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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those of you who followed my last thread on my diy incubator made from a styrofoam cooler. I had several issues come up, likely leading to my unsuccessful hatch.
I have also moved my thermostat away from the light and added a but of tin around it to help get a more accurate reading. Wood Brick Wall Brickwork Fixture
I removed my flimsy screen and added a sturdy plastic light diffuser to act as the holding platform.
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The first time around I tossed together the incubator according to ibcubator warehouse suggestions. I used a cheap thermometer, and had 0 success.
With 3 different types of thermometers in the bator at this time, a average temp is easier to achieve.
I did a little experiment and found the thermometers were reading slightly off due to light radiation, so I added light shields to block the light from the upper platform. Window Wood Building Floor House
I also had an issue with the bulb burning out on me, I took Jim's advice and wired a second light for the system, I am going to wait to place a bulb in there until I can source another fan for that side. Fluid Material property Gas Cable Electrical wiring
I placed the fans so they are blowing from the side of the cooler over the light and into the middle of the bator. Window Wood Building Floor House
I added two large mason jars with water to act as heat sinks and to help keep the temps a little more stable. Rectangle Automotive lighting Gas Tints and shades Glass
The final adjustment made was for te humidity. I have some small dishes graduating in size. If I need more humidity I add more water until the dish flows over into the next larger dish. Flooring Floor Wood Material property Automotive lighting
So there she is only a slight but if fine tuning to get it fully dialed in.
Hoping that my next batch is a bit better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
My apologies for the double pictures.. I typed this from my iPhone which has a broken screen and it's hard to see what all I type and what pictures get uploaded.
 

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You are one stubborn human. :) If this doesn't work then I don't know why it went wrong. It should work. I really don't see any reason why it wouldn't.

One modification is going to be needed though, the diffuser. When the chicks hatch they will need a finer mesh to move around on, the holes in the diffuser are much too big. So, keep that in mind.

Like the idea of the jars filled with water, that was a great idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Stubborn and hard working as an ox. That's what my pops says anyways.. Haha.
I like to experiment and build things, it keeps me busy. But more so I hate defeat, and I will keep trying until I am successful.
Once I go to lockdown, I have a as metal screen, almost like hardware cloth that I will place over the plastic diffuser. It simply has not been cut to fit yet.
I found the GFCI issue I encountered last time was due to lazy wiring, I have fixed that, by properly soldering the wires and then capping with electric connectors. All if the wire connections are not outside the incubator keeping them from the humidity within.
 

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I thought there was a reason that circuit popped. Glad you were able to isolate it. Almost every time I had one pop it was due to moisture which is the reason I asked before.

I get stubborn and not willing to give up. The challenge of ferreting out where the problem is and how to fix it. Drives my husband nuts.

Glad you saw that too. Can you imagine newly hatched chicks dealing with those big holes? When you do the mesh either tack it or have it curl down over the edges. I had chicks get caught on the edge of the small hardware cloth grid in the GQF and had to tack it flat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As if now the ambient temps are around 101. I placed a temp probe inside a water weasel and it's reading 96.
I feel as though the thermostat needs to be lower, closer to the heat source then what I have it at now.
 

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I need to think on that a while. If its struggling to keep the temp at egg level then you might need to adjust it. How many fans are you using? And where is it or they located? If you look at most bators the fan is located at the heat source.

The weasel will take time to come to the surrounding temp. The great thing about those is that it gives you a better read on the temp inside of the egg. But I guess you knew that since you're giving it a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There is one fan currently blowing directly over the one light bulb. Once I get a second fan, it will go in te opposite corner, blowing directly over the light bulb.
The bator has been running all day and the temp in the weasel is still at 96. Steady, where as the ambient temp of the cooler has been as low as 95 and as high as 106.
I moved my bimetal thermostat closer to the light bulb level. I should have the second fan plugged in and functioning tomorrow, both bulbs will be running at that time
 

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Depending the accuracy of the probe thermo you're using, then that is the temp you would find inside of the egg. Having the highs and lows is pretty common with forced air incubators. And the average from low temp to high should be the inside temp of the eggs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
And the cooler is not the most thermally insulated. I moved the thermo a bit lower, dropped 2 degrees of fluctuation.
By the morning I will have a better picture of what adjustments are needed
 

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Hope you get it worked out well! Mine only has one fan, but I built it out of an oak cabinet that I insulated. Just make sure the light bulbs arnt so strong the "cook" the eggs. I have two 75 watt, but my bator may be bigger or smaller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The bulbs being used are 40w incandescent.
I am under the impression the probe being used is as good as the rest of the thermometers. I think that based on when the prob is next to the thermometer it reads the same temp.
With that would I be better to adjust the temps up until the water weasel is at 99.5, or just try to keep the ambient temps at 99.5
 

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For mine, I just have a $10 Walmart thermometer that measures humidity. On my rack where the eggs sit prior to lockdown, I keep a pretty good 99.5, but a shelf lower where some go for hatching, is readers a degree or two lower. I uses a wafer thermostat and normally get 80% or greater hatch when I exclude any infertile eggs. I usually set 82 at a time, and hatch my own, plus others at times I pick up locally, or get shipped in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Things stabilized over night, there is a cool spot, but that will go away once the second light bulb can be screwed in.
I have an instant read thermometer for cooking candies and such, it is calibrated for the altitude I live at and is within .2 degrees of true.
It was reading 99.8, which is pretty close to what I'm looking for.
All my other thermometers in the cooler back up the instant read with temps from 99.3 up to 101. Just how's how different the thermometers can be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for looking. I think it's good to go. Temps vary slightly, but as I see it, a 3 degree fluctuation is not too bad. And I am thinking once the 2nd bulb and fan go in that it will steady out even more..
99-102 is about where it's at now, with one cold spot where the 2bd bulb and fan are going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Got the second light installed as well as a small fan to move air over the second bulb. Temps are stable and the lights are rarely on now, where before the light was on more then off.
Things are stable and the bator has eggs in it. I'm eggcited for this one, it feels promising.
 
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