What is The Nanomachine?
In short, I believe it to be the world's smallest 100% stealth and 100% portable single plant growing machine.
It's the result of about 2 months of hard work, research, planning, building, a lot of sweat, a little blood, and about half a dozen revisions.
Standing only 14" tall, 7" wide, and 15" long it is a growbox that can truly be used anywhere and everywhere to grow a small crop of cannabis. Completely light proof, completely smell proof, no strange cords or fans, and absolutely nothing that would give it away as a growbox.
That said, let me take you on a quick picture tour of my latest and greatest invention in micro growing technology...
First off, let's take a look at the outside of this stealth growing machine! As you can see it happens to be a computer case! I decided that for ease of design and stealth that a Micro ATX computer case would probably be my best option for stealth. Since computers normally weigh a signifigant ammount and also have fans built in that generate a fair ammount of noise it seemed that a computer case was the logical choice for a completely stealth design.
You will also notice that this particular computer also has a standard CD-Rom drive, 3.5" floppy drive, audio, USB, and firewire ports in the front, and all the appropriate ports and a fan in the back. Nothing strange looking at all and the only cord that runs out of the case is the power cord, which comes out exactly where it should come out!
Now lets see whats inside...
Now thats what I call a good use of modern technology!
Let's take a closer look...
The guts have been stripped out, the inside is lined with Reflectix reflective insulation, a wall has been installed that partitions the case into two sections, and the seams where any light or air might escape have all been filled in with black calk. Vaseline was applied to the door while the calk set so that the caulk would only stick to the parts I wanted to when it dried and would not stick to anything with vaseline on it.
The growing chamber of this micro computer case measures 14" tall, 9" long, and 6.75" wide. This equates to about 0.4 square feet of growing space. It is believed that the appropriate ammount of lighting to grow good plants is approximately 50 watts per square foot. All the lighting in this case is supplied by a single 42 watt CFL (A 6500k spectrum bulb for veg that is switched out to 2700k spectrum bulb for flowering). So 42 watts in about 0.4 square feet works out to 100 watts per square foot!
You can also see in this picture that in the rear electrical chamber of the cab there is a power strip mounted to the wall, a simple timer to control the light on the floor of the cab, and a 55 cfm exhaust fan placed directly infront of 12v DC adapters that power the two fans, but more on this later...
Here we see the right hand side of the growing chamber. It has a temperature and humidity gauge mounted into the wall and you can see the intake at the bottom of the chamber. This intake measures about 5.5" wide and 3.5" tall. I constructed a simple light trap for it that functions similar to a darkroom louver and allows it to take in air through the conveniently placed grating in the front of the case but without letting any light esacpe in the process.
On the left side of the case you can now see the 55 cfm exhaust fan that ventilates the growing section of this cab. This fan has a small removable piece of window screen material attached to the front to prevent any stray buds or leaves from getting caught in the fan.
Now would probably be a good time to talk about the ScrOG screen too! This removable screen is placed exactly 6.75" high in the case, and when used with 3.5" tall growing containers it will allow the plant's stem to grow 3.25" tall before being trained into the screen. This screen will be removed for vegging so I can get the plants closer to the light and then attached to the mounting brackets once I determine the sex of the plants and figure out which one I'm keeping. By this I mean that I will start with 2 plants and hopefully get 1 good female to work with out of them. After that the plant's buds will have 4" of space between the top of the screen and the bottom of the 42 watt CFL to grow and create a nice nano sized canopy. Obviously to do a grow on this small of a scale I will be going 12/12 straight from seed every time and growing in soil or a soiless mix, since this micro ATX PC case is just too small to support a hydro grow.
Next up we see a view of the inside of the case with the back wall pannel removed. From here you can get a good look at motherboard that was cut down to just the rear serial ports in the pannel on the back of the case, which gives it the appearence of being a real computer. You can also see that the exhaust fan that blows air out of the growing chamber is hooked up to a miniature carbon filter!
The design of this filter is based off of Suga Bear's micro carbon filter design, but I took it a step further by hacking up a small ziplock storage tub, epoxying the base of the tub over the rear of the exhaust fan, and epoxying the carbon filter itself to the lid of the tub. This way the carbon filter can easily be removed and the carbon can be changed without having to tear a ton of a duct tape off the fan and the filter. I thought this quick detach system was a pretty neat idea. The carbon filter also serves to nicely light proof the exhaust fan.
But as we all know, a carbon filter (even one this ingeniously designed) does restrict airflow quite a bit when hooked up to PC fans. And this is why I have a two stage exhaust system! In a picture further up I pointed out that the fan in the back of the PC case that exhausts air out of the electrical chamber. Well, since I was able to make the electrical chamber air tight and completely sealed off from the growing chamber, the fan in the very back of the case that exhausts air out all helps to pull air in from the growing chamber and through the carbon filter! So while the 55 CFM fan in the growing chamber pushes air through the carbon filter, the 55 CFM fan in the back of the PC case helps pull air through the carbon filter and ultimately exhausts the scrubbed air out the back of the case along with any heat generated by the 12 volt DC adapters from the fans.
And while I'm talking about ventilation, it's worth noting that this ventilation system keeps the case quite cool! The case never gets over 12*F above ambient room temperature and usually stays around 7 or 8* above ambient room temperature. So it's always a pleasent 77* to 85* inside the case.
Now what are you looking at in this picture? You are looking at this stealth PC case running in a completely pitch black room! The only light in the picture is coming from a clock sitting on the floor in the backround, so as you can see this PC case is 100% light proof. I spent hours and hours light proofing every tiny little seam and crack so that not a single speck of light escapes the case even when it's running in a pitch black room!
In these last few pictures you can see a size comparison between a Xbox 360 and my Nanomachine. As you can see from the pics, The Nanomachine isn't all that much larger than a modern home video game console and measures only 14" tall! It also uses extremely little power, so it's quite energy effiecent and earth friendly.
So what now?
Well, now I'm gonna pick this case up under my arm, set it up on my desk, and grow some bud right on my desktop! I've got some Sensi Seeds Northern Lights germinating as I type and as soon as they are germinated they'll be planted in some starter plugs and head into The Nanomachine for it's inaugural grow.
And from here on out I'm going to use this thread as grow diary for the first grow in what I believe to be the world's smallest 100% stealth growbox! I'll be posting some pics in a few days after the seeds have germinated and the seedlings have sprouted so stay tuned my friends, this should be one heck of a show.
And a big "thank you!" to everyone who took the time to give me advice on the lighting and ventilation for this creation and to everyone who might have taken the time to read this incredibly long post or even just took the time to look at some of the pictures. You guys (and gals) are truly awesome.
Stay safe, grow smart, and I'll see you when the sprouts pop up!