Sunday, September 13, 2009

My $13 Incubator!!!

Hey Folks!
I built my incubator today! Now,  I KNOW I said I wasn't going to do it until  spring when I needed it..but Father and I were at the building supply store today...and I got eveything I needed.  I got some stuff for free..and since I had all the stuff..well...I just couldn't help myself!!
Here it is!
Now here is the material list...
One shrub cone from the garden centre.
This is about 26 inches tall..which is good because it gets cut down.
One dollar store extension cord $1
One short roll duct tape ( dollar store) $1
One Light socket $1.39
One wire BBQ wrack ( from Dollar store )$2
One role electrical tape $.59
One 12 volt fan from an old computer ( free)
One 12 volt covverter cord from and old cordless phone set ( free)
1/4 sheet of  1 inch styrofoam insulation $1.75
On sheet of  glass and matting from a Yards sale Picture frame. $1
One regular 40 or 25 watt ( not sure yet..but 60 is to hot) light bulb from an old lamp. ( free)
One thermometer  From My old fridge ( free)
2 lolly pop sticks ( free)
Total? $12.72
Husbands Advice?
Here is how it all came together...
Measure where you want to cut..I cut about 9 inches up from the bottom!
Score with a utility knife and cut off bottom with serated steak knife.
Slide the bottom INSIDE the top to the height you will want you wrack to with duct tape inside and out!
Not Pretty but it works!!
Set wire wrack  UPSIDE DOWN on ledge made by the inserted bottom of cone..As you can see..the cone was not "square" so I added two blocks of styrofoam insulattion to add support to the wrack and fill in the gaps.  Put a small flat bottomed plastic dish in bottom to be later filled with water for humidity. Secure wrack with Duct tape to the ledge.  The reason I have insisted on the wire wrack being upside it had a slight bowed curve to it and the eggs would have rolled to the edges...also..the cross braces will help keep the eggs in place.
( I am NOT and electrician!!! Please consult one if you have any doubts about the safety of this project)
Cut the female end off the extension cord..
Poke the cut end through a hole  to the  inside of styrofoam container about six inches about wrack..pull cord through..
Split the cord down the middle where the crease is.. about 3 inches in length.
Strip each side of the cord so that about a half inch of copper wire is showing..and secure on side of the wire under the silver screw..the other under the brass screw..(make sure you have twisted the copper wires together on eash side and there are no stray wires)
Tighten down screws securely...cover connections with a double layer of electrical tape to be safe.
Pull cord gently back out, guiding your light fixture with other hand..
I used to metal clips from a couple of plastic clothes pegs to secure it..poking the clips into the styrofoam..
Then secure with Duct tape.
( Red Green would LOVE me)
Next I installed the fan.
If you look will see that the fan has 3, black and white.
The 12 volt electrical converter plug has a cord with 2 cut the small end off the 12 volt converter plug... Pass the cut end through a tiny whole  poked into styrofoam about six inches from wire wrack..but at opposite end from where the light is( It will face the light and help to circulate the air evenly through the container)..pulling the cord INTO the container.. split and strip the cord as above.
NOTICE  this 12 volt converter plug  cord when split, One side of the cord will be solid black..the other will have a fine white stripe.  This is important to note!!
With the FAN wires..strip the RED and BLACK wires a quarter inch... exposing the wire. The white wire is ( or should be Nutrel) Cover the end of the white wire with a tab of electrical tape...completely covering the end..bend out of the way..Twist the Black fan wire and the wire exposed from the Black side of the converter wire..together...cover completely with electrical tape..leaving NO wire exposed..cover..with a second layer of electrical tape to be safe...
Twist together the expose wire from the RED fan the exposed wire from the WHITE stripe side of the converter cord...cover completely with electrical tape..then cover it again to be safe...ALL exposed wire should be covered and in no danger of bumping into each other! If you do NOT wish to use just electrical tape..use little marrets to connect wires..then cover with tape to be safe! SAFE being the key word!
Test by plugging in...When fan is running..make sure you face it in the direction of the light bulb...I secured mine to the side of..but out from, the wall of the container with lolly pop sticks..I poke these into the screw holes at two corners of the fan..and secured with electrical tap..then poked through the stryofoam wall...the fan is at least an inch out from the that it can draw air to blow at the light. 
You can't see the other lolly is in the lower opposite corner.
Add a thermometer ON the MUSt be level with the eggs.
The temp needs to be 100-103 F This 60 watt bulb is to strong...but it is there for demonstraion can JUST see the  clear plastic dish in the bottom for water...this will easily be filled with a sports bottle or household watering can.
Lay a 1/4 sheet of one inch styrofaom insulation on top of container and outline around the top with a marker. Score and cut the top to fit exactly over top of container.  Using a utility knife..score and cut away a half inch thickness on the underside of the lid...make this one inch INWARDS, all the way around the under side of the lid...thus letting the lid sit IN the container..but stay snugly on top...
When the lid is in place...Set your Picture matting on top of the lid..outline the outside frame AND the inside..
( Hubby made the lid for me)
Again using a utility knife..carefully score and cut out the INSIDE frame of the matting space. Then score and cut away a quarter inch depth from the the inside of the outside frame line.
This making a recessed frame to set in your glass.
Place glass into recess..
ANd cover with the matting...securing by sliding some metal slips or even popsicle sticks into syrofoam corners. If you don't have those..duct tape will do..but hubby did this it LOOKs more professional than my work!
This is your "Viewing" window...SOme websites maintain that you need vet holes to vent off the gasses that developing embryos give off...but as eggs will be turned 3 times a day..and I have to lift the lid off to do this...I see no need.
Look at those strong hands!
And there it IS!!
This incubator will hold up to 24 eggs!~
These are from the fridge and used only as a visual aid.
I will being buying a 25 watt bulb which I will test for temp...if that does not work I will try a 40 watter...whichever works...I will Let you know as soon as I have that info..
I have built an incubator beofre..but not with this amount of ease..It looks and sounds complicated...BUT..Building this incubator took no more than 2 hours start to finish!
 Come the spring when I actually use it..I will Document the whole process from collecting the eggs to the hatching just for you!
Stayed tuned!!
I made some adjustments to my incubator..a 40 watts bulb was to hot and a 25 not hot enough..I settled for the 40 and added several vent holes to stabilize the temp..I will keep you posted.

1 comment:

Half Acre Homestead said...

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