Backyard Poultry Forum • View topic - Greatlander THT4 MK2 trial.

Backyard Poultry Forum

Chickens, waterfowl & all poultry - home of exhibition & backyard poultry in Australia & New Zealand
Login with a social network:
It is currently Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:05 pm

All times are UTC + 10 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:22 am 
Offline
Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster

Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:27 pm
Posts: 339
Hi All,

As some of you are aware I run 2 Greatlander incubators, a T3 & a T4, both purchased in 2011. The T3 is used for chickens & the T4 for ducklings.
Both of my units are of the original "pre top hatch" design.
Over the time we have owned the units I have spent a fair bit of time speaking with Bob on ideas to improve the units. The moving of the water to the top of the unit being one of my ideas which along with Bob's idea of the sealed hatching compartment led to the development of the Top Hatch design.

One of the problems the older style units have is that in REALLY HOT weather temperature controll suffers. Nothing new for any incubator here.
Bob's suggestion of turning the ventilation fan around for the summer months, so that it sucks cooler air into the cabinet, instead of blowing air out from inside, really does go a long way to solving the problem of over heating the eggs.
It does however cause lower humidity levels, due to less humid ambient air being introduced into the cabinet all the time. Our T3 unit struggles to get much over 50% RH once the fan is turned (but the temp is well maintained).
While this will achieve reasonable results for chickens, ducks need far better than this during hatching.

Last week when discussing this with Bob the idea occured to me that if the ventilation fan were to be moved to the front of the unit, in the right hand corner, it would be drawing the air into the cabinet across the water tray This may fix the humidity issue.

Bob liked the idea and has modified a TH4T unit as described. That incubator is now at my place for a trial.

I picked the incubator up last night and plugged it in as soon as I got home. This weekend will be a great test for it as we have hot weather forecast - mid - high 30's in our area.

After running over night, with the RH set high the unit is showing a RH of 80+%, with no adverse affect to the temperature stability. The passive bottom water tray is not in use at this stage.
I cant get that out of our 4T at any time, so already an improvement in humidity control.

I plan to set both duck & chicken eggs in it tomorrow and will keep this thread updated as the test progresses.

Well done again Bob in allowing us to trial & evaluate a modified unit.

Below are the photos of the units modifications etc.


Image
Rear of unit showing standard ventilaiton fan placement.

Image
Modified front view.

Image
New fan in front r/h corner.

Image
Humidity achieved overnight (showing as 81).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:23 am 
Offline
Prime Pekin
Prime Pekin
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 8:43 pm
Posts: 3351
Location: Ipswich
I have never had a chance to look at a greatlander up close and personal.

Incubators are a bit of an obsession of mine but I do avoid anything with electronics.

In the E2 I found propping the lid open when it got really hot helped. It was probably a similar exercise in the sense that the air drawn in through the lid would enter the machine passing over the top of the water tray.

_________________
Huney

There's only a very fine eggshell between genius and insanity!!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:23 am 
Offline
Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster

Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:27 pm
Posts: 339
I also owned an E2 for years, and it was that experience that gave me the suggestions I made re the water being moved and the fan postiton changed.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:24 am 
Offline
Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:34 pm
Posts: 307
Location: SEQ
Thanks Greg for all the valuable feedback over the `long stretch' ... I can see what you mean by a lot of condensation ... especially inside the dust cover.

Most Greatlanders out there are hatching large-breed soft-feather chickens.
I'm very interested to see what Greg can make this one do with the more challenging species and breeds that he keeps.


Some boring technical details

The rear fan (12 x 12 and normally used in `exhaust' mode), is disconnected. I left the fan and its wiring in.
And in its place the controller is driving the new smaller fan in `Inlet' mode.
The small fan (8 x 8) is less than half the area in aperture (64cm2 Vs 144cm2)

We normally `call' the (large) fan @ 0.2oC above the set temp ... this gives the set the time it needs to distribute new heat without the fan intervening
However I was able to set the small fan to be called in short bursts at only 0.1oC above the set temp.
This all became obvious once I swapped fan size/mode/position

The actual temp inside the set yesterday held unwavering and right on the set temp for extended periods of time
It was 30oC here yesterday - I had one vent open midway on the right hand side - the updraught side - drawing air in on its way up to the fan in its new position.

_________________
bobpeel@greatlander.com.au


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:25 am 
Offline
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 8:44 am
Posts: 31506
Location: Morayfield, SEQ
This sounds like a good idea. I hope it continues to go well.

_________________
image
Backyard Poultry Forum


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:25 am 
Offline
Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:34 pm
Posts: 307
Location: SEQ
I hear there was a lot of `beeping' coming from the new set yesterday while Greg was out.
The other two Greatlanders behaved themselves.

Greg is assessing the set's capability for creating maximum humidity.
I'm sure he'll nut it out.

Just a thought, for those new to this thread, I do offer an alternative FAST micro-misting method to create humidity, especially for hatching waterfowl.


Image

The picture shows the normal heated water tray AND to its right, a fast-switching solenoid valve and a line going up to the micro-misting nozzles, not shown.

The element and the solenoid are shown plugged into a two-gang waterproof power point, energised when called by the controller/probe.
The choices are
1) Using only the water tray's heater, OR
2) Using the micro-misters, OR
3) Both

The type of nozzle I use works on normal mains pressure or domestic pump pressure.
The white cylinder is the filter
There are more details in the thread "GREATLANDER - Questions & Answers and Information"

_________________
bobpeel@greatlander.com.au


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:26 am 
Offline
Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster

Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:27 pm
Posts: 339
Yes, the incubator suffered pretty badly in yesterday's hot weather. It was over 33oC in the area it is located yesterday when I left home at around mid day. As I wasnt here I dont know what it rose to above that, if at all.

Today the temps have been similar here, and the incubator started to overheat again.
All vents were opened & eventually the top access lid as well, but the incubator stayed at temps of up to 39.2oC.

Bob suggested that he had probably left the tempurature sensor mounted near the old rear ventialtion fan - it was.
I have now moved it to a more central position and the unit has now stabilased again (with the lid closed, but vents still open). It is still sitting 318oC ambient, so the problem appears to have been solved.

Since yesterday morning the humidity has been set back down at 55% RH and this has been maintained, with the water in th tray remaining cool to touch. My intital feelings are that the vent fan in front seems to be doing its job without drying the air internally much at all.

I should have also mentioned that apart from the humidity issues, hopefully helped by moving the vant fan to the front, there is now no need on this unit to have any clearance between the rear of the incubator & a wall, effectively reducing the incubators footprint.

The humidity sensor is down in the hatching compartment now, with the passive water tray installed. It will be interesting to see what difference it makes.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:27 am 
Offline
Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:34 pm
Posts: 307
Location: SEQ
This morning I exchanged emails with a breeder from an area of NSW inland from Kempsey that experienced a heat wave on Saturday
There is some relevance to this trial


Original Message from Brad
Sent: Sunday, 21 October 2012 8:22 PM
To: bobpeel@greatlander.com.au
Subject: 3TTH incubator

Hi Bob ,
Thankyou for the emails .
As i said the unit was getting up to 39 degrees .There was plenty of water in the unit. I opened a window above the unit to see if that helped .no change so i read that by turning the fan around this would help and i raised P2 up 0.3 .it did take awhile for the unit to settle down.it has been runningtoday at 37.6 -37.7 and between 52-55 humidty.Was this the right thing to do ? today was cooler but unit maintained . if it gets cool again do i still leave fan as is ?I 'm leaving to go away and my wife will watch the unit .your advice would be appreciated . cheers brad



Hello Brad

Yes, daytime temps like you just had up in the 30’s are challenging for all incubators

In Multiquips you crack open the top. That stops the eggs from overheating, but there is no control.
If midway through a hatch, on a dry hot day, cracking the top open, humidity in the set also drops and the hatch will suffer.

In the Greatlander, reversing the ventilation fan is like opening the top, but it is controllable.
It brings in the outside air in `gulps’ which the circulation fans then quickly distribute
The temp sensor quickly senses the cooler air and shuts the fan off

How fast a rate the ventilation fan can bring in the air is still dependent on how many vents are open ... the back-pressure in the set.
So now on hot days you open vents, in anticipation, and on cool days you close them to provide back-pressure.

You could slit the membranes with a blade and push a short piece of conduit through.
Then when you pull out the conduit, the membranes close.

On one of the forums, a breeder is trialling for me a `custom’ 4TTH with a smaller ventilation fan that is always working as an inlet fan.
Here’s the link. http://www.poultrymatters.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3088
This very experienced breeder keeps some species that are notoriously difficult to hatch


Yours sincerely
Bob Peel

_________________
bobpeel@greatlander.com.au


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:28 am 
Offline
Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster

Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:27 pm
Posts: 339
We tried the modified unit as a hatcher for our ducklings this week. I would have to say it went well.
One weeks hatch is not conclusive, but we have our biggest hatch for this season out of it.
I didnt have time to check egg numbers or do a final candle prior to putting into the hatching tray, but more ducklings came out last night than any other week this year.
Humidity was set to 75% and it stayed very stable at this.

On the tweaking side of things, the temperature sensor being moved has helped things, but overheating was still a slight issue. Things had improved with the rear fan opened back up as extra passive ventilation, but not to where we wanted it to still.

I have now hooked the rear fan back up as well. Still as an exhaust fan, so the smaller front fan now brings air in, over the water tray, into the incubator and the larger standard fan takes air from the top of the unit out. This should help greatly.
With hot weather forecast both today & tomorrow we will see what this does.
If it works we will put a simple switch on the rear fan so it can be just turned on in the extreme heat.

We loaded both the chicken & ducks eggs from this week into the incubator on Wednesday night, so in 3 (chicks) then 4 (ducklings) weeks we will know how it has performed over the full incubation period.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:29 am 
Offline
Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster

Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:27 pm
Posts: 339
Yesterday (Friday) ended up at around 35oC out our way, today only around the 32 mark.
Nobody was home for most of Friday, but the unit didnt overheat to the point of a reset, so that is very positive.
Today it stayed completely stable, not extreme conditions though.

The hook up of both fans certainly seemed to help the stability yesterday, next time it gets hot we will hopefully be around more to know how much!!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:29 am 
Offline
Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:34 pm
Posts: 307
Location: SEQ
Hello Greg

How has the set been behaving itself?

_________________
bobpeel@greatlander.com.au


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:30 am 
Offline
Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster

Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:27 pm
Posts: 339
Hi Bob,

It has been going well. Both temp & humidity sitting at very stable levels.
The only exception to this was on the one hot day last week, when it got to around 34oC where the incubator is housed.
The 2 fans came on and kept the set within a temp range I was happy with, but while they were running pretty much constantly the humidity dropped right down (to be expected).
Small price to pay for keeping the temp below the 38o mark!!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:30 am 
Offline
Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster

Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:27 pm
Posts: 339
Another very good duckling hatch in this set.
I currently have the set loaded with all our chicken eggs, which are hatching well, but in our standard 4T. Next week will be the real test as the chicken eggs due then have spent their entire incubation time in the modified set
The week after is D day for 1 tray the duck eggs set for their entire time in the unit as well.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:31 am 
Offline
Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:34 pm
Posts: 307
Location: SEQ
Hi Greg

What are you doing to hatch the ducklings?

_________________
bobpeel@greatlander.com.au


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:31 am 
Offline
Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster

Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:27 pm
Posts: 339
Hi Bob,
I am actually regulating the humidity far more thani have doen before with the other sets.

On day 25, when the eggs are placed in the hatching tray, I am raising the humidity to 60%, and leaving it there overnight.
The morning of day 26 I raise it to 65% RH - it stays there until the following moning when by rights most eggs should be pipping.
Then I go hell for leather & increase the RH something between 75 & 80%.
Seems to be working well so far, there hasnt been much difference in hatch rates between the final settings.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC + 10 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
©2004-2014 Backyardpoultry.com. Content rights reserved
freestone