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Thread: new heli chamber

  1. #41
    UnstuckinTime's Avatar
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    Butch, that watering system is pure genius, however simple is it. Its definitely something I'll have to keep in mind whenever I'm upgrading and changing things.
    "The plants you grow, end up growing you."


    My Grow List:
    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=123995

  2. #42
    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pik View Post
    Do you keep the front of the rack open?
    Probably not, I have during the construction phase.... but I didn't before and probably wont this time neither. My basement is below ground level and stays pretty humid as is... so its not a major concern as far as their health. However, bumping it up does make for some nice looking helis.

    Quote Originally Posted by UnstuckinTime View Post
    Butch, that watering system is pure genius, however simple is it. Its definitely something I'll have to keep in mind whenever I'm upgrading and changing things.
    Thanks mate, its still in development. I'm considering adding a small layer of pea gravel into the bins. This might give some protection from clogging the small hose up, but it's just a thought at this point. Aquarium open cell foam is another possible option for the end of the hose... etc

    But first Ill see if it's going to be an issue to begin with.

    I can tell one thing already, my growth rates are back to where they should be... Ive got new growth everywhere.

    I'm interested in seeing others take this basic idea and improve on it.


  3. #43
    Physalaemus's Avatar
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    Hey Butch,

    This is shaping up amazingly. Quick question: why did you decide to use a siphon to drain instead of having a bulkhead drain from the bottom of the tray? With a valve, you could limit the flow to have it drain more slowly without the risk of a siphon not starting.

  4. #44
    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Physalaemus View Post
    Hey Butch,

    This is shaping up amazingly. Quick question: why did you decide to use a siphon to drain instead of having a bulkhead drain from the bottom of the tray? With a valve, you could limit the flow to have it drain more slowly without the risk of a siphon not starting.
    Great question and one i had given some deep thought too....

    using the siphon, the bin is allowed to flood before any draining occurs. This is going to happen regardless of pump output (as long as its working). The siphon has no choice but to occur as long as there is not trash stopping up the line. I felt this would give me a good "soak" time to allow the substrate in the deep pots to saturate. Likewise, the total drop is water level then allows good gas exchange in the root zone.

    I considered a bulkhead fitting, but decided against it. I was afraid the balance between it and the pump output would be too fine of a line for proper operation. The flow through a valve would decrease as the static head pressure decreased, could be tricky to get/keep adjusted properly.

    I also considered (and may still do it) a tiny bottom drain, just as a residual drain. But after seeing the siphon maintain itself long after the bin is empty (residual water draining from the substrate) I dont really see the need anymore. (my idea was a hose with nylon line in it, more of a wick system for any residual water)

    Both are plausable options IMHO, but all things considered I like the siphon. As long as its not restricted, it cannot help but to work. Also, any drop in pump output from debris or wear has no effect other then a longer soak time for the substrate. The water level still stays the same.

    Excellent question btw,
    Last edited by Av8tor1; 10-10-2011 at 07:43 AM.

  5. #45
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    Beautiful setup mate...looks like its coming along. Any changes in color due to the light fixture modifications?

    Also ...I was wondering, do u have a float valve in those trays? I mean...what if the tubing that recycles water from the trays clogs up....then your primary tube that is feeding fresh water from the reservoir still keeps pumping in water...and you could have a situation where your trays overflow. Having known you for soo long, I know you must have considered this already. But... its the student trying to test the prof... Lets see.

  6. #46
    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Float valves are not needed, the reservoir is sized to where overflow cannot happen. Likewise even if drain line does stop up the pump feed line will drain when timer stops the cycle.

    Everything will reset itself and and the pump feed line will do the draining till the drain line obstruction is cleared. By nature the feed line is self cleaning.

    So the design has a built in drain redundancy and water level failsafe.




  7. #47
    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
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    And that is what makes an expert an expert!
    Using that big ol' lump of gray matter that rests upon our shoulders!

    Always good to see improvements on earlier designs.
    I have to get my shelves up & running anyway, so may give your design a try. (I was looking at the siphoning, but in a different manner. A little more overkill actually.)
    I am still hooked on making "rain" (as is the live sphagnum!), so I may have to modify things a bit, but indeed the siphon is the route to go. (I will likely still try a siphon "loop" so I have some adjustment available, but otherwise the design is simple. And indeed, simple means less to go wrong or mess up!)

    I just need to go thru my box of pumps now, to see if I have anything powerful enough, ...or not so powerful that it sprays all over! I did that once years back when I first started, & it was a real surprise! (And mess!) I have been using some cheap $12-$15 pumps from Harbor Freight for my other automated units, but doubt they will pump very high.
    (Did you mention what you are using? I didn't see....) Also, what are you using for a reservoir? Is it on the floor or up on a low shelf of its own? (Less pumping to do.)

    Again, thumbs up Butch! As you tried to tell Uphwiz (Jimmy), automating watering of your plants is the biggest time saver you can imagine. It doesn't cost much to do & the rewards are great!
    I would highly encourage anyone else here (possessing a small amount of "handyman" skills) to consider this type of improvement to their growing set-up. Especially with the ideas that Butch is willing to share with everyone!
    Like they say, even a caveman can do it! (But then I don't know many cavemen here!)
    [Well, maybe one or two...!]



    (The thing I like most about Butch, is his ability & willingness to actually think, experiment & use his own "gray matter" to come up with developing ideas, instead of letting others do all his work & thinking for him. Bravo Butch!)
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

  8. #48
    Never Knows Best gill_za's Avatar
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    GrowinOld,

    Nice post count

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