STAR-BATOR Incubator Controller Finally Finished!! 21st Century :)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by CoopCreations, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. CoopCreations

    CoopCreations In the Brooder

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    As a continuation of this older thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=307399, I finally have a completed, tested, working controller. I ran it for weeks, and it holds temp within 1/2 degree F. The outlet on the left controls the temperature, so you either plug in your heat element from your homemade bator, or your incubator power cord from a commercial bator into it. It is rated and fused for up to 400 watts at 120v.

    The outlet on the right is to accommodate a humidity pump. The red switch is to switch to lock down mode, which will increase the humidity setting from 50 to 70, or whatever is programed in the controller. The picture of the inside, is just a real small cooler, as you can see it saves quite a bit of space. The sensor cord runs the box fan as well as the sensors themselves, which plugs into the controller. The light that I have in there is what I had just laying around. It is plugged into the HEAT outlet of the controller. So it turns the bulb on and off as needed.

    I was thinking of making a few models, one that does heat only, one that has heat only without display, and I have a few other tricks up my sleeve for futures models.

    There are several safety features, but they all default to shutting the heat source off, that was important for me.

    Here are some pics. What do you think?

    Pre-Assembly:

    [​IMG]

    Outside of Controller:
    [​IMG]

    Outside Front:
    [​IMG]

    Running (starting up):
    [​IMG]

    Inside my cheap cooler:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. FlashPointFarm

    FlashPointFarm Songster

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    Great idea!

    Do you have pictures of the humidity pump you were using?
     
  3. phasianidae

    phasianidae Songster

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    It looks great! Will you be selling them soon?
     
  4. CoopCreations

    CoopCreations In the Brooder

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    Thanks, I guess it depends on the interest of folks here, and if there is a demand. I will probably test it on eBay and see how it goes, maybe here in Items for Sale as well.

    I have also added a nifty new safety feature that checks for heater/bulb failure. If over the course of 1 minute where the heat is on and the temperature does not increase or is still decreasing, it will sound an audible alarm and display: "Heat Problem - Check Heater". This could be triggered by leaving the top off or door to incubator open, but in that case it will be a friendly reminder @ ~60 decibels to "CLOSE IT!!".

    Also, I have come up with a very cheap, effective humidity pump for my controller. Anyone can build this one, or I can assemble it and send it.

    Materials:

    1. A small aquarium pump
    2. Stone bubbler (the aquarium style)
    3. 6' of 1/4" vinyl tubing.
    4. 20 oz. plastic bottle.

    How to:
    1. Cut tubing in half so you two 3' pieces.
    2. Drill 1/4" hole about 1" from top of bottle.
    3. Feed first piece of tubing into bottle and feed it up through the lid (top). Might have to use something to guide it, a toothpick works nicely.
    4. Attach stone bubbler to this piece and drop if down in the bottle, stone first.
    5. Attach the other end to the aquarium pump.

    So, now you have a hose going from the pump, through the bottle (about 1" from top) and connected to the bubbler which is in the bottom of the bottle....right?

    6. Now drill hole through cap of bottle (1/4") and insert the other 3' piece of tubing through this hole, about 1/2" in. This will be the collector hose. Screw cap to bottle.
    7. Put other end of this line into incubator.
    8. Now seal holes in bottle with silicone caulk and let cure (24 hours)
    9. Now fill bottle, and fill to about an inch below where your hole in the side is . Otherwise you could leak, or catch water in your collector tube. Don't want that.

    Now you have air being forced into the bottle from the bottom through the bubbler. The air has to go somewhere so it goes out the collector tube. The bubbling action creates a vapor = nice humid air. Also, you may want a stand or something like that so it is not easy to tip over (kids, cats, etc).

    Now, connect the power cord for the aquarium pump to RH (humidity outlet) on controller. When it needs to, it will turn it on. Forget the $100 humidity pump, pans, trays, sponges, etc. Build it for about $10. [​IMG]) Easy to fill too, just unscrew the cap. If you need more humidity than that, use a bigger stone, bigger bottle, bigger pump, bigger tubing, etc.
     
  5. mbnewby

    mbnewby Songster

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    May 14, 2010
    i wish i was able hook up a computer via usb and run a temp probe anduse soft ware that would ALLow it to control temp and record what the systems doing
     
  6. mbnewby

    mbnewby Songster

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    May 14, 2010
    you going to be building and selling these i would be intrested in beta testing
     
  7. jenlynn4

    jenlynn4 Songster

    Jan 12, 2007
    PA
    thats pretty cool!
     
  8. CoopCreations

    CoopCreations In the Brooder

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    There are tons of things on the market to log temperature with your computer. Most are locally plugged in USB modules. Since you would need one with a remote sensor, you are talking big $. Google "usb pc remote temp data logger". Your computer cannot "control" the heat however. This is to only record and log the temp and RH. No control. They run about $200-$1000+. [​IMG]

    Mine controls the heat and RH via outlets. So, if it needs heat, it turns the heat outlet on, if it needs humidity it turns the humidity outlet on. The temp and RH and transmitted via remote probe to the LCD. I may add data-logging capabilities to mine in future releases via memory card that you can plug into your pc and analyze. As well as some other tricks I may have up my sleeve. You need to ask yourself how crazy you want to get. People will only pay so much to hatch eggs [​IMG].
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
  9. bigoledude

    bigoledude Songster

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    That looks exactly like what I need. How much would it cost? Is it possible for you to provide me with some options. Like without display. With display. Where ever you might save me some money but without compromising performance. I really like your machine. Question is, can I afford it?

    For instance, I can get a temp and humidity readable doohicky that doesn't control anything, at Ace Hardware for $10.00. If I can trust the reading of the Hardware store thing and, it would cost more for you to provide readout capability, I could save that money. Just sayin...

    Please respond quickly. This would be my very first purchase for the incubator!
     
  10. FlashPointFarm

    FlashPointFarm Songster

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    Can you post pix of this?


    Quote:
     

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