Amazing Tennessee POT CAVE

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by asthenic, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. asthenic macrumors newbie

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    #1
  2. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #2
    That is a pretty impressive set up they had. Welcome to MacRumors asthenic.
     
  3. asthenic thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    thanks, i been lurking for a long time... and i still continue to lol,

    some more research shows these dudes had blindfolded mexicans doing the work and were making 6$m a yr :/
     
  4. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

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    #4
    That is a pretty hardcore setup.

    What I don't get. Is how come they went to so much work for a growing operation and not use a diesel generator? Rather than what would a very suspicious amount of electricity usage.
     
  5. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #5
    And have a suspicious amount of diesel stockpiles instead!
    That is a really impressive setup. Amazes me how far people go though. Recently a local house was discovered with an underground dig out (wouldn't call it a cave) housing a cannabis farm. The power usage gave it away, apparently.
     
  6. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #6
    Criminals, as a breed, are not known for their intelligence. Whoever dreamed up this operation was obviously pretty clever, but the system had a fatal flaw.

    As you said, they should have come up with either a better way to conceal the electricity usage (heck, installing a large wood shop would have made the usage plausible), or generated their own via generator (though they'd still have to explain what all the diesel was for). They might have been better off generating it via a boiler, which could run off heating oil (could be disguised as for the house's heater) or even wood.

    That's a lot of KWh of electricity though, which is why most growing operations are busted. It's hard to hide that much energy use.
     
  7. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #7
    I'm surprised that they didn't by-pass the meter, below grade.

    That's done all the time in the Great Pot North.

    Better than a massive solar panel array, or several wind generators. ;)
     
  8. Illuminated macrumors 6502a

    Illuminated

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    #8
    Too bad it burned down...

    I would've bought the cave/land, and built a grape press house, and make my own wine. the cave would have been perfect for aging wine!
     
  9. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #9
    But the soil is critical.

    Just being able to grow a crop of something is not enough.
     
  10. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    #10
    my guess is it was not the power consumption that busted them ... someone likely ratted.

    the #1 reason grow-ops get busted :cool:
     
  11. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

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    #11

    As for the diesel that can be stored in 55 gallon drums hidden in a simple steel shed or barn. Which are quite common structures in rural areas. When being filled they would be paid for in cash so no paper trail. Nor would someone getting drums of diesel filled at a local gas station in a rural community be uncommon.
     
  12. Illuminated macrumors 6502a

    Illuminated

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    #12
    I wouldnt grow vines there....I wouldnjust aquire grapes and make the wine...
     
  13. asthenic thread starter macrumors newbie

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    yeah they were just paying the $XX,XXX bill for months apparently, how you invest all the money into this and not fix the power issues im not quite sure
     
  14. glocke12 macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

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    Two main reasons grows get busted. Someone snitches, or the grower does something stupid like consuming too much power, or stealing power.

    If your using too much power, I think often times the electric company turns a blind eye as long as you pay your bill, though if the po-po has reason to believe your growing they will use a history of high power consumption as grounds for getting a warrant. Behind snitching theft of power is probably the number two reason for grows getting busted.

    I honestly don't see how someone can be smart enough to build a setup like that, yet not use an off the grid power supply at least some of the time.
     
  15. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #15
    As bold as brass, and just about as smart. ;)
     
  16. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #16
    Reality sucks...

    Solar cells? Wind turbines? Portable power generators? Yeah, right.

    If we assume 1k watt is needed per plant, times 100 plants, this setup would require 100k watts of power, and probably require at least a 200k-watt generator.

    Has anyone in this thread ever seen a 200k watt diesel power generator? It's not something you'd pickup at Home Depot and bring home in the truck of Ford Festiva. If a typical 10k diesel generator consumes about one gallon of fuel per hour, how much would a 200k generator consume?

    Lots of "solutions" offered so far in this thread, but none that would really work in the real world. But who knows? Perhaps someday soon, the energy crisis will be solved by an "Eureka moment" born in the brain of someone who's high. Or perhaps not...
     
  17. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    Problem with doing that is the power company would noticed a drain in the system that is not adding up. A big drain and from there it is not hard to track it down. They could easily get it with in 4-5 houses with out having to go look door to door. 4-5 house is not many to check for an illegal set up.
     
  18. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    #18
    Heat from the lights is the main reason in the UK. All that heat gotta go somewhere. Very easy to do an IR scan from a helicopter, scan 5000 houses in an hour, and the hot house is glaring white on the screen.

    No matter what you do, all that heat gotta be dumped somewhere. Unless you have a large watercooling setup, which takes even more power, and I'm not sure if a domestic water supply can even remove 100kw of low grade heat. A heater on full is about 3kw, and a powerful oven on full is about 5kw.

    180KW generator is about 3meters by 1.5 meter by 1.5m, and weights about 3 tons. Costs about $30-40,000 possibly including home delivery. Not too difficult to install if you have the money and a plausible reason.

    BUT 180KW maybe not needed. Incandescent lights are about 10% efficient, and LED lights are around 2x to 4x more efficient, so power usage falls to around 40-90KW. A lot less heat to get rid of, and a much smaller generator needed.

    If they were running it off the mains, that's still the same as having around 15-40 electric heaters running on full 18 hours a day. No wonder the electric company was suspicious, and if they didn't have water cooling, maybe the heat plume from the cave was detected via IR. Probably detectable via satellite :eek:
     
  19. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    Well the cave would be hard to pick up on IR. The beauty of being under ground is the ground is a huge heat sink so not going to be pick up.
     
  20. kuebby macrumors 68000

    kuebby

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    #20
    Very nice setup. Should have used CFLs though, very low power usage, very small heat signature.
     
  21. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    #21
    Plants and humans need ventilation, and like I said, the heat is low grade, basically a bunch of mildly hot air, and the bare ground / wall isn't all that good a heat sink (it seemed a small cave in the photos) - the earth around London underground train tunnels heats up by 0.5C /year mostly from the heat from the (electric) trains.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Underground_cooling
     
  22. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

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    #22
    Have you ever considered being a consultant for pot growers? :D

    In all seriousness - there are a LOT of ways to EASILY detect farms, and they don't even require satellites. Aside from power consumption, heat signatures and the like - a good nose smells a long way.
     
  23. Aeolius macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Saltwater aquariums - Metal halide lights, power compacts, and the like take a lot of power and generate a lot of heat. Heck. the actinic blue lights even look like grow lights.
     
  24. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

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    If you had half a functional brain, you'd understand how incredibly easy it is to profile behaviors based on usage data.

    Residential feed - weigh out weather vs loading vs time and you can easily find anomalies that indicate suspect usage.

    With the cost of energy going up (and this trend will continue) providers are becoming more vigilant in the interest of stopping those who bypass meters, or falsify their demand (residential rates vs commercial / industrial). So to keep it short, yes they have the means and data to find suspicious end users. And the police / government are well aware of this - and because they have brains that work - they make use of this resource.
     

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