UPDATE: Finished control center
Okay, as mentioned before, I just finished the control center up. I still have to set the previously mentioned components tomorrow after I pressurize the accumulator, but otherwise it's good to go! (Still have some minor work on the mist chamber).
Here's the unassuming exterior, designed to be on a deck in the elements just like where I'll have it, while keeping everything inside nice and dry. If anything were to spring a leak inside, it will quickly drain out through the bottom. Notice in the front is the main lead wires that will run to the solenoids, and the bulkhead for the regulated output of the mist-line. I included a side shot to show the cord which powers the 12v trickle charger- keeping my deep cycle battery topped off. As a "smart charger" it's designed to stay connected to the battery indefinitely without overcharging. Bonus was that the charger is also waterproof and made to withstand the outdoors even in rain.
So, here's what's inside, but first, a formal introduction... Anyone who's ever read Cavadge's thread might notice something vaguely familiar...
Ok, now that we've taken care of the intruduction, let's move on to the rest of Mister Aloha's insides...
I got these on/off switches at Radio Shack, and there's no need to label on/off, because although the camera flash washed it out a bit, the switches have a bright led light in them, which turns green when in the on position, and red in the off position... I turned one on, and one off so you might be able to see the difference. I thought these were a good idea because I've read too many times people messing up their grow by accidentally forgetting to flip a switch after servicing something, and they come back to wilted plants. Hopefully the lights will make it quite noticeable. That's the ATC 422 Flip-Flop timer in the middle. What's cool about it are those little red lights to the right of each setting dial (on period dial and off period dial). They begin flashing faster and faster in a countdown to let you know the solenoids are about to fire.
(I have the accumulator out because I need to charge it... Also, the cover is off the pressure switch as I still need to set it.)
Those with discerning eyes may notice the center board is slightly off center, no- it wasn't all the wine I was drinking when I was putting it together either... I decided to give the accumulator extra room, as I plan to wrap it with fiberglass batting, and a layer of reflectix to try to keep it insulated. Hopefully it will cool off at night, and spray that cooler water during the hot daylight hours.
I put the center board on a hinge, for easy access should I need to get to anything under it. The pressure release valve is located under here and in a way that it lays down most of the time, but can be swiveled upright for setting changes. Obviously because all the cords and lines have to be a bit longer and unattached, thay aren't as perfectly clean and mounted as I would have liked them to be, but that's the price for functionality. You'll notice an electrical outlet in the back. I just wired it to the extension cord that leads to the outside. I have the trickle charger plugged in, and an extra outlet for whatever else I might need. (Also bought a led touch light, so I can see everything conveniently at night, but have yet to mount it.)
If you can see in this not very close up picture, I have all the valves located in one convenient location. I have them so I can isolate the accumulator, one to recirculate the pump's outlet right back to the res (for air purging the filter) and one to turn off the flow to the pressure regulator/misters. By using various combinations of open and closed valves, I can empty the accumulator right back into the res (this line going back to the lid of the res is also connected to the output of the Pressure release valve should it ever blow. Again, as a safety precaution, I have it so during normal operation, all of the valve levers are pointing in the same directions- so a quick glance makes sure I have left them in the right positions for normal operation after servicing. I didn't bother incorporating a manual pump ON button (green light on the switch means auto mode, red light means off). The reason why is that by controlling the valves to isolate the accumulator and open the return to res line, the pressure drop should cause the pressure switch to turn the pump on. I copied Cavadge's idea in mounting the pump to a piece of plywood, and used some double stick tape to mount 4 neoprene pucks to the bottom as a vibration isolating/sound deadening measure. Since the board was quite close between the battery and front wall, I took the extra measure of lining the edge of that board with a sticky strip of closed cell weatherstripping foam. There happens to be enough extra space on the floor for a few various bottles of nutes/ph adjusters, etc.
Here are a couple pics from yesterday I hadn't posted yet, of the root chamber lid as I was working on it.
There are 8 sites, and due to the dual wall design, I had to get creative. What I did, after deciding to go with 2" netpots, is drill out 3" holes in the top layer, but only 2" holes in the bottom layer. I took a picture of a boo-boo too. I got overconfident and started drilling too fast- accidentally drilled all the way through the bottom layer with the 3" bit- that's why you see the patchwork. I just took one of the 3" cutouts, epoxied it over the hole, and redrilled it with the 2" bit after it dried. It's not exactly pretty- but no one will really ever see it. Anyway- the reason I went with this route with the netpots is so they are fully exposed to the mist on all sides, rather than sitting on top with the bottoms being only about flush with the lower wall of the lid. This created another issue as I was worried that in the rain, water would funnel down into the chamber and over soak it, not to mention it wasn't exactly pretty looking into the gap in the lid. So in the top 3" holes, I cut the bottom 2 inches off some 3" net pots, and dropped them in and snapped those netpot lids I was investigating on them. All I can say is it works, and I believe the netpot lids may help hold the cuttings upright until they root in the cubed rockwool, as well as help retain the moisture from when I am handwatering them as they get started.
Here's the final lid with netpots and also how the boo-boo came out after the fix...
Well, that's it for now guys, any comments or suggestions are appreciated. I hope your all as happy about the way this is going as I am, and looks like I am not going to change the thread name like Mike said to "True HP-Aero for 2012" hehehe- that made me laugh man...