Microwave framed incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ccrawf, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. ccrawf

    ccrawf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 6, 2009
    Springfield, Missouri
    I have been thinking about making an incubator for a while, with lots of ideas running through my head. Had a new one and I wanted to get an opinion from the experts on here.
    I really like the plans and idea for building an incubator out of an old wine cooler. That is what I’m hoping for, but so far I haven’t found one. Thought about using just a small desk top fridge, then realized the importance of the glass door to see thru. Decided that cutting a hole in the fridge door just wouldn’t do. So keep looking and back to the drawing board.
    Then one day I am standing in front of the microwave and thought about how I can make that work. It has the see through door, and is a little smaller maybe and is wide instead of tall like the wine cooler. I used the one above my stove for measurements and came up with the following.
    The 30 egg flat like you buy at the store in 12 x 12 inches, and it fits in the microwave easily. So theoretically I could have one long layer of eggs, about 6 deep from front to back and say 10 rows wide. If I built it right I could make trays 3 eggs by 6 eggs and have them all rotate to automatically turn the eggs from side to side. Several small trays instead of large trays like the cooler, and they would rock side to side, like venetian blinds laid down.
    I’d still like to use light bulbs for a heat source, probably have to insulate the whole thing, and use 2 computer fans. Still working on getting a reasonable thermostat. Just not sure how to put everything together. Might have to take a microwave apart to get a better idea.
    So the question(s):
    Any one ever thought of this before?
    Ever actually try using a microwave as a frame?
    Some one see problems or ideas I don’t?
    Thanks a lot for your time and input. Spring and all those eggs will soon be here, and I need to get started now, or I won’t have anything. 
    I'll try to get a diagram for it.
     
  2. SteveH

    SteveH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2009
    West/Central IL
    I must admit I have no experience , but thought of using one myself .

    I'm pretty sure you're right about having to add insulation , they are not built to hold heat . My big one I use daily has some sort of fan that forces heat out through the vents on the back ; I'm thinking it could be rewired to run continuously and redirected to circulate air . Mine has a turn table and I also wonder if that motor can be geared down and used to drive turner racks . Good luck .
     
  3. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2009
    South Alabama
    Whatever you do be careful if you start taking the guts out....there's sometimes energy stored back there that'll make sparks fly out your ears!

    Ed
     
  4. pacetruckguy

    pacetruckguy The West Coast Chicken Whisperer

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    Dec 8, 2009
    Petaluma,CA
    Quote:Now I'd like to see that. [​IMG]
     
  5. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    Riverside/Norco, CA
    I have read multiple warnings that the stored energy back of a microwave can be fatal. DO NOT try that at home. Find a small fridge and just put a clear door on it. I have a couple i'd give you just to NOT see you fry yourself working on a microwave. People die every year from it. Google is your friend. You would be much safer to use a toaster oven.
     
  6. pacetruckguy

    pacetruckguy The West Coast Chicken Whisperer

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    Dec 8, 2009
    Petaluma,CA
    You might want to try Craigslist, theres all kinds of cheap or even free stuff on there all the time. Seriously look under free stuff it's amazing. And yes you might not want to mess with a microwave, unless you really know what your doing, or have really good insurance. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. megcpat

    megcpat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 2, 2010
    Montana
    You guys are talking about UNPLUGGED microwaves exploding? No way - that's something I never would have guessed. Must be something that reacts to oxygen when it's opened? I have thought of this myself, converting a microwave, so I'm glad someone else thought to ask about it before it was too late.... There is somebody on e-bay right now selling books on how to convert a refrigerator into an incubator and in the photo he has cut a window into the door. Might not be worth two cents, or it may be really cool......
     
  8. SteveH

    SteveH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2009
    West/Central IL
    Many electrical devices have capacitors which are kind of like a high voltage battery . Yes , they can and have killed people .
     
  9. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    yes, an unplugged one that has sat around for a while even... google, man... Google like your life depended on it, cuz it sort of does.
     
  10. muddstopper

    muddstopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 23, 2008
    Murphy NC
    If you dont know what a capacitor is or what it looks like, and how to discharge it properly, then your best bet is to leave it alone.

    Now with that said, the microwave should make a excellent incubator, as long as you know enought to not get fried. It should already have a reusable fan and most already have a light fixture. You could remove the turntable motor from the bottom and remount it for use as a egg turner. For insulation, you can wrap it in blue or pink foam board. Most likey, once you strip the guts out of inside of the microwave, you might be able to insulate it internally. The 48 egg capacity trays are 12x12 and you will need 5inches of over and under clearance to get the proper turn angle, or 10inches + full tray height. You can get by with less height if you reduce the turn angle of the trays. I think a microwave incubator is totaly do-able if you have just a little bit of electrical knowledge.
     

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