Hi guys, sorry for the long silence!
I decided, that it was time for an upgrade
Lessons learned from old setup:
- As the nutrient container was translucent, at some point I ran into an algae problem
- Container was way to big, especially the dead air space between solution and plants was too much and the fogger had to run longer to fill the whole chamber with fog. This in return heated up my solution.
- Cleaning and moving the container wasn't very comfortable
- Container rested on the ground, not optimal due to the fact that we have floor heating
So last weekend I finally found some time to work on my setup. Went to "the Maker's Candy-land" (Hardware store) and assembled the parts I needed.
I wanted the new system to fulfil the following points:
- Modular design => scalable
- Inexpensive parts
- Easy to clean
- Easy to replicate by others
- Better handling
Assembly took me half a day and here the result:
Left side new setup (banana for scale) and on the right the old system.
At the time, I only drilled holes for two small netpots (there is an area that should not be populated by plants, as the ultrasonic mister would a) get clogged by roots b) would harm the plants roots)
The containers I used are very durable and can be securely stacked. This means, if I would want to grow the plants within a closed camber, I could just buy another box, cut out the buttom and mount the lights, vents, and so on.
New Setup overview:
Solid frame on wheels, so the system can be moved easily
Bottom Left Box
Mainly storage for Mister converter, mounted a connector strip to power everything (note the wireless powersocket used to turn on/off the mister)
Bottom Right Box
Nutrient container (hold about 20l), with fogger, bubble stone, PH-Meter, and small vent for air circulation.
Top Left Box
Contoller box with a Wifi-connected Particle Photon inside. Reads all sensors, controlls mister cycle, ventilation, etc.
Added an external antenna to improve the WiFi signal.
Now I'm going to test it (first without plants) to get the fogging cycle right and then add some plants.