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DIY Thermostat-Controlled Incubator for $12.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by billygoat162, Apr 2, 2017.

  1. billygoat162

    billygoat162 Chirping

    Apr 19, 2016
    American Southwest
    Hey everybody, I just wanted to let you know about a little incubator hack I discovered this weekend. I had some extra eggs from an order that wouldn't fit under my broody hen, so I scrounged around my electronics drawers and came up with a simple but effective solution.

    I had an old electric cooler (the kind that plugs into a cigarette lighter socket in your car) that I picked up at a thrift store for $6. It uses a Peltier cooler (a solid chunk of a special semiconductor metal that works as a heat pump when you apply voltage to it), and to turn the cooler into a heater, all you have to do is reverse the polarity on the Peltier element.

    I opened it up, switched the pos/neg wires on the Peltier element to turn it into a heater, and added a cheap thermostat/relay board that I got on eBay for $4 a while back for another project. It's all pretty simple wiring and there is no need for soldering, although soldering is safer than crimping wires.

    I put a glass of water inside it to increase humidity and covered it with aluminum foil with a few holes in it to slow evaporation. I put a humidity meter I had laying around inside it to make sure the humidity was right, and it's staying at a steady 65%.

    Right now the whole setup is powered by a 12V 4A AC/DC adapter that I got at thrift store for $2. All in all, this set me back $12. Now the tricky part will be slipping the chicks under my broody when they all hatch [​IMG]


    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
    rookhomestead likes this.

  2. billygoat162

    billygoat162 Chirping

    Apr 19, 2016
    American Southwest
    The thermostat/relay module is an XH-W1209 if anyone is curious. It's just a basic thermostat/relay that runs on 12V DC and can be bought online.
  3. craziesfarm

    craziesfarm In the Brooder

    Oct 12, 2016
    brilliant idea! thx for sharing
  4. chicken curious

    chicken curious Songster

    Apr 24, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    My Coop
    A MacGyver 'bator! :D
    2 people like this.
  5. Kyanite

    Kyanite Loving Life!

    May 27, 2016
    SE Idaho
    Nice! The ingenuity of some folks just impresses me.
  6. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Songster

    Nov 15, 2011
    Elma, Washington
    [​IMG] love it!

    Question: do you have air holes?
  7. billygoat162

    billygoat162 Chirping

    Apr 19, 2016
    American Southwest
    Not air holes per-se, but the wires are keeping the lid from closing all the way. I open it a few times a day to check on the humidity, but am tempted to start propping the lid open more. There is a fan inside the cooler that circulates air, so as long as fresh air can get in there it should reach the eggs.

    When I candled the eggs today there were some good ones for sure. I added a few that the hen kicked out of the nest, and I didn't see any growth inside them...I'm guessing that either they got too cold before I found them, or it really is true that hens can tell which eggs are duds and which aren't.

  8. rookhomestead

    rookhomestead Songster

    Apr 6, 2017
    Northeast, TN
    Does the thermostat turn the power supply on and off to the whole thing (fan and peltier plate)?? I feel like if the fan wasn't running, it might not kick back on soon enough. I guess the thermostat probe or whatever it has at egg level would be ok. But if the eggs are lower(cool air sinks)?? Did you get a successful hatch out of it? I have one of these coolers in my basement that was given to me. Right now I use a still air styrafoam DIY incubator. a fan would be nice, but only if I can get a steady temp with it. P.S. I'm electronically challanged!

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