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The "Refrigerbator" incubator

By Ur-ur-ur-urrr, Apr 19, 2016 | Updated: Jun 18, 2016 | |
  1. Ur-ur-ur-urrr
    This project is a homemade incubator. I have an IncuView bator from Incubator Warehouse, and had very successful hatched using it... but it's limited in the number of eggs it'll hold. 27 chicken eggs. I scored a (dead) mini fridge, and have started work on it, even though I'm in no hurry to complete it just yet. The space where the 2 egg turners will go (current shelves) is 15 1/2" x 13", and the smallest turner I've found so far is the 1611 which measures 15" x 15". Unless I can find something else, I'll get a pair of 1611's and trim off the front row of each. The eggs will tilt forward and backwards in the bator, instead of side to side... and I will lose spaces for 14 eggs by removing the end racks. Instead of being able to incubate 82 eggs at a time, I'll be limited to 68 per cycle. I think that will be more than sufficient for my near-future needs.


    The fridge...
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    I cut the inner door shelves and lip off, then ground and sanded the lip smooth...
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    To install a dual-layer viewing window in the door, the larger flat panel inside the door needed to be on top instead of at the bottom of the door. Turning the door over puts the bigger pane directly in line with the racks so the turners will be within view. The door didn't fit right when I flipped over, so I had to modify and swap the upper and lower hinges to get a tight seal. Problem solved...
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    The 120mm fan in the pic didn't moving enough air (low CFM), so I swapped it for a higher CFM 60mm fan. This fan did better, but the lower rack is 1F cooler than the top rack. I ordered a quiet (69CFM) 120mm fan that will move sufficient air to equalize temps. (pics below show fan in front/center, but the new fan is mounted on the side blowing across bulbs now). I used two 43W Halogen bulbs mounted in ceramic sockets. Halogen bulbs heat up faster than incandescent bulbs, and are far superior at handling the constant on/off cycles.

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    I cut an opening in the door and installed 11"x11" glass panes to the inside and outside of door using aquarium-safe silicone sealant.

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    The modification to the GQF 1611's is to remove one row of egg trays from each turner.

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    The new Willhi WH1436 thermostat is working great, once I was able to figure out how to set it up. It has .1F accuracy, but this didn't suit me because the lights kept cycling on and off, which would shorten the life expectancy dramatically. I set the range to .2F, and it works much better, although the temp drops .3F before turning the lights back on. The cycle time for the lights is 17 seconds on, and 50 seconds off. Not bad at all! Target temp of 100F, where thermostat turns off:

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    Thermostat turns on at 99.7F and displays "WORKING":

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    Egg turners and modification(s).

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    Turners slid into the bator. Perfect fits!

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    With door closed and bator running.

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