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I'm really happy with how the sink-a-bator turned out and would not change a thing as of right now.
So ya want to build an incubator do ya? It's really not that hard to do. There's a ton of great ideas here on BYC.
I didn't have a plan or design in mind as I started this project I just kinda winged it as I went along. Decide how big
you need yours to be and go from their. I wanted a automatic egg turner in mine so I had to come up with at least a 15"X15"
box to start off with. I checked all my coolers first but none were quite big enough. Then I came up with an old plastic sink that had been
collecting dust out in the shop. Just the right size for the turner and with the legs it sets at a good working height. It worked out
great for what I wanted. The biggest challange I had was getting a thermostat to work properly. Lots of BC Powder, LOL !
I finally came to terms with a standard hot water heater thermostat and have a page here on how I did it.
[FONT=comic sans ms,sand]Well I've started getting eggs from my two oldest pullets one is a Black Sexlink the other is a[/FONT]
Cornish White Rock cross named "Tessie". [/FONT]One of my four RIR's has also started to lay.
[FONT=comic sans ms,sand]I'm going to try hatching some of the Cornish eggs as I have a Black Sex Link Roo "Elvis" covering her.
I'm hoping to come up with a little more "normal" bird with the mix.
So I put together an incubator with some stuff I had laying around here. [/FONT]
I bought an LG egg turner and a hot water heater thermostat $57.00 total. Up date: I scraped the
I may have got a bad one as it seemed to have a factory set 10 degree window of operation. hot water heater thermostat.
With much fiddling I was able to get the close to being ok but not good enough to me.hot water heater thermostat
So I got a $8.00 dimmer swich to control the temperature new total $65.00 . Much better control with a dimmer switch.
but if I were to have a light go out It would get cold fast also it would not take room temp swings at all. So I scraped the dimmer.
After seeing a post on here I ended up with a 150W aquarium heater theromstat that I had, way over kill for my 30W load but it should do.
I was wanting to use an old cooler as I have many of them but all to small as the turner is about 15" X 15" so I started looking for something bigger...
Just as I was about to make a box out of the Alucobond material I used on my coop I spotted the old sink and just went with it.
I lined the inside of the sink with some 2" styrofoam and built a little raised rack to set the turner on and put a water tray under it.
All in place and running great! I put a toggle switch on the 7.5W viewing light and mounted the aquarium theromstat through the lid.
I'm using two standard 15W light bulbs for heat, and one 7.5W as a viewing light. I mounted a 3" fan inside & cut two peep holes / vents in the lid.
I removed the heating element from an aquarium heater and wired the two 15W bulbs to it. It runs like a charm now + or - .5'
It was tricky cutting the pyrex housing on the aquarium heater. I scored it all the way around with a file & then took the dramel with a cut off wheel
to it and it finally broke off nice and clean right at the conection joint. I drilled a hole in the lid right behind the fan to hold the theromstat in place.
Oh yea 3" 110V fan from Radio Shack $20.00 for a grand total of $85.00
The Parts List...
First Get A Big Box Of BC Powder,
Egg Turner, Plastic Sink, Some 2" styrofoam, Three Light Sockets & Light Bulbs,
A Thermostat, A Fan, Toggle Switch, Electrical Bell Box, Some Wire,
3/4" Aluminum Angle, 1/4" Hardweare Cloth, Pop Rivets, Four Baby Food Jars
Thermometer, Hygrometer, Plexiglass for the lid window/vent...
I think that's about it.
Now time to load it up...
Update 8/29/09 Info On Tuning & Tweaking
My Heat Source: I'm using standard light bulbs. Two are better than one. In case one goes out the other one will still carry the load providing it is hot enough.
I started with two 40W bulbs but found that one 15W bulb has enough energy to do the job in my bator.
So I'm now using two 15W bulbs. Much less temp swings and more efficient.
Let's see, I've tried the hotwater heater thermostat, dimmer switch and a fish tank thermostatMy Thermostat:
Their are pros and cons on all of them. I'm currently testing / using a 150W fish tank thermostat.
The 150W is way over kill now as the load is only 30W.
I'm only on day 4 of incubatoon but it is working absutly perfect for me so far. 99.1 to 100.4
I'm in the process of fixing the hotwater heater thermostat to be more stable and have it way better than it was.
Hot Water Heater Thermostat Modification
Aquarium Heater Theromstat Test
Day 4 of testing 8/29/09 Holding Steady Temps ...
12:57 heat on @ 99.1' 41% Hum
12:58 heat off @ 99.7 drifts up to 100.2' by 1:01 drops to 99.5 by 1:02
1:03 heat on @ 99.1'
1:05 heat off @ 99.7' drifts up to 100.2' by 1:06 drops to 99.5 by 1:08
1:10 heat on @ 99.1'
1:12 heat off @ 99.7 drifts up to 100.4' by 1:13 drops to 99.5 by 1:15
1:18 heat on @ 99.1'
1:19 heat off @ 99.7' drifts up to 100.5' by 1:21
Day 9 of Sink-A-Bating
I swaped out the aquarium heater theromstat & went back to the hot water heater theromstat
as I was able to get it to work so well. Here is a short video showing how well it is cycling now.
Woo-Hoo It worked! I had two hatch so far. I think I may have one more coming. Now I'm ready for some Java eggs.