Need advice on the better-performing incubator (Incubator Superbowl)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Chicken Keith, Sep 15, 2007.

  1. The Brinsea Pro 20 DX, here's link:


    The R-Com Pro 20

    Folks I'm on a quest to find the better mousetrap, er, I mean incubator. I'm so sick and tired of my Lyon Turn-X 7's erratic temperatures at different locations inside the unit. Two thermometers read as much as 5 degrees (differential) off arghhhh, UN-FREAKIN-ACCEPTABLE!!!:mad:

    I simply want an incubator which reads 99.5 at every square inch of incubator space, not 103.5 over here and 96.2 over there!

    HELP, does anyone have any advice??

    Both units mentioned above are about $300-$600 retail depending when/where you buy them, on sale or not.
  2. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Are you sure it is a problem with your incubator or a problem with your thermometers? I would get a third thermometer before spending a bunch on a new incubator.
  3. jimnjay

    jimnjay Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    I agree, or contact Lyon. My TX 6, new to me but I just purchased used is dead on steady. I have been amazed on how stable temps are in it. Even the humidity has only varied 3 points. since I fired it up 15 days ago.

    The TX 7 is reputed to be even better. If you are having problems with one of the best incubators on the market first check with customer service at Lyon and see if they can't troubleshoot with you.
  4. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Easy - Brinsea

    But I agree with Jaynie - check on the Lyon first. You are the FIRST I've ever heard of having a problem with one. They are one of the mosy highly regarded models on the market.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2007
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    You've already gotten great advice on thermometers and checking with the manufacturer. The other suggestion I have, is to get a couple of water wigglers to use with your thermometers, after you do your initial testing on them.

    Is this the incubator you used to hatch chicks earlier in the year? How was that hatch?
  6. Hi everybody, thanks for all the tips.

    I'm going to tell you that my TX-6 is 25 yrs old, and you'll quickly say, oh well now THAT'S why you're having trouble. But I got a complete overhaul on my TX 6 and converted it to a TX-7 2 months ago. The only things still the same are the dome, water bottle, and humidity base. Lyon did not build my unit, Marsh did, and Lyon bought out Marsh years ago. I doubt sending my unit to Lyon at this point will do much good.

    I own a water-wiggly, one of those mini ones, the size of a chicken egg. I ran tests by putting seven analog thermometers in the incubator radiating outward looking like the rays on the sun. Interesting observance:

    Imagine cutting a pie in equal thirds. The temps in the TX were three different groupings as you ran counterclockwise around the incubator (if you're looking down on the dome). Starting from under the potentiometer and running counterclockwsie to the other side, the temp reduced from 101 to about 95 degrees!

    Is there something wrong with the heating coil? My overhaul guy (Mike Desart at the Birdbarn aviaries in Portland Oregan) installed a lower wattage used heating coil. He also reversed the center fan to where it blows up, not down, on the eggs. I thought these mods would enhance performance, but they've done little.

    I'm kinda ashamed to be asking these questions about such expensive units when I read the ingenuity on here of people building their own for under 20 bucks and having as good of success or better than I am with a $300-plus unit, ha!

    For the person asking the question about my other chicks, yes, I hatched those babies in the bator, BEFORE the overhaul. I was constantly having to monitor the temp, because TX-6's are SO sensitive to slight changes in the thermostat. TX-7s are not as sensitive, 10 turns on the knob of a TX-7 equals one turn on the temp control knob of a TX-6. I got 19 out of 27 eggs to hatch in my bator. I should've done better with a Lyon model.
  7. jimnjay

    jimnjay Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    It certainly sounds like the heating element may have some faulty areas. The fan being reversed does not sound quite right to me either. I don't know about areodynamics and such but I trust that the developers of the incubator were pretty sharp otherwise it would not have been so popular and they probably designed it the way they did with a specific result as far as air flow.

    Just for giggles and grins, I moved my thermometer just now 1/4 of the way around in the eggs I am currently setting. I will be increasing the humidity tomorrow and don't want to mess with it after today but I will let you know how mine reads after changing the position.

    When I think of the dome and how a fan would distribute the air it seems logical that if the heat source was uniform around the top then the heat on the base should also be uniform. I will report back on what I find.

    You might also go to the EZ BYC and check out the "eggs to hatch" forum. Bill McGee is our resident expert on the Lyon and Marsh. He has three and one of his is 25 years old and he has modified and taken apart and put it together several times. He may be able to trouble shoot better than anyone.
  8. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Forgot about Bill! Good tip Jaynie.

    You sound like a bright boy, Keith. Maybe for all the effort you should just put together an electric hen yourself!
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Hmm... I think that fan should be pointed down at the eggs because if you have the same lyon marsh thing as I use sometimes with excellent hatch rates, the fan blowing on the eggs is what keeps the temperature more even as it spreads out across the bator and will provide a much greater circulation pushing "in" rather than pulling "out" air from the center. The pushing in will cause the heat to escape at the edges, while pulling in will draw in cold air from the edges, with the most cold air comming in at where the lid on the top rests the least snugly on the base. I would fanagle with yoru current one first.

    As for the R com... that thing only holds like 20 eggs. Too small!!!
  10. Hi silkie chicken, you might just be on track about the fan thing. Maybe there's a reason smarter people than me designed it for that. And, true the Rcom 20 holds only 20 eggs, but the Brinsea Octogon that I compared it to, holds 20 also, so they're comparable size. I figured it's best to do an "apples" to "apples" comparison with size to discern which incubator to use? I dunno.

    I've made about 10 random phone calls to aviaries & parrot breeders around the country and did a personal poll, which 'bator they liked best, and they responded with the Octogon Brinsea model. The reason I did this is because the most finnicky (sp?) incubating folks (I think) are the parrot people out there. I reckon it's because parrots are harder to hatch than your run-of-the-mill chicken, and parrots are so doggone expensive. To lose a fertile egg to a _____ incubator really sucks and it's costly too.

    Anywho, The overwhelming answer I got back was BRINSEA all the way. But they all admitted they had never tried the R-Com. One breeder used the RCom and said it was much more user friendly than the Octogon. Brinsea has been a household product for 10 more years than the RCom. I think people are a little suspicious of the RCom because of its new FANGLED nature. Press a button and it'll almost brush your teeth for you! I was gonna say something else that's rated R. Lord, give me strength.

    Dadburnit, I wish there was a consumer reports article on incubators. This is what some of these mainstream poultry magazines (Backyard Poultry, Poultry Press) ought to do, I think. Just spend a $1,000 to buy these units and invest the time to do the research. They've got the money to do this.

    I've heard among my Virginia poultry breeding buddies say they like the GQF cabinet 'bators, but I don't want that large capacity incubator.

    I appreciate you all being patient and offering me your advice. Better run and tend to my bee hives.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2007

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