using heating cable in incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by poissonguppy, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. poissonguppy

    poissonguppy New Egg

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    Apr 6, 2008
    Hey everyone.

    Inspired by some of the homemade incubators I've seen here, I wanted to try to make my own, but instead of using a light, I was wondering if I could use heating cable.

    I'm thinking it would be even more accurate because then I could line the entire incubator with it instead of just one corner.

    I just wanted some feedback on the idea. And if it does sound okay, does anyone know how I would hook it up to the thermostat? Or is it just the same as a lightbulb?

    Thanks.
     
  2. pascopol

    pascopol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 6, 2009
    Tampa Bay
    Quote:I use a string of Christmas lights in my homemade bator (The outdor larger bulbs) not the thiny ones.

    You can use any amount of the bulbs since they are connected in parallel (just cut the cord with excess bulbs).

    Even heat, the most reliable heat (if 1 burns out it will not affect much the whole operation, as you will notice a burned bulb it and replace it soon without any loss of your hatch).

    I also use a dimmer switch for precise control of the total wattage of my setup.

    One bulb is either 5W or 7W (depends on type) so instead of 60W standard bulb you use string of 10 Christmas bulbs.

    My homemade bator beats the pants of any commercial styrobator, (no deadly spikes, no babysitting) and I believe it is as good as any cabinet bator, however I do not have a cabinet bator to compare with.

    I can put two 42 egg turners in it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2009
  3. chookmadhubby

    chookmadhubby Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2009
    Lobethal
    Hiya poissonguppy,
    I made a experimental bator from a foam veggie box and used a 80w heat cord.
    In Australia normal light globes are being banned and replaced with the flouro type.
    It does heat well, except it has draw backs.
    A when the thermostat switches off, the cord retains heat for a while and the temp in the bator keeps climbing.
    b It cools slowly after the thermo kicks off and
    C the thermo kicks it in very quickly after the set point is reached to turn back on.

    However if you are patient you can get the average between low and high set points exact on 99.5 f

    Regards
    Trev
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Stromberg's book on incubating/hatching illustrates a (presumably older and no longer available) kit setup that provides a wafer thermostat and heating cable (strung in triangular shape across top part of inside of the incubator 'box', which you provide); sp evidently it has been done.

    Gee whiz, the christmas tree light string sounds like a good idea... I may remake my incubator after this setting no matter what happens and that's a tempting thought.

    Pat
     
  5. chickenfanatic

    chickenfanatic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2008
    deming new mexico
    Quote:I use a string of Christmas lights in my homemade bator (The outdor larger bulbs) not the thiny ones.

    You can use any amount of the bulbs since they are connected in parallel (just cut the cord with excess bulbs).

    Even heat, the most reliable heat (if 1 burns out it will not affect much the whole operation, as you will notice a burned bulb it and replace it soon without any loss of your hatch).

    I also use a dimmer switch for precise control of the total wattage of my setup.

    One bulb is either 5W or 7W (depends on type) so instead of 60W standard bulb you use string of 10 Christmas bulbs.

    My homemade bator beats the pants of any commercial styrobator, (no deadly spikes, no babysitting) and I believe it is as good as any cabinet bator, however I do not have a cabinet bator to compare with.

    I can put two 42 egg turners in it.

    pics? luv to see.
     
  6. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    I use a string of Christmas lights in my homemade bator (The outdor larger bulbs) not the thiny ones.

    You can use any amount of the bulbs since they are connected in parallel (just cut the cord with excess bulbs).

    Even heat, the most reliable heat (if 1 burns out it will not affect much the whole operation, as you will notice a burned bulb it and replace it soon without any loss of your hatch).

    I also use a dimmer switch for precise control of the total wattage of my setup.

    One bulb is either 5W or 7W (depends on type) so instead of 60W standard bulb you use string of 10 Christmas bulbs.

    My homemade bator beats the pants of any commercial styrobator, (no deadly spikes, no babysitting) and I believe it is as good as any cabinet bator, however I do not have a cabinet bator to compare with.

    I can put two 42 egg turners in it.

    Holy cow - that's BRILLIANT! [​IMG] Who doesn't have an attic filled with partial strings of Christmas lights!? You HAVE to enter your bator in the homemade bator contest - that is brilliant!!!!!


    I think we only have the small strings, though. I'm wondering who might still have Christmas lights in April, hmmmm. I wanted to build a bigger bator.....
     
  7. nhnanna

    nhnanna Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2008
    The chicken coop
    Quote:Holy cow - that's BRILLIANT! [​IMG] Who doesn't have an attic filled with partial strings of Christmas lights!? You HAVE to enter your bator in the homemade bator contest - that is brilliant!!!!!


    I think we only have the small strings, though. I'm wondering who might still have Christmas lights in April, hmmmm. I wanted to build a bigger bator.....

    Maybe a Christmas Tree Shop might have some now, or ask your neighbors and friends. [​IMG]
     
  8. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    Okay I considered heat cable but went with flexwatt heat tape(reptile supply), which I like but which is pricy. I like the even radiant heat but it needed a small light supplement because mine is in a metal cooler and the light picks up quickly if the outside temp drops and starts to affect the bator. I put a halogen puck light on a dimmer, that worked out.

    Christmas lights just absolutely floats my boat. Going to have to play with that in the next one. An added bonus would be no high heat source like a normal light bulb for a chick to get burned on or to need shielding to prevent cooked eggs. Nice.

    I left the little foam bators immediately after having one. Too shallow, I'm a clutz and got burned on the darn upper element too many times to count. I was hand turning. Cramped and irritating. Grr.

    My next project is a much larger bator, I've discovered this screaming need to hatch too many eggs. Well, Laura thinks it's too many, I think that it's perfectly normal.

    Thanks for asking - these threads always rock.
     
  9. pascopol

    pascopol Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,472
    20
    171
    Jan 6, 2009
    Tampa Bay
    Quote:Holy cow - that's BRILLIANT! [​IMG] Who doesn't have an attic filled with partial strings of Christmas lights!? You HAVE to enter your bator in the homemade bator contest - that is brilliant!!!!!


    I think we only have the small strings, though. I'm wondering who might still have Christmas lights in April, hmmmm. I wanted to build a bigger bator.....

    Maybe a Christmas Tree Shop might have some now, or ask your neighbors and friends. [​IMG]

    I am going to take pictures and post them by weekend.
     
  10. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    Quote:Maybe a Christmas Tree Shop might have some now, or ask your neighbors and friends. [​IMG]

    I am going to take pictures and post them by weekend.

    I can't wait to see this!!! You have to get this idea out there - it is absolutely amazing! So much more economical than heat tape and a perfect application for an incubator - not dangerous for the chicks and if one bulb blows it won't ruin the hatch. BRILLIANT!
     

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