my home made incubator

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simon+colette
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my home made incubator

Post by simon+colette » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:10 pm

as above its made from a polystyrene box which was purchased from a tropical fish store, a 60w light bulb, dimmer switch, fan switch, circulation fan (from an old pentium 4 pc, with a 5 volt psu to lower the rpm), some old picture frame glass, wire mesh and 4 thermometers and 2 hygrometers.

costings were as follows
poly box £2.50
bulb 60p
dimmer £5.09
switch 89p
fan - free
psu - free (old phone charger)
glass - free (old clipart pic frames lying around)
mesh £2.50
meters £10 approx (1 liquid fish tank type, 1 forhead type stuck to the glass, 1 therm/hydro digital and 1 therm/hydro reptile breeder one)

total cost £21.58
Attachments
2012-03-17 19.12.10.jpg
top view, the black box on the top left side is a plastic cowling from a pc that allows the air to circulate more freely, you can also see the round therm/hydro meter at the back and the black rod on the top right is the digital meter probe.
2012-03-17 19.12.10.jpg (164.48 KiB) Viewed 14919 times
2012-03-17 19.12.36.jpg
front view of double glazed window and top right is the digi thermometer/hygrometer and the forehead one is taped to the inside of the screen
2012-03-17 19.12.36.jpg (143.09 KiB) Viewed 14919 times
2012-03-17 19.12.22.jpg
side view of dimmer and fan switch
2012-03-17 19.12.22.jpg (158.98 KiB) Viewed 14919 times
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chrismahon
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Re: my home made incubator

Post by chrismahon » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:39 am

I'm very impressed with that Simon. So the heat from a dimmed 60 W light bulb was enough. Presumably you just stabilised the temperature using the dimmer to adjust the heat output and then kept an eye on it.

A member has made an incubator from an old fridge using an ATC210 controller with a heater. But you coul make three of yours for the price and I'm not convinced of the temperature stability of the controller. It can be adjusted to 0.1 degree but that's not the operating variation. Probably accurate enough though.
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chrismahon
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Re: my home made incubator

Post by chrismahon » Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:36 pm

Thought about something else while I was driving along this morning. As the temperature is dependent on a steady state reached between heat lost when the unit is closed and heat input from the lamp, if you open the lid to turn the eggs or candle it might take an awful long time for the temperature to recover back up from room temperature. If so it needs a boost lamp to put a lot of heat back in for a short time and then back to the unit stabilising itself. Alternatively a heat reservoir like a large jar of water. This would give some insurance as well, in case of a power failure.
simon+colette
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Re: my home made incubator

Post by simon+colette » Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:12 pm

hi chris yes i too wondered that but fortunatly the lid is only off for a few seconds as the eggs sit on a poly box they were sent in and the other half of the box is placed on top and flipped 180 degrees all this takes about 30-40 seconds we noticed that the most it dropped was about 2 degrees and turning up the dimmer just allows for that bit extra heat and its normally back up within 5-10 minutes then its just a case of monitoring it for a while to stabilise it.

i may well put in a bottle of water on the left side as there is adequate space and i can see that working.

it sounds tedious but it really isnt at all, i would recommend trying it to anyone, unless you want to go into business hatching eggs then this is a worthwhile alternative.

if any one needs any more info just ask away.
tygrysek75
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Re: my home made incubator

Post by tygrysek75 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:19 pm

Well done to you.I have bought selfmade incubator on e-bay and I have very smal halogen bulb inside with computer fan to mix the air and both are fitted on the lid of the box which makes loads of space for the eggs and do not take alot of power.It was very relible and I had very nice chicks hatched in it.This is how its look http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/INCUBATOR-BRO ... 4ab5485746
The older I get the older old is.
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Marigold
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Re: my home made incubator

Post by Marigold » Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:37 pm

I think your incubator is just incredible, you must have found great pleasure in inventing it from all those bits and pieces, and enormous pride when oit worked. Let's hope the next lot of eggs will be better able to help you to more success in hatching next time. Obviously you would be good people to be marooned with on a desert island! In a hot enough country I bet you'd have a solar=powered inci up and running in no time at all.
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chrismahon
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Re: my home made incubator

Post by chrismahon » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:07 pm

That's a good incubator as well Tygresek. Looks like I'll be building one in France, because we can't afford anything expensive when we get there and I'll have plenty of time -if I can find the boxes all my equipment is packed in! Hiring a whole artic to move almost everything and then cramming it into a cellar when it gets there.
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foxy
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Re: my home made incubator

Post by foxy » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:44 pm

Thank you simon+colette for sharing the photos and info on your home made incubator. I hope you don't mind I have "stickied" your thread, as I am sure lots of members will find your thread interesting and inspirational! :-)17 :-)08
ncotb
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Re: my home made incubator

Post by ncotb » Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:59 am

will show my OH this as I desperately need an incubator (or 2!!) thanks for sharing :)
simon+colette
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Re: my home made incubator

Post by simon+colette » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:58 am

hi all, no i dont mind at all if its stickied , if it gives people inspiration then thats what its all about.

just a couple of things to note though, when i built it originally it only had one glass pain on the outside but i couldnt get the temp past 32 degrees it was then i thought of the secondary pain on the inside and this takes it to 43 degrees then i just dim it accordingly to set it back to 37.6.

also regarding humidity, i used a chinese takeaway box with two kitchen sponges added for more surface area, but this time im going to try the 'dry' method and only add water after day 18 and use the J cloth ideaa with it sticking out and trailing to raise the humidity higher.

i also put an argos book on the lid to weight it down, as its surprising how much 'lift' is attained from a 5 volt fan.

tygrysek75 its the incubator you have that gave me the idea in the 1st place but me being a cheapskate i thought i could do it better and cheaper lol.

cheers simon
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