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Old 12-22-2015, 05:34 AM #1
Dawn Patrol
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Help me design my new grow cab

Looong time outdoor grower being forced inside for various reasons and not under ideal circumstances. This cabinet will be in a garage with no air conditioning and very poor air flow…...in Florida.


Not much I can do about the space without spending thousands and drawing attention to the structure. I realize it may not be feasible to use this cabinet during June – August and I'm OK with that.


I'm envisioning a box with the following outside dimensions: 3 feet wide, 7 feet long and at least 5 feet high. Construction will consist of 1/4” to 1/2” plywood outside of 2x4 framing and 2” rigid insulation board on the inside.


Contents will include:


5,000+ BTU portable A/C


(8) Cree CXB3070 COB LED with Meanwell driver


Dehumidifier if necessary


Tropf blumat system w/resevoir


240 CFM fan with carbon scrubber


(2) oscillating tower fans



Unlabeled squares are the lights.



I currently have the 240 cfm fan for the scrubber and all the LED/driver equipment


Soooo, my questions are as follows:


The fan should turn the space (approx 100 cu ft) through the scrubber twice a minute. Is this too much?


Given that ambient temperature outside the box will often be close to 100 degrees, is this enough A/C?


Is this enough space for an A/C unit to work correctly?


I plan to put the A/C in the middle of the box and two 30” x 30” grow spaces each with two LEDs – how many plants can I realistically put in each space?


What is the optimal plant height for these lights?


Are the corner fans placed appropriately?


Initially I plan on running an organic soilless mix and AACT cause that's what I know and it's one less thing to mess with while I get everything else dialed in. I also thought that using blumats would help alleviate humidity swings that might occur with hand watering or hydro (but I could be completely wrong about that as well)


So tear this apart, improve it, help me make it work better.


Note: this proposed set up is the minimum in my mind for this to function. I'm not really interested in tricking this out with automation, fancy controls or anything beyond what will make it purely functional to begin with. I can always upgrade down the road.


So who's up first??
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Last edited by Dawn Patrol; 02-09-2016 at 06:24 AM.. Reason: updated planned specs
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Old 12-23-2015, 05:16 AM #2
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First note: Apparently portables suck ass compared to window shakers in terms of cost, efficiency and producing heat in the grow space. I briefly considered a mini split, but I really don't want to have any new A/C equipment suddenly appear on this structure so now I'm thinking I have to duct a wall unit to accomplish what I want.
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Old 12-23-2015, 05:24 AM #3
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If you use a window shaker mount it out the wall of the cab as if it was mounted out a window this will leave most of your heat out of the cab and if its to small u can always upgrade it from with a larger unit fairly simply. This will help u avoid building a box for it inside the space as well. Good luck I'm all subbed up! BCSticky
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Old 12-23-2015, 05:42 AM #4
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I'll just agree with the others and say that in a cab of that size a flush-mounted window AC could actually end up saving you space and money, and be more efficient to boot. The trade off is the exhaust end of the AC will be sticking a couple inches out of the back your cabinet.
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Old 12-23-2015, 05:44 AM #5
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Thanks BCSticky, you're dead on in that thought. Window units can only have the front 4-6" of the unit in the grow space or you will be wasting the cooled air that the unit generates.

Since the whole thing will be in a space that is often at 90-100+ degrees, the back of that unit will have to have two separate ducts - one to bring cooler air from the outside to the unit and one to exhaust to the outside the significant heat the unit produces to make cold air.

What I guess I have to figure out is how to duct both of those and what other equipment (duct fans) I'll need to move enough ambient air to make the unit operate correctly.

Here's a link to illustrate what I'm talking about: https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=95491
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Last edited by Dawn Patrol; 01-17-2016 at 05:27 AM..
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Old 12-23-2015, 06:42 AM #6
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Your ac unit will still produce cool air with those ambient temps in your garage unless you have an excess heat buld up in your garage it should work just fine at 80 to 100º it should produce 65º air without issue thus cutting down on your ducting work. BCSticky
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Old 12-23-2015, 12:43 PM #7
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hmmmm window shaker over portable....
bout to go thru same transition,same state....building room out in.garage as well, those J-J-A months are gonna be a.scorcher thats for damn sure...ill be.chking back to hear the updates..GL DP...be safe brother..
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Old 12-23-2015, 02:26 PM #8
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DP's movin on inside. Good luck!
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Old 12-23-2015, 02:41 PM #9
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One thing for sure DP, if you go this route https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=95491, you'll want to research the reliability of the wall shaker unit... What a PITA it's going to be to have to service that machine after it's all ducted up.
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Old 12-23-2015, 10:55 PM #10
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True dat fooool! Pain in the ass. Good point coba! Do any maintenance needed first. Id be wary of used unit for the simple matter of rebuilding the damn thing if it fails.

Took me about an hour just to rip the damn thing apart. Apparently i splurged on the good foil tape for that job and it backfired. Had that shit everywhere, doesnt want to peel off.
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