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 Post subject: Bar fridge incubator?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 10:46 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Hello

I picked up this old bar fridge for $30 a while ago, and just use it to keep pet mince etc in.

I was thinking I could build a rather large incubator out of it.

However I know nothing of electronics or what parts I would need etc.

With some assistance though I think it would work. It has enough room in it to include a hatcher.

So any skillfull folk who could give me a hand I would be very grateful.

My idea for it is to have it either as one big incubator, or include a hatcher in the top or bottom.

What parts would I need to buy, and what would be an estimate of the costs of those parts?

I would like to use auto turner or semi auto and have it fan forced, with a small viewing window. If the window is going to be too difficult though I can do without one for now.

Thanks
Sarah.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 9:43 pm 
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Golden Robin
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Sarah
Bar Fridges work very well as an incubator - Do you know somebody - either on here of privately who is an electonics person or even just a good handy man.

You do need a very good thermostat and if you can, use a resistance element rather than light bulbs.

Cost - depends on how fancy ?? Not harbour bridges.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:17 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Ok so a thermostat and heating element. Any particular type? I would have no idea what size, etc...

With a turner, iis semi auto one you can turn yourself from the outside attatched to the egg trays?

Can somethiing from multiquip or bellsouth work?

I can get some help with all the wiring etc from a sparky.

My first job is just knowing what parts would be required and where to get them.

Thanks
sarah.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 11:38 pm 
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Golden Robin
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Sarah
On ebay - if you do a search for incubator - there is an american who is selling plans for the very thing you are wanting to do.

Beyond that I know nothing of those plans.

About fifteen years ago I built an incubator using a temperature controller I got from Dick Smith in kit form. I got one of my electronic guys at work to put it together for me and I used an element from an old stove as the heat source. It worked fine. The cost was something like $50 tops plus the obligatory carton for the electy techy.

The achilles heel was that the switching mechanism - a solenoid thingo with contact points either ended up burning out the points or welding together. After the third time of that happening I gave the incubator away. It was also a frenetic time for me personally with the big lifestyle move to Gulgong, so hatching chickens was a lower priority. I got probably five hundred chickens or more over five years though.

Forget the fancy egg turner - takes up too much space and they are costly unless you use one of Denis designs. Definately go fan forced and remember it needs ventilation - It must breath. Just must have enough heating power to cover the ventilation.

I believe solid state temperature contollers have gotten much better in the last decade and a half
Mike

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 2:41 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Location: St georges basin (NOWRA) nsw
Will opening and closing the door to turn say 30 - 50 or more eggs upset the temps though too much?

My other concern would be where to place the heat element. I could probably fit hundreds of eggs in. I suppose the fans should keep the temp even.

I might have to ask someone more experienced to look at the fridge and tell me what they think of it.

Thanks for the help.

Sarah.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 4:50 pm 
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Golden Cockatoo
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sarah you don't need to BUY plans
do a google search, there are many on the internet if you do a search for incubators, and building your own :P :lol: :P :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:56 am 
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Gallant Game
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Denis is an excellent resource when it comes to electronics and ontrolling the variables... he's def your man.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:19 am 
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Superior Bird
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In terms of all the insulation that the bar fridge has, that's good for efficiency and economics whereby you are trying to cool or heat something and waste as little power as you can.

With an incubator I suppose it's helpful but a bugger to work with. How does one cut a reasonably neat hole through a fridge door for a window.
The rest I could cope with but I could never do that.

I don't do the "here's how to wire up 240V mains" in a public forum because you don't know who's watching. Your sparky friend is worth a visit he may well have access to much cheaper options as far as thermostats go.

Talk to him first and just tell him it needs to be 100 degs f or 37.8 degs C. He may be the cheapest to buy from.

I did a bit of googling and kept coming across thermostats for $30 with digital readouts etc. Unfortunately they are all for house heating and only go up to 30 degs C. Good if you keep reptiles though. Wonder if they can modified really simply.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:22 pm 
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Gallant Game
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You work mostly with 12V devices such as micro controllers don't you Denis? How much area can 12V heating elements heat up?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 3:29 am 
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Superior Bird
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Simon I'll pm you.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 5:31 pm 
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Golden Swan
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I just found this - might help you incubator builders....
http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/BRKIncubation.html

NellyG

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 2:30 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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That is a good website for sure.

I am trying to build the same thing (fridge incubator). This is most like the one Im tryin to build...

http://www.utm.edu/departments/cece/idea/incu.shtml

Has anyone come up with a solution to auto egg turning (Im not sure I can do the record player kind as shown in another thread).

Can you insert Hova Bator egg turners into the fridge?

I have the fridge, lights, wiring and thermostat, but want to decide on auto or semi auto before cutting into the fridge...

Any advice re egg turning? I may go with the semi "Tilt Tray" style if auto is too hard.

Raphael in Canberra.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 3:05 pm 
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Prime Pekin
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Not sure why you would want auto or semi -auto egg turners ,other than not opening the door. I put eggs in removable trays and turn by hand external to the unit .Requires to quickly open and close of door 3 times in a short period to do this . I also rotate the postion of these trays eah time in the unit. The most important thing is AIRFLOW and fresh air . For vents you need to cut into the frdge door .


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 3:26 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Good point. Might be a waste of time and money.

If I am opening the door to turn the eggs at least twice a day, is that not enough ventilation? I will install a fan internally to move the air around inside.

Raf

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 3:51 pm 
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Prime Pekin
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Raf, You need to be able to adjust air flow into the unit for 2 reasons , eggs hatching need oxygen and to be able to expell CO2, plus humidity control. You can govern the humidity by the available surface area of water in the unit and the passage of air in and out. The fan is the way to go since it, one helps humidity and secondly gives reasonably even temp throughout. If you are heating using an incandescent light bulb ,I would use 2 that way if one blows you do not have complete heat loss. 2 x60 Watt will most probably do the job depending on the size of the unit.


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