The Traveling Grower - The Struggle From the Road



Cool. In my experience I combination of light wiggling on the pin and wire at the same time and they release without any tension.

If you can stand on one foot and say happy new year at the same time we’ll see about getting you an award!


Hung the new fixture this morning:

I will make a thorough update on the light build in this thread. This morning I re-wired half the COBs using the holes drilled in the heat sinks - this weekend I will take it down and finish re-wiring the other ones. I am going to see how this configuration works - I am trying to get the light spread out front to back a little bit more and especially hit those front buds. The back is a little more empty than the front so I am not as worried about it (I have the heater and a little shelf thingie back there so the plants don’t go all the way to the wall).


@dbrn32 how close should I run that light to the canopy? I can’t really go under 18" with the King Pro panels but I think I can go down to 6" or so with the rail?


Quick update on the plants today. All is well. GL PH was 5.88 this morning, so it seems to have stabilized. I didn’t add any water today - her PPM is at 726.

SSH was at 5.7. I upped her PH to 5.84 and didn’t check PPM. Sunday they get a full res change so I am just going to let them go until then unless I see a problem.


@Bogleg really nice! I’m going to have to do something this year. Probably a qb though.


I love the QBs but at $9 per COB I couldn’t pass up the Citizen 1212s. Plus they are hard to find in stock and I wanted to get a light boost as soon as possible since I am now almost two weeks into flower.

My biggest issue right now is water temps. The temps in my reservoirs is 11C! Aquarium heaters arrive today, so I will have that resolved soon. But 51F is insane. After this grow I’m going to look into some rubber matting to put under my tent.


How about a sheet of Styrofoam? You can decouple the plants from the floor and that might help.

I used an aquarium heater to warm the grow space on my first grow.


That would work too - right now I have each plant in a 14ga tote that’s filled with water and both are under screens, so I can’t move them - my only recourse is water heaters for the time being.


Okay, here’s my rudimentary attempt at documenting the light build.

I made the trip to Home Depot today to pick up the rest of the things I needed, and built the light tonight. I still have to figure out how I want to hang it, which will require drilling four holes and putting hooks on it. I also need to finish up some wire management and figure out where I will be putting the driver for the time being. What follows is my “step by step” process (as near as I could, I didn’t capture every single step in a photo).

Okay, so first off I gathered all the stuff required (and them some) to complete the project:

  1. The aforementioned COBs (heat sinks, COBs, holders, thermal pads, screws)
  2. 1"x1"x1/8" Aluminum Angle (96")
  3. Soldering Iron and Electrical Solder
  4. Heat shrink wraps
  5. A Leviton 3-wire male plug
  6. 18awg solid copper wire
  7. Cable Tie anchors
  8. Cable ties
  9. The Driver
  10. Wire Nuts

Tools required:

  1. Phillips Head Screwdriver
  2. Drill with appropriate drill bits (I don’t even know what ones I used, I just looked at the screws and picked one bigger than the thread part and smaller than the head part)
  3. Soldering Iron
  4. Measuring Tape
  5. Hacksaw - I used a hacksaw to cut the aluminum (hence my ugly angles) since that’s all I had available
  6. Pencil

Since I already put together the COBs, my next step is to build the frame to mount the heatsinks. I bought single 96" bar of aluminum angle at Home Depot and cut it into 42" sections.

I then measured the distance from the bottom of the heat sink to the screw hole on the side, and added that distance to the 1/8" thickness of the aluminum angle. It came out to 5/16ths. I measured to the center of the bars and drilled a whole 5/16th of an inch from the corner. If you look at the above pick you will see the first two holes I drilled.

Then I measured 8" from center and drilled the remainder of the holes needed to mount the COBs:

Next I screwed the heat sinks to the aluminum angle:

Then I cut the remainder of the aluminum bar to make end pieces for the frame:

Then I wired up the COBs:

This is where I made a mistake - I didn’t realize the tiny holes in the heat sinks were meant to route the wire, so I have to rewire them to get the wires managed better.

Then I connected the driver. The driver has three things to worry about. Because I have the “B” model driver that has external dimming leads and I didn’t get a potentiometer yet, I have to cap off the dimming leads. In addition, I need to connect the output wires to the COB array. I chose to solder the wires together and wrap them with a heat shrink sleeve:

I don’t have a fancy heat gun, so I used a lighter to apply heat to the heat shrinks.

Finally, I connected a Leviton 3-wire plug to the input side of the driver:

And lastly, I plugged it in:

Now, as I said, I need to do some wire management. I also need to eventually find a better solution for the location of the driver but for now it’s all working and hung in the tent so I am probably not going to disturb it until I finish this grow. We’ll see how I feel on Sunday after I change the reservoirs out.

Let's talk DIY lights

Awesome job, and great tutorial!

I’m curious as to why you think these can be 6” and you have to run the others at 18”, heat?

I wouldn’t expect that you would be able to get them much closer than 12” without light bleaching. And even at 12” you would have to start them higher and go through a light hardening process. I would say 18” is probably a good place to start, but them there for a little while to adapt to the different light spectrum and more condensed photon count.


Thanks - I don’t know why I thought that, honestly. I think because I’ve seen some manufactured COB panels that you can? Who knows. Anyway I’ll start at 18" as you suggest.


Ya maybe. I would think that anything like that would have to be less power and much less efficient. I took a peek over at the advertised par levels on the timber fixtures, and there may not be a whole lot of reason to even get your bar as low as 12”. You’ll certainly be pushing the amount of ambient co2


Styrofoam under all my plants all the time


Quick update today. First, I discovered my PH meter was off by +0.3. I don’t know how long that was going on for, or if I somehow screwed it playing with the modes this morning or what. But I corrected it and my plants PH’d at 5.69 for the GL and 5.2 for the SSH. I adjusted them both up to 5.8. The water heaters showed up today and I installed them so now the water temps are at 63F and climbing. I set them to 68F. Anyway, in spite of my PH issues and my water temps the plants look okay to me:

Tomorrow I do full res changes and I am considering running florakleen as well.


Just ok? You’re a tough crowd lol. They look pretty damn good to me! How close to edge of your canopy is the new light?


All out of likes @Bogleg but I love your grow. They look great. Wish I could smell them.


I’ll need to measure it but I would say probably 6”? When I get a chance later I’ll measure it. What would you recommend?


They smell amazing. Especially the SSH. She is super fragrant. Smells like pine and lemons when I open the tent.


You’re at about 18” above canopy correct? I figure you can bump them in a few inches if it’s not a big deal. That is a tent right, and when you close it up there’s reflective surface on the inside?


Yeah it is a grow tent with Mylar walls. I can move it towards the middle some.