Programmed IC chip switch for "home made" incubators

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by 5acrehome, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. 5acrehome

    5acrehome Out Of The Brooder

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    I am a bit of a tinkerer would there be any interest in a temp and humidity easy use plug in module for homemade incubators. Thinking of trying to design one for under 20 bucks and have it be reliable. I hate buying hardware as much as the next person but I am thinking this would help quite a few people out on this site.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I'm sure there would be a good interest in a plug and play thermostat and humidity sensor, but when we looked into boards, custom ones in small order (about 30) cost about $10 each board. It was just over $1 if we ordered 5k boards...
     
  3. 5acrehome

    5acrehome Out Of The Brooder

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    that's the thing I have already built a few prototypes but i need to know what "functions" are going to be on the Gotta have it list.

    I have already been looking at usb connections for PC monitoring and adjustment for people into statistics.

    thinking of a 6 or 8 channel relay setup with a small micro processor onboard.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  4. aprophet

    aprophet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    last time I checked humidity sensors with just a 2-3% accuracy rating is the outrageously priced part of the system
     
  5. gitlost80

    gitlost80 Trigger Pullet

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    Whoever creates and patents the idea first, wins. Seems like there is alot of gadgets that would be useful in the chicken world that need to be on the market these days.
     
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Quote:The hard part is on the small scale, these things cost about 50 bucks each for rev1. All the parts and chips to do what you want are there, it's just cost prohibitive for something that kind of works as is.

    I just use one fluke meter to measure temp, and a second to record temp over time. If I need humidity, I just use the difference between wet bulb/dry bulb. In the end though... I just flip on my bator and don't measure temp or humidity...
     
  7. muddstopper

    muddstopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To me a perfect controller module would have a thermostat capable of +/- 0.2*F, Humidity control of 2%-5%, have pushbutton for setting changes, backlit LCD screens for display and also have a built in motor controller for a low VDC turner motor. Total cost in parts and assembly is around $100 for the module. The Low voltage DC motor is about $12, and a electric 24VDC fogger to supply humidity is another $40. Buying parts in bulk, you might be able to build this type of controler module and related parts for under $150.

    One must remember, what ever parts and ic programming are used can require very specific accessory parts to make it work. The module and programing is build and programmed to use specific parts and just selling a module without the properly paired sensors can result in improper parts being used to assemble the unit as a whole. Incorrect sensor use will result in incorrect electronic signals being sent to the IC chip and the result could be a very inaccurate piece of junk instead the accurate piece of equipment the module was meant to be. I would check out the Sensoron line of dual purpose temp and humidity sensors, retail for around $35 each, and build my module around one of their better sensor choices.

    One other big consideration is always going to be what method is going to be used as a heat source. Whatever is used will have a residual heating effect even after the thermostat turns the heating unit off. For this reason, one needs IC programming that allows for sensing the temp and humidity changes as the temps reach their desired setting. This will allow the thermostat to turn off the heat source, or humidity pump, before it overshoots the desired setting. Consider using PWM in your power design. The atmel atmega8 series of ic chips combined with the sensoron sensors have the capability to refresh data transfers over 1000times per second. This combination can result in a very accurate, and reliable, piece of electronics. You might be able to do all of this, but I doubt it can be done on a $20 budget.
     
  8. muddstopper

    muddstopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:No they dont, I already have it and it cost to much to build to sell to the hobby market place. If you cant sell it, it becomes worthless, no matter how well it works. The design is also already in place for the commercial hatcheries and has been in place in the HVAC industry for a very long time. Also check out some of the higher end incubators, Brinsea has been selling complete incubators with those capabilities for a pretty long time. They also demand a pretty good price tag when you start asking for that kind of precision. Now if he can build it for the $20 price range he is shooting for, he can sell thousands. I'll take a few myself.
     
  9. 5acrehome

    5acrehome Out Of The Brooder

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    I am going to start with the basic's on the first go round.

    first set of goals are
    1) 99.5 degree steady temp (solid state) and 2 year or more reliable.
    2) humidity display via led bar for %

    this will be the 20$ model and it should be no bigger than about 2 pencils in width and half the length of a #2.
     
  10. muddstopper

    muddstopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I must of mis-understood your first post. I thought you where going to add some sort of humidity control, but it seems you are just going to display the humidity values. I assume since you will already have a LCD screen in place, you intend to display temps as well.
     

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