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Author Topic: Picture story: How to mod your aerogarden to use standard bulps… ;-)  (Read 19215 times)
georg1979
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« on: June 04, 2009, 01:36:54 PM »

UPDATE: Because of pictures are deletet I reuploaded it here on my Blog: http://www.zischka-online.de/2011/09/25/aerogarden-umbau-auf-e27-sockel/

Hi together,

As I has written in my introduction post I use my aerogarden with standard bulbs, because I live in Germany and there are no original bulbs available. A few of you asked me how I did this and I promised to make a little picture story…
FIRST OF ALL: Everything I do chancels my warranty on the aerogarden. If you never worked before with a screw driver or a claw don’t try to do it by yourself. Be CAREFULLY, on the aerogarden is a voltage with 230 or 110 watts! I really tickles if you touch the power lines accidently… I do not take any responsibility if something goes wrong!
So here we go: ;-)

These package was shipped today from my aerogarden dealer.


Surprise, surprise… They forgot to also send me a seed kit. I don’t need the seeds but the little white pots.


All the parts on my table.


On the left side you see my first aerogarden. He works with standard bulbs already. It is hard to see on the picture, but the standard bulbs are shining much brighter than the original bulbs.


At the moment I’m growing strawberries in my first garden. I bought two plants in a local DIY market. I spitted it in six little plants which I gave into the aerogarden.


That’s my first strawberry! :-) Then I bought the plants there was not a single flower on it. I think that’s a good result in only two weeks. I’m using a liquid fertilizer and I also control my PH and EC values. Maybe I will tell you more later on in another threat.


O.K. back to the current project! On the table is everything you need: 2 bulbs with daylight color (light color 865 in germany), a few luster terminals, screwdrivers, power line cable, two components glue, two bulb fittings and different clamps.


Put out all the screws I marked with read circles. There is no need to sort the screws, because there is only one kind of screws in the whole aerogarden. This makes it more easy to assemble it again. Everything has to go smooth, don’t use power. Otherwise you would maybe damage your garden.


Disassemble the reflector from the reflector case.


Here you can see the power supply.


Move out the bulb fittings upwards. They are not fastened.


Put out the two screws from the socket.


Now take it out. It should looks like this.


Cut of the power line from the supply socket on the end near from the bulb sockets.


Do the same on the other side.


Now you have two separated parts as shown on the picture.


Stripe up the end of the power cables.


Should look like these.


Now we have to prepare the bulb sockets.


The problem is that there is realy not much space between the reflector and the reflector case. So we need to shrink it down as much as possible. First I disassemble the top of the bulb sockets, we don’t need it.


Bulb socket without top.


Now we have to break away the half of the outer housing.


Only if you do this, the now socket will find enough space to fit in.


Here you can see the new bulbs for the bulb sockets.


Screw the bulbs into the sockets.


Break away the two marked plastic noses.


Should looks like this.


Put the bulbs / sockets into the reflector. They are not fixed. They just laid in to.


Put the reflector back into his case. So you can see if everything fits.


Now align the bulbs in to the position they should stay. I use luster terminals to get the right space between bulb and reflector.


If everything looks good we have to glue it with the two components glue.


The glue has two parts: The harz and the harder.


Take one spoon of the harder in the little bowl…


and fill it up with the harz and mix it together.


Put the glue on that places there the bulb socket and the reflector should glue together.


That’s enough for the outside. Let it dry now at least 15 minutes.


Do the same on the inside.


Now we need the power cables and the luster terminals.


Assemble it like shown on this picture.


O.K. first test. Put in the plug into the reflector first an than plug in the main power plug into the power connector in your wall. Everything looks good. The bulbs are lighting. Then pull out both power plugs again.


Assemble the power socket on the reflector with the two screws.



Sort the cables like shown on the picture.


Put the reflector back into his case. And screw in the 8 screws. Everything should go smooth, don’t use power. Thing about everything is build in plastic not in metal.


Screw in the bulbs.


Just another test. Looks good… ;-)


Here we go: We are finished and we can use our aerogarden now with standard bulbs!

I hope this information is interesting for a few of you. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.

Greetings

Georg
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« on: June 04, 2009, 01:36:54 PM »

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Spirit Deer
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2009, 02:01:17 PM »

Wow!  Great job!  Thanks for the pictures.  I suspect at some point I'll be doing this modification to ours.
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georg1979
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2009, 02:08:34 PM »

To be sure that’s nothing can start to burn or something I took some pictures of the aerogarden with my thermograph camera. As you can see there is no temperature spot over 66 degrees Celsius (around 150 Fahrenheit).

So everything seems to be O.K.

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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2009, 02:39:24 PM »

I am so impressed George! I don't normally give kudos this early in the game, but you have really documented VERY well and step by step your conversion process. What excellent work!   Smiley

Kudos!
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shane arthur
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2009, 02:43:04 PM »

Incredible post, thank you so very much!
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Namaste,

Shane
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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2009, 02:47:50 PM »

Hi Ellen,

thanks for compliments...  Grin Smiley

Have a nice day!

Georg
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ninalp
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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2009, 03:25:52 PM »

Cool.  I wish that I could change mine out - since I have so many AG's.  It would certainly save some money.
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georg1979
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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2009, 03:49:35 PM »

Hi Ninalp,

I'm not sure if you realy can safe money. I have to pay for my alternate bulbs 15,- EUR (21,- $) for two of them and 5,- EUR (7,- $) shipping.

But I think the quality from my alternate bulbs is better then the original one and you have more brightness. If I would like to use original bulbs I have to order it in the USA and pay about 35,- $ just for shipping. And then I have the problems with the duty.
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« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2009, 07:40:46 PM »

 Smiley
      Great job!   Thank you for the pictures they really helped.
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« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2009, 10:15:41 PM »

Georg,

Kudos for a detailed and interesting modification. 

Have you considered ordering from the UK?  There is a reseller in the UK which has Classics.  Since it is part of EU, probably no duty to Germany.  With the GBP so low right now, might be an better deal than shipping from US.

There is an UK member that used a transformer and plug adapter to convert a US 110V Deluxe or Pro 200 to UK 220V.
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« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2009, 12:01:59 AM »

Wunderbar Georg!  Thank you very much for the the detailed information.  Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2009, 07:49:27 AM »

Hi together,

As I has written in my introduction post I use my aerogarden with standard bulbs, because I live in Germany and there are no original bulbs available. A few of you asked me how I did this....

Greetings

Georg


Thank you for all of your pictures and your hard work!  If we need to, we now know how to proceed.  Again, thank you.
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georg1979
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« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2009, 07:17:31 AM »

Hi everybody,

thank you that you like my posting and thanks for the kudos...  Smiley

Today I will show you how I use my new garden, how to do make my own pots and how to fertilize my plants. Stay tuned! Smiley

Gretings

Georg
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geolinea
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« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2009, 10:20:22 AM »

Wow, truly necessity is the mother of invention.  Great job, Georg.
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John J
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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2009, 03:46:38 AM »

Great Mod Georg. I also like that you checked the temperature at which it is running. One word of caution if anyone else attempts this is;

As you might have noticed Georg used 27W bulbs as the replacement. That should be OK since the original 3U bulb is 23 watts, I believe? and the Deluxe-B bulbs are 26 watts so the hood should handle the temperature. I do not know that wattage of the regular Deluxe bulb. Anyway, I would not go much higher than that. Also notice that his bulb socket can handle 60 watts. This is also very important that the socket can handle the wattage.

Again, Nice Mod Georg and if anything ever happens to Aerogrow it will probably come in very handy. I am going to add this link to the list of parts, accessories, mods, etc that I have been keeping.   
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georg1979
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« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2009, 04:54:17 AM »

Hi John,

thank you for your comment.

The temperature thing was also important to me. As I have written somewhere else, the aerogarden is just a “nice toy” for me because it looks good in my house, not like a self made solution… But I surly don’t want to burn down my house, because I played with my toy… ;-) Cheesy

The original bulbs I got with the aerogarden have 26 watts. So my alternate bulbs has just one watt more. I’m not sure if there is really a difference in energy consumption between both bulb models or if this is just a theoretical calculation thing. Sadly I forgot to measure the energy consumption before and after my modification. I will do this when I buy my next aerogarden.
There would be also be bulbs on the market with 33 watts. But I’m not sure if I could screw it in because they are a little bit longer. And the second thing is the heat. I wouldn’t use it in the aerogarden without building in a 12 V ventilator in the reflector case.

By the way: I’m thinking the alternate bulb has a much better quality: Everything is more stable und the glass pipes are thicker and more robust. The original bulbs looks like the bulbs I can buy in some discounters that sell goods from china…  I also think my bulbs bring more light then the original bulbs. Sadly I have no measurement tool for an objective answer. After I got my first aerogarden a few months ago one of the original bulbs that were a few days in use started to blink and I could also hear some sound from the electricity.

Have a nice day!

Georg


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John J
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« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2009, 08:00:53 AM »

I agree. Do not want to burn down your house! Wink However the mod should be fine since the wattage is about the same. Also thanks for the info on the Aerogrow 3U Bulbs, I thought they were 23 watt but have never seen them. Makes sense they are 26 watt like the other Deluxe-B bulbs.
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« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2009, 08:10:42 AM »

Georg,

Since Aerogarden source their units from China, I think the bulbs came from China too. 

I see you were using Philips bulbs and they have very good ones since I used some (regular not CFL) when I was living in Europe before.  It is much harder to get Philips bulbs in North America.
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« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2009, 03:47:46 PM »

Georg,

You have written yet another incredible step-by-step modification procedure -- thank you so much.
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« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2009, 05:48:43 PM »

Great job and thanks.

Neal
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