Connect with us

Total noob building a mushroom incubator for oyster mushrooms!

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by moshingrobot, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. moshingrobot

    moshingrobot

    6
    0
    Oct 22, 2012
    Hello everyone! I just started messing around with building my own incubator. I watched a dozen or so youtube videos which led me to believe that I could use a water heater thermostat to make an incubator. The way they made a chicken egg incubator in the youtube video seemed really easy.... HOWEVER... the water heater thermostats only go from 90 degrees to 120 degrees.

    Mushroom mycelium (basically white stuff that forms before the actual mushroom develops) can't really deal with temps above 86 degrees...

    So, then I thought that maybe I could use one of those thermostats that you see inside of houses... well that's the other problem. You see, those don't work because the vast majority of digital thermostats do not use 120 or 240VAC, they run off of a 24VAC, which should be produced by an appropriate transformer. Apparently, I also need a relay which can take a 24VAC signal from the thermostat.

    So I am a bit screwed because I can't figure out how to wire something like this.

    To make it easy, I want to use regular parts that I can find at a lowes or a home depot or radioshack, and a reptile heating mat, or a lightbulb (whichever one is easier and less likely to malfunction).

    I was also thinking, and some might say this is dangerous, that I could just mess with one of those water heater thermostats and get the switch to go to a lower temperature. But, I haven't played around with one yet so I don't know if I can do that.

    So where do I start? If anyone can make a wiring diagram, I can probably figure it out, other than that, I am a noob when it comes to electronics.

    Thanks! And here is the youtube video that I was talking about.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
  2. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    4
    Apr 7, 2012
    What kind of temp range are you looking for?

    You can get pretty good regulation pretty easy with something as simple as a light bulb if the ambient temp is pretty consistent... I have done this with a 'brew' box for keeping the yeast happy as it turned my mash into fire water, nothing but a plywood box, in the basement with a light bulb, temp controlled by the wattage of the light bulb and possibly a vent or two... Or you can get fancy and hook up dimmer up to the bulb and dial it right into a specific temp...

    And on to chicken egg incubators, I had one as a child that amounted to a foam cooler with a small light bulb inside and a vent, it did the job...

    How big of an area? What are your final plans?
     
  3. moshingrobot

    moshingrobot

    6
    0
    Oct 22, 2012
    Plans

    This incubator will be housed in a 64qt plastic storage bin. The temps should range from 75-80 degrees with 86 being the max temp that it can go. A light bulb can easily reach 100 or more degrees, same with a heat pad in such a confined space. I prefer a heat pad as colonizing mycelium should not be lit. But then again, both the light and heat pad are going to be too hot. I tested it out in a plastic cooler with just a heat pad plugged in and it got to be around 110 - 120 degrees.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
  4. Raven Luni

    Raven Luni

    798
    7
    Oct 15, 2011
  5. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    9,131
    1,842
    Nov 17, 2011
    Put a lamp below the incubator, give the incubator a non-transparent bottom. Adjust the temperature by dimming the lamp or by using lamps of different power ratings (more effective).

    For regulating the temperature a kit like this could be just the right part. You will have a kind of very, very, really very slow pwm as the lamp is turned on and off to regulate the temperature.
     
  6. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    4
    Apr 7, 2012
    Sure it 'can' doesn't mean it will if designed properly... As I said I use a light bulb to temper a fermentation box, and I hold a near perfect and steady 80 or 85 degrees in that box... You can also get screw in heat bulbs like this that don't emit light...

    http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/TEMPCO-Edison-ScrewIn-Infrared-Heater-Bulbs-4TDD4

    Hook that up to a light dimmer (or tool speed control) and you can adjust the heat very easily... A few days of playing around and you will easily be able to dial it into a proper temp...

    If that is your choice get a light dimmer (or tool speed control) and dial it down...

    http://www.harborfreight.com/router-speed-control-43060.html

    Note the Wattage of the dimmer vs your heat source... The one I linked above should work on most anything, but many of the in line ones for lights are only good up to 300 Watts or so...
     
  7. JimW

    JimW

    59
    5
    Oct 22, 2010
  8. moshingrobot

    moshingrobot

    6
    0
    Oct 22, 2012
  9. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    4
    Apr 7, 2012
    Some websites suggest that thermostat can switch up to 5000 Watts @ 220V, since the most you will be switching in the US on a regular 110V plug in device is about 1500 Watts you should be fine...
     
  10. JimW

    JimW

    59
    5
    Oct 22, 2010
    For such a small enclosure, I would be using a standard 110V 15W light bulb. Maybe 25W. You could also wire it up to the heating pad.

    I haven't looked at the specs in detail, but it seems to have two contacts for the AC input (wired to the outlet on the wall), and then two switched outputs that would connect to the light bulb or heating element. The thermostat will switch the AC output on if the temp drops too low.

    -JimW
     
  11. moshingrobot

    moshingrobot

    6
    0
    Oct 22, 2012
  12. moshingrobot

    moshingrobot

    6
    0
    Oct 22, 2012
    Hey, have any of you gurus looked at this design? Is it terribad?
     
  13. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,174
    2,689
    Jan 21, 2010
    It simply doesn't make any sense to me.

    Your mains wiring seems wrong and I can't see how it would work.
     
  14. moshingrobot

    moshingrobot

    6
    0
    Oct 22, 2012
    ****.

    ****.
     
  15. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,174
    2,689
    Jan 21, 2010
    It looks like that you have connected two things in series from the mains. Then you drive a relay from one mains connection and the junction of the two other boxes.

    The wiring of the fan seems ok on the surface, I have no idea if you've picked the correct connections or not. I don't assume that's the relay you're using, and is that a mains operated relay?

    All very confusing.

    If I recall this thread, don't you need some sort of heater as well?

    I only replied because nobody else did and you seemed like you wanted a reply.

    Sorry.
     
Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day

-