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Old 07-03-2012, 02:43 PM
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Default Pimp my fridge ( a incubator how too )

Ok first just to say sorry to the people that were waiting for this last year I did intend to get this up sooner but
my self and my fiancé lost our baby and it took a bit of time to get back on track with the snakes and every thing ells.


Here it is at long last

Pimp my fridge


This is a how too on how I converted my old fridge over to fan assisted ceramic heated incubator.

Some notes before I begin:

First, This is what I consider a good interpretation of an idea from both a book ( The Complete Ball Python by Kevin McCurley ) and from my brother ( a big fat guy with bold head ) there will be a lot of you that think this is over the top and there will be some that love the idea, but no matter what this is how I do it because I don’t like heat mats lots of you do and I know they work fine but I just don’t like having hot and cold spots and this gave me some thing to do.

Second, sheet metal is not cheap it costs a bomb its not for every one and it’s a pig to work with when you don’t have the tools but I work with the stuff every day of my life and I have the machinery to hand to do what ever I want and I get this all done for free… this is just scrap metal out the bin in work. So if you cant get metal then use wood or plastic. Also try and get a fridge with clean flat sides inside.

Third, this will hatch any thing... even Chickens.

And last of all so long as what you make works and dose the job who cares? And on that note please feel free to post your own conversions and even how too guides in this thread

  • Ok first off you need to rip every thing out, I didn’t get no pix of this as it speaks for its self.

  • Next take the door off and mark out the size of the window you want to put in, in truth its not needed but it looks cool. Once you have marked out the window drill a hole in each corner but put them inside of the box you marked out as there where your going to start to cut your windows hole. I used a jig saw for this with a 24tpi blade in. then cleaned the edges up with a fine file. In my case I had to rip the inside of the door to bits so as it could close once the shelf’s were in then had to rebuild it. Sorry once again no pic on this step by step but it looked like this once done.

out side

inside


  • Once the door is cut and fitted out put it back on to work out where the shelf’s will have to sit to allow the door to shut, you want to do this so as the shelf’s touch the door when closed this will control air flow later on.

  • Before you think about putting the shelf’s in look at the inside and see if the slides are flat or if like mine there not even. If you have uneven sides bolt or screw some wood, plastic or metal to the sides to clean them up and make your life easier in the first pic you can see I placed packers around the edge of where the fake sides will sit so as too keep it all even. While your at this work out where the heat bulb will be so as you know how much room you have for your shelf’s and put the bulb in place.

Heat bulb fitted with a top hat formation Bracket. Note the packers I have placed on Sides to help hold the side panel’s in place and heat resistant cable fitted.


when your working out the self size mark out where they will be and the spacing between each also pre drill the holes and add Any back wall support your going to use.Remember this is air assisted and the shelf’s Need to be off set, I off set them by 60mm


With some luck and planning it should look some thing like this.


  • Once you have your sides in place or if your side were nice and flat with nothing in the way its time too fit the fake wall. Do this before you try and fit any shelf’s as you wont get it in once the shelf’s are in place

Should look a bit like this

  • Fake wall fitted and ceramic in place with cable you can now start to add in your shelf’s supports . To do this I used some 90deg folded aluminum brackets and just screwed them in place with 3mm x12mm pan head screws. Like so


  • Hold up stop thinking of the shelf’s, you need to get the fans fitted now. Ok this is not easy as I don’t know how your going to do this but I made up two plates at work to mount 7 60mm fans on each. Every fan can move up to 17.4 cubic feet per min so 14 of them that’s 243.6 cubic feet per min... i think.? ever been in a F6 hurricane? Well if you run them at full power the poor eggs your putting in there will know what it feels like that’s why we use a dimmer. The idea here is too move a lot of air but slow and even that’s why I use so many.

This is the fan mounting bracket I made at work


and this is it with fans bolted on easy yeah


  • Ok now too fit them you will want one at the top and one at the bottom if you have a lot of shelf’s in there, if not then just one set at the top should do. The top set you want to blow air back into the incubator and down over the heater the bottom set if your using one will suck the air out from the back and into the unit.

Sorry to say I’m not going to tell you how to wire this up as it is down to you but ill tell you what you need in a bit.

Hmm ow yeah in this pick I forgot the fans can only go one way so I had to turn the bottom set round


  • Ok before you put the shelf’s in you need to wire up the fans and get the cables to where they need to be, like I said I’m not telling you how as if you burn your house down or get a jolt of this later you aint blaming me lol.

So you will need some low voltage wire I used speaker wire 30 meters was about £10 so you have loads spare when you realise you did this wrong. Some 15 amp terminal blocks will be needed or a good set of crimpers and crimps. Please note the fans will be DC so they can only spin one way.

  • Ok all done what took you so long? Lets get them shelf’s in. remember you have to off set them.. Like this…

Ha-ha look at my drawing skills with paint




Note the shelf are set back and forth to allow air to Flow over each of them in turn this will give you super even temps. also at this time my shelf's were not held in place... that's why one has moved.


this is with the air flow guides they look like half pipes at the back so as too help air flow. also at this time i didnt have it in place but i have added some mesh to go over the gaps left in case a snake finds its way to the blades.

  • Ok well that’s the inside of the unit all done. Next is hooking up the power and the thermostat once again I’m not telling how but ill tell what you need.

Ok left to right, thermostat with probe, 12v 8A dimmer, 240 too 12v mains dropper. ok this really matters, if you using the dropper and not a power pack you need the droppers out put power too be 12v and more amps than you fans add up too. I.e. my fans are 0.4 amps so 0.4 x 14 = 5.6 amps so my dropper needs to be more than this total.


  • Ok how these will work. 240v-12v dropper wire with a normal plug and fuse. Next wire the dropper to the dimmer the voltage is now only 12v so you can use some more of that speaker wire if you like, next wire the fans into the dimmer. Now what you have made here is a transformer just like the kids have on there model trains but with the benefit of safe around the clock use with out over heating. Next thermostat. work out where you want it wire up the heat unit and the probe and wire this up with an earthed mains lead.
    Now if you want to you can just use a habistat pulse proportional thermostat its just as good but cost a lot more and you need to sit there for a day or two to get the right temp. but what ever you do use a pulse stat not on off as the temp will swing more.
This is mine.


All done


My pimped fridge





now post your own ones in this thread. no matter how you have made it as people are always asking for a how too so why not place all the types of incubators in the one thread

enjoy
shane
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Last edited by spider shane; 07-03-2012 at 02:56 PM..
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:27 PM
Egg
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I'm impressed mate! I was thinking about making a fridge incubator for the upcoming season but wasn't to keen on just heat mats and stat, luckily I work for a little engineering firm so can get the shelves and body made up! Idea stolen .
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:20 PM
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the idea is free too own. it great being an engineer lol
and thank you

just to add i have been running this for a week now and the temps have not moved, not even 0.1c unless i open the door.... eggs due in about 3 weeks so i got it done just in time.
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:45 PM
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Here's mine. I made it from a plywood box insulated by polystyrene and heated by 2 50W heat cables on a pulse stat. 2 x 4" fans circulate the heat and it also doesn't drop 0.1 of a degree unless I open the door.





It works pretty well!!!


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Old 09-03-2012, 06:03 PM
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too barlow.
what ever that is hatching i want one lol.

yeah im thinking on building my own box next time as i could do what ever i wanted then.

any way what are they as there really cute... they look a bit like ackie monitors.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:03 PM
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Not one i made, i bought it off some guy who was selling off all his snake room . Had it running a while now it holds the temps pretty good.

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Old 12-03-2012, 10:11 AM
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Very impressive but a hell of a lot of work just to incubate eggs when you can do it wth a poly box half full of water, an aqaurium water heater, a thermometer and a plastic sandwich box filled with vermiculite but well done anyway; each to their own
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Replika View Post
Very impressive but a hell of a lot of work just to incubate eggs when you can do it wth a poly box half full of water, an aqaurium water heater, a thermometer and a plastic sandwich box filled with vermiculite but well done anyway; each to their own

not that much work really.
and when you need to incubate over 100 eggs at a time a poly box is kinda small. lol
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spider shane View Post
not that much work really.
and when you need to incubate over 100 eggs at a time a poly box is kinda small. lol
Good point well made. Excellent bit of kit though. How long did it take to make it and how difficult to replace the ceramic if it packs up as it seems very well hidden round the back?
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Old 13-03-2012, 12:38 PM
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to replace the bulb i just unscrew the back wall and it drops down.
to build it was about 2-3 days once i got started, the hold ups were when some thing didnt fit and i had to make a new bit at work.

if you were to bulid your own box then i would say not even a day as you wouldnt be working around the design of a fridge and there would be nothing to get in the way.
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