Need ideas for Sailboat LED grow

Discussion in 'Advanced Techniques' started by highSailin, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. highSailin

    highSailin Registered

    Hello fellow tokers,
    I have spent a great many hours reading and researching LED grow possibilities for a very unique enviroment. This forum, Physicnole, redline and other very intelligent growers here have been my primary resource for LED grow information and comparisons.:clap: Consequently I purchased the following:

    -6x Luxeon III Royal Blue
    -6x Luxeon III Blue
    -24x Luxeon K2 Red
    -6x Luxeon K2 Natural White
    -6x Luxeon K2 Warm White
    The idea is 6 "banks" of LEDS that could be moved around 3 plants.

    My wife and I will be leaving our house in 4-5 months to go live on a sailboat and sail around for a little while. My dilema comes from not know which grow method would best suit the enviroment of a moving heeling sailboat.

    I need the grow container to be completely closed off, will be behind a false wall covering the quarter birth. We will be traveling international so smell is a factor, was thinking of carbon filtered and ejected below waterline (probably was more costly energy wise than it would be worth, but looking for ideas...)

    The idea is to program a PIC microcontroller to control timings of light cycles, watering, humidity and temperature. As much automation as possible to avoid unnecessary exposure. The setup will be run off a dedicated 400+ amp/hour deep cycle battery with wind and solar rechargers, also have a honda generator if it comes down to it. Pulse width modulation is something I am currently doing research into and would love some feedback about DIY PWS setups.

    That all being said I am looking for any help, suggestions, experience and opinions on this matter as possable. I am trying to be well prepared with a fully functional model to be built in my basement within the next month so I can get a harvest out before we leave. I will be using Bubalicious seeds for the model grow.

    Thank you for your help.

    Hopefully highSailin :jointsmile:
    • Like Like x 1
  2. SnSstealth

    SnSstealth Registered+

    Fucking awesome. I am jealous. Great plans man. Weezard, Opie, redline...those guys will be able to help you design wise. I jsut grow with the pre-fabs for
    • Like Like x 1
  3. bloodbrother

    bloodbrother Registered+

    wow sounds very interesting.. sorry no info to offer just wanted compliment your idea
  4. highSailin

    highSailin Registered

    Thanks for the words of encouragement! This has been stressing me out a bit over the last few months.

    My current promising idea is a dutch style wicking hydro system. The reason being a fluid level sensor would be easy to install and interface with a holding tank of nutrient solution for automatic solution refill. Thinking it would be possible to seal the solution holding area, beneath the rich soil, better than any other hydro system. Also fewer powered pumps and moving parts with this system compared to other hydro setups. Power is VERY important.

    Chemical solutions are a lot easier to carry on a sailboat than a ton of soil. Anyway, thoughts are welcome.

    I appreciate your time and brain power towards this unique project.
  5. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    For your safety, don't do it.

    I love sailing myself- I'm currently limited to my fucking tiny ass sunfish but in the market for my dream singlehander, a little San Juan, in the spring. Your problem is that the Coast Guard has more power of search than the land cops and Customs combined, as they are functionally cops, customs, INS, safety inspectors, fish-n-game enforcers, etc... and they need NO reason beyond performing a safety inspection to come aboard and root around in your bilge. And you could land yourself in an ASSLOAD of shit going in and out of international waters, and crossing state lines, with a cargo of pot, live or otherwise, and live is harder to hide.
    How do I know this? Guess what branch my military service was in?

    Happy sailing, and most important- SAFE sailing!
  6. highSailin

    highSailin Registered

    Thank you for the heads up!
    I have dealt with Coast Guard down in FL when learning to sail and was aware of their boarding capacity, but what I am hazy on is if they have schematics for the boats that they board to know if a section of the boat is not properly setup.

    Would they know if a quarter birth was transformed into an extra "holding tank", say for water or waste or fuel? Boats can be customized quite a bit inside, provided you are handy at carpentry, and can be made to have a lot of hidden cargo space.

    I have heard of the CG going through drawers and such but never of them questioning interior space usage and build. I would very much like to know more about the thoroughness of our water protection agency, if you care to shed some light on it.

    Thanks again,

  7. lunarose

    lunarose Registered+

    Hi Nick, I agree with Stinky too risky. I would worry more about the coast guard from other countries with ugly cannibis laws.
  8. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    Yes, they absolutely do- even if they don't have them on hand for every model of yacht ever built, they are uncannily good at finding these spaces. It's like the Sixth Sense of the boarding party- what they are professionally trained to do.
    We can't really get into smuggling talk here, but a very significant way by which drugs we don't talk about are brought into the US is by private yacht- it is easy for a touristy-lookin', yuppie, middle-class couple to create storage compartments in their anonymous-looking Luders44, and ride the tide right into a comfortable retirement... IF you don't get busted. What you are hoping to do is even HARDER to hide, because of space requirements and the smell produced by a flowering plant.
    Add to that the fact that drug dogs don't need schematics, and YOU don't need the headache of minding a garden's needs, and avoiding Johnny Law, while you're searching for your lost shaker of salt... :jointsmile:

    And when you get to Dee Islands, ask this guy ->:Rasta:

    I'm so jealous, though. Really. I was up fishing at Gloucester Light earlier this month and just wanted to say the hell with it and go knock on hatches until someone needed a wench to clean fish and polish teak... :(
  9. Weezard

    Weezard Registered+

    Love the concept

    Aloha Brah.

    You just got lots of priceless advice.

    Actually thought about a grow room in a bread truck when I lived on the mainland in '69
    Huge Van, solar-gro sunroof, generator slung under the bed, propane water heater, bathroom w/shower, solid state refrigerator, Bose 901 speakers and a Teac reel to reel tape deck for tunes.
    Did some research. Changed my mind.
    Why? because even in the USA, there's a world of difference between your "castle" and your "ride" regarding search and seizure rules.

    Sorry brah,:(.
    There's no way you could do this safely.
    This planet is not sane about a lot of things.
    Get popped in some asian ports and you are gambling your life!
    Not worth it!:(

    That said, I did travel the U.S. in that van for a year and never had any trouble finding friends and meds.:jointsmile:

    Good luck and bon voyage
    Green Weezard (with envy, brah):cool::cool::smokin:
  10. highSailin

    highSailin Registered

    Thanks for the very scary and unfortunate information. Sad how little freedom we have these days and no privacy. Even sadder still is those who punish us do as us, the ultimate hypocracy.

    Suppose I am already down and out on this one, but I have to finish this project. Maybe sell it off or use it to grow legitimate plants, I think that would still be quite a kick. If it is no longer used to MJ, is it alright to continue a log of the build for use with solar panels as informational? Would like to contribute some info and experience to this board as many other contributions have helped me.

    Got some heatsinks and nice MCUs, looking into some MOSFETs to drive the LEDs with PWm handled by the MCU. Roughly looking at 135watts total.

    Anyone have any experience with constant current ICs, the real efficient all in once packages from linear and maxim? Looking for circuit ideas that optimize efficiency.

    Thanks again!
  11. Weezard

    Weezard Registered+

    Yes, please do.

    That would be a very useful thread
    We have folks here who live "off the grid".
    Your input would be much appreciated.
    It's one of the reasons I keep futzing with the LEDs after m,y needs are met.
    I love to help get a PWM setup running.

    Am under educated and under budgeted, but I do have spare time and a talent for electronics.
    Also mess around with DWC. and am giving serious thought to GIC, (Growing in Clouds).

    The last bubbaponics module was a 5 Gal. bucket with a screw-on top.
    No water pump, no timer, just a honkin' big airstone and decent air pump.
    Drilled a 3/4" hole in the top and mounted a 5" net pot filled with Hydrotron clay balls to the bottom of the lid.
    Tied 12" lengths of cotton string all around the bottom of the pot and filled the bucket with nutes so it just wets the strings.

    Not critical, the bubbling keeps the strings wet, the strings wick water up to the clay and the clay draws in enough water to keep the roots happy until they reach the water.
    It's a tight system for vegging, you can leave it unattended for weeks.
    Come flowering I'll use the "Bubba-res" that I mentioned in Opies fogging thread to keep the water level constant and an embedded tube w/valve for sucking out the old nutes.
    The res. hose will then serve to add the new nutes.
    At least that's the current plan.:)

    Let me know how I can help.
  12. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    Portable herb garden?
    Yes, please!
    There's no stressing enough the value of fresh herbs when you have grown tired of putting Adobo and Montreal Steak Seasoning on everything left in your nasty 'refrigerator' towards the end of a trip... try finding fresh herbs of the sort you're accustomed to in port, lol... and we all know that anything you put into the boat's icebox comes out as unidentifiable mush within jut HOURS haha... reminds me of Jerry telling Elaine while she is apartment-sitting... :And NO SOFT CHEESES of ANY KIND!!!"
    Just check on agricultural guidelines if you are leaving the country or going to Hawai'i, where farm products are inspected and quarantined or seized to prevent spread of disease into a fragile ecosystem.

    I'd look at prone varities of herbs- creeping lemon thyme, creeping rosemary, etc. because they naturally grow quite flat and thus are perfect for LED culture.

    It will be a really welcome addition to your cabin, having a visible herb garden with cheerful lights to putter with and trim, on those grey days when you're becalmed with nothing to do and there's not a square centimeter of the boat you haven't already cleaned twice... I think it's a GREAT idea and I really hope you will share it with us!

    When I was working in Alaska on the commercial fishing fleet, I came very close to buying a liveaboard and renting a mooring in Seattle. If I'd stayed on the west coast, you guys would never have met me because I'd be that crazy lady who lives on a sailboat with a fat bulldog and potted tomatoes on the deck, and only works just enough to pay for supplies and marina fees, lol.
  13. SnSstealth

    SnSstealth Registered+

    lol....Please do share! Im sure the applications and intrest in seeing this through with or without MJ involved....subscribed!
  14. highSailin

    highSailin Registered

    Howdy All!
    I love that herb garden idea! We will be living off the fish we catch and large bag of rice, so some fresh herbs would be great. I can see foreign border officials being a bit pissy about bringing plants in. This isn't to say that while we have our castle we won't be growing ourselves a going away present.

    Wife and I have almost finished our simulation box. It measures: 40"L x 36"H x 24"D
    I will post some pics of it here soon.

    What I am having the most trouble with is the CCS PWM circuits for so many LEDs. I have decided to go with a 24v system (still chargable with wind and solar), will be able to get 6 LEDs per CCS (Constant current source).
    CCS: duel transistor looping; burning a max of 1.67w in heat
    -any ideas on a better method for efficiency?

    So we have CCS then LED bank then a N-Chan. MOSFET with gate being controlled by a pinout on the TI MSP430. (Just bought a few of these things and they are amazing little chips!) This config would require 8 sets of CCS circuits and 8 MOSFETs, 8 pinouts on the MSP (since each color will be controlled uniquely, hours in a day wise) for PWM and light cycles.

    Other idea is to forget the CCSs and throw a 0.1ohm resistor after the LED bank but before the MOSFET with a A/D sensor, from the MSP, before and after the resistor in order to measure the drop in the MCU and use that data to control when the MOSFET gate is open or closed via software. This would take 3 MSP chips and a common EEPROM to run the whole setup, which is more of a pain put could also have really good future scalability.

    Any other ideas of driving these LEDs??
    Anyone with experience with these LEDs, or similar, know what a good voltage is to drive each LED at 3a??? Is that even smart, given the datasheet specs 1500ma max pulse current.
    All but the reds have a max of 4.95v or 4.47, reds are 3.6v

    I will post a scan of the circuit diagram when I finally pick one.

    Thanks everyone!!!
  15. highSailin

    highSailin Registered

    Mrs. highSailin loved your vision of living at dock! What a hoot and how fun! What did you end up going instead? We lived out of a homemade teardroptrailer in alaska for 4 months, inspired the boat idea. And I was definetly thinking some plexiglass greenhouses for a few tomato plants mounted on the pulpit rails. How long did you work/live in AK? What are your end impressions? All the rain got to us, cold ass rain.
  16. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    Yeah, the rain there and also in Seattle got to me too.
    My impression of Alaska is that you have to be there for work to really appreciate the place- a tourist will never see the real Alaska in the short time alloted. I was there about a year commercial fishing out of Dutch and it is a harsh, unforgiving place in all ways, but the people make up for it with their warmth, and the diversity of the fishing community is just wonderful. The landscape makes you feel small and insignificant, and at the same time important as the only living thing in view often, while also allowing time for a lot of introspection- there is little distraction there from things that matter, like survival and real community. The recreational shopping/display of wealth/Starbucks/TV obsession thing just isn't part of the lifestyle, and that is refreshing.
    I returned to my home state to pursue my career in a more temperate climate where I actually know how to ski the local conditions ;) Me and actual powder do not get along. I learned at a resort affectionately known locally as 'Berkshire Ice'. I almost moved back last year but couldn't sell my house in this crap economy, and there's a man in Soldotna who I miss very very much.

    I don't know the first thing about wiring that shit, but my dad is a photovoltaic/LED expert, literally; it's his career and I have been on him to join here for quite some time now, lol!

    You NEED fresh herbs to live on fish n rice. Haha. I'd also see if you can't find a source for freeze-dried vegetable flakes of all sorts- spinach and red bell peppers being good choices, along with dried onion flakes and dried sliced shiitake mushrooms. I like to cook a lot myself and my 'survival food' cabinet would include the dried veggies mentioned above, plus brown rice and Indian red lentils, for protein and fiber, which cook quickly compared to other legumes, and couscous which also cooks fast and conserves cooking fuel.

    For your herb garden, I would definitely try to build something up under a modified section of deck that has had a piece of the fibreglass cut out and replaced by a piece of THICK plexi, with a GOOD QUALITY gasket, and bolted down well- take as much advantage of natural sunlight as possible, and use your LED array for supplemental lighting, and to extend daylight hours. You will definitely want to have a way to catch rainfall for use as watering liquid, and an EC meter to be certain that you have not introduc ed salt water into the tank. You need CalMAg plus to enrich your rain water with the minerals that plants need- Calcium deficiency is a killer and you won't necessarily think that you need a Ca additive, so I'm telling you now.

    The open part of your yacht- do you have benches in the cockpit that have tops that fold up and open? Consider turning THOSE into your greenhouses by replacing the bench with plexi. That gives you WAY more space than you would have had in the cabin, and a lot of the crap that is usually stowed in there like PFDs and extra lines can be lashed to the deck, and you can get a large tool box with a waterproof gasket and tie that down elsewhere too to free up space. Those bench stowage compartments are usually around 4' x 2' wide by 18-24" deep, and can give you a really nice garden. In fine weather, you can simply leave them open. If you need the seating, fire up the LEDs and put the cushions back on. The advantage to this is that you have not altered the structural integrity of the craft, or damaged the molded fibreglass in such a way that you can't put it back together- just stuff the old bench tops in a friend's garage until you go to sell the boat.

    Then every time you change tack, on top of changing the set of the sails, you swap the cushion from one side to another and open the garden on the leeward side of the boat. HAHAHA!!!

    What model is it if you don't mind posting (if you do, send it to me in a rep message), and I'll look at the layout and make recommendations.
  17. the image reaper

    the image reaper Registered+

    arrrrr, a seafarin wench, me pretty ... arrrrr :wtf:
  18. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    YAAAAARRRR!!!! I got booty!

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