Categories
BLOG

bc northern lights producer

BCNL Producer Review

smokedup12
Active Member

I have been running 2x BCNL Producer as side project for quite some time now.

This true review will help people deciding on purchasing from bcnl and help people who have already bought a bcnl pro.

Lighting
————
Issue starts with intake fan only being 4inch 100 cfm .
As shown below air intake comes in from the middle, cools ballasts(grey) cools air pump orange, then goes threw a few holes to finally fill up the light chamber, this will then be exhausted out the two 100 cfm fans out the back.

This design is truly garbage and causes the below cabinet to run over 32 c/ 90f even when surrounding room is average temperature. Multiple attempts to exuast lights, lower room temperature have no real significant affect. Only way to counter this issue is too attach a blower to the intake(i use the carbon filter exhaust) , this can pump several hundred cfm into the intake and u will notice drastic air movement. You can see up to a 2-4c difference immediately in lower cabinet.

DWC systems are fucked with high heat and this is the reason many BCNL customers experience water mold/slime. The stock boxs runs too hot.

DWC system lacks proper air. Second exterior air pump must be added. 4 air stones for 18 plants is not enough. Air line for second pump must be jimmy rigged and is a hassle.

Water pump is garbage and will leave about inch of water which u will then need to shop vac.

Water pump will need to be adjusted per medium and per plant size, which involves calling bcnl. Or manual plug in pump

If floor is not 100 percent level rez level will be uneven causing all kinds of issue.

Larger plants will eat all the food causing others to have deficiencies.

18 plants in such a tight space causes stretching
Intake and outtake 100 cfm not enough air movment
plants touching each other can and will cause mold
No way to support plants from falling over
middle plants do not have enough light end up smaller
plants must be flipped very small so they dont stretch to the glass

If carbon filter is attached will cause heat and humidity issues
Heat and humidity difficult to control inside the box

Attaching cabinet intake to ducting and placing it near and a/c will defenitly help with inside temps

co2
—–
The delivery system is one tube on the far left side. I dont feel that this system properly provides co2 to every plant before its suck out by the exhaust fan that is always on, no air moment. Can attach small fans with suction cups to help with air movement.

Relatively easy to clean when not in use, issue begins when working with the DWC system. Since you cant remove all the water with that shitty pump u will have to use a shop vac. So lifting 18 plants and trying to vacum around there roots, 8 air stones and all the air tubing can be quite difficult.

Once plants get a certain size good luck getting to them. It becomes a complete jungle in there.

After a few years playing around with this thing ive decided it will no longer be used as a flowering room. I have converted it to a veg station. With mh’s it dosent run as hot, and with no dwc system. Works great like this

Although this system has turned a profit and paid for itself I would not recommend purchasing this unit. I would average over a pound with very little veg time and 50 day of flower. The system involved tons of tweaks and modifications and for the price they charge u can grow 5-10 times the amount.

I did not post every single issue i encountered but feel free to post any question comments of you own.

A few pics of my pro jobs aswell

stillcantroll
Active Member

Awesome review Smoked. I’m kind of done with the producers myself, they are a great way to teach you hydro, but as you said, they aren’t really built for novice growers. and this can cause a lot of lost grows and heartbreak. The issues they have are 100 percent correctable. If I were BCNL, I’d drop DWC all together and just provide them with a cheaper dirt / perlite bed marketed at novice growers. No 10+ year vets will even look at this thing, there are just too many problems with it, and the production just isn’t that impressive.

I’d also like to add: The T-5’s are almost completely useless. They don’t support lower bud growth alone, at all. All my bottom bud was useless larf, so I ended up having to buck off everything but the cola and 3-4 branches. but then whats the point of having t-5’s at that point??

Anyways, good luck guys. My advice having been down the road, and i’m sure smoked up will agree with me: Save your money, build a small setup. Stick with something simpler, and build your way up. 5k+ grand to try this thing. it’s just not worth it. No way, no how.

Coals
Active Member

Agreed they are crap. I am glad I bought mine used for 500 bucks. Most of the problems would go away if they used dual 250 watters instead of 400’s. If you do the math 2 400’s plus a 200 watt CFL is just way to much light. The plants can not absorb it all.

I downgraded the lights to 2 250’s and all my issues disappeared. 2 250’s plus a 200 watt CFL and I noticed no difference in yield, NONE

TH-See
Member

Hello. New to this forum, though not new to growing and just felt the need to comment on this old thread.

While it’s always great to read and learn of others growing experiences I have to say that my time with the Producer was in very stark contrast to the comments posted here.

With decades of experience in soil, various mediums, and several forms of hydro I could no longer ignore my curiosity and broke down and bought a Producer some years ago.
Beginning with its construction it was nearly flawless in design, materials, and assembly. Really as sturdy and durable as any washer or dryer I’ve seen. Heavy gauge aluminum, perfect (high reflectivity) white paint finish, sturdy hardware, premium ballasts, and pristine wiring and routing. I felt it’s construction was beyond reproach. This certainly holds true when comparing the Producer to any other cab, steel or plastic.

Quality aside, a well built cabinet means nothing with respect to dry weight. In over 20+ crop cycles I never harvested less than 1.5#’s dry, and typically averaged 2.0+/-.
In addition, my time with the Producer delighted me with the fewest pestilence issues of any growing condition I’ve employed. Moreover, I found it to be an extremely capable and reliable 8-week dong factory that was always hungry for the next round of clones.

To dispel the all-too-frequent comments about the Producer running too warm. All I can can say is that those commenters/operators should really take a good hard look at their heat extraction and evacuation regimes, as the Producer (with properly routed intake and exhaust) runs with it’s overhead glass cool to the touch. Having considerable experience in HVAC and heat transfer, I can unequivocally say that this cabinet is IDENTICAL to every other grow cab made in that the USER is responsible for whatever heat is created by whatever ballasts, lamps and various electronics are enclosed within it. Period.
Perhaps the common ground here could be found in accepting that all cabinets fail in the heat department if they aren’t addressed by an operator with at least a fundamental knowledge of heat dissipation and management.

To directly address some of the issues mentioned:

“18 plants in such a tight space causes stretching”
Tight space, yes. Stretching, no. Never experienced ANY stretching whatsoever. It begs the question why you have relegated it to a veg cab if stretching was your complaint.

“Intake and outtake 100 cfm not enough air movment”
Incorrect. My system was drawing fresh, somewhat cooler air from an adjoining room and exhausting to another, which lowered the internal operating temp at plant height by over 9°F. This was accomplished with no additional fans or inducers.

“plants touching each other can and will cause mold”
Properly trimmed plants with properly routed ventilation and the use of an internal circulation fan (6″ KingAir, $10.00) renders those concerns invalid. If you’re growing a particularly bushy strain. Grow fewer plants. I’ve run the Producer with 12 Indica for a 1.7Dry outcome.

“No way to support plants from falling over”
Not so. Although I haven’t myself, nor had I found the need to install a net/trellis, etc, I have seen several ingenious and inexpensive implementations by enterprising SCROG’ers/SOG’ers. Those journals can easily be found with little search effort.

“middle plants do not have enough light end up smaller”
Myth. As each plant site is totally portable, simply move the shorter plants directly under the HPS and taller ones to the middle. Less than a minute, problem solved.

“plants must be flipped very small so they dont stretch to the glass”
Somewhat true and it’s strain-dependent, but that’s a good thing. Less time, less nutes, less energy, more product, more margin. I ended up running my clones longer with mild veg nutes to gain better roots and often skip veg altogether and go right to flower. In fact, those were some of the most prolific (2#+) harvests I’d had.

“If carbon filter is attached will cause heat and humidity issues”
True. Same with any cab. Vent beyond your grow space. You should anyhow, if possible. If not, don’t buy this or any large producing cab.

“Heat and humidity difficult to control inside the box”

Dispelled. Route your intake and exhaust properly and get a handle on your grow room ventilation.

“Attaching cabinet intake to ducting and placing it near and a/c will defenitly help with inside temps”

Possible, but much cheaper to not involve A/C if proper passive ducting is employed. Climate dependent of course.

“co2
—–
The delivery system is one tube on the far left side. I dont feel that this system properly provides co2 to every plant before its suck out by the exhaust fan that is always on, no air moment. Can attach small fans with suction cups to help with air movement.”

Great observation and point. I thought the same and ran controlled identical-crop grows to observe any difference and was surprised to find that growth was stronger and the dongs were considerably bulkier when using co2.
You also raise a good point about internal circulation. I ran a 6″ fan in the box since the first crop cycle and believe it’s not only essential to keep air moving, but also to more evenly distribute co2. With respect to the placement of the co2 outlet being high up and to the left, there’s a very good reason for that. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air and needs to be released from the highest point above crop height for best administration. It comes out high on the left as it’s the most opposite point from the cab exhaust on the lower right. Again, my crops came out considerably better with co2, although I cannot offer numbers to illustrate the PPM saturation within the cab. I do know that it’s titrated via pre-programming and that I benefited measurably from it.

Relatively easy to clean when not in use, issue begins when working with the DWC system. Since you cant remove all the water with that shitty pump u will have to use a shop vac. So lifting 18 plants and trying to vacum around there roots, 8 air stones and all the air tubing can be quite difficult.”
Mine was very easy to clean. The surface has a durable, surgical finish and is easy by virtue of that alone. Lifting the plants can be a bit of a bitch, that’s why I made a little wooden prop (you can use a nute bottle) to hold the lid up. The pump was far from shitty for me as mine never failed or even complained. It fed perfectly and always pumped the res out in very few minutes.

The reason you need to vac out the remaining small balance is because of that pump you don’t like. It’s slightly elevated so you don’t have to go in and clean roots out of it every day. It’s elevated by design. A small vacuuming is not a hardship. it’s 5 seconds. I used a $15.00 Home Depot shop vac top that fits any 5gal bucket. Worked a charm. A large syringe would do the same. Next time try propping a little something (2-phonebooks perhaps) under the rear of the cab. This will force the remaining small amount of liquid to the front of the res where it can be vacuumed out in mere seconds with no root involvement or trauma whatsoever. Done. Easy.

As far as air stones go I believe you’re right. Did I need to add more. Probably not, but there’s never enough oxygen for my roots. I also added 4 more and a sturdy pump. 5 mins. No problem.

Once plants get a certain size good luck getting to them. It becomes a complete jungle in there.”
Welcome to cab growing. Trim timely and properly and it’s a non-issue. Besides, it’s just good gardening practice to create the best environment for the plants and their caretaker. Removing all the unwanted/unneeded undergrowth only permits better air flow, better growth up high, and is part of responsible and conscientious crop tending. In addition, it allows some of that great blue light from the T-5’s to get higher up.
Personally, I want a jungle. A neat one though.

After a few years playing around with this thing ive decided it will no longer be used as a flowering room. I have converted it to a veg station. With mh’s it dosent run as hot, and with no dwc system.
Too bad it didn’t work out the way you hoped. That’s an expensive bummer. Sorry to hear it.

Although this system has turned a profit and paid for itself I would not recommend purchasing this unit. I would average over a pound with very little veg time and 50 day of flower. The system involved tons of tweaks and modifications and for the price they charge u can grow 5-10 times the amount.”
Yeah, it’s expensive to be sure. Not citing you here, but it seems to me that nearly every negative review I’ve seen about the Producer has it’s roots in poor knowledge of heat and ventilation management, in addition to lesser growing experience. A poor combination to be sure. Perhaps it’s over-marketed as a turnkey solution for wannabes, but from performance and reliability perspectives I couldn’t fault it in the least.

Any machine that gives me the better part of a kilo every 8 weeks with little toil in exchange is alright in my book.

I have been running 2x BCNL Producer as side project for quite some time now. This true review will help people deciding on purchasing from bcnl and help…

BC Northern Lights Producer Grow #2

ancap
Active Member

This is grow #2 for me in my BC Northern Lights Producer where I will once again be growing the famous Northern Lights strain feminized. I chose this strain because of its forgiving nature, high yield and good quality. One of the best overall strains in my opinion.

You can check out my first grow by clicking here. To summarize. I love the Producer which makes everything simple. It is extremely well built, and the guys at BC Northern Lights are very helpful. Unfortunately, I allowed my plants to veg way too long on my first grow which caused half of my potential yield to burn up in the lights when they were flowering. I also lost some bud to mold. On 8 healthy plants I yielded 4.5 oz dry. My goal on my second grow is 1 oz per plant.

I have 13 healthy seedlings born on March 16th. Here are some pictures.

ancap
Active Member

Finally filled my res and I’m using full week 1 nutes at about 250ppm following the BCNL schedule. Since my airstones don’t create enough mist coverage for all 13 plants, I am rotating each plant about twice per day.

stillcantroll
Active Member
ancap
Active Member

1. I would eventually like to house a mother plant for clones, but I am a one man show currently and I am planning on spending a couple months in California this summer (after this grow). I would have no one to watch over my mother, and even if I did, I’d rather leave my house behind knowing that it is “clean”.

2. I purchased 20 Nirvana Feminized seeds and attempted to germinate all of them, but only 13 successfully sprouted. To be fair, I accidentally left one seed behind in the bag, so it was really a 13 out of 19 success rate. Next time, I’ll purchase 25 seeds. I thought my success rate would be better.

I think I’ll get the veg time right this round. Last time I let the plants veg for about 35 days before switching them over. This time, I’m shooting for about 25 days. We’ll see when I get to that point. If I veg them slightly too short, that’s probably a good thing. That means I’ll have it down perfect for my future grows. at least for this strain.

AARONCAHILL
Member
ancap
Active Member
smacc46
Well-Known Member
ancap
Active Member

I’m going to be out in LA. You in that area?

I added some airstones (about to post more pics), but I’m not real happy with the ones I just bought. They aren’t as long as the others so it’s harder to get coverage under two pots. I think I’ll add some water like you suggested.

ancap
Active Member

As you can see, I modified the box slightly to accomodate another airline that feeds two new airstones. I got the idea from Smokedup12. What you can’t see is the extra hole I drilled in the front to feed into the res. I also just kicked on one of the 400 Watt mh lights. Tomorrow I’ll throw on both.

ancap
Active Member

I am currently feeding at levels under week two strength. This strain doesn’t seem to need the amount of nutes that other growers are feeding their plants. In fact, I started to get nute burn on my last grow when my ppm was at 580 on day 18 from seed. I was told from someone else (a reputable source) that I should be at 800ppm by that point. It wasn’t until I scaled back my ppm levels by about 40% that things leveled out. I’m glad I didn’t dose more.

Here’s where I’m at now.

18 hours light with two 400 Watt MH, a 125 Watt daylight CFL, and my T-5’s.

430 ppm (number includes 130 ppm from my tap water). My res probably has about 10-11 gallons instead of 9.

One thing I’ve noticed that was interesting was this strain’s tolerance of high heat levels. I intentionally allowed the heat to rise in the box to measure the tolerance level and found that they were doing consistently well in 86-87 degree temps. It wasn’t until I sustained 89 degrees that I noticed a little burning on one leaf. I’ve since turned my AC unit on and the box temp is around 79 now. This info is good to know so that I can feel comfortable leaving the AC off in the morning until about noon (as long as the weather is nice). Saves a little $$$.

This is grow #2 for me in my BC Northern Lights Producer where I will once again be growing the famous Northern Lights strain feminized. I chose this strain…