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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:43 pm 
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Fiesty Fowl
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Location: The Hot & Dry of the Riverina, NSW
I have an old laboratory incubator i've been meaning to "upgrade" for a couple of years now and am finally getting around to it. Currently it heats by elements in the bottom and halfway up the sides. I think they would be like stove elements as they produce lots of heat even after the thermostat has turned them off causing big temp swings. Being s'steel also means it absorbs the heat and radiates for a LONG time. As a hatcher its not too bad, but as a setter some hatches are good, some bad. I want it more reliable this season.

I'd like to convert it to lights for simplicity and i thought the running costs might be better, too. :?:

I whacked a 275w reflective globe into it the other day connected to an external thermostat, let it run overnight, and the temp swing was under a degree. Obviously, i'm not going to set it up like this....more like a multiquip with two lights and fans partitioned at the top. I read that light bulbs like the ones used in Tastics wont be phased out till a viable alternative has been found....not sure if they will be too hot. :?:

Image

My other question is whether computer fans will be powerful enough to get heat around the bator as it is quite a large area. I know i dont need to blast the eggs...just get the air moving. We connected up an 8cm computer fan (from a computer at the tip :roll: ) to run in my small bator, but i dont think it creates enough turbulence in the big one.

I saw these on eBay and wondered if they would be up to the job ganged together....

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/2x-120mm-Ball-Be ... dZViewItem

or whether i need to look at bigger types of fans altogether, but with a really tight budget in mind. :|

Any ideas much appreciated. :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:10 pm 
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Champion Bird
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Hi Isa
I use a single 80mm PC fan in my home made units that look to be the same volume, as far as heat source I normally use 2 x 100 watt bulbs.
It looks like a good project and I would be happy to add it to the home made incubator sticky.

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Trev

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:20 pm 
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Fiesty Fowl
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Location: The Hot & Dry of the Riverina, NSW
Hi Trev...thanks for that. I guess i should just set it up and see what happens. The fan i have seems very weak....maybe its on its way out.

With the lights...i was just concerned about the phasing out thing. I was looking at a couple of light bulbs in IGA the other day - they were 125 or 150watt, i think, so it sounds like they would do the job fine.

Happy for it to go in the sticky - provided it works! :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:35 pm 
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Hey even if it is a flop it is valuable info for us all, besides it wont flop because you have a huge resource of members happy to help.

Cheers
Trev

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:36 pm 
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Superior Bird
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Location: Bendigo
Hmmm,
The only right answer is to suck it and see I suppose.
About the fan; yes there are much bigger computer fans around, for big banks of servers and the like. All sizes of fans come at different capacities. The one you mention on ebay is
CFM: 106 CF/M which is powerful for a 120mm one. One of these at jaycar is $32 as is the 240V version. 80mm seem to be from 34 to 42 CFM in the jaycar catalogue.

The incubator I am making atm has 3 x 80mm in it mostly because I find it better or easier to get results with a heat/fan source at the top and bottom or at each end. It's something you should consider.
If you ever get up a ladder and close to the ceiling you can feel it is hotter. A ceiling fan helps a lot but never eliminates the difference.

The steel of your unit is handy as you could mount a light horizontally very close to ceiling or floor and eke out more usable space.

Can't help with the elements I'm afraid, it may be that the swing improvement is due entirely to the different thermostat. You could try disconnecting say the bottom elements and see what happens. I've switched from lights to elements I make up in my incubators and there is more swing, for reasons you probably have your head around as well as I.

Strange as it may seem at first it is often easier to get less swing using more ventilation.

Another thought is if the elements are in the wall/floor cavities then a fan circulating the air from the cavities to the incubator might help the elements run a bit cooler and speed up the response time.

It would nice to think you could tweak the unit to run pretty much as is with fans installed and keep the nice clean layout but at the end of the day the lights is something I am 100% sure you will get a great result.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:06 am 
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Fiesty Fowl
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Location: The Hot & Dry of the Riverina, NSW
Hi Dennis,

I would have liked to keep using the elements and i think it would be doable with some work. I had considered a timber cabinet to fit inside the bator down the sides and bottom and creating cavities for the heat but insulating the inside from the steel radiating - then have fans push the heat into the cabinet. Would probably work with some messing around but would lose some interior space. Might be something to work on when we cant buy bulbs anymore. :roll: I like the idea, though.

Other than that, i was thinking something like the pic below. Its not to scale, obviously, but you get the gist of it - i'm sure it will need LOTS of tweaking! I'm glad you mentioned heat source at the bottom as that is what i was wondering about. As it is, the incubator doesnt have too many problems with the heat stratifying as it is produced at the bottom and naturally works its way up and out the vent at top. I wonder whether putting a fan to push hot air out the vent would help with the overheating :?: :?: :?: Might have to try that. :? But then there is no vent to let fresh air in...... :roll:

Image

The red trays are egg trays (hold 30 eggs for packing, they're not incubator trays) but they have holes between the eggs to let air circulate. They fit nicely on a length of curtain rod so i just have to swing them back and forth. I can probably join them to move them all at once. If i was mechanically minded i'm sure there would be a way to build a motor that would go up and down on a timer to rock the trays. :? I'll worry about getting the incubator to work first, though! :biggrin:

Those fans on eBay - will they just wire up to a phone charger even if they are ganged??

Thanks for your help.
Leanne

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