Project- Digital, Microprocessor controlled incubator. First Run.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jeremyd1981, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. jeremyd1981

    jeremyd1981 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2014
    Hi everyone,
    I have a project that I am working on and I thought I would post and document it here so perhaps I could get some feedback and hopefully even some suggestions from the community.

    I work for a software company of which the owner and myself are both chicken enthusiast. After talking one day about hatching eggs one idea turned into another which eventually turned into a pretty cool project currently going on in our lab. The idea was to create or modify an incubator to include an embedded microprocessor for precise control among many other features.

    After a couple of months of working on this, among other things, we have a working prototype. Last week we loaded it down with eggs and started the very first hatch.

    At this point in the project I want to post a list of features that are built into the incubator as well as a second list of any planned features. PLEASE make any suggestion that would make this project cooler. I will also be updating this post with any changes that are made to the hardware on the incubator as well as any changes that are made to the software as this hatch is under way.

    We can update the software while the incubator is running this hatch so I thought it would be cool to also share with you guys any software bugs or anything else that is corrected changed or updated.

    Especially since this is an ongoing product that is in R&D, I would love for you guys and gals to get involved with any questions or comments. If there is anything that you want to know how it works or want to see pictures, just let me know.

    This hatch was started on Tuesday Nov 25 2014. I apologize for not starting at the beginning but I literally just had the idea to share this here.

    So as of right now here is a list of current capabilities and features:

    1) Digital temperature readings
    2) Digital Hygrometer (Humidity readings)
    3) Computer controlled temperature for extremely precise temp adjustments.
    4) LCD display to output all current readings
    5) Real Time Clock (precise date and time keeping)
    A) The incubator takes a time stamp at the beginning of each new hatch cycle and saves this information to memory
    B) calculates and Displays on the lcd the projected "Hatch Date"
    C) Calculates and displays the current date in the "21 Hatch Cycle"
    D) Displays to user when it is time to make important changes like remove egg turner.
    6) Data logging function that writes data to a standard SD card
    A) at user selectable intervals IE: every 30 min etc. A entry is saved to the sd card listing all current conditions
    IE: temp, Time, Date EVERYTHING
    B) any abnormal fluctuations in temp are recorded to sd card.
    C) any errors are logged to the sd card
    D) any power outages logged
    E) current conditions each time a new day elapses
    7) Power loss protection. If the power is lost, the computer recovers and continues the hatch cycle.
    8) Interactive menu
    A) set temp & Humid
    B) restart a new hatch cycle
    C) Delete and clear SD Card

    9) User selectable temp. Use the interactive menu to set precise temps that you want to hatch at. Allows this system to be
    used for multiple types of eggs IE: reptile fowl etc.


    Below is a list of PLANNED features and capabilities:

    1) internet capable. Allows the user to view all current conditions and even make adjustment remotely by accessing a web page.
    2) measuring and logging to the sd card the current EXTERNAL temperatures. (the external sensors are already in place
    but at this time the functionality is not in the software yet.
    3) External audible alarms
    4) Battery Backup for power outage
    5) Ultrasonic fogger heat to add humidity. ( controlled by Micro-controller)

    I THINK I have everything listed. I will be updating this post and kind of using it like a blog. As I make changes I will preface each change with ***UPDATE and the date I added the information.

    I will try to update this every day and also try to get some good pictures posted tomorrow (have a couple right now, will get better pictures.

    If anyone has any suggestions or cool ideas PLEASE Jump right in.

    ****12/04/2014 We are currently on day 10 Temp is holding steady at 99 deg and humidity is about 54%

    ***UPDATE 12/05/2014 Day 11
    Candled all of the eggs and found 13 to have not developed. 26 are going strong. Now there was about 1.5 doz eggs that were put in the bator that had been left out one night in sub freezing temp and most of the not developed eggs came from this section.

    Also found a bug in the date keeping portion of the software that is causing it to go through the day cycles much faster. Will have to figure that one out.


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    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  2. haggishm

    haggishm New Egg

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    Nov 13, 2014
    Hi,

    Cool project, I have my incubator connected to a serial Wifi board called a ESP8266, I have mine programmed to upload the temp/humidity every second to a website called ThingSpeak, It's amazing to watch the graph cycle of what happens with the heating and humidty side of things. let me know if you want any more info on this.

    Cheers, and again awesome project.
     
  3. jeremyd1981

    jeremyd1981 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2014
    Hey haggishm, I would definitely love to hear all the cool details on your project. Sounds pretty awesome.
     
  4. haggishm

    haggishm New Egg

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    Nov 13, 2014
    Hi,

    Here are a couple of pics, not as flash as yours but it works ok.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/936928/my-incubator-project-v2

    I'm using a mega 2560,have been using an ultrasonic humidifier for humidity control very accurate and easy to use (as long as you use rain water, otherwise it gets a build up. I have a 1rpm 5 volt motor to move a cradle to roll the eggs every hour. Having the data uploaded to thingspeak it was very good for working out the hysteresis of the humidity and heating got it down to a .1 degree C variation.

    I have no front end like yours but plan to one day.

    Are you looking at having different settings for different egg types, like presets on a menu?

    Look forward to watching your project grow.

    I you want to try the ESP8266, they are really cheap like $3-4 and I can send you the code(for Arduino)

    Cheers
     
  5. jeremyd1981

    jeremyd1981 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2014
    Dude, that is AWESOME.

    I would love some more info on how your DIY egg turner works.

    I forgot to add the the planned features the ultrasonic fogger for humidity control. We have purchased one but it is not on this version yet. The plan is to have the humidifier in a sealed external container of water with piping coming out. Then forced air blown into the container will force the fog into the incubator. Probably going to get that part going after this current hatch. Its great to see that someone else has automated humidity going already.

    There will definitely be presets in the future but as of right now there is an interactive menu that allows you to set any temperature you would like and it will hold it a that temp throughout the hatch cycle.

    I am going to definitely look into the ESP8266 and I may be hitting you up for that code lol.

    When you get ready to start coding your front end let me know. i would love to help if you want.
     
  6. jeremyd1981

    jeremyd1981 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2014
    ***UPDATE 12/05/2014 Day 11
    Candled all of the eggs and found 13 to have not developed. 26 are going strong. Now there was about 1.5 doz eggs that were put in the bator that had been left out one night in sub freezing temp and most of the not developed eggs came from this section.

    Also found a bug in the date keeping portion of the software that is causing it to go through the day cycles much faster. Will have to figure that one out.
     
  7. jeremyd1981

    jeremyd1981 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2014
    ***UPDATE 12/08/2014 Day 14
    Monday morning, everything looks great. Temp holding steady at 99 Humidity this morning is 40%.
     
  8. haggishm

    haggishm New Egg

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    Nov 13, 2014
    Hi,

    It's been quite a while I was wanting to know how you got on with your incubator, have you added a fogger etc?

    Cheers
    Craig.
     
  9. ltore123

    ltore123 Just Hatched

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    Feb 15, 2017
    can you send me the code please
     
  10. ltore123

    ltore123 Just Hatched

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    Feb 15, 2017

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