DIY Incubator Questions

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Fliese, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. Fliese

    Fliese Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2012
    So, I made an incubator, using the ideas here. It's made from a styro cooler, has a fan, and a water heater thermostat. I've had it running this afternoon to tweak it and whatnot. There are issues and I'm not sure how to manage them.

    I have three thermometers in there. An Essick thermo/hygro combo, a Taylor bulb, and a digital Acu-Rite that records max and min. using a probe. I also stuck a normal (for humans) thermometer in through a vent hole for an extra reading while tweaking. Each has different readings and I don't know what to make of it. The thermostat turns the light on at 96.9/96/94.5/94.5, respectively. It turns off at 105.9/100/100.0/103.5, also respectively.

    It's maybe worth noting that I took the back plastic off of the Essick because it was taking 15 min to give "accurate" readings (like if I moved it from the house to the garage). Now it reads quickly, but that could be a factor in it's readings.

    The fluctuation of temp from cycle to cycle is reliable, with the Taylor and Acurite being pretty much exact and the others being within a degree. After the light turns off, the temp seems to continue to climb about 1degree before starting to fall.

    So, given that data, what do I trust, temp-wise? With such a huge variation, I'm not sure. Also, is the on/off cycle too inaccurate, with the air temp dropping so low? I know the eggs will retain some heat and I think I should find a place for a heat sink, so maybe that's fine? A cycle lasts about 9 min (3 on, 6 off)

    I have a 60w bulb in there now. I imagine switching to a 40 would slow the warm up, but obviously not the cool down, so it would take longer to recover from the cooling part of the cycle. Going up to a 100w would red the warming and thus shorten the cycle. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. Would it be better to change over to a dimmer and find that "sweet spot" where it just holds at 100 without turning it off or on?

    This is going to be my first hatch, which I hope to do in January. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Jessshan8

    Jessshan8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 13, 2012
    Kalispell, Mt
    With my experience in these types of homemade bators I would recommend you minimize the temp fluctuation by moving the water heater thermostat closer to the bulb. I have made several of these type of home made bators. You can look at the photos on my page here. Just click on my username to bring up that page. Photos of your bator would also help to better give you ideas about it. Another trick I like to do is put water bottles in there to act as heat sinks and hold the heat to slow the fluctuations of the on and off of the lights.
     
  3. Fliese

    Fliese Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2012
    My thermostat is pretty close to the bulb, but I might be able to move it a little closer. I have the fan blowing on it from below and was wondering if I should move it t the wall. If I put in water bottles (or I was thinking of small mason jars of water), while that would slow the cooling, etc, wouldn't that also slow the warming back up once the thermostat finally kicks in? I figure it'll throw some in tonight, figuring that by morning, it'll have found its rhythm.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Here is a picture into my incubator and another of the bulb/thermostat/fan situation.
     
  4. Jessshan8

    Jessshan8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 13, 2012
    Kalispell, Mt
    Turn the thermostat (silver part that is now facing the side of the bator) towards the light bulb that should fix your problem. The placement(distance) from the bulb is fine. Your bator looks really good otherwise nice job!
     
  5. Fliese

    Fliese Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2012
    Okay. I moved the thermostat and the fan. I also put in four 4oz, two 8oz, and one 16oz jars of warm water. Is there anything else I
    That I should be doing?
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Fliese

    Fliese Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2012
    Awesome. Thank you so much!
     
  7. Jessshan8

    Jessshan8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,077
    106
    168
    Feb 13, 2012
    Kalispell, Mt
     
  8. Jessshan8

    Jessshan8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,077
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    168
    Feb 13, 2012
    Kalispell, Mt
    Please let me know if it stabilizes for you, it should. With that type of thermostat you can expect a degree to a degree and a half fluctuation which is fine because the eggs will maintain a temp between the fluctuations being that close.
     
  9. Fliese

    Fliese Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2012
    Okay. I just re-read this. So, you're saying that the back of the thermostat should be facing the bulb, making the controls face the wall? I just want to be sure that I'm reading this right, since it seems a little counter-intuitive.
     
  10. Jessshan8

    Jessshan8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 13, 2012
    Kalispell, Mt
    yes so it looks like this. You can poke a small hole in the side to fit a small screwdriver through to adjust the thermostat if needed.
    [​IMG]
     

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