DIY Growing Chamber

This is my freshman science project, that I made to try to grow lettuce in a controlled environment. The chamber is a paper box, although it could be almost any size. Inside I made a watering system, grow light strip, and a cooling/air circulation fan. Outside I put a AC/DC converter that goes to a switch leading to the inside of the box.

Supplies:

Materials:

  • grow light strip
  • AC/DC converter
  • Small Fan (about 2in)
  • box
  • plastic container (I used a yogurt container)
  • straws
  • lettuce seeds

Tools:

  • soldering iron
  • hot glue gun
  • pencil
  • knife

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Step 1: Wiring the Box

Attach two wires to the AC/DC converter and switch it to 12V. Then solder wires to the lights and to the fan in parallel. If you have a connector to your lights, solder to the connector wires instead of straight to the strip. Next cut a hole in the side of the box and attach the cooling fan over the hole (remember to place the fan so that the air blows into the box.) Once the fan is attached cut another hole on the top of the box at one end as a door to access the watering system. (See the second image)

Step 2: Assemble the Watering System

The watering system is composed of two parts, the reservoir and the drippers. The reservoir is an old yogurt container with two holes punched in the bottom. To punch the holes I used a sharpened pencil, and I pushed it all the way through to get the right size. For the drippers, I put two straws into each other and poked small holes into them. Then I hot glued one end shut and put the other end into the holes punched in the reservoir and used hot glue to secure the straws in the holes.

Step 3: Final Assembly

First, place the watering system into the tray and cover the straws with soil. Once the straws are covered plant the lettuce seeds in the tray about 2-3 inches apart. The reservoir sit about half in half out, so I used wood blocks to hold it up. Now, the tray, and watering system should be put in the bottom of the box (the lid). When you put the top (the box part) on top (duh... where else would it go?) the door that we cut earlier should be over the reservoir. Plug it in and see it go. Good Luck!

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