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DIY aerorails

Discussion in 'DIY Forum / Technical Articles' started by snuggles, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. Apr 11, 2008 #1

    snuggles

    snuggles

    snuggles

    I was there...he inhaled

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    OK I want to show you how I built my aero system. It's nothing new and there are a ton of different types and ways to do it. I will walk you through my system, it may not be the best, and it's not set in stone so feel free to experiment with other ways and or parts. And if your wondering my unit is not attached to anything I am going for versatility with these units too. That way you can expand or run a perpetual system, hang them vertically. And these units work from seed to the end or clone till the end...no need for a cloner or extra space to clone.

    OK let's start with supplies, and this will vary from person to person depending on how many rails you build.

    SUPPLIES:
    -Vinyl fence post or PVC doesn't matter really, I use fence cause they are flat.
    -Post endcaps
    -Drill
    -Hole Saw (size varies on size of net cup, I use 2" netcups)
    -Drill Bits (a bit smaller than the misters is best I can't recall of the top of my head what size I used, I will look into it tomorrow)
    -1/2" hose
    -1/4" hose
    -1/4 inch connectors (Ts,elbows and straight connectors)
    - 1/2" connectors (same as the 1/4" connectors)
    hxxp://htgsupply.com/products.asp?categoryID=20&subcategoryID=151
    -misters
    hxxp://www.misterlandscaper.com/misters.html
    -Water Pump
    -tote/res.
    -something to support the rails (really up to you, I use sawhorses or two totes)
    -duct tape
    -netcups
    -neoprene inserts (once again depends on size of netcup)
    hxxp://www.bghydro.com/BGH/itemdesc.asp?ic=CONPNI2EZC


    To see the commercial version of what we are trying to copy go here, they are expensive LOL
    hxxp://www.generalhydroponics.com/genhydro_US/aeroflo.html
     
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  2. Apr 11, 2008 #2

    snuggles

    snuggles

    snuggles

    I was there...he inhaled

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    Step One:

    Get the hole saw, something to measure with and start marking out the sites. Once again this will vary from person to person. I use six sites per 4 feet (you'll see six holes and one larger one no need to worry about it, I added so I could fiddle with a drain if I wanted to add it), it's tight but it leaves me the option to do less too. I use all six sites and let the clones/plants do the survival of the fittest thing. But do as many as you want, there is no rule that says every site needs to be filled.

    After the holes are marked out cut the sites out. Next take a drill bit smaller than your misters and drill a whole half way between every site and put one at each end. Next screw the misters in, I'm skinny and I got my arms in there so it might be tight for some but stoners always find a way. also put 360 degree cloners in between sites and 90-165 degree misters at the ends...otherwise your gonna get wet LOL and have an empty res in an hour or so.

    posts.jpg

    drill.jpg

    rail.jpg

    holes.jpg

    misters.jpg
     
  3. Apr 12, 2008 #3

    snuggles

    snuggles

    snuggles

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    STEP 2 Water Manifold.

    OK now to the next step. We want to make the water flow where it's supposed too. First we want to take the rail to a sink or outside, you need to run water through it with a hose or something to get rid of all the little plastic bits so they don't clog the misters.

    OK after we do the rinse we move on to building again, feel free to take a smoke break as we are no longer dealing with power tools. OK first we take the 1/4" hose and cut it into strips of anywhere from 8 to 12 inches, attach a cut hose to each mister, the misters have some threading so you can really twist the hose onto the mister making a tight seal. Next we move onto the 1/2" hose. What we are doing here is cutting the half inch hose to supply water to the unit...we are almost there people.

    OK what we have here are instructions for 2 rails, if you have more than do this for every two rails (make a lasso that is). If you have one rail the lasso is fine too. What is the lasso, well I have 4 foot rails so I wanna have a lasso that leaves enough room to play with the rails, pull them apart as the plants grow. Remember I don't attach the units to anything permanent if you are going to make this unit permanent make sure you leave a foot between rails. OK so hopefully I didn't lose you. We have 2 rails at 4 feet a piece so I would cut 9 to 10 feet of the half inch hose. Then take a 1/2" T and make a circle out of the hose, duct tape the hose to the rails. Next we need to connect it to the pump so we cut another foot or so of the 1/2" hosing and we attach it to the 1/'2 inch T. Hence a lasso. Also the lasso will increase water pressure, it's a way of really pushing a pump and it leaves less chance of hoses coming apart. Next we need to attach the 1/4" hose to the 1/2" hose.

    They make this and things similar to punch holes in hosing.
    hxxp://misterlandscaper.com/mla5holpunwi1.html

    Find something similar to punch some holes if you don't want to purchase the hose punch. BTW I don't work for misterlandscaper, but you can get their product at Lowe's. The misters the hosing and the hose punch are all in the same section of Lowe's the only things that aren't in the same aisle are water pumps and the vinyl fence post.

    Anyways take the punch and poke a hole in between every 2 sites, insert a 1/4" T into every hole you punch and then attach the 1/4" hosing to the tee. We have 7 misters so one is going to get a straight connector rather than a T, you'll see as you are putting it together.

    Also please note the "lasso" that I took a picture of is not to scale, just wanted to show you what we are doing.

    S7300842.jpg

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    water manifold.jpg

    misterlandscaper_1990_9532835.gif

    rail2.jpg
     
  4. Apr 12, 2008 #4

    snuggles

    snuggles

    snuggles

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    STEP 3 Res, and pump and a test run.

    OK back again, now we want to attach the hosing to the water pump and put the pump in a res.


    So I attached all 1/4" Ts to the 1/2" hosing now I wanna attach endcaps to the rails. I attach one endcap at the end of each rails, the end away from the res. I use silica gel, but my buddy uses waterproof duct tape and it works fine IMO. This is DIY and it's not always pretty. OK next we wanna sit the rails on something for support. What I do is I use two totes to support and one of them becomes a res. also, the tote near the end of the rails without an endcap. So set the totes up and rest the rails on the totes make sure all plastic has been washed out. Next attach the 1/2" hosing to the water pump, fill the tote with the pump up with water. Double check all connections and fire it up. You want the rails to sit at a slight incline, maybe 3 inches, so the water flows right back into the res. Make sure you have no leaks. Once that is done let it run for a day or so and see that it's working.

    OK we are done now just add some clones and have fun with it.

    A note about the misters. OK anyone who has done aeroponics will tell you that misters clog. Well we made it easy to clean out misters. To unclog a mister, simply shut the unit down and pull off the 1/4" inch hosing and then take a needle and clear it out, compressed air works too. You will get clogs but there is a fail safe, the misters that still work will NFT and keep the plants going. NFT- Nutrient Film Technique a fancy way of saying that there is water flowing through the roots.

    As for a water pump I use a 500GPH for my 2 rails, I've had 4 hooked up and that worked too. I also have a 1684 GPH pump but that's not for you unless you are doing a ton of rails.

    OK I am horrible at this type of thing and it may be scatterbrained but I tried, feel free to ask but please post in the thread so everyone can see the answer.

    Also I told you there are many variations that can be done. I use this system to make mister kitty litter buckets, 2 gallon pail cloners, 28 site aero cloner etc. I will post some pics. of variations as I find them or rather take pictures of them. Enjoy and ask away

    S7300955.jpg

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    S7301125.jpg
     
  5. Apr 12, 2008 #5

    lyfr

    lyfr

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    i think i might have to try one of these...you made it so simple.
     
  6. Apr 12, 2008 #6

    snuggles

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    I hope I did, I am a scatterbrain and it's so easy i hope I didn't muck it up. This works great for speed and space. Yes these can be used vertically too. They are light, in case any MM people have bad backs and it's just so darn easy to build and it's way cheaper than a retail version, would you pay 500USD for two rails? Plus all I did was go to Lowe's one store, one trip, and a couple of hours thinking it through and building.

    Also it's nothing new, but I thought we needed it here. I see tons of DIY DWC.

    But like I said there are a million and one ways to do it, this is my simplest unit. I build things constantly, call it self gratification but I enjoy it and consider it part of the growing process.

    I will also be using this outside for some lettuce, I am fortunate enough to have a basement window near my garden, i am going to make a drain system and feed the lettuce with a 55 gallon trash can in my basement, so as not to heat the res. Also my gmom lives in a retirement community and I have built a couple for their garden club...they don't grow weed though LOL but it makes me happy to see people able to garden in a sense when their bodies won't allow them, it's very important IMO and can give them a feeling of independence again. Enough rant LOL.
     
  7. Apr 12, 2008 #7

    smokybear

    smokybear

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    Great work snuggles. My hats off to you for a great DIY thread. Nice work. Take care and be safe.
     
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  8. Apr 12, 2008 #8

    Tater

    Tater

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    nice DIY I love looking at these. I'm going to build a stadium aerorail type setup in my bedroom. I should document the process and maybe put up a how to! Nice set up thanks a lot for the post its always nice to take ideas from.
     
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  9. Apr 12, 2008 #9

    snuggles

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    Yeah that sounds like fun. Look into V-style gardens and vertical gardens and then you'll have the most efficient room on the block LOL. Good luck with that and I hope it makes you bed room feel more cozy.
     
  10. Apr 12, 2008 #10

    Tater

    Tater

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    Yeah thats the plan man. I'm still in the planning stages but keep your eyes open in the next month. Thanks again man its the people who post and share that make this forum what it is. Everything I know on the subject I've learned from these forums.
     
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  11. Apr 12, 2008 #11

    snuggles

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    Now all you ahve to do is return the favor. Everyone you help is one more person who can grow their own that's what it is all about. Yeah I've been planning for a while too, I have an 8 x 8 room and lots of wall space too. Good luck and like I said keep us filled in. Once you understand hydro and the basics about it, you can build anything only limit is the imagination.
     
  12. Apr 13, 2008 #12

    monkerz

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    First time grower here. I ordered some things and will visit my local Lowes and purchase the rest. I will post pics of the outcome of mine. Thanks Snuggles.
     
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  13. Apr 13, 2008 #13

    snuggles

    snuggles

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    Nice Monkerz, hope it goes OK for you, if you need any help or have any questions feel free to hit me up.
     
  14. May 26, 2008 #14

    snuggles

    snuggles

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    OK I was just at a Depot in my area, 39" vinyl fence cover is 9.97. Perfect size for a 400 watt grow or more wattage LOL. Killer deal if you want to buils something simple and fast.....and now super cheap. 4 rails for 40USD plus pump, misters, and hose etc. for a great price, a great unit and something that will last.
     
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  15. May 28, 2008 #15

    jraddude

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    Hey snuggles, thanks for writing this up! I plan on building it in a month, but a got a couple questions. It looks like you dont have any hydroton in the net cups, are the clones just held up by the neoprene? its seems like they would get heavy during flowering? oh great, i forgot my other question :D
     
  16. May 28, 2008 #16

    snuggles

    snuggles

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    LOL well I can't answer the second one cause I forget what you were going to ask too. Actually I thought the same thing, but believe it or not no, during flowering the roots hold it in place believe it or not. I was certain I was going to have to figure for the that top heaviness and it never happens LOL. By all means use hydroton if it makes you more comfy, I hate the mess and didn't need it. Good luck with the build, I'm going to build 2 3x3 tables to go along with my 4 foot rails. If you have questions let me know. I'm always here...sorta
     
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  17. Jun 1, 2008 #17

    Roken

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    I love the sick humor!!!! you got many laugh's over here on that one!! keep em coming man!!!
     
  18. Jun 1, 2008 #18
    ok snuggles youve inspired me to make one i have everything cept the actual ductwork but thats no problem.

    although youre plants look amazingly healthy the roots in the channeling look very unhealthy so this is where i jump in.

    get some microbial manufactured by growthmasta it both prevents and cures pythium/root rot.

    or in between feeds you can use oxy-plus which cannot be used at the same time as microbial for some reason and those roots with be so bright they will glow in the dark man.

    pkj
     
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  19. Jun 2, 2008 #19

    snuggles

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    Thanks for the heads up I will try it, my plants always look like that, Liquid Karma is very dark LOL.

    or in between feeds you can use oxy-plus which cannot be used at the same time as microbial for some reason and those roots with be so bright they will glow in the dark man.

    Is it h2o2 based? If so it will kill all the little guys even the good ones, and with Hydroguard and Liquid Karma I can't use...I will look for it online you have me interested. Is it similar to Hydrozyme?

    As for the microbial, I use Hydroguard it's the same thing pretty much.
     
  20. Jun 15, 2008 #20
    Can't wait to see more :)
     

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