coming but alot of work and another hole in closet. Next exhuast great place to exhuast to over it but therte is s shelf before ceiling so was going to have to vent the heat from 700 watts of light through 2 4 " ducts in wall. Finally had a height limit of 65" and depth limit of 18" this prevent me from using the deeper buckets for my setup.

    So moving on.

    New allocated space will give me approx 8' height 68" width and 24" deep. Additional have a drain only a couple feet away so can run a drip pan to drain for any over flow on buckets. Will have more then enough space to run my 4 chambers, this time side by side so i do not have to worry about water over lights and heat moving up into root zone above.

    Issues with the new space in non winter time it is an oven but will not have to deal with that for at least another 7 months. Is not as hidden as closet, the closet would have placed cab behind the door when opened with the additional fact of clothing been in there, now it is a cab setting in the garage.

    Since I have been starting from scratch throwing together a mother cab, all i have left is blocking out the light should be up and running tomorrow sans a few things. Have 3 mothers just sprouted a blue mystic, strawberry blue and a yumboldt 47. Used my normal Germ method but sprouted faster then I was expecting so had to finish the cab up asap. There hanging out with my basil in the Aerogarden right now.

    Will throw up some pics of the mother cab I made, which is pretty sweet and the new plans of my quad grow chambers.
  9. My new Girls.



    They have all come up withing the last 24H about to kick them out of there Ikea glass home and into some sunshine 4.


    Was about to pull the basil and clean my Aero, had to chop the basil all the way down to lower the light, Also got a yellow tomato clone hanging out in there.


    Picked up this from Walmart cheaper drsser to gut out and make a mum room.


    All the stuff from the box.


    The shell put together, ended up removing the back brace to make more room.


    Since we do not need drawers laid them all out then reused some of the drawer parts to attach them together on a 1x2


    Then used some of the drawer bottoms to back my faux front.


    Now this is all of the pics I have of it right now but it now is whit on the inside and has a couple CFL in it held up with the ceramic I gutted out of the light. 2 scythe Fans for venting and two compartments.

    Have to finish light proofing in the morning and a few little things before seedling can move in.

    So far other then some 1x2 and 1 piece of mdf have been able to make everything from what comes in the box, but if you go this route make sure you rough up the veneer good on the inside I did not spend enough time doing it so have been having trouble getting my paint to stick.

    More pics soon and revised drawing for new space.
  10. It looks like you have this well planned out.

    Really like the pics and the details you included. Will watch this thread.
  11. Got to love cheap walmart furniture. Good luck man.
  12. Well during to trip to grab some diapers, milk and beard found these pots.


    Went with the green ones, but apparently they are made from bamboo fiber and also are biodegradable. The Label states they will last 3 year indoor and 2 outdoors once they start to show crack time to replace them. Once they are tossed they will decompose in 3-6 months. Grab a few small ones because I needed them to throw a couple babies in. They are very solid pots and may use these from here on out for soil stuff.



    Working on new drawing, use Inkscape and do it as a Vector drawing so I can make everything to scale. And Hoping to have my PL-L lamps and ballasts next week. Additionally the fans I have around right now Scythe Kaze are amazing so far, they are supposed to be able to to handle high static pressure and just playing around with them the easily move air. In the little cab i was working on hooked them up at 8Volts to slow them down some but figure may drop them down from that because they are just moving to much air even with the lamps on.
  13. Decided to throw up more on fans just to give you and idea about them.

    The one I am using are the 3k rpm version but they come in other flavors.

    This is pulled from the manufactures site.

    Speed Noise CFM

    1k 19.8 44.4

    2k 32.9 87.6

    3k 45.9 133.6

    There has been a lot of reviews of these in the computer enthusiast world and are by far some of the top performing computer fans on the market and are designed to used where there is restrictive airflow. If the continue to pan out might use these on my bigger box add in a fan controller and can adjust the speed according to the temp drop needed.

    As for controller some like this would be a great option.

    Review - Scythe Kaze Master |
  14. Ok got my Ballasts Today GE Ultra Start GE454MVPS90-G and also my Lights Sylvania DULUX 55W 830.






    Now Have not really decided the exact setup could do 3 bulbs one ballast. I will have better ballast factor doing that and have the stuff to set up for 4 grow cubes which would allow me to run them 2 weeks apart.

    Link to Ballast info running 3 bulbs

    73192 - Lighting System Specifications - GE Commercial Lighting Products

    Roughly will put me at 13100 lumen drawing 171W 76LM/W.

    Using a 4 Cube setup my screen surface area will be 2.34 SQ FT ... 5598 lumen per SQ FT

    OR, could run 4 Bulbs per ballast and run larger screen. Have 3 cubes set up on a 3 week cycle.

    73192 - Lighting System Specifications - GE Commercial Lighting Products

    Roughly 16500 Lumen with a draw of 212 W 77LM/W

    Using a 3 cube setup my screen surface area will be about 3.25 SQ FT ... 5076 lumen per SQ FT

    Regardless new constraint is overall width, If I run less cubes I will have lower plant count which allows me more freedom of clones. I am staying under Washington states MM limit of 16 either way. either could have it Spilt flower/veg/clone/mother 6/2/4/4 or 8/2/2/4. The later I lose the ability to keep the best looking and assume I can maintain a perfect clone rate.

    Myself steering towards three flowers areas but open to what other might have to say.
  15. what does the final version of your 4 drawer dresser grow box look like? I have the exact same dresser for my grow box and kinda wanted to compare. Mine leaks light out of the front and I'm not sure what to do about it exactly. I'm thinking of getting some weather stripping for it maybe. Any ideas?
  16. Well I got it sorta light proof not to concerned right now, had a lot of trouble getting the paint to stick on the surfaces inside. Still have to work out things on it but was in need of a place to throw some sprouts in now so threw some lights in it and used some spray from to seal it up some. All my focus is going to my grow cube project. Once I got those set up going to go back to dresser and revise it.

    For the cracks in between the drawers I rolled up some left over window foam and stuffed it in. Put 2 strips of foam on sides to cut down the light from edges of drawers. Then used a strip on the bottom of the drawer/door it is not holding up well though. Also added some larger foam used on the bottoms of garage doors at bottom and top that has cut the light down pretty good. Need to add in some clips to keep the door pulled back and might be light proof from the front now.

    As for Intake still have some light making it past the black paint and the exhuast should be good once I make a carbon scrubber.

    The end goal for this cab is just going to be to do some cloning in and maybe a little preveg, it is kept in my bedroom so I can access it easier to work from plus can maintain a more even temp up here.
  17. Well here are some pics of dresser as of right now. Had to make myself a quick shelf to get the pots up to lights can see where I used foam to seal cracks not pretty but works. The reason the bottom and upper right corners are black is because of vents. The bottom is the intake and has a small ledge where it come back up and then out the back, the top has 2 120mm fans then will make a flat scrubber to go over the side. Do not need the scrubber yet so have not been to concerned with it. Once i Get my bigger cab done which will do all my veg and flower in will move everything out of this into one of the cubes for abit and redo this. I have found with the 2 120mm fans I am using they are more then enough even running them at 2/3 power so will probably take one out. Will change the light setup so I can raise and lower and put a wire shelf in bottom. Only using this box for cloning in the future.

    From left to right, picture of what is hanging out there for now, a humidifier in the bottom to get RH up, the top section that has nothing in it but some of the wiring, the back side of the door (can see where edge are painted black and the foam seal is putt on. and lastly the overall stack.

    Attached Files:

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