Using a thermostat with homemade incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by grandparooster, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. grandparooster

    grandparooster In the Brooder

    Jun 15, 2010
    Montague, Michigan
    i have found a few posts on the forum about using hot water thermostats for keeping temps better. I would really like it if someone could explain what exactly you have to do with pictures because i found a few but it sounds confusing because they werent clear instructions. Also, what is a waffer thermostat?

  2. dsowens15

    dsowens15 Songster

    Jun 17, 2010
    Winchester, TN
    i would go with a more costly thermostat like a ranco. That is what i have and you can find great instruction online on how to wire it. other people will say different but don`t go with the hot water thermostat. I have not had any luck with them. Mainly, i`m just bumping.
  3. crossedwires

    crossedwires Chirping

    Jan 19, 2010
    you could also try a velleman kit thermostat but you will have to solder it together and alter a couple of the component values to make it suitable, dont buy the so called ready built ones off ebay they do not have the correct hystasis value. if you go down the velleman route give me a shout i will let you know what values of resistor to change.
    at the mo i am in the process of stripping back my test incubatot and hatcher for a major rebuild. i brought a new workshop (16'x10') to make life a little easier for working on them lol, i am going the fully auto approach this time, i make all my own controllers and boards. a couple of the upgrades will have to wait till later in the year tho, for heating i am using light bulbs again but this is a tempory situation and i will be upgrading to ceramic plates but i cant get them untill october [​IMG], i have had problems with bulbs in the past mainly blowing as the constant switching on/off stresses the elements, so this time the bator has 4 bulbs but only two on at a time, they have sensors under the bulbs so the controll board knows when they are sposed to be lit, if it detects a blown bulb it will switch in a spare, the thermostat is a 3 sensor unit i built myself although i also use k190 units in other bators, the controller for the thermostat is a board i made using a micro controller (40 pin pic18f4685) i have 4 temp sensors per unit placed at diofferent heights in the bator, the sensors are dallas ds1820s digital sensors very accurate, why 4 sesnors?? well they pass back temp information to the fan controller wich is an array of nine pc fans mounted on a grid at the fron of the bator. the controller for the fans adjusts the speed and duration for each individual fan depending on that layers temp, the speed of the fans is controller digitaly by PWM not voltage. for humidity i built a board using sensiron sht71 humidity sensors theese cost a bit but sre very stable and accurate the humidity is controlled by a water bath with a sponge in it and a pwm speed controlled fan pointed at it, the speed of the fan automaticaly adjusts depending on humidity for greater controll, the water tops itself up when the water level is low via a tube connected to a sealed bottle with a one way valve, the water is forced out the bottle and into the water bath by an aqurium air pump wich again is controlled by the humidity controller, should the humidity get above a certain level then there is a small vent that opens automaticaly.
    the whole thing is run and managed from a central controller again a 40 pin pic micro controller, there is a lcd readout of all the parameters and settings ect and every thing can be altered or adjusted via a menu system. all the software the chips are programed in were written by myself in C. if you need/want any further info let me know. i will try and upload pics as i rebuild
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by