My first AeroRun - Full Documentation


#1

Hey guys,
i will use this thread to document my experience with the AeroKit. I will try to give as much information as possible on that run with answers in this thread.
You can also follow my grow on these sites:

Technical Stuff

The Room
My grow room has an area of about 80cm x 120cm and is between 2.20m and 40cm high. I live under a roof. The cross-section of that room looks like a trapezoid. I will ditch my tent completely since that room is a perfect grow area. Its basically a upcycled broom cupboard. The walls are painted white.

The Light
Im growing under DIY built 4x Vero29 Gen7. 3500K COB light running at 36.6v and 2.1A which multiplies to about 310W. I never measured it actually, but its a reasonable value.

The Strain(s)
Chocolope by DNA Genetics
Critical by Royal Queen Seeds
I really want to go with Chocolope as first choice and as a single plant grow. But since things could potentially go wrong pretty fast, i just want to have an alternative.

Techs: Chocolope is known as a massive stretcher. I will use a lot of topping, up to 5 times for 30+ tops, because the rootchamber is that big, and LST. After alot of defoil and pruning i will switch to flower and supercrop her in order to get her into shape in the first 21 days. I plan on a 4 week vegphase right now, but that could be even shorter, since aero is so good at vegging stuff.

Nutes, pH, water
This is actually totally new to me. Its the first grow i will do with mineral nutrition since organic stuff could clog the aerokits nozzles.
I chose four different kinds of nutrition: Flora Grow, Flora Bloom and Flora Micro for general nutrition and a CalMag addition because actually everyone does it, and it has something to do with the absence of soil. (I dont really know, maybe someone has insight on that!)
I will start with a pH value of 5.8 and will try to keep the solution at a range of 5.8 to 6.3 at all times, while i try to maintain a temperature of 17°C (64F).
Since i live directly under the roof of a 5 story apartment complex i will check on that very damn closely.
I will use pH neutral destilled water for starters. I know my tap water is okay in my region, but i just want to have an easy start on that front since this is m first hydro experience. (thats why some points here might sound a bit newby).

FOR SCIENCE!
Im doing my usual timelapse-stuff of course, but will also put 2-3 plants in soil next to the aerokit to really bring out the difference in growth! Just watch my feed or this thread in the upcoming weeks.

Im perratay excited.

April 15th: Day 1 - Germinating Seeds for a Hydro culture
Important Note: IKEA actually got a very decent and cheap gardening section for hydrogrowers!
Im using this cultivator which costs the unreal amount of 4€ (~5$) and some IKEA Rockwool for even less. I plan to upgrade the cultivator with some airstones once i will use that thing for more than a week to germinate and seedling stage, but its damn awesome!
The rack is currently under a 72W CFL Light on a 24/0 cycle and given only pH regulated tapwater.
I also cut out the middle hole to the rootchamber so that it fits the IKEA netpot that comes with the cultivator, so transplanting will be less critical …


#2

You are the scientist!

Running the system for 2 days see if things are setup perfectly, especially make sure the pressure stays in the range. And also get familiar with the app. There are still potential to make the app more intuitive… :slight_smile:

The most challenging thing is nozzle activation duration and interval. As there are different opinions and preferences from different people, even on this board. I think they are all valid depending on a number of factors, such as directions, plant type, etc. But I think the general rule is that don’t saturate the root, while don’t let it dry. (I know it is easy to say).

Personally, I point the nozzle away from the roots and give it some time (3-5s) to make mist floating in the chamber. But others have achieved great success with their tuned schedule. That is why we provide grow plan function so that you can customize and experiment different settings. If it is needed, I will setup a grow plan exchange where you can publish your grow plans and download ones from others.

Good luck!


#3

April 17th: Day 3 - Germination is completed - 1st green

That IKEA kit is actually useful! Will have that plant under the growlight for a bit, and hope to prevent it from stretching too much. Need to figure out how to properly LST on the aerokit, since i only know the methods with earthhooks.

What we see here is the Critical seedling enjoying her first light in this world. Say hello.


#4

April 22nd: Day 8 - Setup

The system is running,but its not going exactly as planned.
I think i still got some air leaks since my pressure wont go above 50-55 Psi, decreasing. I checked every connection but still could not figure out the problem. I let out air several times in the process trying to seal the system from inside.
Anyways: Mist gets created and the system is now in QuickStart mode, checking for leaks and stability.

My seedlings are still in a good shape under the 72W CFL and i will transplant them in 2-3 days when the initial drying process of my current run has ended.

Update: All systems running. Im at 102 Psi now and happy :slight_smile:


#5

I found the heat shrink used on the tubes to the temperature module did a piss poor job of protecting from leaks. They also obstructed the view of the tubes, so you couldn’t see if there was air passing through making leaks more difficult to troubleshoot. I replaced them with zip-ties to get a better seal. Worked great.


#6

Also, when my system wasn’t hitting 110psi it was due to a tiny leak. Once I sorted it out I was easily able to reach 110psi. I would double check your setup. You have to watch that drain tube very carefully to ensure that there’s no air passing through. My tiny leak caused an accumulation of air in my temperature module which made a horrendous whining noise which woke me up in the middle of the night but it seemed to be running fine for a whole day before that point.


#7

Very helpful! I will do this!! Thank you :slight_smile:


#8

I would mod them to take john guest push fittings, they`ll last a lifetime and never leak. They make routine maintenance.easy too.


#9

Is your temp control silent now? I think mine awefully loud. I will have to change the fan sometimes i think.


#10

Admire the creativities and formidable DIY capability you guys demonstrated here!


#11

April 24nd: Day 10 - Transplant & Noise :loudspeaker:

After 24 consecutive hours of no stress i decided to transplant the seedling into its final position.


This is a picture my webcam took. You can see a toothpick i leaned the seedling against to give it some stability. I forgot to setup a proper fan to simulate wind in the first few days, and now that tiny lady has no power to hold herself up :frowning:
I setup the mist to 1/200 in the daytime and 1/300 in the nighttime.

Problem: The aerokit is inside a little chamber in my living room. I can close it up with a door, which is not useful, since an open door is needed for air circulation. I noticed the temperature controller is pretty damn loud, even on 30% and even when its really not needed! Im now testing the kits isolation properties: I was at 17°C nurtient solution temp and will now wait until the fluid reaches a temp of 20°C. If it stays like that for 6 hours i will just turn of the temp unit everytime i get home, and turn it on once i go to sleep. Its really damn loud! Is it possible to make that thing any more quiet?


#12

Your observation of the fan is correct. The fan is powered at 100% once it is on. That was requested by our lab.

So you want the fan speed to be lower when less output is needed, right?

I will make a patch for that after 5/1. The noise is from the airflow. The fan itself is built with ball-bearing design. Noise level is 40db when tested in open air.

But I guess the fast speed of air makes enough noise to bother you. I will make a note of this.


#13

well if its possible to regulate it will be super nice!! I will else plug a timer inbetween that turns off 2 hrs before lights go of and turn on when lights go in, because of the noise.

Edit: In my environment the temperature went from 17°C to 19°C in about 6 hrs, which is totally fine. As i recall its bad once temps hit 20°C. I would like to test if its possible to run the fan at 40% to 60% too keep everything cool.


#14

I will update software to include the silent time (temp control off), if it helps.


#15

that machine also runs pretty hot. I get a significant increase in room temp, even with lights out and normal airflow.

Id suggest to open up the handling of the tempcontroller to the needs of the user . If thats not too much to ask for… But since every grow room is pretty much unique this might be a valid option. Its all about the sweet spot of least amount of noise, while the water is in a stable condition. I dont know what the feedback of the other testers were regarding this :slight_smile:

Edit: Added pic for clarification

I aboslutely love this graph feat. I love to check on my plants, and i can literally do this while commuting to uni/work!!!


#16

Truth is that it is open…

You can manage the whole system via api from your browser or your own app, with your security credentials. But I doubt most growers will spend time on that. :slight_smile: or I might be wrong.

What feature do you want to check for temp control? I will try to make it to the app. There is a balance of simplicity & richness…


#17

Wait… how do i access that via browser? I will def. check that out!
edit: trying to just access the local IP gives me an “access denied” due to protective measures. (thats good, tho! :smiley: )

For an inapp feature:
I want to put in a numeric value to change the “power” attribute on the statuspage.


#18

There are hidden features…

I thought I wrote a blog on this. But maybe I didn’t publish


#19

I found something. About a secret connection within the connector. I have to jumpwire two certain pins to access security features. But there wasn’t more to find. You even installed easter eggs!!


#20

Haha. There is no secret connection. They are all documented.

The kit was built for people who wants to build their own system. So all functions are available via api, but with security in mind.

If you are interested, join the development platform (to be announced later)