Automation question...

Nan's NookArchives : Grow Chambers : Projects : Humidifier Tek : Trying to make ultrasonics work : Automation question...
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By Mr. B (Argonaut) on Sunday, January 13, 2002 - 10:33 pm:

I've found that running my humidifier on a continuing cycle of 2 hours on and 2 hours off provides a steady 82% humidity. I have no problem maintaining 75 deg F. Those light timers to keep the crooks out of your house only allow for one complete on/off cycle per 24 hours. I need some system which will allow for 5 or 6 complete cycles per 24 hours. Any ideas out there??

By The Silly Scybe Scribe (Toadstool_God) on Sunday, January 13, 2002 - 11:39 pm:

Look around a bit at your local hardware store. Most light timers will allow you up to six on/off cycles per 24 hour setting and cost around 10-15 $
However if your looking to get a little spendy and have no qualms about ordering from the internet go to any nursery or botanical supply website and look for timers. You can find electronic timers that allow you much more control and just about as many cycles of on/off as you want. Those can run you anywere from 35 to 75 dollers though.

By Dr. Cubensis (Shroomzilla) on Monday, January 14, 2002 - 06:46 pm:

Yep, My buddy has some digital timers that give you 12 on and off cycles per 24 hour period. These are wonderful, but pricey :)

Good luck!

By plinkerdink420 (Plinkerdink420) on Monday, January 14, 2002 - 11:51 pm:

i had a cheapy that you can do that with, only for 20 minute intervals though.... had little pins all over it that you had to pull out to indicate on.... only about 12 bucks for it at home depot

By Hatcher (Hatcher) on Tuesday, January 15, 2002 - 04:59 am:

If by chance you have a indoor grow room store near you(Hydroponics), they'll probably have one of those digital timers for use on a drip emitter system..

By Ryan Waters (Zerogravity) on Monday, January 21, 2002 - 12:45 am:

My FOAF has a new chamber which, even with Perlite on each shelf, requires additional humidification (due to the constant exchange of fresh air). For this reason he has opted to use an Ultrasonic humidifier piped in through a myriad of little holes in the back wall. In test runs (at 86' F)the humidity has reached 90 - 95%, but only with the humidifier cranked way up to full blast/full moisture. The problem is, the stock humidifier tank only holds enough water for 5 - 6 hours at this rate... I have read about teks for building a huge reservoir for the purpose of being able to leave your terrarium unattended for more than 6 hours, but I cannot find it in the archives.

My Questions:

1. Can someone who has built and uses a reservoir tell me how, or lead me to the corresponding archived tek?

2. Does anyone have any pictures of one?

3. Is it bad to leave your Ultrasonic humidifier running for hours with no water? (nothing in my owners manual mentions anything about it)

Thanks a bunch

By Regular Expression (Xeger) on Monday, January 21, 2002 - 06:59 am:

When I ran into this problem, I solved it by lessening the rate of air exchange and running the humidifier on a timer for 10 minutes at the top of every hour. Remember, the recommended air exchange rate is 3-5 times the volume of the terrarium, per hour. While the fresh air helps growth and fights contams, too much of it is going to make life hard on the mycelia.

You might also try having the air exit through a micropore filter (you can find them on several online-store sites linked to from Nan's Nook); this would help keep moisture in.

By ion ewe (Ion) on Monday, January 21, 2002 - 07:22 pm:

How is this thing rigged up to "a myriad of little holes in the back wall? How big is this chamber?
It seems to me that if your friend is having to run the thing full blast, then something is wrong with the setup.
Try to pipe it in from the top, letting the moisture cascade down through the chamber. Also, the humidifier itself should provide enough air exchange. Your friend is defeating himself with an overage of airflow and inefficient distribution of moisture, I think.
If this is all too much work, then try to figure in a sort of reclamation system for the water. Use some aquarium store activated charcoal (carbon) in the reclamation chamber.


By Ryan Waters (Zerogravity) on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 12:04 am:

I must admit, I agree with you both on the point of my foaf having an overabundance of fresh air exchanging. In response, he has added a micro-filter on each vent port and filtered each incoming fan (resulted in a much lower volume of air exchange and helped to further even out the temps between each level). Test runs to date show humidity (with humidifier turned off) leveling out at 80-85% then dropping to around 70% when the water He sprayed on the walls began to dissipate.

He has never used perlite before, so maybe he may not be using it correctly (do you just evenly spray the level surface of the perlite with a shower head until the water level is about 1/2" from the surface?). I have a feeling that the perlite will take a while to warm up (he used cold water) and start humidifying, is that likely to have a profound effect?

I think that to gain helpful information i should mention that my friends terarrium is quite large, and consists of many levels within (like shelves, but sharing the same air chamber) and He believes it may be possible that the humidification required for this setup may very well exceed that of a rubbermaid type terarrium.

To wit, maybe all that is needed is to learn how to use the perlite more efficiently, like rigging an irrigation system into each level using soaker hose.... has anyone done this before?

By ion ewe (Ion) on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 03:45 am:

You should probably attempt to run airstones in each layer of perlite. This will exchange some air and evaporate the water in the perlite to humidify the chamber. Get a big air pump for big aquariums and one or two (depending on the number of "shelves") air regulators with gauges. These usually have more than one outlet (for splitting the air flow from one pump to multiple locations) and little slider bulbs to visualize air flow. $7 and under. The airstones you want are the long triangular prism shaped kind.
I'm assuming these shelves have solid bottoms with perlite on each. Fill them with water to half the level of the perlite.
If I could see the system and play with it in my head, I could give better advice. This is all just speculation until such a thing can happen.