Backyard Poultry Forum • View topic - RCOM 20 Maintenance

Backyard Poultry Forum

Chickens, waterfowl & all poultry - home of exhibition & backyard poultry in Australia & New Zealand
Login with a social network:
It is currently Tue May 22, 2018 9:43 am

All times are UTC + 10 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 36 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: RCOM 20 Maintenance
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 2:29 pm 
Offline
Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster

Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:14 pm
Posts: 256
Location: Mackay, QLD
Hi All,

As an instrument tech, I might be able to share some things I've noticed with this incubator.

For those that have had a bit of drama with the RCOM 20, there are some maintenance steps you can take between batches that will help it run better.

I should point out that mine is the 08 model, and I haven't seen the older one, or the 3 egg model.

Mine has worked beautifully, but has "kicked up" on me a couple of times, and these steps seemed to fix it.

My personal opinion only.

1. Use demineralised or rainwater. Any water with heaps of calcium etc really starts to leave residues all through the thing. Clean water with about three drops of bleach is best. The low water alarm my take a little time to go away, but it will.

2. Clean the filter, tube and valve between the 2 resovoirs thouroughly. I use a plastic syringe (no needle) and squirt a diluted solution of CLR through the tube, after removing the filter and float valve (carefully) off each end. Fill to about 1cm both resovoirs with the same solution and let it soak awhile. Scrub out with a soft toothbrush, taking care to remove any salt buildup, especially on the 2 stainless "posts" and the float valve on the sponge side. Soak all the little bits as well.

3. Repeat step 2 using a warm bleach solution like domestos. Clean the sqare humidity sponge, and the little round intake filter sponge in this solution.

4. Use a vacuum cleaner to suck out all the vents on the top half of the machine, before wiping it all other with a rag damp from your bleach solution.

5. When you start it up, just fill the water till the foam ball starts to float, the let it run for an hour. If the humidity goes up high, like 80% or thereabouts, it is likely that the little valve on the sponge side has jammed, and water has overflowed into the bottom of the machine. Take the top off and have a look. A couple of light taps with your fingernail might be all you need. If all looks OK, fill it up with water.

6. Run it overnight with as many instruments you have inside it. Check out "thermometers4u" on ebay. They have the only hygrometer I have seen that is in any way accurate without spending big money. It's the round, digital one. Does both temp/hum. I'm not as convinced by it's thermometer though, and throw in a glass one for good measure. Take readings hourly in the afternoon, and use the "calibrate" function to compensate, then leave it o/night and have a look in the morning. If it needs further adjusting, do so and wait an hour. If all good, throw in the eggs, and start a new cycle.

7. Don't play with it anymore, unless it is giving you alarms or really strange readings.

8. When you are not using it, make sure it is really dried/aired out, to prevent damage to the electronics by condensation.

Not claiming to be the guru here, but tweaking and repairing stuff that is in aggressive environments and is totally buggered is what I do for a living.

Hope this helps.

_________________
Backyard breeder of Light Sussexes, Australorps and Indian Games


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:18 pm 
Offline
Golden Swan
Golden Swan
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:02 pm
Posts: 25698
Location: Albany, Western Australia
Good advice, chooknerd. Thankyou for taking the time to put it down. I have the slightly older model but most of what you say is relevent for it too. Tho only thing I would add is that I had repeated trouble with the low water alarm going off when there was plenty of water in the machine (both reservoir and humifier side). I eventually discovered that it was the contacts between the steel posts and the electronics in the top. Since then I have used a tiny dab of conducting gel (such as ky jellly) on the top of each post when I use it and it has behaved perfectly. I clean it off each time I clean it out and reapply.

NellyG

_________________
NellyG ............Image............


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:50 pm 
Offline
Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster

Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:14 pm
Posts: 256
Location: Mackay, QLD
Yes Nelly,

I forgot to mention those pins at the top of the posts, that was a big lot of typing for me (as I realised halfway through).

I've had no problem with them, as I clean all that with CLR, but what you say makes sense.

I understand that the older model gave more trouble.

But I must say, I got some good hatches out of mine this season.

I heard a rumor that there's a bigger one coming............

_________________
Backyard breeder of Light Sussexes, Australorps and Indian Games


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:35 pm 
Offline
Golden Swan
Golden Swan
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:02 pm
Posts: 25698
Location: Albany, Western Australia
I have had good hatches with mine. I think it is great! No real problems at all. A bigger and better one? :shock: :lol: :lol:

NellyG

_________________
NellyG ............Image............


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:47 pm 
Offline
Superior Bird
Superior Bird
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 3:13 am
Posts: 3059
Location: Bendigo
They could and should calibrate them before they they leave the factory or the resellers could do it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:57 pm 
Offline
Golden Swan
Golden Swan
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:02 pm
Posts: 25698
Location: Albany, Western Australia
Yeah - I agree there, Dennis. I was a bit surprised when it arrived uncallibrated.

NellyG

_________________
NellyG ............Image............


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:46 pm 
Offline
Superior Bird
Superior Bird
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 3:13 am
Posts: 3059
Location: Bendigo
chooknerd;
what type of temperature sensor do they have in them.

And thanks for the tips, I made it a sticky because they were good tips.

Also pam has also in the past shared some good stuff. I'll do a search soon and drag it across. thanks too.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:32 am 
Offline
Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster

Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:14 pm
Posts: 256
Location: Mackay, QLD
Don't know about the sensor yet,

I'll know after the last hatch for the year, when I really strip it to get out all the feathers and dust.

It'll be something solid state, I'm guessing, not an old thermostat.

I don't think needing to calibrate is such an issue. Higher performance needs higher maintenance, in all types of equipment.

Cheers.

_________________
Backyard breeder of Light Sussexes, Australorps and Indian Games


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 3:10 am 
Offline
Superior Bird
Superior Bird
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 3:13 am
Posts: 3059
Location: Bendigo
chooknerd wrote:
I don't think needing to calibrate is such an issue. Higher performance needs higher maintenance, in all types of equipment.

Cheers.


Disagree with both those statements as regards temperature.

Having to calibrate IS an issue for someone not an instrumentation techinician. It means you can take it home and it might not work.
It is like paying for a loaf of bread and being given a small bag of water and pointed in the direction of the water tap.

If you've got to put a thermometer in it, and run it, and adjust accordingly before it will work then where's the advantage over every other electronic thermostat, even a wafer for that matter. You are also at the mercy of the thermometer you choose, because it hasn't been calibrated either.

What are you paying for if it requires skill, knowledge and patience on your behalf to get the temperature correct?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:29 am 
Offline
Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster

Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:14 pm
Posts: 256
Location: Mackay, QLD
OK,

Yes, probably fair comment.

The one I got was actually pretty close to the mark out of the box, and it's the only one I've seen. I reckon it would've worked straight up.

You are at the mercy of any thermometer, in any incubator, and have to hope that the manufacturer is doing it right. I always use a couple.

It certainly didn't give the wild variations in temperature and humidity that my old Bellsouth 100 gave, and only cost 300 bucks more.

I also am extremely fussy with calibration (being an instro), and go for absolutely zero tolerance.

I guess it's each to their own, and people should buy what they are happy with, and what works for them.

My thread is only intended to offer advice to those who have bought this particular unit, in the hope that it might help them out.

Cheers.

_________________
Backyard breeder of Light Sussexes, Australorps and Indian Games


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:51 pm 
Offline
Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:27 pm
Posts: 663
Location: North Maclean QLD
My thermometer in my Rcom 20 was spot on when it was delivered to me. The humidity was another probelm that needed to be calibrated. I find if not in use then one needs to recalibrate the humidity every time. I have an very good independant incubator hygrometer that I use for this and don't have any problems.

I have also found with the RCom 20 that the pins at the top of the steel posts do stick from time to time and I use a cotton bud with some oil to clean them and just test the springs are working well otherwise the low water problems occurs even if full of water.

I have also found that in this weather in Qld it is best to leave the humidifyiing sponge out for the first 18 days as the humidity gets far to high and one can't get it below 60% regardless of where the guage is set (25%-50%) then I put the sponge back in when I turn the autoturning off at day 18.

I love my little RCom20. great little incubator and is always so reliable.

_________________
County Lodge
oooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooo
Light sussex, Pekins, lavender, cuckoo and other various colours, Silkies, white and blue, Gold Partridge Brahmas large.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:55 pm 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 5:45 pm
Posts: 210
Location: Central Qld
Thanks chooknerd for the info I will be able to do that after next weekends hatch. :lol:
I had no problems with the temprature, it was spot on. Humidity is a little different. Thanks for the tip on leaving the sponge out country lodge, i have not been able to keep the humidity under 60 last few days. Will try that next batch. These guys are due in about 10 days so I will leave it for now. :lol:
I had no idea about the pins on the top of steel posts :oops: :shock: :oops: I will have to check that out next weekend as well
cheers
Kym


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:18 pm 
Offline
Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster

Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:14 pm
Posts: 256
Location: Mackay, QLD
Hi Guy's...........

No instrument will hold its calibration indefinitely, and this would be reflected in the fact that the machine has calibration functions through the control panel, with clear instructions in the manual.

I would also point out that my machine was almost perfectly set for temp out of the box, but required some adjustment for the humidity.

I also have a good way to test a hygrometer at home. Will I put it up without fear of starting something else?

Cheers (and merry Xmas).

_________________
Backyard breeder of Light Sussexes, Australorps and Indian Games


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:13 am 
Offline
Assist Admin
Assist Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 1:11 am
Posts: 21504
Location: Gold Coast, QLD, AUSTRALIA
Chooknerd wrote:
I also have a good way to test a hygrometer at home. Will I put it up without fear of starting something else?

Cheers (and merry Xmas).


Merry Xmas to you too , Chooknerd :)

Yes please post. This reminds me of a question I was going to ask about my hygrometer!

It is a a dial type, bought at the same time as my incubator this year, from a reputable supplier, cost about $30. I am packing away my Hova-Bator for the season. Instructions for adjusting the hygrometer have obviously been translated ( from original German ?) ...
Quote:
The hygrometer indicates in % the degree of the atmospheric humidity. If you want to rely on an exact indication, we recommend to you regenerating the instrument at least once a year.

You simply have to wrap up the instrument in a wet cloth for half an hour.

After that the pointer must indicate 94% - 96%. If this is not the case, you have to adjust the instrument on the back with a screwdriver


Now, being brought up to always put things away ready for the next use whether it be refuelling and greasing the tractor, replacing scarifier points or lawnmower blades or applicable maintenance on the relevant machine or equipment or instrument, I wondered about this instruction.

Is the calibration check a good idea, how often would you recommend it and would it need re-doing if I did it before storing it for a lengthy period and stored it normally while not in use?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:20 pm 
Offline
Champion Bird
Champion Bird
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 7:57 pm
Posts: 859
Location: Albury, NSW
Hello, dare I enter in on this topic!

I would like like to say that i have bought this years r-com 20 and LOVE it, however it has been playing up yesterday and today with the humidity going too high and water being underneath the egg rolling tray, a real pain in the butt but I will now, when these eggs have hatched give it the good maintenance treatment that you guys have written down for us inexperienced chook people.

I have printed it out and will put it in my CHOOK FILE.

A big "Thank you" it saved me explained it all to bell south etc etc.

Cheers and MERRY XMAS :lol: (I wish I could get the smiles to come up)

FF


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 36 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC + 10 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Brandwatch, Yandex Bot and 4 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