Humidifier hack project

Out of the Food computer project there was a need to have a humidifier that would either work upside down or vertically. Problem with the bottle cab humidifier is that it is massive and the bottle cab that it is supposed to fit was not available in Germany.

Requirements

Like any project it is good to look at the requirements. We need a way to increase the humidity of the grow chamber. It needs to be done in a way that we do not take more then 15cm vertical space on the electronics side of the motherboard wall.

Drafting a plan

Scribble on a postit you can see on the right is my plan. Placing a bottle upside down and adding a pipe from the bottle to the grow chamber. Easy right? 😀

Taking the bottle cab humidifier apart

It opens with just a few screws. Nips naps and it comes apart. It has two main parts. Electronics that you connect the USB power supply and the humidifier element that uses super sonic vibrations to create the fine mist spray. 

After some tests I found that drop of water on the other side of element and power to the electronic board you immediately get a spray.

Problems of upside down orientation

If you put the bottle upside down and higher then the humidifying element you will notice that the element will leak all over the place. 

Taking two pieces of acrylic and placing the element between them. I used plenty of elastic glue and glued the element between the the two pieces. Then I glued a pipe to the bundle, trying to make it as tight as possible. 

Tested the outcome by filling the tube with water. No leaks 😀

 

Bottle and fastener

Next up is glue the hose into a bottle cab. I got some nice bottles that I ordered from Amazon. Cheap like rocks. Drilled a hole into the cab and threaded the pipe through it. Slapped some glue on it and let it harden. Next I used a tiny piece of wood and some flat metal bar I had leftover from the Food Computer frame. 

Hole into the motherboard wall and even more glue... I should get a wholesale bag of this awesome glue. Its messy to use but ones hardened the thing keeps like nobodies business. 

Some double sided tape on the electronic bits of the humidifier and we are up for a test drive 🙂

Another variation

To show that I did try some other options to direct the mist vertically into the grow chamber I tried to attach a 45degree angle piece of pvc pipe to the humidifier. See in the picture that it kind of works. Only problem was that after it had ran 30min the condensed water in the pipe flooded the humidifier rendering it useless. 

 

In the end...

I needed to revert to a simplest of the options. A standing bottle in the Grow space and a USB cable to it through the wall to give it power 🙂 It works and at least does not look like it might be taking up too much space

Learn from failures... Its fun 😀

Like with all failures you should look back and see what happened and so on to learn. Don't throw away a good failure :slight_smile: What did I learn from the hack.
Humidifier works only upright and with that foam bit controlling the amount of water touching the humidifier element.
I might have made it work by placing the foam in the tube and using zip-ties to seal it in so no water gets past it. Foam would have then controller the water flow to the element.
Testing a hack outside the final placement would be best. Creating a test rig would have been worth while.
Lessons learnt:

  • Build a test rig instead of integrating a not tested hack into your final build. 
  • Find out more information on the parts you are not familiar with. In this case the humidifier element.
  • Never forget that water pressure is a mighty force that can fudge up all.
  • Water will ruin your electronics :slight_smile:

Humidifier hack FAILED

I did enjoy making this failure 🙂

Onwards and towards new challenges 🙂