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Thread: ULTRA GHETTO highland chamber idea

  1. #1
    richjam1986's Avatar
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    ULTRA GHETTO highland chamber idea

    I'm starting to construct a terrarium/chamber for my one new Heli (of which I hope I will get more) and other select highland plants that need cool temps and higher humidity. As I have no real money to spend on the chamber at the moment, It is being constructed in the most ghetto fashion immaginable: with cardboard box framing and clear plastic film for the top and for 'windows' on the front. Some of us have to budget!!

    Here's a diagram I drew up on my computer paint program in ten minutes:

    Ghetto terrarium

    Sorry if you can't read what I have written. It's a poor quality upload.

    Basically, I plan to have a fan attatched to one end of the chamber, sucking air through the chamber with an evaporative cooling pad on the other end to cool and humidify incoming air. I'll maybe have the fan timed to turn on for half an hour out of every hour that the lights are on. I'll line the inside with plastic (or at least the bottom) to prevent any spilled watter from making the cardboard wet. I have other thoughts for the chamber not explained here, but that the gist of it.

    I've already done a lot of the work on it, and will post pics soon. I've done a test run with the fan attached and that aspect of it really seems like it will work well.

    I'm not totally sure how everything else will work, but it's costing basically nothing to build and it's a fun project for me anyway (I already have the materials that might otherwise cost a little money).

    Any thoughts or suggestions?

    Cheers
    Last edited by richjam1986; 10-20-2011 at 09:29 AM.
    Da' mishu
    Provo, Utah.

    My Growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...29#post1089429

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    Physalaemus's Avatar
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    This isn't ghetto at all (okay maybe the diagram is). I've been working on something like this as well actually

    A quick tip from my tests so far: vent the exhaust out of the room if possible. Swamp cooling works best when the incoming air is very dry. In my earlier tests, both the incoming and outgoing air came from the room setup was in. While I was getting a strong temperature difference at first, the temperature difference disappeared after a couple days of continuous running. After 24 hours of running, the humidity in the room was above 60% (whoops, landlord won't love than). Venting the exhaust out of the room (through the window) solved this issue.

    I'm not even going to touch the cardboard issue... :P

  3. #3
    SirKristoff is a poopiehead Ozzy's Avatar
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    I can think of a way to keep the cardboard dry, get rid of it. Instead of using cardboard, buy a plastic tub for just a couple of dollars. You never have to worry about the plastic getting wet. You can cut the holes for the fan, lights, exhaust and windows if you want to see inside.

  4. #4
    richjam1986's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozzy View Post
    I can think of a way to keep the cardboard dry, get rid of it. Instead of using cardboard, buy a plastic tub for just a couple of dollars. You never have to worry about the plastic getting wet. You can cut the holes for the fan, lights, exhaust and windows if you want to see inside.
    I appreciate the comments

    I would generally agree with that, of course. However, I'm deffinately not planning on this being my final longterm setup, and I want to see how it will work initially before investing too much time and energy (plastic tubs are supper hard to cut, at least with the methods I have easily available). This design will hopefully just hold me over for a couple months while I work out kinks in the system and work towards a better final setup, which I would then be willing to invest more time and energy in.

    I know using a cardboard box for this type of thing is mostly unheard of, but seeing as I won't have any misting or fog machine, getting the cardboard wet really shouldn't be too much of an issue. I will have a plant tray inside to hold the water, and line the bottom with plastic wrap just IN CASE. I think condensation will be minimal to non-existant and at most the cardboard might get very slightly damp from the humidity inside when the fan isn't running.

    Good tip for venting the exhaust outside Physalaemus, thanks I'd be interested in seeing more of the details of your project as well.
    Cheers
    Da' mishu
    Provo, Utah.

    My Growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...29#post1089429

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    Physalaemus's Avatar
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    It may not be wet, but it will be humid. Styrofoam sheets would be a better option if you really want something lowtech. also realized that the reservoir for drip feeding will need to be large. You'll need a lot of flow to get this to work well.

    IMHO, plants requiring this kind of care are generally not cheap. Protect your investment in them by setting them up for success.

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    richjam1986's Avatar
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    As far as long term plans; I have a whole shelf on my plant grow rack that I would eventually like to have set up similar to Av8tor's new Heli chamber, closed off with reflective pannels and using a version of my afforementioned evaporative cooling technique to humidify and cool the shelf. This is just my smaller scale experiment for that final goal.

    ---------- Post added at 02:22 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:09 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Physalaemus View Post
    It may not be wet, but it will be humid. Styrofoam sheets would be a better option if you really want something lowtech. also realized that the reservoir for drip feeding will need to be large. You'll need a lot of flow to get this to work well.

    IMHO, plants requiring this kind of care are generally not cheap. Protect your investment in them by setting them up for success.
    Luckily I got my H. minor for a very good price, but your statement is very true.

    Really though, I have from now until late next spring before I actually have to worry about overheating, since I have the Heli in a cool to chilly spot. Right now I just have it in a partially enclosed bag under the lights. I have been monitoring the humidity and temps and it all looks good, so I'm not immediately worried about that.

    My thought was to eventually use those reflective styrophome sheets, like you said, to enclose the whole shelf. I want to see how this works first though, just for fun I guess, and since it's already basically done.

    However I end up configuring the chamber, I'll let you know how it goes.
    Da' mishu
    Provo, Utah.

    My Growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...29#post1089429

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    SirKristoff is a poopiehead Ozzy's Avatar
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    An easy was to cut the plastic is to drill a small hole in the four corners of the square you want to cut. then use scissors or shears to cut the square. I understand why you wouldn't want to use plastic on your first version of this.

    You could wrap the cardboard with something. Maybe wrap it with thin plastic, then for the inside line the cardboard with something like aluminum foil. That way you can use smaller lights, and smaller lights equals less heat.

    Just a couple of ideas.

  8. #8
    richjam1986's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozzy View Post
    You could wrap the cardboard with something. Maybe wrap it with thin plastic, then for the inside line the cardboard with something like aluminum foil. That way you can use smaller lights, and smaller lights equals less heat.
    Yeah, I've considered that. As for the lights, this is just going to be sitting on my growrack under lights that are already affixed.

    ---------- Post added at 02:31 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:29 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Ozzy View Post
    An easy was to cut the plastic is to drill a small hole in the four corners of the square you want to cut. then use scissors or shears to cut the square. I understand why you wouldn't want to use plastic on your first version of this.
    Thanks for the tip. Should be useful in the future
    Da' mishu
    Provo, Utah.

    My Growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...29#post1089429

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