HELP - Anybody got a Brinsea Octagon with humidity pump?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Gypsy07, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I'm looking for any advice, tips, tricks, typical problems with them. If anyone can help, I'll be very grateful.

    I just bought one on eBay. An Advance EX with full humidity control. Second hand, only two months old, with purchase receipt and the remainder of a two year warranty. Saved myself a small fortune on buying it new! It was a bit of a panic buy, as the temp in my main incubator started fluctuating wildly yesterday and I had to hastily transfer 15 duck eggs into an old homemade styro box that was someone else's hatcher and I've never actually used before. I think they're probably cooked, as by the time I checked my bator and saw something was wrong, the temp was above 104. But I'm going to give them a chance anyway. There's a small chance they might be okay...

    But I've also got some extra special chicken eggs due in the mail this week, and I really don't want to take any chances with them. So I bought this Brinsea. But it's going to arrive maybe a day or two after my eggs, and I won't really have time to turn it on and let it run for 48 hrs before I put the eggs in. I'm pretty much going to have to unpack it, scrub it out, dry it off, fire it up and get those babies in there as soon as possible. I know the Brinseas are supposed to be pretty much foolproof, but I can be VERY foolish at times. Just wondering if there's anything I should know about them before I get it up and running.

    All info very gratefully received![​IMG]
  2. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Well, I've got two of them. In some ways, they are excellent incubators. But, I've been upset lately with mine, because I feel the overall design is rather cumbersome, too many external parts with cords and hoses. I wish now I had bought the R-Com 20, where everything is internal and there is only one cord coming out. But, too late now, maybe someday.

    Anyway, the biggest issue I have with them is that the hose and the thin power cord to the tank are very easy to entangle in the turner or just with you as you work with them. Several times I've gotten tangled up and almost pulled things off the desk or table. A couple of weeks ago in the night, the power cord and hose got caught in the turner, which pulled the tank off the desk, and that pulled the whole thing down. And, of course, this happened some time in the night. The next morning, I found the mess. Almost all of the eggs were broken, a bloody mess, and the few that weren't were very cold. I lost 3 goose eggs I had bought, as well as duck and turkey eggs of my own, over 20 total.

    So, my advice is to have the whole thing on a very secure table. The next time I set it up, I'm going to use cable ties to secure all of the cords, and then I may even duct tape or bungee it all down so this can't happen again.

    In terms of performance, its fine -- it will hold temperature and humidity very well, even if the outside conditions fluctuate a lot. Its easy to clean, durable in that sense.
  3. texmix

    texmix Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 4, 2011
    North Texas
    My Brinsea is practically new. I have the model you do. I have found this reaches temp very quickly and holds temp well. I have had no problem with the cords knocking the unit off the table, but I have to admit that the previous poster’s observation is spot on. That is the only thing I would like to see Brinsea improve on. Just make sure that the cords and humidity pump hose is out of the way and you should be in for a hands off hatch.
    I am very new to hatching and I set 18 eggs my first time. I got 17 out of 18 to hatch. The one that didn’t hatch was infertile. All I did was put it together, let it run for an hour, and put in the eggs.
  4. CatDaddyAlbert

    CatDaddyAlbert NoFeathersRuffled

    Apr 22, 2011
    Gumboro, Delaware
    As Texmix said....they come to temp very fast. One thing you have to do is READ the manual. You have a bunch of settings on the control panel for time of turns, amount of the turn, humidity, etc. The instructions explain it well. If is it that new you should get some extra tubing and some extra humidity paper that goes inside. I doubt the person used it all.

    Be SURE you wrap the hose on the humidity pump in the RIGHT DIRECTION. If when you get it the tube is mounted on it then unwrap it and put it between your thumb and middle finger and run it back and forth. The tube will become round again. Then re-wrap it it. Before you wrap it you need to make sure there is water in the tube between the tank and the incubator. There is only one way to do it. There is a length of hard tubing that you put into a hole in the bottom of the incubator. The hard tubing is slipped into the soft tubing and runs up to the small black output fitting on the machine. Just clean off the hard tubing and before you wrap it around the turning device on the incubator suck on the hard tubing and the tube FULL of water from the tank to the end.

    I am sure you can find a PDF of the instructions on the Brinsea website. It would be worth downloading them and having a read or two or six. You are under the gun so the more you know before it gets here the better off you are.

    One thing to keep in mind. Unlike a GQF big incubator that you can open fast a get a hatched bird out......when you open these the humidity and temp changes VERY FAST. It is a small space. The nice part about it is that they recover quickly.

    Good Luck with your hatch.
  5. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Thanks for all the advice you guys.

    Denninmi - Your incubator disaster sounds just awful! I'm the world's clumsiest person so I think I may go the 'duct tape and cable tie' route, just to be on the safe side. You know, I actually considered the R-Com 20 as well but thought that everything being internal would just make it harder to clean out. Or easier to get water into the electrics and ruin it. I don't know if that would be correct or not...

    CatDaddy - Thanks for the tips on hooking up the humidity pump. It sounds rather complicated but hopefully when I've actually got the thing in front of me it'll be obvious what goes where. I've already downloaded the incubator instructions AND the separate instructions for the humidity pump from Brinsea's website, and I was busy reading them in my tea break at work last night.

    Texmix - 100% on your first hatch? Wow. I've never had a 100% hatch and I've been incubating for ages now. Here's hoping...

    Thanks again. I really appreciate you all taking the time to answer my post [​IMG]
  6. Highlander

    Highlander Tartan Terror

    Oct 1, 2008
    Sorry, can't help you with the Brinsea info, but I think we all want to know what "very special eggs" you are getting? Sounds exciting!

    PS I have some updated pics to show you, i'll get them loaded up hopefully today. [​IMG] Good luck!
  7. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Haha. Need you ask? A chap in the Marsh Daisy group who's been breeding them for years is sending me a dozen and a half eggs this week. I thought I had my time slots worked out then this friend appeared with duck eggs last week. So I thought fine, I'll start the duckies off in my main bator then when the MDs arrive I'll do a quick scrub-and-swap over. I got an old home made styro still air that was someone else's hatcher; I've never used it before but I thought I had a week or so to play around with it and figure out the settings and how to regulate humidity before I had to move the duckies in there and put the MDs in my main bator. Then a few days ago the temps in my main bator started zooming up the scale and I had to quickly chuck the duckies in the styro box before they cooked. I still think they might all be goners but they're only at a week today and I haven't candled them yet to see...

    Anyway, I took the 'barbecue bator' apart and footered about with the thermostat and it seems to be holding temp steady now, but I don't trust it cause I don't know what caused the problem in the first place. And I've been looking for an excuse to buy a fancypants bator for ages anyway but I couldn't justify the expense till now...

    Yes please, send more pics! I want to see how yours have all turned out. Mine are a lovely mishmash but I don't think a single one of them meets all the criteria for the breed enough to be called a good example! I have one half decent looking boy who I think I shall keep and two fairly poor ones. I have one girl with a good comb, but she's the wrong colour and has dark green legs. The rest of the girls have very poor combs and all but two have wonky colouring. Of the two females who are roughly the right colour, one is very small and one has a single comb...

    Back to the drawing board!
  8. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Well, everything worked out just fine. The bator arrived a day before the eggs so I had time to give it a really good scrub out - and boy did it need it! It was absolutely reeking and the fan and heating element were both coated with a thick layer of chick dander. I went to town on it and stripped it down completely to clean it out and inspect the workings, and I can confidently say it definitely ended up cleaner than it must have been when it left the factory.

    So that's it up and running now and I have to say - I LOVE it! The temp is rock steady and the humidity only fluctuates by 1% so far as I've seen. The humidity pump is a very clever little gadget and I really do have every confidence in the whole set-up. I have 18 shipped eggs and 4 of my own in it and I'm only going to candle twice - once at 9 days to check fertility and assess humidity, and then again just before lockdown

    And the duckies aren't a complete write off just yet. I candled at 7 days and threw out 4 that were definitely dead - just black dots, no veins - and one that was not developed at all. I candled again three days later and chucked out another dead one that I hadn't been too sure about before. So now I've got 9 left in there. When I weighed them to assess humidity, five of them were right on track and three had lost far too little weight, so I'm thinking those ones are probably dead too. But I'm leaving them in there anyway just in case...

    The styro bator is a real headache with temps fluctuating regularly between 96 and 103. I think I'll have to get one of those funny water wigglers to check on the temp variations inside the eggs, which I'm hoping will be a LOT less than the variations in the air temps. I've got one of those digi-thermometers that stores the max and min temps, which makes things easier to keep an eye on. I really hope I can get at least two little duckies out.

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