Monday, August 2, 2010

Sprayer Installation

Today's project was installing the spray nozzles inside the aeroponics chamber.

First thing's first, creating a stable holder for the spray nozzles that will keep it above the water level. The first attempt was really kind of half-hearted and was just made with things around my house. I had some stiff insulated wire and bent it into a shape that would hold the sprayers, shown below.

It turned out to be stable enough that the hosing didn't fall off, but not stiff enough that it was held consistently in the same place. Instead, I realized there is a little lip on the inside of both long edges of the container. I could rest something stiff across it and then cable tie the tubing in place before I put on the sprayers. I also needed something I could put my hand through to reach the submerged pump. The plastic lattice for fencing (found near the lumber in home depot for $10 per 2'x8' sheet) was just the thing.

Armed with six 180 degree sprayers, 3" extension tubes, and one 360 degree sprayer, I arranged to have all but one corner net pot be sprayed.

And here's a low quality video to attempt to show the spray. The video I have shows it well, but I have yet to figure out how to embed it with high enough quality to see the water droplets.

One thing I was dismayed to realize is that even though I have good coverage, only the very edge of the clay pellets was permeated with water. I have been following various tutorials online as I've worked on my design, and I'm using the same technique. It must just mean that either the seeds have to extend roots all the way to the edge of the pot before it gets nutrients, or that I will need to administer water/nutrient solution by hand from above until the roots grow sufficiently to fend for themselves.

Also, I've figured out how to store the aeroponics system. I bought a shelving unit that has wheels. This will do has a holder for the chamber and the lights. I got two separate types of lights, one that has the red range, and one that has the blue range.

While the shelving unit looks really big, it allows for plenty of storage space. I can store the extra clay pellets and chemicals on the bottom shelf and extra lights and such on the top shelves.

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