DIY incubator upgrades (Sanity check)

SailingAgape

Songster
May 25, 2020
261
1,510
166
PNW (Outside of the CHAZ)
I wanna sanity check my incubator design off some folks on here that have been at this a lot longer than I.

I built my box out of 1 1/2" purple insulation board. Inside dimensions are about 20"x20" and about 9" tall to fit about any automatic egg turner.

Right now I have 2ea. 12v computer fans mounted to a piece of aluminum angle that spans corner to corner with the fans mounted at a slight downward angle to provide circular airflow from opposing corners.

For heat, I have an AC ceramic heat element mounted to the front of one of the fans.

For humidity, I used a water pump designed for a drip watering system providing a 1 second burst of water every hour and that seemed to maintain whatever current humidity it was at with slight variations over a 24 he period.

For my next Rev;

I'm planning on switching to a reptile fogger plugged into a stand alone humidity controller (I tried running it off my main controller but it wouldn't work).

I'm adding vents for more fresh air.

I'm switching to a quail turner so I can take out a couple trays and add water bottle hear syncs.

As far as heating and circulation go...

Is there such a thing as too much circulation?

Is there an advantage to bulbs over a heater element?
IMG_20200509_170108.jpg
 

SailingAgape

Songster
May 25, 2020
261
1,510
166
PNW (Outside of the CHAZ)
Looks good.
When your building your design always keep in mind that the incubator must stay consistent > humidity and temperature.

During the last incubation, the heat waivered from 37.5c to ~38.9c every 5-6min with an overall average of 37.6c. I plan to move the controller temp probe closer to the heat element under the assumption that this will turn off the heater sooner but increase the intervals that heating is required. Otherwise, more frequent but shorter heat cycles. Plus the adding heat syncs.

My only other issue with heating was during lockdown when condensation built up in the controller and shorted it in a way that the heater was tripping on and off in about one second intervals and overall heat spiked rapidly to about 43c while indicating 37.5c. I've since mounted the controller externally and had not further issues with it.

I'll NEVER have a "through hull" mounted controller again.
 

mdees88

Crowing
Mar 15, 2018
919
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Lower Alabama
My Coop
My Coop
That's a pretty good design but there are much simpler ways to regulate humidity. All you need is a container with water in it and have the ability to keep water in the container, doesn't mater how full or empty the container is, it just can't run out of water.

You need to try a couple different size containers to get in the ballpark, then to dial in a specific humidity you open or close air vents. Once it's set right you won't have to mess with it until lockdown.
 

SailingAgape

Songster
May 25, 2020
261
1,510
166
PNW (Outside of the CHAZ)
That's a pretty good design but there are much simpler ways to regulate humidity. All you need is a container with water in it and have the ability to keep water in the container, doesn't mater how full or empty the container is, it just can't run out of water.

You need to try a couple different size containers to get in the ballpark, then to dial in a specific humidity you open or close air vents. Once it's set right you won't have to mess with it until lockdown.

Unfortunately/fortunately I have eggs arriving this weekend so I didnt give myself much time to experiment with my specific required surface areas. And I didn't 't put channels in the floor like many store bought incubators have so I have a pretty good idea about what size puddle the drip system made to maintain humidity during incubation and lockdown so I have a good place to start when I start simplifying.

I did experience a "total" loss of humidity during lockdown so I cracked the lid, threw in the fogger hose and taped the lid gap. I was able to get back to the exact humidity and maintain it within a minute or two while I got my puddle going again so I know it's really effective.
 

SailingAgape

Songster
May 25, 2020
261
1,510
166
PNW (Outside of the CHAZ)
Last night I ended up putting 2 probe thermometers through the side of the incubator and noted a 2°f difference between either side of the incubator box. I haven't calibrated the thermometers yet so I swapped their positions and still noted the difference.

So, I scrapped the whole dual fans idea. And mounted a single fan hanging about 1" down from the lexan window on top and then mounted the heat element about 1" below that. The airflow direct is blowing upwards towards the lexan.

I'm sure the fan doesn't really appreciate this arrangement but, it actually freed up a lot of viewing area and headroom between the eggs and mechanical parts. It should also take care of a condensation build up on the window.
received_557685018267841.png

This was what it was maintaining this morning with the fogger connected for humidity control.the sensor was in the middle of the egg turner.

I moved the sensor off to the side of of the turner to get an idea of conditions in other locations and try to identify hot spots. And the thermometers outside are indicating identical now.

Tonight the plan is to take it up to lockdown and get some data there and hopefully set some eggs tomorrow evening after bringing it back down to the current temp and humidity of course.
 

SailingAgape

Songster
May 25, 2020
261
1,510
166
PNW (Outside of the CHAZ)
I made a couple updates during my day 7 candling. I changed out the egg turner to a quail specific turner, that way I could take a couple trays out and I placed water bottles in to help stabilize temps. 1 bottle was open to help stabilize humidity. I also changed out my fogger tube to a smooth wall tube.
 

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