Making a wine cooler incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by seventreesfarm, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. seventreesfarm

    seventreesfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was lucky enough to score a under counter size wine cooler, and I bought the 225w incukit http://incubatorwarehouse.com/225-watt-cabinet-incukit.html
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    My egg turner fits perfectly in the upper shelves, and I am thinking to use the lower front part for hatching baskets, with humidity reservoirs on the ledge behind it. There is a light in the ceiling that works, but doesn't add any heat.

    Should I just put the heater/fan kit on the ceiling? Upper back wall?

    I don't plan to do huge hatches, I mostly want a cabinet bator so I have room enough to have hatch baskets for my test breedings. So I don't need to cram the thing full of eggs, and can make adjustments for best placement of the heater.
     
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  2. All Henned Up

    All Henned Up Muffs or Tufts

    I have the same wine cooler and the same incu-kit.
    I was planning on using 3 turners and the water try on bottom. 123 eggs total, setting 41 each week. I have a GQF geneses I'm going to use as my hatcher. I am planning on mounting the fan/heater on the lower back wall and blow the air across the water tray towards the door then the heat rises, fresh air vent holes in the upper part to run turners and fan/heater cords out of. The racks will hold the turners but are uneven and sometimes push the turners against the wall possibly causing a jam, so I have other flat wire racks to set turners on.
    Well those are my thoughts on this cooler incubator. I plan on having it running by late Jan or early Feb.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  3. seventreesfarm

    seventreesfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like the idea of the fan down low and blowing over the humidity wells.

    I plan to replace the bumpy racks too. Still pondering what to make my hatch baskets from. Something chick-friendly, but easy to sanitize.

    Hoping to get started this weekend, and will share pics as I go. I'd love to see your progress too [​IMG]
     
  4. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Overrun With Chickens

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    this is mine
     
  5. seventreesfarm

    seventreesfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is so cute!
     
  6. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks![​IMG]
     
  7. seventreesfarm

    seventreesfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's where I'm at right now. I decided to put the fan/heater at the bottom because I figured warm air rises anyway. I made a vent opening at the top, and I'm going to try adding a small fan to push air out. So far the temps seem to be pretty steady in all the spots I tried the incukit sensor. I have 5 or 6 other sensors in there now, and they are as close as I've ever seen them. The incukit ran too hot at first, but then I figured out how to change a setting to compensate.

    I was hoping to set in time for the NYD hatch-a-long, but I think I will wait for the fan to arrive so I can do more testing. I also ordered some chrome racks that will fit perfectly to hold the turner and later some hatching baskets. The humidity is holding steady with one pan, and I can add a 2nd one at lockdown.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pretty awesome incubator you got there!

    I'm cruising craigslist daily looking for a wine cooler like that one. I found a cool one with many shelves and 5ft tall (think of how many eggs I could fit in there!) but it wasn't practical because my egg turner wouldn't fit. Are you going to use a "regular" egg turner from a popular manufacturer like farm innovators? That's what I have and it's 15.5" wide. What's the internal width of your wine cooler?

    I see you added a heater.. I read about some people reversing the cooling mechanism to become a heater. what's up with that? is it something you need to be very electrical savvy to take on? (I am not.) or maybe a specific type of wine cooler?

    sorry for the 20 questions. Great incubator :)
     
  9. seventreesfarm

    seventreesfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think there is a kind of cooler that uses something besides a compressor to operate, and that's the kind you can use to heat too. Mine was the compressor kind, so I just pulled all that out. I still had to fuss with wiring because the wires on the incukit are a little short. I think they assume the heater goes on top. Plus I wanted to use the light built into the cooler, so I did some splicing and tucked everything back into the channel under the top plastic of the cooler. There is hard foam insulation in side and I had to carve some out for the control panel to set flush. You can kind of see the control panel on the top front right corner, with another sensor sitting to the right of it.
    I love that I can turn on the light with the existing switch, and it's not too bright either.

    I'm using the turner that came with my LG foambator. It fits on top of the bumpy wine racks, but someone here said the bumps on the racks interfere with the turner. I decided to splurge and get 2 chrome ones that are made to fit a Camp Chef smoker. They measure 16"x14" and they should fit right in. I want to be able to sanitize as much as possible, so the chrome seemed worth the money.

    It's Haier brand 20 bottle cooler, measures 16"x16"x25" inside, but the bottom back has a bump out where the compressor sat, so less room there. The racks for it measure just about 14"x16" but there is a little room at the back once you take out a metal cooling panel.
     
  10. seventreesfarm

    seventreesfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I may have to rethink having the heat/fan near the bottom. It's keeping steady temps, but not evenly throughout. I tucked a thin plastic cutting board kind of down & back of the lower shelf to deflect some of the air, and that is keeping the level of the turner a good heat. But lower that that is too warm. It's going to make hatching a challenge, assuming the eggs I started last night get that far.

    The incukit is made so the heating part is at the base, and the fan on the outside, blowing air into the element, not out from the element. This means there isn't much direct air coming out from the center of the unit, but blowing out from the sides. So having it mounted like I do makes hotter air blow straight up. If I move it to the ceiling, then the hot air will blow down the sides.

    I have a 3" computer fan mounted at the top back, on the outside, pulling air up & out. It's got a speed controller which is pretty neat. The humidity is holding well, and I think there is plenty of ventilation.

    I will be bummed to move the heater and lose the cool built in ceiling light, but I think it will just be better. But I'm not going to do it until I see what thse eggs do. If they candle viable after 7 days, I will keep it going and hope I can figure out how to manage lockdown. But if they aren't going I will pull them and rework my design.

    I'll post some pics later if anyone is interested.
     

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