Homemade Cooler/Fridge-a-Bator Hatcher Instructions/Diagram


Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
15 Years
Feb 3, 2007
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
Thank my DH for this one folks! By request, here are your instructions with diagram:

48 Qt Cooler / Fridge-a-bator
1. The cooler is a standard 48 qt plastic insulated cooler. The Fridge is a small, college dorm size refrigerator , out of which I removed the compressor and electronic switches.

2. I then cut a viewing window in both and covered with 2 layers of plexiglass with an air space between sealed with silicone. The Fridge has an inner plastic panel that has to be removed. I replaced it with metal flashing. I covered the window on the Fridge with wood trim.

3. The inner workings of both are the same. The Fridge had to be placed on it’s side because of extreme temp readings while it was standing up. My boxes contain

A: 12vdc fan from a computer ,
B: 9-12vdc small power supply to drive the fan,
C: Wafer thermostat ,
D: Ceramic bulb socket w/ 60 watt bulb,
E: Nightlight.

Wiring is as follows.

1. One leg of the 115vac (from the house power) is connected to one side of the wafer thermostat, 9-12vdc power supply, and finally the nightlight.

2. The other leg of the 115vac is connected to the other side of the 9-12vac power supply, nightlight, and the ceramic bulb socket.

3. The remaining leg of the ceramic bulb socket is connected to the unused wire on the wafer thermostat.

4. Connect 9-12vdc to 12vcd fan. From power supply.







****NOTE: With a lightbulb as the heat source, we always put a deflector made from aluminum flashing in front of it to keep eggs in that area from cooking from concentrated heat. The bulb is a 60 watt bulb in both hatchers


12 Years
Mar 1, 2008
Gladstone MI
Hugs hugs hugs to both of you thank you so much. Do you think you could make a double one from a full size fridge/freezer and how would a freezer work, stupid ? as you only use the shell LOL, but I am just excited and thinking out loud LOL. Thank your hubby so much for me and thanks to you as well.


Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
15 Years
Feb 3, 2007
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
DH says that someone on the internet built a large one like you're talking about with a GQF thermostat made for a cabinet incubator, so I'm sure its possible. GQF, in case you didn't know, is the manufacturer of the Hovabator.


Cooped up
11 Years
Mar 2, 2008
GQF spares are a good source of parts for DIY, but they aren't cheap.

If you want a good fan for a larger cabinet, the compressor fans from fridges are excellent, and the blades can be changed to the diameter you want.

Lots of sources for resistive heaters, just string 'em in front of the fan on ceramic insulators.

Irrigation timers can be used to control auto-turners, they will happily wire in a way that reverse a DC motor. Needs some playing with, but it seems to work.

Keep the ideas coming.

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