Homemade incubator cycling

Justoldbobo

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 10, 2013
72
1
38
Jena, Louisiana
How often is the light supposed to cycle on and off to hold temp. Mine seems like is pretty quick. Fan is cornered across bulb with wht on opposite side of bulb. Should I point it less directly at bulb? Or use smaller fan? Fan I'm using is older PC fan about 3" wide. I also have one that is about half that size.
 

loveourbirds

Songster
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
2,857
323
198
waverly ohio
sorry it took so long for you to get a reply. if the fan is blowing directly on the thermostat it may cause a fluctuation in temperature. across the bulb is fine and probably the most efficient. the cycling you are seeing happens fast because of a very low temperature variance. a good incubator (for chickens) should not drop below 99 and never over 101. your house typically has about a 5 degree variance.

if your using a regular incubator thermostat, and your temp is holding at 99.5 everything is working properly.

another note: when you use a bulb to heat, the cycles make them blow more quickly. keep an eye on it and an extra bulb on hand.
 

Justoldbobo

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 10, 2013
72
1
38
Jena, Louisiana
About the heating element. Wonder if I could use a short piece of coils out of a "milk house" space heater and how it would work. With heat shield and insulators of course
 

loveourbirds

Songster
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
2,857
323
198
waverly ohio
you can use one out of those heaters, keep in mind the shorter you make it, the hotter it gets. to much heat to fast is a bad thing in incubators.

you could possibly take apart a milk house type heater, use a wafer thermostat to control the heating coils, and wire the fan to run all the time. this could heat an incubator of about 9-12 cubic feet pretty nicely. make tilt-able shelves hook them all together so they all tilt at once. run a piece of all-thread through a keyslot in the top. using 2 washer and 4 nuts, set the washers in place to the 45 degree each way tilt. if you want to take it a notch farther you could get a linear actuator and timer, possibly from surplus center (www.surpluscenter.com I think).

with the multiple wattage settings on a milk house type heater. use the lower wattage. if for some reason you would need it, you have the higher wattage, but you will also dry things up a lot faster. it could also cause hot spots.

if you go this far, I would suggest buying 1-2" to 3/4" mdf or hdf for your case. the 3/4 is going to hold heat better. its probably best to get it with a plastic type veneer on it, make sure you seal all joints.

best of luck,
brian
 

Justoldbobo

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 10, 2013
72
1
38
Jena, Louisiana
I'm hoping to find and recycle a mini-refrigerator. The heater I was going to take the coil out of is a 1300/1500 watt. The short heating element only comes on on high. So I assume its rates 200 watts. Maybe hook it on dimmer switch
 

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