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Automated Misting/Fanning inside Martha Setup


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#1 TheGoatEdibles

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 12:52 PM

Hoping some with more experience than myself can weigh in on this subject.

 

What I'd like to do is setup and automated mister, not to replace the ultrasonic humidifier, but purely for helping create a good pin set on bulk sub trays.  I'll go over my setup so anyone can make any suggestions, comments and etc.

 

I've been running, or using a basic Martha Tent setup, utilizing a ultrasonic humidifier setup from House of Hydro.  Utilizing a hygrometer to control the humidifier, with continual fan brining FAE into the fruiting chamber.   With this setup I've still been opening misting and fanning my sub trays.

 

I'd like to eliminate the misting and fanning by installing a reptile fine mister on a timer with outlets evenly spaced on each shelf level to appropriately spray a mist onto each bulk sub tray.  The continual FAE fan along with circulation fans inside the fruiting chamber should properly fan to evaporate any fine mist that lands on the bulk sub trays.

 

Anyone done anything like this? Any input would be greatly appreciated!  Thank you to all in advance!

 

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#2 TVCasualty

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 05:56 PM

I've built a few auto setups over the years.

 

They started out complicated and got simpler over time even as my yields continued to increase.

 

One of the things I quit bothering with was misting. One of the things I did more of was fresh air exchange.

 

Dunking and maintaining the proper humidity with maximum fresh air exchange are where it's at IMO. This also saves you all the trouble and expense of building a misting system and you can use that time and budget to make something that makes dunking easier instead (if you're going big and need to do a LOT of dunking and draining, that is).

 

One thing I found that helps a lot for draining smaller trays (roughly litter box size) is to use pieces of square plastic grid (also called diffuser) commonly used for fluorescent lights in offices:

 

process4.jpg

 

I cut pieces of it to fit inside my trays and use them to hold the substrates in the tray as I tip it over to drain the dunk water so they don't break into chunks, fall out, and make a contaminant-prone mess. If I'm being extra careful (any suspected contamination present at all) I use a separate grid for each tray to prevent cross-contamination. I dunk the grids in a solution of iodophor just before I use them. BTF Iodophor is the most commonly used brand (get it at homebrew supply places or online).

 

The easier dunking and draining is the more we'll do it, and the more we do it the better our yields will be, all other things being equal. So do it between EVERY flush, no slacking! And maybe before the first flush, too depending on substrate moisture content.

 

The real trick to this automation game is figuring out how to maximize the fresh air exchange (constant would be ideal) while also maintaining the ideal rH (assuming adequate substrate moisture).

 

Having (presumably) electric circulation fans in a very high humidity environment is challenging, too. You'd probably want something sold for marine use, like a bilge fan or something rated for water exposure and preferably low-voltage DC powered. PC cooling fans might work for a while but aren't rated for running in such a high rH, so if you use those please report back eventually on how well/long they worked as I'm sure I'm not the only person who would be curious to know.

 

Good luck!


Edited by TVCasualty, 28 July 2021 - 05:57 PM.

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#3 TheGoatEdibles

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 06:57 PM

Thank you greatly for the input!  I'm building an upgrade to my Martha tent now. Current setup is 4' x 4' grow tent with a small cool mist humidifier which definitely doesn't do enough FAE for the chamber.  Keeps the humidity fine but I've been doing regular fanning n misting to ensure proper FAE thought-out the day. I'm upgrading tho..

The new setup will be a 8' x 8' greenhouse, with a 9 disc ultrasonic mist humidifier setup I've built from house of hydro.  It'll utilize a continual 24/7 FAE through a variable speed inline fan.  The fruiting chamber is meant as a multiuse chamber as I'm planning on putting maitake as well as other gourmet mushrooms besides cubes in it.

I agree easy dunking of the trays does help a lot.  If i didn't already have perforated full size sheet pans I'd definitely follow your lead your dunk build. I have a ton of these pans as i use them for my gummy drying racks.

 

Once again I really appreciate your input. One of the things I'm concerned about is to make sure the 8' x 8' greenhouse environment is managed and the same no matter where in the tent a tray is on a rack.

 

Hope eveyrone is having an amazing day!


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#4 TVCasualty

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Posted 30 July 2021 - 09:14 AM

The catch with 24/7 fresh air exchange is that the very humid not-fresh air being vented has to go somewhere.

 

If you turn the room the tent is in into a tropical environment by venting your tent into it it risks an epic mold outbreak unless you're also running a dehumidifier, but those generate heat so make Summer growing tough.

 

Venting it outside brings its own challenges, particularly in Summer.

 

I have a half-built closed-loop system that solves that problem but can't finish it in my present circumstances, so until I do I just quit growing during the hottest months of the year (cooling a grow space is monumentally difficult to do in a way that maintains adequate cleanliness).

 

Air from a central A/C is dirty as hell so best kept out of our labs, a window unit quickly gets even worse, and a dedicated grow-room mini-split air conditioner will eventually get dusty and grow mold in and around the condensation tray (I'm speaking from experience here).

 

If you plan things carefully ahead of time you can generate a lot of spawn in your lab just before it gets too hot to grow indoors (assuming it gets that hot where you live) and use it to spawn an outdoor bed to keep those harvests coming until the weather cools back down.

 

 

 

I did work with a too-hot room one year by using my old flow hood (12X24) to create a positive-pressure grow space that drew air from the air conditioned part of the house, and it worked great (no contams at all so I let 'em go for 6 flushes) but would have been rather expensive to build from scratch just for that (but totally worth it, depending on your goals).



#5 TheGoatEdibles

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 03:51 PM

Thanks for all the advice.  I meant to come online sooner and detail the grow, build, and etc so far, but an issue with the main 150A breaker to the house kept intermittently and randomly cut off electric to the house.  Luckily it would take about 20 to 30 mins each time to be able to reset the 150A breaker and at times lasted a few hours but for a few days it would only run for 20 mins at a time before the breaker would trip again killing the electric.  We turned off most breakers in the house, hot water heater, stove, etc, running just the bare minimum for the AC, fruiting chamber room etc.  So needless to say I wasn't able to go online and bare survival mode to keep the fruiting room cool n humidified. When I get a moment later today I'll take some pics off my phone and upload them.

 

The Air Conditioner does blow directly into the large greenhouse room, but is also well filtered.. The greenhouse is 8' x 8', the room its fit into is 10' x 13'.  There is a dehumidifier.  I'm using a S6 Cloudline inline variable blower which at max does 420 CFM, the blower also has a hepa filter intake, blows directly into the ultra sonic humidifier box, but is 24/7 FAE at about 200 CFM setting.  The ultrasonic mister is controled via humidistate and set to stay between 85 to 90 RH.

 

The room does have venting so exhausted hair is escaping into the main house and does also have a dehumidifier

 

I'm in a more tropical Sunny part of the US and standard AC is used so I can run the fruiting chamber full time without worrying about seasonal changes.  I do like the outdoor bed ideas though as a section of the yard would be perfect for setting that up and possibly even seeding with used bulk trays.



#6 TVCasualty

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 06:43 PM

I've never had the main breaker trip anyplace I've ever lived, and I've overloaded plenty of circuits.

 

That's a problem, though I'd bet it's most likely the actual breaker itself that has the issue and not some insanely overloaded circuit or two or else other breakers would've been tripping.

 

They do need replacing occasionally and I've seen plenty of regular breakers wear out and not stay on anymore.

 

Still, I'm constantly amazed by how few houses burn down (compared to how many I'd expect) when I think about how much scary stuff I've seen while poking around in residential electrical systems. Lots of fascinating creativity, which isn't a compliment in this context as it's only so creative because it's unencumbered with knowledge of practical experience.


Edited by TVCasualty, 06 August 2021 - 06:44 PM.


#7 TVCasualty

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 06:50 PM


I'm in a more tropical Sunny part of the US and standard AC is used so I can run the fruiting chamber full time without worrying about seasonal changes.  I do like the outdoor bed ideas though as a section of the yard would be perfect for setting that up and possibly even seeding with used bulk trays.

 

Me, too. But I found that all forms of air conditioning are massive contamination vectors, which is why I quit growing indoors in the hot months.

 

One thing that can help a lot and got me through a few years of indoor Summer growing was installing a UV sterilizer light in my HVAC duct just downstream of the condenser (so it zaps what grows in the condensation pan). Highly recommended; my contamination rates were noticeably lower in the same room using the same method after I started installing them wherever I was growing.



#8 TheGoatEdibles

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Posted 12 August 2021 - 12:31 PM

 


I'm in a more tropical Sunny part of the US and standard AC is used so I can run the fruiting chamber full time without worrying about seasonal changes.  I do like the outdoor bed ideas though as a section of the yard would be perfect for setting that up and possibly even seeding with used bulk trays.

 

Me, too. But I found that all forms of air conditioning are massive contamination vectors, which is why I quit growing indoors in the hot months.

 

One thing that can help a lot and got me through a few years of indoor Summer growing was installing a UV sterilizer light in my HVAC duct just downstream of the condenser (so it zaps what grows in the condensation pan). Highly recommended; my contamination rates were noticeably lower in the same room using the same method after I started installing them wherever I was growing.

 

 

You're right first of all that the 150A breaker was bad itself.  They replaced the entire outside box/breaker and removed some old obsolete electric that was still on the side of the house.  Luckily now no electric issues.

 

I definitely agree with you the AC can be a source of bad contaminants.  I hadn't thought of your UV hack though.  I'm definitely going to look into a UV sterilizer for the HVAC ducting downstream from the condenser.

 

I haven't had much problems during the hot months growing in my area.  

 

Thanks for your input, i'm always open to and looking to learn, your idea of the UV in the HVAC is definitely a nice idea I will be using!


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#9 TVCasualty

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Posted 12 August 2021 - 02:04 PM

 

 


I'm in a more tropical Sunny part of the US and standard AC is used so I can run the fruiting chamber full time without worrying about seasonal changes.  I do like the outdoor bed ideas though as a section of the yard would be perfect for setting that up and possibly even seeding with used bulk trays.

 

Me, too. But I found that all forms of air conditioning are massive contamination vectors, which is why I quit growing indoors in the hot months.

 

One thing that can help a lot and got me through a few years of indoor Summer growing was installing a UV sterilizer light in my HVAC duct just downstream of the condenser (so it zaps what grows in the condensation pan). Highly recommended; my contamination rates were noticeably lower in the same room using the same method after I started installing them wherever I was growing.

 

 

You're right first of all that the 150A breaker was bad itself.  They replaced the entire outside box/breaker and removed some old obsolete electric that was still on the side of the house.  Luckily now no electric issues.

 

I definitely agree with you the AC can be a source of bad contaminants.  I hadn't thought of your UV hack though.  I'm definitely going to look into a UV sterilizer for the HVAC ducting downstream from the condenser.

 

I haven't had much problems during the hot months growing in my area.  

 

Thanks for your input, i'm always open to and looking to learn, your idea of the UV in the HVAC is definitely a nice idea I will be using!

 

 

 

 

Get a model based on the replacement bulb size/cost (sized for your HVAC system, of course, but there are usually several options). Look up the bulbs for whatever unit you think you want to buy and see if they're commonly available and a standard, also-common size. Finding weird bulbs 5-10 years after you buy one can be a PITA. Mine uses two bulbs and are rated for 99% kill in a single pass, partly to compensate for their normal degradation in efficiency over time (replace them annually or don't bother using them at all).

 

I also built a custom air filter that incorporated one that I'd use to pre-filter the lab air before firing up my big flow hood. Seemed to work well, and if using a blower rated for decent backpressure it could also be a way to make a positive-pressure lab space using air drawn in from the conditioned part of the house, like a mini HVAC sub-system with one duct (in your lab).


Edited by TVCasualty, 12 August 2021 - 02:05 PM.


#10 TheGoatEdibles

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Posted 14 August 2021 - 12:40 PM

 

 

 


I'm in a more tropical Sunny part of the US and standard AC is used so I can run the fruiting chamber full time without worrying about seasonal changes.  I do like the outdoor bed ideas though as a section of the yard would be perfect for setting that up and possibly even seeding with used bulk trays.

 

Me, too. But I found that all forms of air conditioning are massive contamination vectors, which is why I quit growing indoors in the hot months.

 

One thing that can help a lot and got me through a few years of indoor Summer growing was installing a UV sterilizer light in my HVAC duct just downstream of the condenser (so it zaps what grows in the condensation pan). Highly recommended; my contamination rates were noticeably lower in the same room using the same method after I started installing them wherever I was growing.

 

 

You're right first of all that the 150A breaker was bad itself.  They replaced the entire outside box/breaker and removed some old obsolete electric that was still on the side of the house.  Luckily now no electric issues.

 

I definitely agree with you the AC can be a source of bad contaminants.  I hadn't thought of your UV hack though.  I'm definitely going to look into a UV sterilizer for the HVAC ducting downstream from the condenser.

 

I haven't had much problems during the hot months growing in my area.  

 

Thanks for your input, i'm always open to and looking to learn, your idea of the UV in the HVAC is definitely a nice idea I will be using!

 

 

 

 

Get a model based on the replacement bulb size/cost (sized for your HVAC system, of course, but there are usually several options). Look up the bulbs for whatever unit you think you want to buy and see if they're commonly available and a standard, also-common size. Finding weird bulbs 5-10 years after you buy one can be a PITA. Mine uses two bulbs and are rated for 99% kill in a single pass, partly to compensate for their normal degradation in efficiency over time (replace them annually or don't bother using them at all).

 

I also built a custom air filter that incorporated one that I'd use to pre-filter the lab air before firing up my big flow hood. Seemed to work well, and if using a blower rated for decent backpressure it could also be a way to make a positive-pressure lab space using air drawn in from the conditioned part of the house, like a mini HVAC sub-system with one duct (in your lab).

 

 

Really thoughtful advice!!  I couldn't agree more with your suggestion to make sure I can replace the bulbs easy and not have to search down the line for rare or specialty bulbs.  I was thinking of building an inline filter box for the ducting to incorporate the UV, and also house a prefilter and Hepa.   Creating a positive pressure environment into the lab which can then also feed the the grow room with clean air sounds like the path I'll take very soon.  So far everything seems fairly well and my hobby work in general I get under 5% contams in all the jars, trays, etc I make.  But I'd like to reduce that and only get better.  Hopefully with your advice I'll reach that goal.

 

Bless you for your time and advice!


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