184w CFL Stealth Mini Fridge

Discussion in 'Stealth / Micro / Cab Growing' started by 123canadaguy, Nov 27, 2017.


    123canadaguy Member

    So here's what I've been working on for the last couple months.

    Project: Turn a broken 4.4cu ft mini fridge I got for free locally into a semi-automated, completely stealth grow box.

    First Grow Journal: https://www.rollitup.org/t/first-grow-3-strains-184w-cfl-mini-fridge.954055/

    Prep: First I gutted everything that made it a fridge. I had a friend purge the refrigerant for me so I could remove the compressor and lines safely. I removed the shelving on the inside and the separate section for the freezer. I took off the door and rubber seal, using a Dremel to cut out the plastic that would have held cans and bottles on the inside. A couple screws later and the temperature controls were removed, leaving me the perfect wires for lighting already ran to the inside. I plan to cut out the step at the bottom later so there is more floor space inside.

    Reflectivity: To line the inside of the fridge I used about half of a 25 sqft roll of Reflectix insulation from Lowes and aluminum HVAC tape. I measured the dimensions, cut and taped it to the inside. The ceiling of the box doesn't matter. Before reattaching the door I also insulated it. The plastic cutout when screwed back on over top made a tight seal with the insulation.

    Exhaust: At the top I cut a 4 inch hole which I tapered on the inside to fit a 120mm 12v exhaust fan rated at 121cfm. I used silicone around the edge of it to make it airtight and 2 threaded rods through the back of the fridge to hold it in place. Using my 3D modeling experience I designed and 3D printed a custom 4 inch elbow to fit a Can Filter 1500 flange which was also printed. It was siliconed over the 4 inch hole to attach the filter vertically on the outside. This keeps it out of sight when the fridge is against a wall and it sits as close to the fridge as possible to save space.

    Intake: One 2" hole was drilled on each side of the fridge at the bottom. Fabric from some General Hydroponics bandannas are covering the holes as a temporary filter. When the door closes you can see they get sucked in from the pressure so no worry about smell. Eventually I'll be 3D printing a light trap for each hole and air filter mounts.

    Electrical: I used the existing fridge wiring at the back and added a 24 hour timer in line with the wiring that runs to the inside of the fridge. This controls 184 watts of CFL bulbs (4x 23w 5000k & 4x 23w 2700k). Branching off the existing wiring I also added a 12v step down for the exhaust fan. The fan is currently controlled by a DC motor controller at a constant speed. Im looking into having the fans controlled by temperature/humidity or an Arduino instead of having just one set speed. Wiring works for now I'll tidy it up eventually.

    It's still a work in progress and has turned into more of a hobby than anything. Let me know what you think!

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    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
    Nugachino, KrazyG and CannaBruh like this.

    vanslyke Well-Known Member

    Good job man, sick little stealth box!
    Im curious to see your results!
    123canadaguy likes this.

    tatikas Active Member

    Real nice, but I would suggest to use household LED bulbs instead. More light per watt, a more directional light and less heat. Here's a great thread with some actual measurements:
    CFLs are dead :hump:
    sworth and 123canadaguy like this.

    Nugachino Well-Known Member

    That's really tidy man. I like it.
    123canadaguy likes this.

    KrazyG Well-Known Member

    Really nice tidy build, love stealth builds.
    Nugachino and 123canadaguy like this.

    123canadaguy Member

    Thanks! I posted a link to my grow journal at the top of the post if you wanna see how it's going. I'll try and update it tonight
    Nugachino likes this.

    123canadaguy Member

    Cool I'll look into led bulbs I have a couple around the house

    Akhead New Member

    I have this exact fridge that im wanting to turn into a stealth grow box just need the right design! What kind of fans did you use for the carbon filter? And do you have intake fans or just holes for airflow?

    123canadaguy Member

    It's a 120mm 121cfm 12v circuit test fan. Just holes for the intake.

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