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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 9:47 pm 
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Assist Admin
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Neil - I have been linking your photos in the Gallery to this thread and enjoying reading about your incubator at the same time :D

Would love to get an update and see any later photos you may have taken. :)


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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 2:31 am 
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Showy Hen
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What about humidty and how do you adjust it?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:13 am 
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Showy Hen
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HI every one,

MY home made incubator has been very successful, producing many chicks from a wide range of eggs. The best success rate of course being from home grown eggs rather that eggs bought and received by post ( but that is another issue altogether with many other threads on this site describing the perils and pleasures of posted eggs).

THe Hovabator turner works just a treat allowing for hands free operation with several different batches of eggs on the go at once. The lower hatching area has also been used as a brooding area for several days while waiting for other eggs to hatch as well.

In the design stages I took a lot of advice and comments from other BYPer's which was very helpful. One of the main issues I am now glad to reinforce is the issue of moisture and the high humidity and the effect that this can have on the materials in an incubator. If using "mdf" or "chipboard" style sheeting you really DO need to make sure everything is painted and sealed as the water really does drip off everything and would quickly cause these materials to swell and destroy themselves. Also any metal fastenings, shelving etc need to be rust proof - galv., chromed or similarly protected if you want it to stay looking good.

Very happy with the design, air flow, heater system and digital temp regulator.

One issue, however, with the thermostat I used ( bought off eBay and very good generally) is that the second, non temperature regulated , timer controlled power outlet that I have set to operate the fans continuously does not restart after a power outage, of which we get quite a few. This can cause temperature variations within the cabinet areas which are easily fixed by resetting the push button control.

Great fun !


Cheers,
Neil


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 3:33 pm 
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neil wrote:
In the design stages I took a lot of advice and comments from other BYPer's which was very helpful. One of the main issues I am now glad to reinforce is the issue of moisture and the high humidity and the effect that this can have on the materials in an incubator. If using "mdf" or "chipboard" style sheeting you really DO need to make sure everything is painted and sealed as the water really does drip off everything and would quickly cause these materials to swell and destroy themselves. Also any metal fastenings, shelving etc need to be rust proof - galv., chromed or similarly protected if you want it to stay looking good.

I think something must be wrong if water is dripping off any surfaces. It would seem to indicate that some surfaces are much cooler than they should be, or that humidity is way too high. Just looking at this incubator the only surface I would expect could have condensation on it would be the window if the humidity levels are OK. That would be easily fixed by laying a towel or similar on top of the window to keep it warm. The two takeaway containers look "about right" for reasonable humidity, given that I would check how much ventilation your incubator has. Drill more holes until the condensation stops, then drill another one.
When it comes to hatching time just cover up the last hole.
I get very annoyed at people asking how does the MDF handle the "high humidity levels" . There is no high humidity levels in an incubator, the levels and ranges of humidity expected in an incubator are described by weathermen as normal or comfortable. The surfaces of your incubator should be DRY, underneath your sitting chook should be DRY...

All surfaces of MDF should be painted and edges sealed because spillages of water can and do happen. You will of course want to wash surfaces at some stage.
Thin glass or Perspex windows may cause condensation in an otherwise reasonable incubator especially when the temperature outside the incubator is cold. Fix this by covering the window to keep it warm.

Around doors can be tricky too, where the warm air escapes around doors etc and meets colder air condensation can also occur. If that is happening between the surfaces of the door and the incubator then water forms and you have a real problem. Usually this is an edge of your MDF or melamine and swelling will occur. A good seal between door and incubator usually fixes this problem as does no seal at all funnily enough, (allows the air to pass freely without being trapped). But I think the best way is to provide the adequate air holes needed, if you have a fan it is pretty easy to dictate which will be an intake or outake hole for air.
Flat sufaces of MDF are easy to seal, a coat or two spray painted will do to the job. Edges are much harder and often takes several applications of paint using a brush.
neil wrote:
Very happy with the design, air flow, heater system and digital temp regulator.

One issue, however, with the thermostat I used ( bought off eBay and very good generally) is that the second, non temperature regulated , timer controlled power outlet that I have set to operate the fans continuously does not restart after a power outage, of which we get quite a few. This can cause temperature variations within the cabinet areas which are easily fixed by resetting the push button control.

Great fun !
Cheers,
Neil

Just plug the fan straight into the power point.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:55 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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I get very annoyed at people asking how does the MDF handle the "high humidity levels" . There is no high humidity levels in an incubator, the levels and ranges of humidity expected in an incubator are described by weathermen as normal or comfortable. The surfaces of your incubator should be DRY


I had that condensation problem and it was literally dripping inside my first homemade incubator...that was until I bought a hygrometer and found out that I was running it at close to 95% humidity. When I dropped it back down to what it was supposed to be, I no longer had puddles of water to contend with.

chookstarter


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