Monday, July 28, 2008

2 steps closer...

I put a wanted post on freecycle for a computer fan and a hygrometer, and today someone offered me a fan! Thats one less thing I have to find, and it means that there will be no hot and cold spots in the incubator. She is sending it to me in the post :D. (Thanks Jen!)

I have also marked up the wood I'm going to use, I could have had a 50x24x24cm box using just 1 sheet, but I'm using chipboard for the base so how to will be just over 50X30x30cm.
The wood got wet at the bottom (right) but when its varnished it'll b ok.
Now I just need to cut that and the perspex and then I can start to put it all together.
(Oh and the ebay seller emailed and has posted the thermostat :D)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Finally decided

I am the proud new owner of a thermostat. It is one of the assembled models like the ones from Maplins.
Someone recommended asking for the thermistor (temperature sensor) to be on a longer piece of wire so that the main part of the termostat doesn't have to be inside the incubator, and this ebay seller had already thought of that so I bought this one.
The seller provided a simple image of the wiring needed to be done to wire it up in an incubator.
It cost £11 + £2.50 P&P, which is quite good.
I went to the shops today and I bought hinges, door handles and magnets to keep the door shut.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


I have been planning to use a room thermostat to control the bulbs inside my incubator, but I don't think they are suitable anymore.

Most of them only go up to 30-35 degrees C, and I need 37.5 degrees C, also the hysteresis (range that the temperature fluctuates) isn't always very good on room thermostats, and eggs need to be kept at a tight temperature.

So now I am either thinking of buying a reptile thermostat off eBay, looking at around £20-30. I know they are good as I have one for Hughie (pictured right), his is a HabiStat Dimming Thermostat.
They only go up to 34 degrees celsius, but to get around this you can put the sensor probe in a cooler part of the incubator, but as there is a fan, there shouldn't really be a cooler part of the incubator.

There is always one of the PCB thermostats (left) which I could use. I won't go for the unassembled ones, as I'm not good at soldering, but you can buy assembled ones. I should be able to wire the thermostat to a heat source and power supply. They run off 12 volts.

I also need to buy a hygrometer, they measure humidity. You can get digital ones (left) or analogue ones. The digital ones are more expensive but I prefer them because they seem more accurate and they also normally have a temperature reading on them too. They need to have a sensor probe on them, and that has to measure humidity, not just the temperature.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Incubator Plans 2

I've coloured in and labelled the drawings to see what it should eventually look like.

It is made of wood; has 2 doors, one to get the main part with eggs in, one to get to the water pan; has a perspex viewing window; 2 light bulbs to provide heat.
I may put in it a small computer fan to provide circulation and keep constant heat throughout, I may also use a thermostat but haven't decided which type yet.
The eggs sit on the mesh which you can see in the second picture.

The 3D, labelled and coloured in versions of:
the front with both doors closed
and the inside with neither of the doors on.

I already have wood and perspex from building chickens + tortoises houses, so I will be using that to build it out of.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Incubator Plans

I've started to draw up the plans for my Incubator.

The Front with the doors closed:
The inside with no door on:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Mine will be made of wood, be heated by light bulbs, have a water pan in it to make sure it has enough humidity etc.
I'm using 2 bulbs just in case 1 of them blows when I'm out or asleep, so the other one will still be on and keep the eggs warm.

I'm still not sure of what to control the light bulbs with. Hughie the tortoise has one of these to control his light bulb but I payed about £50 for that so they are a bit on the expensive side.

Then there are these which dim normal lamps, so I'd just have to turn it on, find the right temperature and leave the bulb on all the time.

JamesH on the Omlet forum showed me this which is a thermostat from Maplins, only £5.99, but they need soldering and I don't trust myself to do that. But it's always a possibility.

Or I could try a room thermostat.

So I'm a bit confused.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What type?

There are loads of types to choose from, R-com incubators look good but they are really expensive. £60 is the cheapest and that's only for 3 eggs :O. They go up to £280 for 20 eggs.

The more I read I think I'll make an Incubator myself. The easiest looks to make one from wood, but there are other things like, should I have a fan, how big to make it, what to heat it with etc. I don't want to spend too much money on it, as I could buy a 2nd hand one, but making one would be more fun.

I've learnt quite a few things from looking at other peoples incubators and the Omlet Forum is really good for asking questions and seeing how other people do things.

Friday, July 18, 2008


So I've been thinking about it for a while now, and instead of buying in some quail, and having all this time spare during the holidays, I would like to hatch some.
I've been reading about all sorts of incubators on tinternet. Now for some serious reading to decide what I want to make it out of.

So far I've seen wooden, plastic, cool box, polystyrene, cardboard box, and even aquarium homemade incubators, and also the 100's of incubators that you can buy.

My Quail