How should I provide ventilation in our new DYI incubator?

melbah

Chirping
7 Years
Oct 22, 2012
39
18
77
I'm not sure how I should provide enough ventilation and would love some advice. The lid is just wood resting on wood and there is a 1x1 hole for the cords to come in, but it is holding the temperature extremely well so I am assuming it needs more ventilation. Should I drill some holes? if so where would you recommend?

We made ourselves an incubator because the Styrofoam one is not performing anymore. I designed it based on what I found scrounging in the garage. It cost 20.00 to build because I had so many things lying around. I several things such as plywood ends, a plastic sign from a theater event, glass panes from an old window, exterior paint, hinges, ect...
incubator 2.jpg
incubator 3.jpg

I had some 1x2s so I bought 3/4 inch foam insulation and put it between the plastic and the plywood. Please excuse the mess in the garage :) The 1x2 8 inches from the corner on the wall will be used to attach the dividing wall to. (see final picture) I finished it off with 1x2s on the top.
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I had most of a tube of bathroom caulking so I used that to seal the corners and make it easier to clean.

The plastic sheet was the right depth to make my windows double pane. So I glued them in the edges.

IMG_20180129_092130803[2].jpg IMG_20180128_113138779[1].jpg

Then added foam insulation to the inside of the lid. I just cut it so it was tight and wouldn't fall out.
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I'm not comfortable doing the wiring so I bought a prewired thermostat and hygrometer and fan.
I know it's more expensive, but I am intimidated by the whole wiring thing! They are working wonderfully. The sensors hang from a hook in the lid so I can get them at the level of the eggs.

https://www.amazon.com/WILLHI-Plug-n-play-Controller-Humidifier-Dehumidifier/dp/B076LMFRHG/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1518138660&sr=8-2-spons&keywords=willhi+humidity+controller&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/WILLHI-Temperature-Controller-Thermostat-Improved/dp/B00V4TJR00/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518138701&sr=8-1&keywords=willhi+wh1436a+temperature+controller

I tried the Inkbird prewired ones first, but the metal sensor on the thermostat was too large and it took too long to warm up and cool. It just wasn't sensitive enough so I returned them.

For the humidity, I put a fogger in a coffee pot. The fogger tends to splash some, but with the coffee pot (from goodwill) it has the lid with the hole in the center. The vapor can go out the top, but it keeps it from splashing all over.

https://www.amazon.com/AGPtek®-Aluminum-Fountain-Machine-Atomizer/dp/B00P91ZFPA/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1518138884&sr=8-4&keywords=fogger

The fan is prewired also. I really like the fan. A bit spending but a solid well made fan.

https://www.amazon.com/AC-Infinity-Cooling-Ventilation-Projects/dp/B009OXTWZI/ref=sr_1_5?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1518139242&sr=1-5&keywords=ac+infinity+muffin+fan

For heat, I have a 25 watt bulb on all the time and a 40 watt bulb plugged into the thermostat. since the thermostat has an alarm, I'm not worried about the bulb going out in the middle of the night. I don't have a thing to drill the large holes, but I did have some hooks and the corded sockets, so I just hung them in the cabinet. The canning jars are there for temperature stability. I haven't started the incubating yet, I just have them in there right now to use the turner.

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Deryk

Chirping
Jun 12, 2017
95
116
96
Middle Tennessee
Very cool project! I would only be guessing about ventilation but here are my thoughts.

If you are only looking to hatch on the bottom with the turner, it holds about the same as one of the still air incubators. They only have a couple vent holes about 1/2" and then 6 more that are less than 1/8". Your 1x1 hole is more open space than these holes combined; however, maybe you need more than one hole to bring in fresh air. If you only have one hole will it have any circulation? I would think maybe 1 hole on the opposite side so one could be the IN and the other the OUT. Again, this is just my thought.
 

melbah

Chirping
7 Years
Oct 22, 2012
39
18
77
Very cool project! I would only be guessing about ventilation but here are my thoughts.

If you are only looking to hatch on the bottom with the turner, it holds about the same as one of the still air incubators. They only have a couple vent holes about 1/2" and then 6 more that are less than 1/8". Your 1x1 hole is more open space than these holes combined; however, maybe you need more than one hole to bring in fresh air. If you only have one hole will it have any circulation? I would think maybe 1 hole on the opposite side so one could be the IN and the other the OUT. Again, this is just my thought.
That makes sense. I know there has to be some air getting out where the lid and base meet because it's not sealed. So maybe one 3/8 inch intake hole on the outside wall behind the fan to bring in more air (I think that's the largest bit I have) and one on the opposite side behind the light bulb? That doesn't necessarily get any circular circulation going like you mentioned, but I'm not sure if I could do that with this cabinet.
 

Deryk

Chirping
Jun 12, 2017
95
116
96
Middle Tennessee
I would think that would work. If you look at the still air ones with no fan circulating air, the smaller holes, and much smaller interior space, they provide enough ventilation. Good luck.
 

chickkrzi

Songster
8 Years
Dec 8, 2011
254
33
151
Waco texas
Nice job. Can't see why it shouldn't work. Ventilation is probably just a guessing game. So keep us posted on what works. I haven't found anything on how to calculate a fresh air exchange rate.
I'm thinking of building me a new one out of wood as well. But going to try and keep it a bit bigger than the table styrofoam models. Going to use the same ventilation as styrofoam models. If you look closely at them. They have 2- 3/8 holes with looks to be 8- 1/8 inch holes on top. Then 8 more 1/8 inch holes on the bottom. The theory is... as the air warms it will raise and vent out the top, then bring fresh air in from the bottom. So my guess on your setup would be drill smaller holes along the bottom (on the sides as I plan on doing not on the bottom). But how many or how big? Who knows.
Good luck and keep us posted!
 
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