Pickle-jar heater (incubator version)

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By Brettiejams (Brettiejams) on Sunday, February 03, 2002 - 02:57 am:

First off, this is a variation of the Marx2k Pickle Jar Heater Tek already here in the archives. This is just a little refinement I came up with to make it extremely well suited for incubation purposes.

When I first made the Mark2k Pickle jar heater The hole I made in the lid for the heater to go in wasn't very snug, and this resulted in a lot of moisture and humidity in my incubator. That is fine for a fruiting chamber, but for an incubator this is undesireable. I needed to find a way to make a good seal between the lid and the heater, this is what I came up with.
heater and lid.

I bought the cheapest fish tank heater they had at Wal-Mart(10.95) and a large jar of pickles.

If you notice in the picture there is a black "washer" mounted in the center of the lid from the pickle jar. This "washer" actually came with the heater, it used to have a suction cup attached to it and was meant to hold the heater up against the glass in a fish tank. I simply cut the suction cup part off with an x-acto knife and I was left with a "washer" that fits around the heater perfectly.

Next you need to drill a hole in the lid that is just slightly smaller than the outside of the "washer". If you have a lot of drill bits you might have one that works nicely, but if you don't(I didn't), there is no need to worry. Just bring the lid and the "washer" to the nearest machine shop(look in yellow pages)and tell whoever works there what you need done. They drilled me the hole for 3 bucks.

Once the hole is drilled, work the "washer" into the hole, it should be a tight fit. Then run a bead of clear silicone around the washer on both sides of the lid to protect the lid from rusting and seal things up nicely.

The heater will fit so tightly that a little hole will be required in the lid to vent the pressure that builds up or the heater will be forced up and out of the water. I drilled the hole(same size as I use for innoculation holes), but you could also use a hammer and nail to punch a small hole.

Last I applied a little clear nail polish that I borrowed from my wife to both sides of the hole to prevent the lid from rusting.

This is what it looks like all together...
incubator heater

Ive been using this baby in a little ice chest for a heat source... and the ice chest stays bone dry. The ice chest and heater together make for a pretty cheap (20 bucks total for heater, and 10 or 12 for the ice chest) and nifty incubator. Heck, if you used a a styrofoam ice-chest, you could build the whole incubator for 25 bucks, easy.

Bretties incubator

My P.F. Jars love it!


By relic (Relic) on Sunday, February 03, 2002 - 05:24 am:

nice work brettie.

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