Backyard Poultry Forum • View topic - Timers for DIY incubator turners

Backyard Poultry Forum

Chickens, waterfowl & all poultry - home of exhibition & backyard poultry in Australia & New Zealand
Login with a social network:
It is currently Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:10 am

All times are UTC + 10 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 50 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:41 pm 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:14 am
Posts: 170
Location: Canberra
denis id like to see 12V in, then selectable 3,6,9, 12 out.. prob makes it a bit more complicated and expensive.

ok so im picturing a black box where i connect a 12 volt plug pack to one side(you provide 2 tails one red one black), the other side i select 3 volts, and connect 2 wires to my motor.

its then got 4 more wires.. 2 labled left, and 2 labled right, i connect these to my micro switches..

while your at it you may as well give me 2 more wires, 12 volts labled 'fan' so i dont need another plug pack to make the fan run.

pre progamme the timer to turn the trays every hour, but provide 2 more wires for an 'off' switch which kills outputs to the motor for when im hatching, but dont need the trays going any more.. or i guess i could run the motor wires via a switch, this makes more sence actually..

ok so thats my control box.. as big as a mobile phone? or as big as a milk carton? with 2 wires in and 8 wires out..

ill take a couple..


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:13 pm 
Offline
Superior Bird
Superior Bird
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 3:13 am
Posts: 3059
Location: Bendigo
Moving on...

here is the pics of how simple a tilting rack can be;
Image

Yep, our axis is just a metal rod that is connected to our rack using cable ties. Unfortunately I had to use a hack saw to cut the rod because it was too late at night to use the angle grinder. Lucky though the rack is just a leftover cut off.
The eggs won't sit upright on this rack so we need something purpose built to hold eggs in a vertical position.
Like this:
Image

I used scissors to cut the tape because the angle grinder is kind of messy.

So it is really just that easy, away you go.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:37 pm 
Offline
Superior Bird
Superior Bird
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 3:13 am
Posts: 3059
Location: Bendigo
All you've done is assemble something according to information you've got from someone else. In China they would pay you a handful of rice a day to do that in a factory.

Would it be feasible for me to supply exactly what you want. Well feasible is a strange word. Cost effective is a term you need to look at.

What is possible for me to do in the one controller is:
All that you have asked for but while we are at it ;
why not a temperature control as well ? do you want it with two temperature input outputs or only one.

You see with the cabinet style you make, you are gonna get some variance between top and bottom and the easiest way is to have heating source located and measured both top and bottom. Two thermostats doesn't give quite the same results because they are completely independent. I can control both top and bottom a bit morecohesively than that. For instance you wouldn't turn your bottom heater on if the top one was a bit warm and so on...

You may as well have the serial link to your computer that will enable you log all your incubators data through your serial or USB port. Two ways you can have this. One with a simple 3 wire lead. Beauty of this one is you use it to reprogram the unit to do something different. For instance why use a Potentiometer to change from 1 hour to 2 hours. just hook it up, change the parameter in the program and you save the $5 of a knob. Use it to calibrate the temperature and when you know all is perfect, or as perfect as you can get it you are done, and there is no way your customer can change the setting. If you are sure it's set exactly right, they can only set it to something that is less than ideal.
So think carefully if you want the temperature to be adjustable. When it is all said and done this will be the key to your incubators success.

Of course you may want to log your temperature and other values 24/7 or offer that ability to your customers. That's where a radio link is useful. A chip in the incubator circuit transmits to another Rx chip in a small circuit connected to your computer. It's good for the 30 meters from my shed to study in the middle of the house. Of course it doesn't have to just transmit to your computer, it can be picked up by a hand held battery circuit. What do you want in the hand held device. Just a piezo alarm when the temperature drops wake you up or do you want a LCD screen that tells you you what you want to know 24/7.

At about $3 it seems silly not to have the piezo alarm on all circuits. It will come with a snooze feature of course.

How do you want your humidity control, a humidity sensor or a temperature sensor you can use as a wet bulb. Do you want your humidity output to be 12V or 240V ?

A countdown of the incubation days, thats a pain because I need a realtime clock and probably a memory chip to go with it but I've done that before ...

Starting to become a pretty expensive looking incubator isn't it, hope your design of the lighting and the mechanics is up to it.

What about power blackouts ? A 9V transistor battery and a diode will keep my circuit going but not those crappy 240V light globes of yours. If you were to switch to something like 12V halogens I could include a bit of circuitry that will switch to a Lead acid car battery when needed and keep the battery charged in the meantime. You will need to make sure the battery is well charged before you connect it or it will draw too much current. But if you want to be able to charge a flat battery it will cost you more.

The best reason for building your own incubator is it forces you to think and to understand how it all works.
Will your incubator be better than a Chinese one, maybe maybe not. If you have ever successfully made an incubator you will have forced yourself to come to terms with how it works. Give a Chinese incubator to anyone who has ever made their own incubator and they will be able to work it just fine.

If you want to make a quid out of incubators start importing them, take the time to set them up correctly for your customers (and superglue the temperature setting) and charge $50 more for each incubator. Take responsibilty for their success.
All of the above is stuff I have done but not a lot of it ever goes into an incubator for sale. Mostly I just set and calibrate the temperature correctly and sell it. It works for me because they aren't going to take it home, load it up with dud eggs and when that isn't successful start playing with the temperature setting.

I sold an incubator once. I used an ebay PID controller in it. I logged the temperature and calibrated it beautifully. It sold at an auction. I got an email a week later from the new owner and it was sitting perfectly on the 37.7 degs according to his digital thermometer. I thought beauty, at least his thermometer is accurate and he is not going to change the setting because of a faulty thermometer. Over time it worked really well for him, good results for a wide range of stuff all incubated together. Though he reckoned they were always a day late.
About a year later he reported that it wasn't keeping temperature and that nothing was hatching. Furthermore he said that he had to keep increasing the setting to stay at 37.7. When he brought the incubator into me he had it set at 42.something in an effort to keep it at 37.7.
I plugged it in and came back an hour later. It was now showing the 42.X it was set at so I shoved a thermometer in it, it read 42.X exactly .... all I can think of was his thermometer battery was going flat ..so what can you do ... well you can make it impossible to change the setting ...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:09 pm 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:14 am
Posts: 170
Location: Canberra
why do i need all that stuff when the one i have works just fine.. your doing exactly what i keep saying, over complicating the process.. the idea of an auto incubator is so you dont have to tend to it every day, beyond that all the extras provide dimishing returns other than for you, whom gains self acomplishment from making all those fancy features..
ive data logged mine with an abg button logger, as i work in the hvac industry, the temp might not be within a milimetre, but ive concluded it doesnt make bugger all difference as long as the eggs are hatchng.
im not interested in auto humidity because ive used a plastic container with perfect results, nor am i interested in back up power, cause if the power goes out and eggs die i start again, perhaps if i was hatching golden eggs or something maybe id invest the capital to have those features.. but it gets to a point where i may as well buy a good quility incubator off the shelve, then i can blame someone else for its failures..
for me it was about acheiving pretty good results without A spending to much money, or B spending too much time.. ive achieved both so im happy..
if others want to go twice the distance to get an extra 10 percent of eggs hatch then each to there own..
im satisfied.

quote removed for readability


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:26 pm 
Offline
Superior Bird
Superior Bird
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 3:13 am
Posts: 3059
Location: Bendigo
Isn't that the question we have all been thinking, "why does hellocharlie need a timer from me if what he's got is just fine?".
The price, well it is gonna be expensive if you are putting it in an incubator to sell. Which would be the only reason you'd want one. So of course I'm gonna have to look at your incubator to see if I'm happy with the end product. All I see is something that anybody could put together for themselves. No point of difference, nothing to recommend it at all really. I'm absolutely sure it works great, all the homemade ones do.

You've said yourself you can put yours together for $180, but anybody can do that. If they can't they just come to this forum and we show them how. To get the $500 you were asking for it you are gonna have to come up with something people can't do for themselves. Maybe even something the Chinese can't do.

I spend so much time encouraging people that they can come up with something better for less money if they make it themselves.
At $500, man, there is soo much more anybody could do to make a better incubator. Anybody at all, if you get stuck just come onto the forum and someone will help you out. The temperature controller could be something other than the cheapest on the market, for one. The internal relay in that one is gonna pack up eventually, they all do. What happens then, have you told your would be customers what the best thing for them to do then is?

For the rest of you. If you are just some poor buggar like the rest of us trying to get something up and going and haven't been able to find a suitable timer I may be able to help you out. And as I have been doing for years if I know of a cheaper option that will work for you I will point you at it.
Prices might vary a bit depending on a lot of different factors, how busy I am etc. I won't be making a profit but there is a limit to how out of pocket I can be. But costs etc is something I can explain to you at the time. $50 to $70 is around the mark of what parts for the unit would cost me. There is a whole page of timer circuits I did for people to use that I think will work OK. Take a look at them you might be able to do them pretty cheap.

For those of you who don't mind a bit of the old unecessary features in your bators. This is the next thing I am going to have a crack at. Very simple I hope.
We start with one of these
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Water-Level-Sens ... 45f34a5510
very simple float switch. I have one I got from Jaycar the other day. I just bumped into it. The ebay ones are cheaper though. So I am thinking I now have a switch that will sit in my water container. So what will it switch ? Nothing with too much current, just something that can run off my existing 12V I have for fans.
I reckon one of these will do the trick
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/12V-DC-1-4-Solen ... 2eb40c7fed

or maybe even one of these.
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll ... K:MEWNX:IT
this one looks like it probably won't lift between itself and the water but should push reasonably well. Looks like a windscreen wiper type. They usually attach to side of container and can squirt a thin stream fairly well. Might be a bit much power to run off the fan supply though.

With everything automatic may as well have the bator keep it's water topped up. And it is all good fun.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:14 am 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:14 am
Posts: 170
Location: Canberra
lol, most people dont even own the tools required to duplicate my incubator. your right most can copy the concept, which is all ive done, but to have it look like something professional, rather than something held together with sticktape and cut with a hacksaw, thats the differnce..

if you havnt got a mig welder, a table saw, a jigsaw, a hole saw set, a circular saw, a router, a cordless drill, a soldering iron, an angle grinder, some G clamps, hss drills and timber drills, a set square, a spirit level, and the brains to use them without cutting your finger off, then you can copy my concept, but at 37 degrees your stickytaped rack wont last as long as my mig welded rack will.
besides all that, theres a hell of a lot of people on here s*** scared to touch 240 volt power, so as soon as they involve a sparky the cost blows out well beyond my asking price.

I can exicute them for 180, time after time- others can copy from a few posts, and might come up great, others can try to copy and fail, due to being under skilled or under tooled..
theres not point trying to believe everyone can do everything, because they cant, some poeple dont have the time, or consider their time to be worth more than my profit margin.. theres always someone willing to pay the money for goods.

im the first to admit i cant wire up a circuit board to make your magic box.. so ill pay you to do it.
the only reason i want your black box is so i can sit it next to mine and watch the 2 of them hatch the same amount of eggs... thats worth 70 dollars for me :yipee:

edited
quote removed for readability


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:19 pm 
Offline
Superior Bird
Superior Bird
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 3:13 am
Posts: 3059
Location: Bendigo
Quote:
the only reason i want your black box is so i can sit it next to mine and watch the 2 of them hatch the same amount of eggs... thats worth 70 dollars for me


Why would you pay money to see which of my circuit designs works the best?. You could just ask me, they both work the same. :lol:

Why should anyone pay you to put my designs and ideas together, when they know I am here to show them how they can do it for themselves, using no special tools or skills. There is some 240V info we don't and won't post but you can always pm for that I can take you through it safely.

Building an incubator yourself is the BEST way to learn to understand about how an incubator works. If you build even a small one you will never have trouble with understanding how to get the best out of whatever incubator you buy.
Some Incubators don't have poor hatch rates, Some people do.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:58 pm 
Offline
Superior Bird
Superior Bird
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 3:13 am
Posts: 3059
Location: Bendigo
I've just checked out hellocharlies incubator in the wanted and sales.

His autoturn looks something like this

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
0

or in words he has two trays of eggs sitting directly on the shaft and he rocks it 45 degs from side to side.
Now that motor comes with 4kg rating written on the box.
That is the recommended max weight of meat you place on your spit for this motor. But of course you are supposed to balance the meat evenly so that the centre of gravity of the meat is always going down through the shaft. So really the only work the motor has to do (F x d) is only quite small because on a well balanced spit d is very small. (F=mg)
Now my maths gives me 60g x 72 eggs = 4.32 meaning even when he's balanced he is overweight.
But when he rocks 45 degs to the side the whole center of gravity moves a mile to the side. I have grave doubts whether the motor will even lift his 72 eggs at all. I certainly don't think the nylon gears and such are cope for very long.

So what I am asking hellocharlie is has he ever loaded this incubator up with 72 eggs and how did the motor cope with the wear and tear.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
0
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
still not great but it is more balanced


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:07 pm 
Offline
Golden Robin
Golden Robin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:26 pm
Posts: 17659
Location: Tuross Head, NSW fsr south east coast
I have specifically asked for the thread to be kept on a technical and informative level without the barbs and competitiveness. Why do people think that that request doesn't apply to them.

Its now locked until I have time to figure out how to moderate bits out.

I am also bringing some parts of the thread to admin's notice to see if warnings or suspensions need to be applied !!!

Mike - Moderator


Update: This thread has now been further reviewed and cleaned up as it contains valuable information for members. A number of posts have been edited or removed in the interests of readability.

_________________
Retired Now. Have moved and now officially a Tuross Head resident.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:59 am 
Offline
Golden Robin
Golden Robin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:26 pm
Posts: 17659
Location: Tuross Head, NSW fsr south east coast
Right - after discussions behind the scenes this thread has been heavily edited and unlocked. It has good information for many people. We have no objections to heathy debate but no tolerance for abuse, barbed or otherwise. Keep it clean, objective, professional and the thread can continue. Get personal again and the whole topic will go permanently into the garbage bin. Then everybody loses !!


Mike - moderator

_________________
Retired Now. Have moved and now officially a Tuross Head resident.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:39 am 
Offline
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 8:44 am
Posts: 31463
Location: Morayfield, SEQ
Although we plan to move the motor to under the bottom tray, we decided to just have a go with it outside the cabinet just as an experiment. We now have the new motor mentioned earlier and have wired up the mentioned speed controller to it. The speed controller does reduce the torque a fair bit. Our first arm did not turn at all. We thought it was also because of the length of the first length of pipe, so we then changed it for a shorter one that we tried previously. With the shorter arm, it did move it, although we had to increase the speed of the motor to get the torque we needed. We ended up needing to bring the speed up to about half way. That then meant that the speed of the turn was too fast. I think the eggs would get jolted.

This did not move at all - MA not right.
Image

This did work, although too fast - danger of jolting eggs.
Image

Tomorrow we'll have a go at putting the motor on the inside of the unit. I've been persuaded that that will work better. We picked up a couple of pulleys for a couple of dollars from Bunnings today to have a play. We are getting closer.

_________________
image
Backyard Poultry Forum


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:30 am 
Offline
Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:00 pm
Posts: 653
Location: NSW
Hi Chicken07,

your post certainly illustrates the importance of Mechanical Advantage.
Shortening the "length of the first length of pipe" (ie. the one closest to the motor) did allow the motor to move, however it also reduced the amount of horizontal stroke, so this is a limiting solution.

Just to remind you, two workable alternatives are:

(a) As per my previous post (Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:56 pm), use the 1st idea in Denis's post Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:02 am, ie. use the a larger cogwheel as a camshaft, (implemented using bicycle parts).

(b) As per the 2nd diagram in Denis's post, replace the 2 lengths of pipe with a threaded rod connected directly to the motor, and couple the turning handle to a nut.

Option (b) is beautiful in its simplicity.
In all likelihood, it would also remove the jolting on startup.

Bunnings sell threaded rod. Metric thread tends to have a finer pitch than the British Standard Withworth pitch used on Imperial threaded rod, hence Metric rod would be preferential.

I enjoy watching a 'work in progress' :thumbs:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:59 pm 
Offline
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 8:44 am
Posts: 31463
Location: Morayfield, SEQ
Haan wrote:
(b) As per the 2nd diagram in Denis's post, replace the 2 lengths of pipe with a threaded rod connected directly to the motor, and couple the turning handle to a nut.

Option (b) is beautiful in its simplicity.
In all likelihood, it would also remove the jolting on startup.

We decided to try this. It works beautifully. The motor handles the load easily and there is no jolting on startup. It's smooth and slow.

We rigged it up like this to start off just to get the feel of it. We put the motor and box on the front attached by a single bolt so that it could move. We changed the handle attachment to a cap which fits over the rod. It can be just lifted off if we want to open the door manually and move things freely.

On this first try it was pretty ricketty, but we could see that it was going to work.

Image

I'll just grab some photos of how it looks now.

_________________
image
Backyard Poultry Forum


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:12 pm 
Offline
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 8:44 am
Posts: 31463
Location: Morayfield, SEQ
We trimmed the length of the rod a bit and tidied things up.

Here's the result. You can see how the motor and rod need to be able to move up slightly in the centre of the turn so it needs to be swivel mounted. We used an 8mm metric threaded rod. It cost about $3.50 at Bunnings.

The piece of pipe fitting over the handle is a far better way of attaching it also. It's easily removed.

Image

Image

Image

This is how we attached the box. We have a white power cord going to an external plug, but this could easily be wired in if we wanted to do that. The orange wires are going to the microswitches that are turning the motor off at each end.

Image

I'll get a diagram of the connector.

_________________
image
Backyard Poultry Forum


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:29 pm 
Offline
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 8:44 am
Posts: 31463
Location: Morayfield, SEQ
Just in case there's other non-engineer types trying this, here's a quick scribble which shows how we connected the threaded rod to the motor. There is a bracket that retains the brass connector and stops the rod pulling to the left. The brass connector is actually silver soldered to the rod.

Image

We're pretty happy with the way this operates so I think we're going to stick with it for the moment.

Finances? We spent more than we had to because we tried a number of options. If you bought all the components needed for this project new, it would cost about $200. I'm sure there's shortcuts, but we didn't take them. For us, the big ticket items were the timer, the motor, the four-pole relay (changed direction of motor) and the transformer. There were other cheaper bits. I'm sure other people could do it a lot cheaper than we did. As an auto turner from Multiquip is $600 (plus postage), I'm not going to quibble over $200.

Thanks to those who contributed suggestions and explanations. It was a huge help with solving the problems. We appreciate it. Many thanks to Denis who helped me out via message many times. Assistance with nutting out the electronic circuitry was particularly good as it helped clarify the best way to go. BYP is a great place for this type of project. :thumbs:

_________________
image
Backyard Poultry Forum


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 50 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC + 10 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 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