I just built a coolerbator for hatching. It's on its test run, right now holding a dead steady temp.
I based on an old Igloo 48 quart that has been occupying space in the shed for years ever since the drain plug cap got lost.
I used salvaged parts, an old incubator thermostat, an old pilot light (not necessary but I like to see it flash once in a while), an old lamp cord, and a brand new Incukit XL heating element/fan 125 watt combo. That's way more than necessary for this little coolerbator, but I can readily move up to a mini fridge or chest freezer later if I want.
The factory injection mold dimples were used to create ventilation holes. The two skins nearly touch at these points. Due to the fan airflow, the holes left and right of the fan exhaust air, the others are intakes. I used one of the intake holes for a pilot lamp to show when the heating element is cycling, upper left of the six holes. The small black dot near the upper left is the thermostat control. It sticks up only 3/16 above the lid so it can be turned, but not accidentally.
Heater/fan combo courtesy Incubator Warehouse. It's a 125w, 110vAC plate heater/fan combo priced at $50. Yes, there are less expensive solutions but this is rugged, self contained, and a breeze to work with. I still need to do a little tidying of the wires, I will probably put them in a small box. The thermostat is the old one pulled from my GQF 1402. It's warped and distorted from fire damage but still works like a champ. This is way more heat and fan than this little cooler needs, but I am planning for the future. It gets up to temp from cold in less than two minutes, and cycles a few seconds every five minutes.
Lots of space to work with. I will probably make a raised grid from some old quail trays and put plastic "pedigree boxes" on top. Right now there is a small water tray in the bottom corner so that I can determine how much surface area is required for hatching humidity. The drain plug is open and will remain so for additional air circulation. Right now the Spot Check is routed through there.
Besides the hatching setup I still need to make a viewing window and access door. The design is such that I can remove all the electrical components with the lid, and hose off and steam clean the base.
Edited by WalnutHill - 2/12/16 at 11:19am