with that said...let's begin the "Automated Greenhouse Guide"... By Helltick.
I will be using a '36"W X 60"H X 19"D' 4-tier greenhouse. I bought mine off season (October) and was on sale for $50 CAN.
Its a nice solid powder coated metal unit that comes with casters for mobility...however has no bottom.
I think a bottom is necessary to catch any moisture from the cool mist and ultrasonic also, to help keep any contams out.
I found a 36" X 19" under-bed storage box at walmart for $19.
If you remove the casters from GH it friction fits in box...doesn't go all the way to the bottom but is very solid.
I wanted my GH to be very mobile and easy to clean, so the casters had to stay.
By adding the casters to the lower box serves two purposes...mobility and a space for the drip pan.
I drilled one 1-1/4" hole in the center for the drain and four 1/2" holes on each corner for casters.
I then flipped over and added LOTS of PL-400 construction adhesive on each caster... I tried using 100% silicone for this at first, but it didn't hold up.
I stacked Cd's beside each caster so I could start building whileconstruction adhesive was still curing...If you don't, the weight of the GH will just fuck things up and your casters wont work properly.
As you can see it makes for a great fit...very rigid and solid.
Also the sides of the tent drape nicely in to the box so the moisture goes where you want it.
Now to start prepping for the cool mist and ultra sonic.
-I used 10' of 3/4" ID clear re-enforced tubing from home depot. -Various tube connectors, tube clamps also from home depot. -Tuck-tape used for tyvek house wrap...home depot. -Two CD jewels.
I drilled two 1-1/4" holes in each Jewel...make sure you drill from one side just until it scores the plastic... then flip over to finish her off or else it'll crack the Jewel.
Apply 100% silicon to the smooth side of Jewel...then without cutting the GH tent stick the Jewel up high and in the center outside GH... Then apply tuck-tape, also try running the tape up and over onto the roof for strength... So the stitching at wall to roof connection isn't torn or fatigued over time by the weight of plumbing.
Now just repeat for the inside keeping the holes lined up...I strongly suggest Tuck-tape it is very strong and will not come off plastic without brute force...strength is what were after in order to take the weight of the plumbing.
Now again I wanted this GH very mobile..I wanted all tubes to come apart easily for cleaning and such...I wanted lots of freedom and NO confinement.
I cut two pieces of tube about 10" long and clamp to the 90 deg. fittings...at this time I cut the GH tent by cutting an X shape in each of the 2 holes then inserted and siliconed the fittings.
This 'pig tail' type setup allows for manipulation of the tubes for an easier connection as it's not fixed to the unit...also much easier on the green house tent.
I then added couplers and clamps to each of the 10" tubes to receive the devices..however once these couplers are inserted they are a bitch to separate even though they are tapered.
I took a belt sander and tapered one side of the coupler to almost nothing.
I stuffed the original end of coupler into the 10" tube and clamped (fixed end). Then used the belt sanded end to receive the device tube.
By tapering the coupler makes for MUCH easier removal for device tubes...no pulling,tugging,cursing,swearing ripping of the GH tent..kind of a quick release system.
Now your gonna want a cool mist humidifier with impeller for FAE.
I used this one.
Your also going to want an ultra sonic humidifier for RH.
I used this one.
Some people say the ultrasonic isn't necessary for the green house...others swear by it. I chose to use it..It defiantly gives the GH a humidity boost in a veryshort period of time (couple mins)...and it looks really cool.
Now both of the above mentioned appliances need to be modified for this particular application...so lets get on with it.
I'll start with the cool mist (impeller type). I used a 'tube coupler to threaded end' fitting...looks like the male end of a garden hose.
I drilled a 3/4" hole and friction fit the fitting in keeping the threaded end on the inside of cool mist to prevent pulling out...then added 100% silicone.
To keep the devices easy to remove for cleaning and maintenance...I decided to use the same quick release system as I did on the green house...No restrictions...I hate restrictions.
So i add a 6" tube with the firm end of coupler to cool mist and belt sanded tapered end to receive tube from GH...
taped off the output with my trusty tuck tape, then added an air filter over the intake.
Depending on the length of tube and position of cool mist...it may be necessary to drill four small 1/8" relief holes in the tube near base connection to prevent back pressure, which can result in early failure of cool mist.
Now on with the ultrasonic...search home depot's plumbing section for a white PVC cap measuring 2-3/4" OD (they have them).
This cap fits perfect in the out take hole...drill a 3/4" hole in the center of the cap and added the same 'tube to threaded end' fitting I used for the cool mist...
apply 6" of tube and clamp..then install quick release so the modified (belt sanded end) receives tube coming from the GH.
Drop your modified cap into the ultrasonics out take...place a nice bead of silicon around the circumference...Done.
Depending on the length of tube and position of ultrasonic...it may be necessary to drill four small 1/8" relief holes in the tube near base connection to prevent back pressure, which can result in early failure of ultrasonic.
Now its time to hook the appliances to green house.
The tubes easily slide onto the modified couplers...no effort at all.
I then used mini hand clamps to secure.
Ultrasonic takes the upper tube...cool mist the lower tube.
I put both the cool mist and ultra sonic on a table to the left of the GH elevated about 2 feet off the floor.
My max tube length from device to green house is 40" long... Ultrasonic tube is slightly shorter measuring 36".
Again easily attached and hand clamped.
The cool mist runs 24/7 ..I found it a pain in the ass to unplug the unit and remove the top to refill every time...
so I bored a 3/4" hole on the right side so I could top it up while running using a non-splatter funnel...I then use a cork to plug the hole...no interruptions!
The ultrasonic runs on a timer 2hours off 5min on...yours might bedifferent...however very easy to adjust RH with on/off cycles of timer.
This is the timer I use.
I keep both zippers up about an inch to allow gas to exit...the 1-1/4" center drain in the tub also helps.
As for light, I bought 15 watt 21" fluorescent glow stick for $9 at walmart.
I just silconed it to the top of GH...works great.
12 off 12 on.
For heating I just use a portable oil filled radiator placed about 16" away from GH.
Seems to keep the temps consistent (room temp).
Cool mist too small?
If work or other ventures take you away from your hobby for several days...like myself.
Or your just lazy and don't want to do ANY maintenance to your green house.
You can add extra water volume to your cool mist very easily by adding a reservoir.
My reservoir is a simple plastic tub that sits beside my cool mist.
Get a tub roughly the same height as the cool mist's water line...there is no sense in getting a tall tub because you cant fill the reservoir any higher than the water line of cool mist or it will over flow and leave a big mess.
Your going to need two 'tube coupler to threaded end' fittings...just like i used above in this post, two tube clamps, and a tube of marine silicone.
Once you have the supplies and tub..drill a 3/4" hole about 1" from bottom.
It is very important to scuff the area around the holes with sand paper or the silicone wont bond to the smooth plastic ...insert fitting and silicone the shit out of it.
Now do the same with cool mist...1" from bottom...wait 24 hours.
Once 24 hrs has passed..cut a 6" piece of 3/4 ID tube and apply tube clamps.
Now measure up off a table or flat surface the height of the water line of cool mist...then transfer over to your tub..make a few marks with a sharpie.
This will be your max fill line of reservoir...fill any higher and you have a mess.
Now your tub should have come with a lid...i used this to keep out any nasties.
I drilled three 1-1/4" holes.
Cover with a piece of tyvek.
Fix all sides with tuck tape and bore a 3/4" fill hole for non-splatter funnel and plug with a cork.
The finished product...I know, it ain't the prettiest thing...but it works great!
The above tub increases my water volume in the cool mist 3X. Plenty of time for a leave of absence...without worry of drying up and frying my equipment.
The ultrasonic is only on for very short periods of time...the onboard reservoir holds plenty of water, and will easily last long enough for a several day get away.
Keep in mind...if you leave for several days, you still need someone to care for your fruits. For example: your Wife...or perhaps your Mom...lol.
All products and supplies pictured in this guide were purchased from the following two stores...
-Home depot. -Walmart.
Yeah I know it ain't cheap...I'm into it for around $225 CAN..but thats pretty cheap for a hobby. Hobbies cost money, part of life.
I must say its a very comfortable work space, Its roomy,mobile,easy to clean and maintain and very effective.
This guide is just meant to point people in the right direction...nothing more. If you see something you think should be different, please do so. Its not the only way...its not the best way..it's just what I did. I advocate nothing, you have a better plan...perfect, thats what its all about...new ideas...other way's!
Anyway I hope this might help other noobs like myself to jump out of the box and into the Green house.
I would like to Thank the shroomery and all members for the pics,info,and ideas to construct and share my GH.