Bar fridge incubator in a day

Discussion in 'DIY Zone' started by R1MAN, Oct 4, 2012.

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  1. R1MAN

    R1MAN Active Member

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    Hi herpers

    Here are my efforts after abit of google, youtube, some bad past experience, some great past experience, an old bar fridge, a trip to bunnings, and plenty of beers.

    Firstly i gutted the fridge of all hardware internal and external (compressor, condenser, evaporator) to free up space and weight. The hole left from the pipework going into the fridge was utilised for the electrics and air pipe (later explained). I also attached 4 x caster wheels onto the back so i could then lay it down and move it around easily.
    (this is the orientation from now on for description of top (door) and bottom (back wall of fridge)).

    Next i constructed a square frame out of pvc piping and elbows that fitted into the bottom and i fed the heat cord in through the pipework hole and wrapped it around the frame to cover the floor in an even manner. On top of this i placed cheap oven trays to support 3 x foil trays to hold water as a thermal mass.

    Next I added a pvc air tube through the pipework hole and into one of the water trays with an aquarium air stone on the end and an air pump externally. I thought that this was I neat idea that introduces fresh air into the incubator (no more need for waving fresh air every few days) and also atomises the water in that tray to lift the humidity that little bit extra.

    Above the water trays are 2 bars that suspend 2 computer fans mounted diagonally to circulate the air. The bars also hold the next layer of oven trays that hold the egg containers. The oven trays are a temporary measure until I can find a suitable mesh grid that will be solid and fine enough to not allow any new baby snakes from falling down to the water containers.

    Lastly i put a perspex lid on it all that sits just under the closed door with a tight seal. This serves as a veiwing window when the door is opened and will not expose the incubator to any undue heat loss each time the door is opened.

    Let me know what you all think and i will report back on this yrs stock in the new incubator
     

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  2. Justdragons

    Justdragons Very Well-Known Member

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    that looks great, how much was your build roughly? do you run a thermostat? I think you will get a bit in there ay.
     
  3. Pinoy

    Pinoy Very Well-Known Member

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    Interesting design :).
    Will be keen to hear the results. Quick question, sparked by your design. As you've used the water filled trays as a heat mass, could you fill the bottom with water and use an aquarium heater to heat the water rather than using the heat cord? Would that work in the same way or would that make it too humid?
     
  4. bigjoediver

    bigjoediver Well-Known Member

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    Vaguely remember a few threads where people did use aquarium heaters with some success
     
  5. Snowman

    Snowman Guest

    Nice work. I like fridge incubators, I made one last year and it got 100% hatch rate.
     
  6. R1MAN

    R1MAN Active Member

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    Thanks. The fridge was in the shed so can't really say but most rubbish dumps have areas for whitegoods so as you dont need it working that would be a cheap place to start. So the only cost was the heat cord (any will do, I used zoo med which was about $30 I think for the length I needed. Once I had my pvc frame i used a piece of string wrapped around it to get my length required). I do use a thermostat that is a dimming type with all the features that you could ask for with individual day/night temps, and an outlet for daytime lighting with internal programmable timer. Also has an adjustable alarm for over/under temperature. I have the fans and air pump on the light outlet on 24hr setting and the heatcord on 24hr for 30.5c. I can even tell you the brand as it was an ebay item from china but with all the features of the best microclimate system all for $60. the airpump, pipe and stone was all under $20 and the fans were old ones i had lying around but am pretty sure they are pretty cheap from jaycar / dick smith. So all up it cost me just over $100 but you could use a cheaper thermostat as well.
    I also have a digital hydrometer and thermometer in there for double checking.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I suppose you could use that approach but as I'm not familiar with aquarium set ups I'm not sure if you would get the required thermal output around the eggs and have no idea of aquarium heater reliability or temperature fluctations. Not sure of price either. Probably worth looking into if anyone knows if this is a better method. As for too humid i suppose that comes down to the species locality and regular inspections of the eggs. I suppose with that method I can't think of an easy way to lower the humidity if it was too high where as with mine i can just remove the water trays as needed. I think i just answered my own question lol

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    Good work! hope i get the same. I have bhp eggs in there now but have a clutch of 100% albino carpet eggs going in shortly. fingers crossed
     
  7. southy

    southy Subscriber Subscriber

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    looks good. id be curious to see how long those fans last and the electical connections with all that humidity and water around, may end up ruining the bearing in the fan or water shorting between the connections. just a thought.. best of luck with any eggs!
     
  8. R1MAN

    R1MAN Active Member

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    Thanks Southy. I'm a sparky so soldered the connections and insulated. As for the fans they are brushless sleeve bearing type with expected 54000hr life (same type used in some small refrigerators) so will report back if they die an early age
     
  9. gravo123

    gravo123 Not so new Member

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    good job good job
     
  10. BIGBANG

    BIGBANG Well-Known Member

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    great job mate, its a fair size ey', fit a clutch of ostrich eggs in there and still have room to swing a cat.......bloody ripper.
     
  11. R1MAN

    R1MAN Active Member

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    So far so good, looks like 100% hatch rate on the Albino carpets in the new incubator

    - - - Updated - - -

    btw the fans have run 24/7 since the build without missing a beat
     

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  12. Dan40D

    Dan40D Active Member

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    Good work, congrats on the hatchies.

    Can you see through the perspex window or is there too much humidity and condensation to see through. In some of the pics it looks pretty foggy.
     
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