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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:04 am 
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Showy Hen
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Hi,

Well it is finished and ready for its first lot of eggs. I'm really hooked NOW ! :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

This incubator has been a long time coming and I would like to thank the very good advice that I have received from contributors to this site.

The box, shelf, observation window, air ducting and cabinet hardware were all recycled materials collected over a number of years. Only the thermostat [ATC 300 ], down lights, digital thermometer/hygrometer and auto egg turner were bought, mostly from eBay.

The box is large enough for a hatching / brooding chamber below the egg turner as I will probably incubate eggs in smaller numbers set at different times. Its dimensions are 500mm x 550mm by 350mm high. This allows for the Hovabator auto turner to fit in the top chamber and a second hatching / brooding chamber below. It is mostly made out of laminated craft wood [ base and sides] and melamine for the contrasting lid sections. The observation window is double glazed and is mostly from an old microwave oven thrown out years ago. [ See, keeping things for years can pay off!!]

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Image Image

The hot air ducting is based on an idea from Denis but I used the 40mm PVC pipe that I had on hand instead of buying a full length of square cable ducting costing serious dollars and no electricians or air conditioning contractors seemed to have any bits for sale. A series of air outlets have been drilled into the pipe to distribute the warm air across the entire chamber, with the holes graded from 5mm to 10 mm further away from the heater chamber. A bit of a fiddle as the securing screws had to be put into place through the pipe whilst it was being held in place by hand. A dollop of silicone helped here, lightly holding the screw previously positioned in the PVC pipe outside of the confines of the box ready to be screwed into place once the rack is seen to be horizontal in both directions. The ends of the pipe were closed off using silicone to glue on a circle of plastic from an ice cream container.


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Image


Two metal heat sinks were installed to absorb the heat from the down lights and are cooled by the flow of air as it moves from the top of the egg chamber into the heater chamber and back out through the ducting. These are probably a bit over the top but certainly work as there are no hot spots in the timber of the heater chamber. This is 100mm wide to allow for clearance on the controller, transformer, lights and heat exchangers.

The thermostat is a ATC 300 unit bought from your "favourite online auction site". It allows the 12 V computer fan to be powered and operate constantly by setting the TIME function to 0 - 24 hours. The TEMP setting has be set at 38 and the allowed variation at the minimum 1o setting. It appears to operate quite well heating up to 38, switching off and then back on when the air temp reaches 36.6 on average. This is a bit wide I think but the eggs should not fluctuate as much as the air due to their greater heat capacity. [ I hope ]


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Image Image Image


What would / will I do differently next time ?:roll:

- Probably not face the down light away from the eggs but instead install the heat sinks in front of them inside the egg chamber which would be enlarged [ to a total box length of 600mm ] so as to allow sufficient distance away from the eggs.
- Get the wooden panels cut in the "shop" as my bench top saw was not as accurate as I would have liked. You can't sand down laminated craftwood to make the corners neater once it is assembled. Air leaks certainly allow for plenty of air circulation and have been controlled by the use of sticky backed foam strips on doors.

Definitely a challenge to my carpentry and design skills and certainly took a few [ many !] more hours than Denis' 2. Next one would be quicker though ......................:lol:':wink:


Any comments for improvements, especially on the thermostat set-up would be most welcome.

Again THANKYOU to all those who contributed their ideas and with apologies if I have mangled them in my interpretation.

Neil


Last edited by neil on Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:26 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Looks great Neil! Now the real test - put some eggs in it and run the baby for 21 days!

good luck,
chookstarter


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:52 pm 
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Phoenix
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Very nice Neil..time to test it out on its maiden voyage.

J

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:02 pm 
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Superior Bird
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It is brilliant. Well done.

The only thing I would suggest is fill the very acute angle between pipe and wall with a paintable crack filler. Might be hard to wipe out all the fluff that settles in there given the amount of chickens this baby will surely hatch.

I know where you are coming from about getting the panels pre cut. That's what is great about about doing a second one. :lol: You get to slighty change the dimensions to make it all easier.


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 Post subject: first incubator
PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:33 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Thanks for the encouragement !! :D:D:D:D:D

Denis, I have already run a pretty thick bead of silicone down into that narrow gap to help support the fixings and to seal it off. I take your point however, and will apply further material to make cleaning even easier.

Can't wait to try it out on some eggs now ! Its humming away [very faintly] out in the lounge room just ready to go.

thanks again

Neil


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:38 pm 
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Champion Bird
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Top Job mate, I will add it to the home made bator sticky tommorow

Regards
Trev

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 Post subject: home made incubator
PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:46 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Hi Chookmadhubby,

would you like me to edit the text of my post to include dimensions etc? I forgot to include them originally but may be of interest to others looking for design ideas as I was.

Regards,
Neil


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 7:28 am 
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Champion Bird
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Hi Neil,
By all means add as much to the description as you wish

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Trev

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 4:50 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Location: near Taree, NSW
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Well, thats done it now ! :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:

First batch of bought eggs in the incubator. RIR, Light Sussex, Bantam araucana, W/C black Polish, Naked Necks, Barnvelders.

Can't imagine how we waited 9 months ! 21 days is toooo long for these babies.

Neil


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:23 pm 
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Champion Bird
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Best of luck with the batch! Hope you get excellent results with your DIY incubator. Nice selection of eggs too.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:40 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Yup - this is going to be the LONGEST 21 days of your life. :lol:

Fingers crossed for a good hatch!
chookstarter


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 4:01 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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I hope all goes well Neil.

Have you considered installing a web cam? :)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:14 pm 
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Fiesty Fowl
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But I agree, this is going to be the longest 21 days ever. I am only up to day 7 in my maiden home made bator voyage and already its killing me

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Last edited by Teeni on Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:02 am 
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Champion Bird
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Location: newcastle
yes, i agree with everyone...why does it have to be 21 days!!
what about 7 days??
i am at 2 weeks and am dying to know if any will hatch...this is a new form of torture :lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:14 am 
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Swan
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lol yep it is torture.

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