Articles from t0m

Hack-O-Tronic Incubator After a fox attack I found myself with an empty coop and decided to hatch out a new brood. As a first timer to incubating, I would never have found the information that I needed if it wasn't for BYC! All of your hatching stories and pictures gave me the crazy idea that I could do it myself. This is the story of how I set about it. To match the hen house, the incubator would have to be built from scroungeable trash and stuff lying around the house. Fortunately there...
Hack-O-Tronic Thermostat I am no electronics whizz. I may look like I never see sunlight, but honestly I really am not one of those subterranean experts -- It's just that I live in England. But I did hack together a functional thermostat by adapting the design from a Velleman Kit. It needed a few modifications to make it suitable for use in an incubator. The temperature range was too low (41-86 °F) and the hysteresis (temperature envelope) a little too wide (1.8 °F). I swapped out a few of...
*** Under Construction *** Microwave Incubator Build Step 6. Prepare to incubate Located the repurposed oven somewhere suitable. Adjusted the heating and/or humidity in the room. Wrapped the incubator in further thermal cladding. Put in thermometers/hygrometers, water sponges/diapers, turntable plate, honeycomb. Would have added rocks or water jars for additional thermal mass had there been space. Set everything up and ran it while I tweaked the various parameters. Put in eggs (up to a...
*** Under Construction *** Microwave Incubator Build Step 5. Final touches Checked over the electrics one last time. Made sure the ground wire was connected to the chassis. Checked that live mains wire was connected through fuse. Checked value of fuse. Put back the microswitch assembly so that the door would click shut. Took out the mechanical timer assembly and power triac so that I could use the front panel for the thermostat temperature dial and turner on/reset switch. Removing...
Microwave Incubator Build Step 3. Timer I borrowed the concept for the electronic timer from here -- refer to this webpage for a description of how the circuit works. I made the following substitutions: Not having the CD4060B chip I substituted a 74HC4060 (U1). This necessitated a 5 V regulator (LM78L05, U0) to supply power within the limits for this chip. I used a CD4013 dual flip flop for the monostable output stage, as described in this article (Fig. 9), instead of a CD4001 quad NOR....
Microwave Incubator Build Step 2. Egg turner Principle of the rolling egg turner, from the Brinsea Incubation Handbook: Honeycomb egg cage made from 68 mm PVC down pipe. "Legs" made from longer sections split lengthwise. Microwave plate covered in anti-slip mat. Parts list: 68mm PVC downpipe Anti-slip mat I also needed: Hacksaw Cyanoacrylate glue or PVC cement Scissors to cut mat Double-sided stick tape to hold it on plate Next Step Previous Step Back to Microbator Plan
Microwave Incubator Build Step 4. Thermostat, lights, and fan I've already documented the electronic thermostat that I built for my little polystyrene forced air 'bator. My original plan was to borrow it, along with the 12 V 10 W halogen lamps, light fitting, and fan, and put the whole lot in in the microwave incubator. A few things made me reconsider. For neatness and safety I wanted to mount all the electronics inside the microwave, but I didn't want to permanently rehouse the...
Microwave Incubator Build DISCLAIMER Careless repair or modification of a microwave oven can result in death or worse. Experienced technicians have met their maker as a result of a momentary lapse of judgement while testing an oven with the cover removed. Microwave ovens are without a doubt, the most deadly type of consumer electronic equipment in widespread use. The power supplies for even the smallest microwave ovens operate at extremely lethal voltage and current levels. Do not...
Microwave Incubator A brief outline for a homemade, autoturning incubator that can be left over long periods (say if I go away for the weekend). In practice I suspect pretty low hatch rates will result from all of the bumping about that the eggs are subjected to. MICROWAVE OVENS ARE HIGH VOLTAGE ELECTRIC APPLIANCES. I DO NOT ADVISE ATTEMPTING TO MODIFY A MICROWAVE OVEN. The Plan Step 1. Unplug the microwave oven and gut the electrics. Junk the magnetron, the big transformer, and...
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