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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:17 am 
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Proud Rooster
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Hello Members

At the suggestion of the Forum's Admin, I have started this new thread here ... in the Classifieds Section.

The idea is to provide a single open place where members can come to ask me questions and to view past questions and answers.
In addition, from time to time I will post news here about any relevant issues, and about updates and new initiatives.

Later I may try and copy here your past posts on this forum, with all your tips and your comments.

In the meantime please feel free to kick things off with any ideas or requests. I will receive an alert email to respond.

Of course my existing clients know that I take urgent calls on my mobile.

Bob Peel
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:18 am 
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Hello Members

For those going to the Nationals in Canberra, we will be in the equipment pavilion with a working display.

You will be able to see our Egg Incubators and Hatchers (one of the displays is sold to a SA exhibitor who will take it home with him),
Plucking Machines, Electric Scalder, Kill Cones (3 sizes), our Treadle Feeder, Automatic Bell Drinker, and various Accessories and Odds and Ends

Bob Peel
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:19 am 
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The decision to exhibit at the Nationals produced positive outcomes.

We made some sales which is always welcome, and which helped defray the costs.

However the greater benefit by far came from talking with some very sucessful and knowledeable breeders and judges.
They gave freely of their advice and feedback and we had long fruitful discussions.

Existing Greatlander-owners also did well showing birds. Congratulations guys!
Brian Sellin did particularly well - competed as Sellin Family - Brian runs a 6T

A representative from the Sydney Show asked me to quote on building a large `clear-view' hatcher.
If successful, it will be one of their displays at their show next year.

And thanks to those forum members who came by to say G'day.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:20 am 
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Chick Fluff and its electrical conductivity

The issue of chick fluff is of major concern in incubators ... Greatlanders are no exception.
Feathers are highly conductive. They are made of the same stuff as their evolutionary precursor `Fish Scales'
I have a paper about studies on this if any members are interested.

The tiny particles are accelerated by the fan and find their way into everything.
The humid environment in an incubator further compounds the risk of electrical shorts via chick fluff.

Since the beginning of the year we have been installing two barriers against chick fluff in our sets ... see in the pictures
One, the controller is now in a tight enclosure and two, the limit switch has an insulator between it and its mounting block.
The insulator is a `fence’ to keep aggregated fluff from bridging to the block by the short route.
Clean the set and blow it out periodically to prevent problems.

Owners of older sets can easily mimic these improvements. See below how.

Image

An effective enclosure can be made up of rectangular PVC down pipe

Image

An effective insulator can be made up of any soft PVC such as an ice cream container

Another spot to watch out for and blow out well is the turning motor's terminal block.
A `short' across the terminals here will blow the cross line capacitor or it may damage the motor or the controller

I blow out my sets with an air compressor.
It's difficult to reach up and around everything with the main air hose so I attach a length of clear plastic tubing to the tip of the air nozzle.
Then I just aim the end of the tubing in the right spots and press the nozzles' trigger.


Bob Peel

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:21 am 
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More on the battle against Chick Fluff
... and on manipulating air flow and humidity


A new line of Greatlander Incubators is well on its way for season 2012.

The new sets which we'll call (Top Hatch or Multi Flow once we settle on a name) have a segregated hatching chamber.

The hatching chamber has its own air supply and lint filters.
The filters capture chick fluff before it can re-enter the main chamber.

Image


An obvious new feature is the hinged `hatch' at the top of the set.

Under this hatch is the heated water tray, which is provided with a float valve for connection to an external water source.
However the shelf on which the water tray sits is movable ... it's an air-baffle.
By sliding the shelf away from its near wall, more or less air (or no air) is `trained' into the top chamber.

The water tray visible under the hatching basket is an optional second `passive' water tray used while hatching

There are several other improvements which are explained in a spec sheet.

Bob Peel

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:22 am 
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Double-Width Greatlander 6TTH Top Hatch

6 Tray Double-Width set with Top Hatch and segregated hatching chamber.

The water tray at the bottom beneath the hacthing basket is only used as needed.
It is shown here to draw attention to the capability ... an additional `passive' water tray for hatching.
The optional tray can be used also incubating without the top tray.
A grommet is provided to enable running a line to an external water source and it can be supplied fitted with a float valve for auto filling.

The main heated water tray is now in the top of the set, accessible from the top hatch.

Initially, I am making from 2T to 6T in the Top Hatch configuration as 2TTH to 6TTH at modest aditional cost.

The current configuration will be contnued (from 2T through to 16T) while there is such demand.

Image


Bob Peel

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:22 am 
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OK,
These are the new sealed Limit Switches as fitted in the Top Hatch configuration.

With the new filtered hatching chamber, chick fluff will be all but eliminated.

Now the only weak spot for chick fluff to be watched is on the terminal block on top of the turning motor.
It's the white terminal block where the blue wires are leading to on the black reversing motor.
If chick fluff builds up here and bridges it may burn the cross-line capacitor, or damage the motor or the controller.
Regular cleaning with a bent toothbrush and a blow down will avert probems.

The equal temp fan is now of a compact design and angled so it induces a counter-clockwise air flow.
We tried a front to back variation of the air flow and settled on this one.

The temp heater element is also more compact.

Image


Bob Peel
Greatlander

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:23 am 
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So in this picture we see some turning motors.

The blue module is the cross-line capacitor
It works by storing current until enough will start the motor from a standstill.

The white terminal blocks have good high `trunks' separating the set screws but they face up and need cleaning and blowing out.

It is on the side where the cross line capacitor is wired that we need to watch for build up and clean regularly.

Chick fluff under a microscope looks like fibres ... it readily forms itself into bridging structures



Image



Bob Peel
Greatlander

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:24 am 
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This is a water filling set up on an 8T Greatlander / Multi Stage / Chicken + Quail + Turkey + Guinea / Caboolture Qld

The container is a 60Lt rubbish bin from Crazy Clarks
The plumbing parts are self explanatory

Image

Bob Peel
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:26 am 
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This picture shows the water tray connected to a continuous water source - town water or pressure-pumped tank water or large header tank.
The float valve I supply will close against normal town water pressure

The float valve ends in a male thread.
This garden hose `click On/Off' set-up allows you to unplug the tray from its power point and from the water supply for cleaning.

Image

Bob Peel

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:28 am 
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Mains Pressure Plumbing - Variable and Excessive Pressure on the inlet side.

This picture below is my Brake Pressure Cistern, available from our online shop for $33 plus postage.
It works just like a toilet cistern and some breeders have in fact adapted an old toilet cistern for the same purpose.
It needs no further expalanation other than that it has a drain cock and it has brackets for hanging on a wall

The float valves we provide in our incubators are desiged for gravity tank pressure.
They will also close against normal town water pressure.
However in some low areas, or where town water pressure is not governed, the valve will not close completely.
The valve we use has a long arm which is what is required to lie flat in the tray - and this geometry is the constraint

By comparison the arm in the cistern can be seen to be articulated ...

Image



Micro Misting or Fogging Installation in Greatlander All-Hatcher 4BH

OK.
This is my micro misting or fogging installation in a 4BH four-basket hatcher - capacity 360 eggs.

As you can see the GPO is of the sealed outdoor type to cope with the presence of the micro droplets.
This GPO also has rotary switches not toggle switches. These have a gland around the shaft for a seal.
The wiring is sealed in heat shrink and the trunking is coated with electrical varnish

The mister is on its own switched circuit, as is the normal heated water tray.
In this way, the hatcher can be used with just the normal water tray running for hatching chicken, quail, turkey, guinea and pea fowl.
Or the misting solenoid can be turned on for hatching duck and goose.
This makes the hatcher versatile for hatching any species and it can be disinfected by means of the UV sanitising lamp.


Image

This is the micro misting installation with the water tray out of the set for clarity

Image

And a close up of the fast acting solenoid and filter installation

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:30 am 
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Goose Egg Trays - made especially to that specification

OK,
While on the subject of misting installations for waterfowl, it may be a good time to mention something about hatching goose eggs.

To my knowledge all the tests done on hatching goose eggs recommend one thing - goose eggs must lie horizontal for the best result.
Automatic incubators can't achieve this attitude ... not without some ingenuity ... my goose egg trays are specifically made for goose eggs.

As you can see in the picture my holes where goose eggs sit are not square but rectangular. The benefit here is obvious.
When the egg rack makes its turn, it rests at about + or - 45 degrees.
The oblong `nests' however allow the eggs to continue gently tilting sideways until the eggs come to rest against the short edge of each rectangle.
The geometry is such that the eggs end up resting in a horizontal or very close to a horizontal position.

Image


Peafowl Egg Trays

OK,
A Peahen egg is about the same size as a goose egg and we use the same tray for that species.

It does no harm to a peafowl egg to let it travel through 180 degrees, as does a goose egg.
However, for the perfectionist, and wouldn't we all be if it came to handling an expensive peafowl egg, we provide the means.

In the goose egg tray picture above you can see two plastic tabs moulded on the top edge of the long side of each hole
These are there for a purpose. They are used where the eggs are not required to tilt further than the egg rack's angle

You use the tabs to rig rubber bands across the holes.
You then push a rubber band apart and insert an egg, so it is held by the rubber band.

Other breeders rig their own idea of restraint such as a continuous length of wool looped around the tabs from one edge of the tray to the other.
You may not knit ... but it seems we all have have plenty of rubber bands.

Roostertail wrote:
The only thing that is problematic with the T2 at the moment is that it only has two trays.I really like the three tray system. It works when loading up each week. So I will have to work out a system that works. I could load up a tray every 11 days. Or maybe only put 58 eggs in each week. The E2 allows me to put in 72 eggs in a week. We are starting up the E2 tomorrow so we will an unreasonable number of chicks hatching over the next few weeks.


Yes,

The 2T with its 2 shelves needs a system of management other than an intuitive "Shelf1 Shelf2 Shelf3 = Week1 Week2 Week3"

My system consists of a calendar (one with a window pane for each day), a 0.3mm felt pen, and a roll of address labels.

On each egg before it goes in I mark its due date in tiny fineline pen (which is waterproof).
I group the eggs together in rows front to back like soldiers on parade, and attach a label to the tray in front of them.
On the label I write the Batch Number and I/D, Last/Turn and Due/Date
I then enter the batch info in the calendar 3 times.
The day the batch is set with the numbers of eggs and breeds, the day on which to put down in the hatching basket and the date due.

A system like this becomes absolutely essential in the larger Greatlanders where you need to keep tabs of multiple trays.
Many breeders also have mixed settings with quail and duck thrown in the mix.

Bob Peel

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:31 am 
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Some Greatlander owners are hatching in a separate hatcher for reasons of hygiene and of manipulation of humidity.

For those breeders we have made a quantity of 1T racks.

This is a metal frame that hangs beneath the egg rack from four metal straps that articulate.
In 2T to 5T, the 1T increases capacity by 88 eggs (chicken)
In 6T up, the 1T increases capacity by 176 eggs (chicken)

Image

Naturally, the hatching basket would not be used in these sets.
However, with a little observation, it is possible to still use the hatching basket ... let me explain

The added rack of 1T when fully tilted, comes down inside the corners of the hatching basket.
So fence the four corners into "No-Go Zones" with a piece of black plastic gutter guard shaped into a triangle.

This tip also allows one to use two hatching baskets stacked one above the other for those want to do an `All-in All-out' mass hatch.
In that case the top hatching basket needs to have its corners fenced off.

Bob Peel

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:32 am 
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Bob, what material are the panels of your incubators and hatchers made from? and do you know the R (insulation) rating for said materials?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:33 am 
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Hello Hermetic-Eggs

The panels are 50mm expanded polystyrene sandwiched between `Appliance White'
Appliance White is similar to colourbond steel - it is what cold rooms are made of.

The R Value for just the bare insulation is 1.66.
I don't have a rating for the composite panel in total.

Bob Peel

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