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Thread: DIY Carbon Filter / extractor using PC fans.

  1. #1

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    Default DIY Carbon Filter / extractor using PC fans.

    So as promised here is the build log of my DIY Carbon filter/extractor for my pc case grow box build. Links to both are at the bottom of this post

    Reason for the build, is I needed a carbon filter (obviously) but due to my limited space needed a bespoke filter/extractor, and I have seen a few examples of these all over the web and my thought is surely activated carbon pellets 'should' provide more effective scrubbing and last longer than the cooker hood filter route. Anyway enough talking here is my guide/build log

    Parts needed;
    3 x 120mm pc fans
    Fine steel mesh
    Aluminium tape
    Carbon pellets
    LED driver (power dependant on number of fans used)
    wire (to wire everything together)
    Mounting hardware bolt/threaded rod (150mm-ish long threaded bolt 5mm diameter and matching nuts to tighten everything together)
    Heatshrink tubing
    fan cover/grill
    garden wire (the thicker version of the stuff we use for training our ladies )


    Tools;
    Drill
    Drill bits to drill out the fan mounting holes (size will be dependant on mounting hardware)
    Dremel or similar to remove the 'guts' of the fans (I used a hacksaw blade btw)
    scissors/knife

    Fans;

    I found a steal on the popular auction site and managed to grab myself 3 Artic F12 fans delivered for ?10 plus I already had one from a previous project with cost maybe ?7 brand new.
    the fans arrived and 2 of the 3 fans were screwed (the listing did say used but didnt say broken ) good thing I only wanted them for the shell/casing

    Mounting hardware;


    Remove these from 2 of the 3 fans;



    And your left with these;


    Measure your steel mesh against your fan casing and cut out 2 screens;



    Drill out mounting holes to match bolt/threaded rod diameter, in my situation i had to use a 5mm drill bit. You might want to wiggle the drill a bit once you are through as it makes the hole slightly larger than 5mm and the bolt goes through easier. I have found hss bits work well with the plastic but be careful its easy to split the plastic. Faster speeds seemed to work better than slower speeds and I think makes splitting less likely.

    Make holes in the corners of your cut-to-size steel mesh, make sure to line the sheets up with the casing first! and feed the bolt/rod through the screen and into the fan casing.



    mount the second casing onto the bolts and push it right upto the first casing, and the wrap all the casing in aluminium tape but leave the mesh uncovered.





    Now I dont have anymore progress pictures im sorry I kinda zoned out to get it finished so i could go to bed haha, so I will try my best to explain the rest of the process.

    Pour the carbon pellets into the casing sandwich


    Then place the second mesh over the bolts and sandwich the carbon in the middle of everything, then tape it all down again, then you want to put the fan guard sat on top of the mesh - this stops the mesh bulging out when tipped (pro-tip put a fan guard on both sides of the mesh otherwise you have to ghetto-rig some garden wire to hold the mesh in place and stop bulging.)

    Put the 3rd remaining intact/working fan over the bolts and screw the nuts down, dont tighten all the way you need a little clearance for the blades to spin. also check fan direction as this will determine if you are pushing or pulling air - personally im going to pull air through filter

    For mounting I cut a piece of carboard to the side of the pc case front panel and cut a hole the size of the filter in the middle, wrapped it in alu tape and used zip ties to mount it in the case (the final mounted pictures will explain more)

    For the driver i chose an 'IP67' model if its not really rated well....at least i tried, but seriously if you try any of this yourself please buy quality parts, I have cheaped out of pretty much everything but im comfortable with my build and should anything bad happen well its my fault. I dont condone anyone trying any of this but I would like to see your builds

    Now find a suitable spot for your driver, mine is inside the case;


    Once you have determined the driver location, route all your cables, make sure you have enough cable, extend as needed, positive to positive negative to negative, I wont go into the wiring too much as if you reading this I would assume you have a decent enough electrical wiring experience/understanding to know what to do...But anyway I chose a constant 12v driver with 1.25A current, my fans need 12v 0.35A each and im currently running 2 one for this extractor build and another for air circulation inside the case, so if needed I can add at least 1 more fan (possibly to add onto the front of this extractor, kinda a push-pull setup)

    Wire everything up and boom a diy carbon filter is born




    Thanks for reading, any questions fire away. Look forward to your thoughts bros

    Pc case build here;
    https://www.thctalk.com/cannabis-foru...D-strips-3500K

    Light build;
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    Checkout my current grow - https://www.thctalk.com/cannabis-foru...rip-light-auto

    RQS Kush auto, bridgelux pc case grow box

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  3. #2

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    Give it a go, see what happens

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    Quote Originally Posted by M_C View Post
    Give it a go, see what happens
    All is well with it so far buddy, been going constant for 48 hrs now and nothing bad has happened yet haha

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    lets hope it does the job mate...... could be dodgy if it dosent work correctly or well enough, last thing ya need is the smell of bud wafting around for people to smell .... youd probably have plod banging your door !!
    keep us up to speed on how well it works ...

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    Nice one mate, only worry I have is making sure that as the carbon settles into position there's no room left for air to pass over the top of it? Path of least resistance and all that - something I'm going to address first time I change the carbon out in mine. The arctic fans are pretty low power which is a good thing in terms of giving the carbon time to do its thing.

    If you wanted to simplify the wiring a touch you could just use a 12v wall charger type supply - I have 10 fans running off one without issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by budfarmer View Post
    lets hope it does the job mate...... could be dodgy if it dosent work correctly or well enough, last thing ya need is the smell of bud wafting around for people to smell .... youd probably have plod banging your door !!
    keep us up to speed on how well it works ...
    Oh yes fingers crossed the missus would kill me if the smell was too loud haha.

    I am fairly hopeful for it tbh and it draws through plenty of air I believe the fan is 54cfm but only like 28db , obviously I loose some air movement due to the filter but still decent enough I believe.

    Oh hell yeah I'll keep you guys in the loop

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    Quote Originally Posted by thelastrebel View Post
    Nice one mate, only worry I have is making sure that as the carbon settles into position there's no room left for air to pass over the top of it? Path of least resistance and all that - something I'm going to address first time I change the carbon out in mine. The arctic fans are pretty low power which is a good thing in terms of giving the carbon time to do its thing.

    If you wanted to simplify the wiring a touch you could just use a 12v wall charger type supply - I have 10 fans running off one without issue.
    Yeah mate that was my first thought before even starting I made sure that the cavity is full of carbon then with the mesh ontop squashed/compressed the carbon so that there is no movement and 72hrs on and she's still got no gaps for unfiltered air to travel through but I will keep an eye thanks buddy

    Yeah I mean the fans should be a pretty good choice for a noise CFM balance 54cfm at 28db is fairly decent I'll loose a % through the filter but it should be enough to pull filtered air through. Ideally an axial fan would be a better choice as they generally have CFM ratings around the 200-390 mark, but they are much louder and cost a considerable amount more.

    If I do a future fan build for a bigger space I will probably go the sunnon axial fan route.

    Reason I didn't use a phone/wall charger is that I salvaged the back plate from the pc power supply and am using a kettle lead (I think their also called IEC sockets?) But yes a wall charger is capable of being used and is probably simpler option.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Motion View Post
    Oh yes fingers crossed the missus would kill me if the smell was too loud haha.

    I am fairly hopeful for it tbh and it draws through plenty of air I believe the fan is 54cfm but only like 28db , obviously I loose some air movement due to the filter but still decent enough I believe.

    Oh hell yeah I'll keep you guys in the loop

    Sent from SPACE using LASERS
    That is a great little build man!

    If you ever needed more pull, you can overcome the static pressure by doubling up in series on the fans!

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by HisHighness View Post
    That is a great little build man!

    If you ever needed more pull, you can overcome the static pressure by doubling up in series on the fans!

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
    Yes this is exactly why I chose the driver I did, a just incase choice, so if needed I have the headroom to add another fan

    Thanks buddy

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    Great stuff mate, I've been looking at ideas for controlling smell on a drying box I want to build. This looks just the biz.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beezerk View Post
    Great stuff mate, I've been looking at ideas for controlling smell on a drying box I want to build. This looks just the biz.
    Mate if it helps just one person I'm happy

    One final tip I would add it that when it's all together add a final wrap of aluminium tape around it all (not the mesh) just to make sure it draws air through the filter and not any air pockets/gaps

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