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Thread: Intermitent Mist

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Santee-Cooper Lakes, South Carolina
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    94

    Intermitent Mist

    I too am going to set this up soon. Cost for the controller, from my search of the catalogs can be reasonable (to me aboy $60) to big big bucks. Would like to here what yo do. I will probably do one bed cheapest way.
    Jim Lang

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Newport, RI/Richmond, RI
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    I'm actually in the process of making one. I'm estimating the cost at about $15-$20. It could have been less, but I haven't done this before. Now that I started to get the pieces, I realize that I could have done this a whole lot cheaper. You will be supprised what you can do if you scrounge for parts. Even without electronics experience, you can still make one of these. If anyone is interested, I can keep you updated on my progress, and give out plans when I finish.

    Bill Gauch.

  3. #3
    Hi Bill, I would be interested in how you build it -with out spending big bucks. I have a small one set up manually, haven't figured out the timer yet-but when summer comes turning it on 3 or 4 times a day won't do it. Daryll in NW FLA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    598

    Have a look

    Pardon my intrusion but have you guys really come up with an less expensive way to create one of these things? Like you, I am searching for the least expensive system I can build, because I don't know just how far I want to go with it. Anything you come up with, I would appreciate learning about it.

    I found a couple of sites that get pretty detailed on the construction process, try this:

    http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/hil-405.html

    When you get there, the pictures can be expanded by simply clicking on them.

    If you paste in just the part that ends with "hort", you will find a wealth of info from the U or FL web site.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    9,934

    Intermittent Mist System

    Here is a site that I recently came across. Hopefully, it will give you a good understanding of what considerations to make when designing your own, and will shed some light on some of the terminology used. Click on the drawing figures to enlarge them.

    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/EP032

    Tom, this may be one of the U of FL sites to which you are referring. I know I learned quite a bit from this one.

    Thanks!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    598

    Not the same, but nearly identical content

    I don't understand, when I click on the reference, it comes up right away. It is handout leaflet # 405 from the extension service in Fla.

    Anyway, although the references are different, the authors seem to be the same as does most of the content. Good job.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Newport, RI/Richmond, RI
    Posts
    70
    What I'm actually trying to make is the cyclic timer part. Basically, I was going to take a couple "555" timer chips, with a few resistors and capacitors, put them on a test board and connect a battery. If you have a passing (no formal training) interest in electronics, here is a link:

    http://webhome.idirect.com/~jadams/e...s/555timer.htm

    It should be a simple matter to put this on a test board with a few multi-position switches to set the time-out. I have to ask an electrical engineer friend a few questions about relays. I also have to ask some what-ifs about the practical differences between AC and DC current.

    Some alternatives that I thought of (if I had elec. service on my land):

    1. It should be quite easy to write a timer program which interacts with a port on your computer. Then, cut open an old (or new) cable and use the signal wire as a switch for a relay. This (for me) would be the simplest method to use, being a programmer.

    2. You should be able to break open an old digital clock and hook a wire from the LCD panel connection to a counter chip. Keep track of the number of seconds. Simple logic would tell you when to turn on and off.

    3. Some kind of mechanical trigger. You should be able to buy clockworks from any hobby/craft store. You could hook the second hand up to one switch and the minute hand up to another. Some sort of triggering mechinism would have to be worked out to set the intervals. I may still try to implement this method for the fun of it. Also, it would give my wife a project (she is a mechanical engineering student).

    There are any number of ways that one can count time. Unfortunately, its not worth the effort for most people. I mean, this effort MIGHT save me $30-$40. If I include a 24-hour timer, I might save a few more dollars. Actually, if I had electricity and phone, I could make a very elaborate setup for little or no money. I mean, it wouldn't be tough to hook up a modem, to be able to dial in at any time to tell it to shutdown because of rain, or change the interval because its really hot today.

    I'm all about saving money at every turn. Well, that... and making more money.

    Bill Gauch.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Center Point, TX
    Posts
    256

    Mist Timer Reliability???

    I have one question and for me it is a real tough question to answer. IF I was to make a homemade mist regulator/timer -WHAT WOULD ITS RELIABILITY BE????

    If I was producing for my own use - or just dinking around (no offense meant here please) to see if I could make one then I might try to make my own and would probably use the mist-a-leaf version of the commercial MIST-O-MATIC that Gene from Kirbyville Texas sent me plans for. I probably will make one of those too, since it is SIMPLE, has few parts either electronic or mechanical and only turns the water on when the plants need it. Simplicity especially involving water seems to be a good thing.

    Since I plan to be rooting several thousand cuttings that are worth Thousands of dollars (Remember MIke's $4.00 plant) I need reliability, or at least someone to blame financially if the system fails. BTW I have located an intermittant mist timer that will control 4 separate zones for about $80.00. That is cheap since all the rest of the parts are off the shelf at Home Depot, except for the mister nozzles and they are available everywhere.

    GAry J

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Newport, RI/Richmond, RI
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    70
    The reliability of anything (electric or otherwise) is very simple to determine based on a few factors. In the case of a homemade system, assuming a stable valid design, there are really only 2 things that can go wrong. The parts could fail (due to defect or inproper handling), or, you could lose power. As I see it, the second one can happen anywhere, anytime. The problem I have with the "other board's" attitude is that it ends up costing you hundreds, if not thousands up front, and you have no idea if you will succede or not. I know there is the saying, "You have to spend money to make money." This is all fine and good, except that it is extremely difficult to justify spending significant ammounts of money on plants, starting a business, etc., when I have a hard time paying all my bills. I could go out and buy a wholesale order of something or other, and sell them at retail, and probably make a profit, or at least break even. Or, I could go out, order and/or collect tree seeds, plant them, grow them for 2 years, and sell them for a much larger profit. If I save $.20 on the dollar, every year, I can take that and put it back into the business. Its a kind of dollar/cost averaging for the plant business. Granted, I could probably start turning a small profit within a year or 2 if I just started with liners, but the profit margins would be so small that I might as well be working for free. I guess I've gone on long enough. Thats just how I see it.

    Bill Gauch.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    9,934

    Complicated Decisions

    When it comes to mist systems and timers/controllers, there seems to be as wide a variety of opinions as there are options. As Bill pointed out, many times the decision is dependent upon availability of cash as well as short and long term business goals.

    I have seen the topic of timers alone in many forums. Often, it is the subject of timer reliability and problems. Other times, it is feature vs. cost.

    A lot depends on the type of plants you are propagating, the cost of the cuttings/stock plants, and the chances you are willing to take. Climate and resources can also greatly impact the decision. For instance, Gary and Arlene J. live in an area of the country where rain and humidity is not as plentiful as it is for me. Also, access to a water source is a problem for them. There is no doubt in my mind that lower water utilization be high when making their decision.

    Unfortunately, no one can make that decision for someone else.

    However, I do believe that everyone has the right to make intelligent decisions based on the knowledge and experience of others. Therefore, I am hoping that those of you who research the various methods, have personal experience, and/or find good, researched based links to post them here.

    Just as on "the other" board, I will discourage any vendors from participating, as their opinions, even when they disclose their identity, are most likely biased and self serving.

    I do encourage links to product availability, costs and product specifications and discussion about this topic by the members of this board.

    After all, we are all here to learn as much as we can from each other.

    Enjoy!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Center Point, TX
    Posts
    256

    You Don't Have to SPEND SPEND SPEND

    Yo Bll -

    Remember I am the guy (actually was my wife and I) who Loudly Complained about being nickle and Dimed to death for information that is freely available on the net.

    I have the e-book and it is good - mostly because all of the info - which while available on the net FREE - just happens to be in one place, saved me hours of looking it up for myself (there is a cost for time) and it was the MOTIVATION for my getting started.

    You can set up a misting system for about $125.00 give or take few bucks. You don't need to buy more products to figure it out - its simple and what you don't understand the guys who sell the misting controller will tell you - FREE. Well nothing is free - you bought the controller - but at least you have hardware to use vs software to watch which still requires you to buy hardware. A Website address was posted recently that told of a place to purchase an inexpensive misting controller, but it has since been deleted. I have that website and will be happy to post it here with Ann's permission or you can email me direct at bearspaw100@hotmail.com and we can talk. At the cost of the controller its too inexpensive to go through all the time making one for myself. Email me.

    Gary J
    Last edited by sewfarsewgood; 02-21-2002 at 05:56 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    Links to Vendor Sites

    I am allowing links to other sites, but please refrain from doing so unless you feel that the information contained in that site will be useful for other members.


    Thanks!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Kirbyville,Texas
    Posts
    156
    I always wanted to get a real super slow motor at radio shack and mount a wheel on it about the size of a dinner plate.This wheel would take 5 minutes to make a revolution trigger a switch to turn on the mist system it you want it to come on every 10 minutes you would make the wheel bigger yet.
    For several mist system was going to us a variable drill or a sewing machine motor with a long shaft with several wheels on it. Just an ideal haven't every built one
    gene
    Gene

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Newport, RI/Richmond, RI
    Posts
    70
    Actually, that is a good idea. You can buy a clockwork motor with a know rotation rate for about $5 at a craft/hobby store. A bigger disk wouldn't work though because its turning at a continuous RPM (60, 1, 1/60). Hmm... you could hook it up to the hour hand part of the shaft, and use multiple triggers around the disk, set to trip at specified intervals. Hmm... now I'm thinking this might be a cheaper method. Oh well, I'm gonna hit Radio Shack today and pick up my resistors and capcitors. I talked to some electrical engineering students last night and got all my questions answered. I'm gonna try to build it this weekend. If I get time, I have a spare clock motor around, so I might try to build both. After I fix my wife's car that is...

    Bill Gauch.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Kirbyville,Texas
    Posts
    156
    hey Bill good luck I'm cheering for you Let us know how it turns out
    Gene

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