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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

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    Apr 19, 2016
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    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]

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    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
    rookhomestead likes this.

  2. billygoat162

    billygoat162 Chirping

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    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

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    brilliant idea! thx for sharing
     
  4. chicken curious

    chicken curious Songster

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    My Coop
    A MacGyver 'bator! :D
     
    2 people like this.
  5. Kyanite

    Kyanite Loving Life!

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    Nice! The ingenuity of some folks just impresses me.
     
  6. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Songster

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    [​IMG] love it!

    Question: do you have air holes?
     
  7. billygoat162

    billygoat162 Chirping

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    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

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    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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