Incubator heating question.

xcalibor67

Chirping
Apr 28, 2017
200
93
86
I really believe im over thinking my incubator build.....But anyway, heres my question(s) thoughts. I have the bator set up to use 2 regular incandescent bulbs( with fan). After reading some about the light they emit, im thinking maybe it isn't such a good thing to have it so bright in the bator. I cant find a incandescent bulb that emits no light. I can find, and have the ceramic screw in heaters. It seems the ceramic style heaters are slower at giving off heat, since the element inside the ceramic has to heat up the thick glass its embedded in before it actually starts to give off radiant heat, whereas the incandescent bulbs almost instantly start to give off heat due to its thin glass cover. Bottom line, i want something to bring the ambient air temp back up as fast as possible. Would you suggest changing to heating elements, or for me to stop thinking, and just stick a couple of screw in ceramic heaters in the light sockets?
 

wynn4578

Songster
Apr 6, 2015
412
153
131
Oklahoma
The problem with ceramic heaters is not only are they slow to respond heating up, it takes them longer to cool off. I'm sure they can be used and probably even successfully but I would fear that they would create too much of a temp swing. There are advantages though. I don't believe they burn out quite so easily for 1. How big is the incubator you're building. I have a large cabinet incubator that uses 250 watt heat lamps for the heaters and they work quite well. The down side is as of right now there is no back up if one burns out on either side of the incubator and you don't catch it before the eggs cool then you loose your hatch. So far in 3 years I haven't had one burn out yet but it will happen eventually and when it does it's going to suck.
 

xcalibor67

Chirping
Apr 28, 2017
200
93
86
Its a cabinet syle, actually its a sink base ive modified. The bator part of it is about 32" long 20" wide, 15" in depth, top to bottom, so its not overly large. Right now i have 2 75wat plain bulbs. During the build i wasn't even thinking about the brightness inside the bator, but after reading about it, it sorta does make sense to darken up a bit..No clue, as im a total novice at hatching chicks, and the light may not even make a difference to the eggs. Perhaps in my mind a darker setting just seems more hatch friendly, lol. I dont mind buying a couple of small elements, but havent found any with good reviews from Amazon. I still would prefer "2" of whatever i gowith, for the reasons you spoke of...My luck one would stop in the middle of incubation...
 

xcalibor67

Chirping
Apr 28, 2017
200
93
86
The digital thermostat (Amazon) can only be set to a 1degree variance. I havent ran a complete test as i havent put in my heat sink yet..just figured since the stat only did a 1degree variance, i would give it all the help i could with a fast reheat when it did come on. Say for instance i set my stat at 99.5, what variance in ambient air temp would be considered acceptable? With out a heat sink, it will vary from say, 99.6 to 98.7, then stat brings on my bulbs. Fan runs continuously. It does bring the temp back up withing a minute or so. Im just concerned about all that bright light. Thanks.
 

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xcalibor67

Chirping
Apr 28, 2017
200
93
86
The stat im using is https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F05UI8O/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

with the set up i have now, No eggs, no heat sink, no water in my humidifier, just empty bator with lil giant egg turner, The stat is kicking off at 99.6, and kicking back on at 98.7. On cycle is about 2 mins, off cycle is about 4 mins. Seems temp is dropping faster than than i think it should..No clue, 1st bator ive had/built. The bottom and all sides have full 2" thick white closed cell styro over cabinet wood, and the figerglass/resin type shower surround material (Figured for easy cleaning). The viewing area has double payne plexi with a 3/8 air gap. top has 1" thick styro(green)insulation, as well as the lids..I dont know if i could stuff anymore insulating properties in it, lol. Is the temp variances acceptable? and the times the stat comes on? Thanks.
 

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xcalibor67

Chirping
Apr 28, 2017
200
93
86
The bottom half with the 2 smaller doors is not part of the actual bator, its seperated by wood and styro..My grand idea was to take out the chicks after 24 hrs and pop them in the bottom, which will have a heat lamp. I call it the Kirkabator Kombo. lol. Since the whole unbit will be inside, i figured the chicks could stay inside for a few weeks for our viewing pleasure, until i move them to the big boy brooder.
 

Egghead_Jr

Crowing
10 Years
Oct 16, 2010
7,482
3,547
436
NEK, VT
You've only a 1 degree variance without anything in there. It's good to go but you want to set the top temp shut off to 100 F so it cools to 99 and average temp is 99.5 F.

It should tighten up even more with the thermal mass of eggs in there. Regardless, adjust so the average is 99.5. My incubator has a 2 degree temp swing and we've no problems with hatches.

I forgot to point out that you should keep in mind the eggs won't be losing much temp, they have mass, it's the air inside the incubator that is swinging up and down. The other thing was going to ask if you have air vents in that? They are needed. As little as a 3/8 inch hole top and bottom (or bottom side) will do well. Typical styrofoam table tops have two top 3/8 inch holes and 4 or so 1/4 inch holes in bottom for air exchange. You can cover one top hole until hatching time but most of us leave the plugs out and run with holes open all the time.
 
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xcalibor67

Chirping
Apr 28, 2017
200
93
86
Thanks m8. yes i have about 1/2 hole on the top left and right corners. Its where my probe wires went through, so i figured leave them open and use for fresh air..Im glad you told me about switching the temp up a bit on the high side, so the "Average is about 99.5,Good deal. Yeah, the lil digi from Amazon came from factory with a 2 degree variance, but after searching online i found a tutorial that showed me a simple setting change so it would only swing 1 degree... Since both of my holes are at top corners, do you feel i should put another close to the bottom? Thanks.
 

wynn4578

Songster
Apr 6, 2015
412
153
131
Oklahoma
Your temp gauge is an stc1000. They work very well and give a good clean look. The is a humidity controller that compliments it well if you ever want to add auto humidity. Connect a pond/birdbath mister to it an it works quite well.
 

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