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Built my own light rotator- wanna see?

Discussion in 'Advanced Techniques & Problems' started by ttystikk, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. Hey all, this is a new thread to show off my sad sack McGuyver skills and share a DIY build of a light rotator. I'll post some pics as soon as I can figure out how to put them on here.

    Materials list;
    1. one old but working bicycle, preferably at least 10 speeds, with derallieurs intact and functional. It's a one way trip, after you cut it up, it'll never ride again

    2. windshield wiper motor. I found one from an old Civic that had threads I could lock another bolt onto with some nuts, all found at the big orange place.

    3. 5' -6' long bar, broom or rod

    4. assorted hose clamps, fasters, bits of wood for blocks, etc

    5. 12 volt 2 amp power supply, to run the motor

    So, first remove the brakes and the front wheel, the seat and the pedals. Next, cut the top tube off at the seat tube. Then, cut the downtube off halfway between crank and headset. Cut the other half off, then weld it to the bottom of the crank arm, so you can hang the frame sideways (gears down) and have mounting points spaced around the crank. Attach the broomstick to the bottom crank, and mount the motor to the bike frame so that its shaft drives the rear tire backwards. This will tu the chain around and pull the crank and rotate your crossbar. hang your light on a swivel at one end of the bar, and some counterweight at the other end.

    Set the gearing so that the bar turns one complete circle every couple or three minutes. Hang the cord to your hood from the ceiling, with enough drop that it will reach across to the light on the far side, but not droop too far when its on the near side. This will take some fiddling. If you want more light, hang a smaller crossbar on the swivel and hang a light at each end of it. Since the light(s) are on a swivel, your cord won't twist.

    I used this setup 20 years ago, and it was a revelation because at the time no one ever heard of vented hoods. This way, the light could be really close to the plants without burning them, and I had great distribution. Today, I find that no one wants to use rotators, on the mistaken belief that they hurt yield. That's crap, this is the best way I know of to make a 1000w HPS cover 30 plus square feet of growing space!

    I'm sure this isn't enough to fully explain the idea, so reply with your questions and I'll answer them all.
  2. This isn't my only screwball idea, so if you like this one, don't be too shy to ask about the rest of them!
    caveman4.20 likes this.
  3. photos of the setup

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. nice i wouldnt trust it if i built it my self lol aslong as its doin its job bro peace ts
  5. lol, it didn't work right when I built it, either- had to keep messing with it until it would run for awhile. I had to use traction tape on the wiper motor shaft to get it to turn the bike wheel, for example
    caveman4.20 likes this.
  6. Seamaiden

    Seamaiden Living dead girl

    Ghetto, but that's part of what I dig about it.

    Go on, share the rest of your ideas.
  7. ok, so which do you want to hear more about; how to double the efficiency of your HID light, using automotive heater cores and your home's tapwater to cool your growroom, or building an assembly line grow operation where even small scale hobbyists could have fresh bud every 2 weeks?
    jumpincactus and caveman4.20 like this.
  8. my theory on the light mover is really pretty simple; the benefits include running your light closer to your canopy, which boosts intensity (and potency!), dissipating heat, more even light distribution, and it combats canopy shading. I'm currently designing a three part system, of which the light mover is one component, that works together to boost efficiency as much as double over stationary light, resulting in less heat, less electricity used, and fewer bulbs to replace. Who's interested in that?
    jumpincactus and caveman4.20 like this.
  9. Since I already have a pipelined grow, how about you share the automotive heater core and tapwater rig? Thanks!
    caveman4.20 likes this.
  10. gudkarma

    gudkarma Guest

    fucking rad.

    i love the ingenuity.

    i love the ghetto fab nature.

    excellent & thanks for sharing
  11. LBH


    So THAT'S where my fuckin' bike went........:):confused0054:

    Bravo on the ghetto fab, dig it. Let's hear about the cooling a room with water (and if you tell me to get a hose I'm taking my bike back! lol)
  12. I was hoping to ignite a leading edge tech discussion here, and it looks like everyone is hungry for new ideas- that is, not necessarily new, but ones you won't find pushed on you at the local hydro store. What I'm gonna do, then, is start a new thread for each new tech, so that we can keep the ideas and feedback more focused. I will start a new thread on the 'pipeline'- 'regimented grow'- 'assembly line'- 'scheduled grow'- 'perpetual grow' thing, and another on the water cooled growroom. Look for them in this section.
    caveman4.20 likes this.
  13. I thought about doing something like this with a ceiling fan a while back.
  14. CelticEBE, someone beat you to it. I saw a 'light spinner' at the last big cannabis convention here in Denver, and I spoke at length with the engineer/head of the company. He's built several models of a light spinner that spins the reflectors, bulbs, and even the ballasts at 30 rpm, which is easily as fast as a ceiling fan! The first thought I had when I saw it was that it's an instant trip to the ER if you get your head in the way working on your garden! His reasoning for the blinding speed was that it keeps the bulbs cool, reducing the heat footprint. Shit, mine does that just fine and it takes 2-3 minutes to make a complete revolution! While he did say that you can run different heat ranges of bulbs to fine tune your light output to plant needs, every spinner I saw had all the bulbs mounted the same distance from the hub, which really doesn't allow for better light distribution than my setup. Worse, the damned thing gives you a headache being anywhere near it because it flickers- fast- as the bulbs move around the circle. IMHO, that thing belongs in a disco, not anywhere near your garden! Faster isn't always better- after all, the sun takes 8-14 hours just to cross the sky once every day.
    caveman4.20 and Goodsen Cranium like this.
  15. fondiz


    that's fuckin awesome. LOL. I love how many DIYs you find on here.
  16. I have done quite a bit of testing with this device and i can tell you all a few important things about them.
    1. rotaters work.
    2. better reflectors specifically designed for this application will make them work better. I am designing a reflector for the job.
    3. if you look carefully at the pics again, you'll see that the mylar on the walls is angled to direct light down onto the edge of he canopy- this also helps efficiency.
    4. The maximum space one 1000w HID will light with this setup is almost 10x10, but any bigger than 6x6 is going to lead to lankiness.
    5. You can use two (or I suppose even more) bulbs and then it works well for up to 9x9.
    caveman4.20 and WalterWhiteFire like this.
  17. What a trip... cool!
  18. I'd buy a ton of hampsters and be done with it.:)
    Camdawg likes this.
  19. Everybody's a comedian... just wait til you see what's up for round two!
    caveman4.20 likes this.
  20. Hill-Feckin-Larious ,

    But ya gotta love the Ingenuity & ya can ride the fecker to the local 7 till 11 to get some Beer & Slurpees ,,,
    jumpincactus likes this.