heating rope for bators - UPDATE: Back to lightbulb :(

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by arlee453, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Well,

    Found this super online store today - American Science & Surplus.

    Loads of really cool stuff....

    Anyway, I found this
    https://www.sciplus.com/singleItem.cfm/terms/2945

    It's a heating rope....you can see the pic at the link above. Less than $2, so I figured, what the heck - might be a more reliable way to heat the incubator than a lightbulb. Anyone have any feedback on that?

    Also, they had Fans for $4 and AC adapters 12 v for only $2.25 - one heck of a lot cheaper than buying the fan kits that go with the LG/Hovas. For less than $7 you could have a fan and powersupply.

    They also have all different sizes of fans - from less than 2" to almost 4" square - so cool!

    Their shipping is pretty cheap too - less than $9 to ship a few heat ropes, and 3 fans & power supplies and a couple other things I found.

    One thing they didn't have was thermostats but did have a big variety of thermometers for cheap too.

    I think I'll try hooking the heating rope up to a dimmer switch and see how that works for keeping temps steady. After my lightbulb blew out today and my temps fell so much, I'm looking for another way to heat the Rubber-cooler-a-bators...
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
  2. ginbart

    ginbart Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 9, 2008
    Bloomsburg, PA
    Boy they have anything and everything. How will you hook the heating rope in?
     
  3. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    From the pic (not their drawing, but there is a 'show image' link there) it looks like it has a black wire on one end and a white on the other.

    I'll just wire it up to a regular plug and see what happens. I'll test it with a circuit tester first, and if that looks OK, then I'll plug it in and wait to see if the breaker trips...

    I'll update the thread once I get it and see if it works or not.
     
  4. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Got my shipment today - very quick, I might add and everything just as advertised.

    I hooked up the heating element and sheesh it gets HOT! Took about 2 min to start to melt the sides of the bator....

    So, tried another tactic - I wired it up using a dimmer switch and then drilled holes for eye bolts so that i could run the heating element through the eyebolts to hold it away from the sides of the bator. So far, so good - the dimmer switch is keeping the heat down and the eyebolts are keeping it away from the sides of the bator.

    Here's a pic:
    [​IMG]

    I'm pretty sure you would have to put some sort of rheostat (dimmer) or use a thermostat or it will probably just keep getting hotter and hotter until it melts itself.

    The air temp at the bottom of the bator is already 90 degrees and I've only had it on about 20 min. I'm going to turn it down a bit and see if I can get it regulated tomorrow. I don't want to leave it on all night when i'm not in here to keep an eye on it.

    I'll keep the thread updated. If this works, it will be a great alternative to the lightbulb, and cheaper too.

    $4 for the dimmer and $2 for the heating element is cheaper than a lamp kit...
     
  5. eggonomist

    eggonomist Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2007
    Singhampton, Ont, Canada
    My only comment (because I used a heating element instead of a lighbulb in rev.1) is you have no way of knowing if your element stops working, mine gave less and less heat and it took a few days to decide to swapout the element, the hatch was ruined while I was playing about tryint to figure why the temps dropped when the element was still hot (not hot enough it seemed). I'm now on my 5th revision of the bator before I make my new one. The new one will use a heating element but as a safty device it will have 2 thin lightbulbs on a dimmer, if the heating element starts to fail I can swap out the bulbs for 40watt ones and bypass the dimmer and run the power via the thermostat giving me back up heating.
    i only mention this as you may want to order a few rope sets once you are happy it will do what you want it to do (especially for only a few bucks).
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2008
  6. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Thansk eggonomist! It's good to hear from someone who's been there//done that!

    At $2 a piece, I ordered 4, so I'm covered in case of failure, but I was really hoping to solve the problems of light heated bators - possibility of bulb failure, and the fluctiations in temps caused as the bulb goes on and off....

    Hmmm... well, I'm going to plug it back in this morning now that I'm here to watch it and make sure it is running OK and see how it goes.
     
  7. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    5,033
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    Apr 17, 2008
    Gainesville, Fl.
    I've been using the "dimmer extension cord" for my light but it is somewhat difficult to slide for minute corrections in the temp. How do you wire a regular old-fashioned dimmer with the round knob to the light bulb? Would it be possible for you to draw a wiring diagram?
     
  8. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    The way to wire a dimmer OR thermostat is to break the 'hot' wire and insert the dimmer in the middle of it. The neutral wire goes straight to the lightbulb (or heat element)

    In standard wire, the HOT is colored black. The Neutral is white.

    In light cord wire, the HOT is USUALLY ribbed on the side and the neutral is smooth. take the wire and look at the edges of it. You'll see the ribbing is on one side and it's smooth on the other.

    In other types of wires, the hot is usually black (or occasionally red) and the neutral is white.

    Take the cord you are using and determine which wire is the hot/ribbed/black wire.

    Split your cord down the center to divide the hot and neutral wires. Figure out how far to split it so that you have enough wire to reach the light cord through the hole you made in the bator. Don't worry if you split it too far - you can always use electrical tape to tape it back together.

    Now, clip the hot wire wherever you want to put in the switch or thermostat. Strip and secure the hot wire to one of the black wires coming off your switch with a wire nut. I also use electrical tape to double secure the nut onto the wire. Then take the length of left over wire you clipped off and attach that to the other black wire coming off the dimmer. You can ignore the green wire. If your dimmer has screw connectors rather than wires, just screw the hot wires onto the dimmer - one on each brass screw, it usually doesn't matter which goes where. Ignore the green screw or wire on the switch.

    Now you are ready to wire the light socket or heat element. If your element has wires, connect the wire coming from the dimmer to the black wire, and the wire coming straight from the plug to the white wire.

    If you have a light socket, connect the 'hot' wire coming from the dimmer/thermostat to the brass/gold colored screw and the neutral wire to the silver colored screw.

    Plug in your plug and turn it on. If the fusebreaker blows you have the wires crossed - you have confused the hot and neutral wires on the plug.
     
  9. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Here's a diagram:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    5,033
    46
    283
    Apr 17, 2008
    Gainesville, Fl.
    Oh...thanks so much!!! I can do this. I'm just getting my second bator up and running and would like to be able to use the "knob" type of dimmer. Again..thanks!
     

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