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FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Does the incubator fan need to run continuously? Why does it have a switch?
Yes, it is essential that the equal temp fan runs continuously.
You may switch the fan off for no more than one minute when opening the door, to conserve heat and humidity .
Do NOT operate the incubator any longer without the fan running. This will cause damage by overheating.
Wire-sheathing will melt as will plastic switches and vital components such as the controller. 
If the fan shows ANY signs of wear or fatigue, shut down the incubator safely and replace the fan.

Where is the best position for the sensors? 
The Humidity Sensor (oblong box with slots) is best placed beneath the egg rack's top rail .
Face it downwards.  If it is left in the path of the air blown by the fan, it will read low.

The Temperature Sensor (thin pencil shaped) is best placed high inside the cabinet.
Here it will govern the heater and prevent dangerous overheating should the fan malfunction.

What will happen if the incubator runs out of water?
The humidifier will not distinguish that the tray is empty.
It will continue heating the `air’ in the water pan
In a very short time the humidifier heater will heat up the air in the cabinet
This will cause damage by overheating.
Wire-sheathing will melt as will plastic switches and vital components such as the controller.
Do NOT operate the incubator without water.

What are the recommended settings?
Each breeder has his or her own ideas. Settings vary for species, and breeds within species 
Between 37.3oC & 37.7oC and 45 & 55% Relative Humidity while Incubating
Between 37.0oC & 37.6oC and 55 & 90% RH while hatching.
For a full list of `benchmark' settings contact Greatlander.
If the `WET' LED is not cycling On & Off you should reduce the RH setting
Turn the Humidity Sensor away from the fan

How do I check my probes for accuracy? I want to be sure about my settings. 
Each set has its sensor calibrated for instrument-error at Greatlander Qld
That calibration is eneterd on your settings sheet, with a copy kept on record

To check the temperature of the air at the eggs, place another thermometer there without eggs.
If the Temp probe needs further calibration, read F5 on Page 5 of the user manual.

To check the humidity probe, you will need a spoonful of table salt and a plastic bag.
Combine enough water with the salt so it clumps.
Place it in a sealed bag with the humidity probe. (Keep the salt out of the probe).
The top right hand screen should soon read 70%RH (+or- 1 or 2 percentage points)
If the humidity probe needs calibration, read F6 on Page 5 of the user manual.
 

 How long will the incubator take to settle down from a cold start?
That depends on the ambient temperature and humidity and to a lesser extent,
on the size of the cabinet.
Temperature normally settles itself out once the heater sheds all latent heat.
High humidity may need to be purged from the cabinet via the door.

 What are the black plugs?
The black grommets are vents. They are used to ventilate the set especially in warm weather.

Why does the water in my humidity tank turn cloudy, murky, frothy? Is this harmful?
If you are on town water you are not likely to have this problem.
However, tank water and some town may cause any or all of the above.
Have your water analysed - Seek advice about treating it.

The most common complaint is a rust residue from acidic water
A little pool chlorine will prevent rust and remove light rust residue  

To explain it, Greatlander incubators perform an air-change every 2 hours, All-Hatchers every 30 minutes
Humidity is airborne, so following each air-change, fresh humidity has to be re-made.
Consequently Greatlander machines go through a lot of water
As water transitions to humidity, it leaves impurities safely behind
If impurities are significant and not treated, the water soon turns excessively acidic/alkali/metallic …


I fill my gravity header tank from a bucket and it is difficult not to introduce dirt, etc?
If a large enough piece of dirt or grit makes its way to the float valve seat it will stop it from closing.
In that condition, the header tank will run out of water, discharging into the water tray.
The water tray will overflow into the incubator and onto the floor.
In a very short time the humidifier will run out of water.
The heater will heat up the air in the tray. This will cause damage by overheating.
Sheathing of wires will melt as will plastic switches and vital components such as the controller.
If you have dirty water, fit some filtering material to the water-entry in the gravity tank. 

Is there a correct way to place eggs in the trays?
You should place eggs blunt end up. The blunt end contains the air sac. 
Some eggs are more elliptical than oval. To locate their air sac use a candling light (a small LED torch).
If you do not have enough eggs to completely fill a tray, arrange the eggs so trays are balanced.
Think of a `see-saw' ... start placing eggs in the middle and work out to the front and rear edges.

Is there an easy way to load/unload  trays into the incubator?
Loading and unloading are done after first manually turning the egg cradles to the horizontal position.
To initiate a manual turn, see Page 5 of the manual.
If you have calibrated F2, return the rack to trip the limit switch then back it away for a second.

Where should I place my incubator?
Ideally, indoors in a room where there are no extreme changes in temperature and humidity.

Avoid cold draughts in cold weather.
Avoid `stuffy' still air in warm weather


In warm weather take steps to prevent overheating.
Avoid north and west facing walls in metal sheds ... south wall is best
Open some vents - the exhaust fan purges hot air - open vents prevent it trying to pull a vacuum
Provide a gap of 30cm behind the exhaust fan 
Open windows and doors to prevent hot air from lingering behind the exhaust fan  
Create a draught by having a fan on  a timer to come on in the middle of the day.
Aim the fan to `sweep' hot air away from the exhaust fan aperture
Use the mister on hot days. The evaporative effect of the micro-mist cools the set 

Is there a failsafe method for backing-up the operation of the Limit Switches?
The F2 Value should be fine-tuned to match the duration of your rack's movement.
To do the Fine-Tuning, Set F1 to 1 ... and set F2 to 40.
This will initiate a rack turn about every 1 and 3/4 minutes.
Observe when the rack reaches the limit switches AND the `UP' `DOWN' LED lights.
Adjust the value of F2 so the LEDs go out just as the rack reaches the Limit Switches.
Record this value for later use. (Each rack varies slightly).
The aim is to have the controller shut the power as the rack is about to trip a limit switch.
Restore F1 to 90 minutes
Now when you perform manual turns, instead of leaving the rack horizontal, you should turn it until
it trips one of the limit switches then turn it back briefly so it is away and on its way back to the
opposite limit switch. This process sets the controller up with the direction of the `next’ turn in addition
to resuming the `timed’ turns from the correct starting point.
Do this periodically. The turning mechanism may `drift' to one side over a period of time.  
 Check the duration of the turn. It may lengthen over time due to tension and new slack

I am concerned about the chick fluff in my incubator. How do I clean it?

CAUTION! Chick Fluff is an excellent electrical conductor.

As airborne `dust’ it shortens the service-life of electrical components
The microscopic fibres readily form into strings which over-bridge segregations & terminal strips
The fibres are electrically-charged and will cling to each other and to plastic and metal components
Your fans partially pressurise the set, forcing minute fluff particles into small crevices and openings

 DANGER! Left to build up, chick fluff can cake on electrical components and cause an electrical fire

 At the end of each season please make absolutely sure that your machine is shut down properly, cleaned of chick fluff, and that it will restart safely

 At the start of each new season please make absolutely sure that your machine was shut down properly, cleaned of chick fluff, and that it will restart safely

  • To clean, first run your machine with the humidifier unplugged and without water for two hours
  • Unplug the cord from the wall and blow the machine thoroughly using compressed air
  • Do so again at the start of the new season 
  • Blow back each of the fans against their normal flow 
  • Blow down the small blue or brown capacitor on the turning motor 
  • Pull out the controller and remove the four small screws in the back corners
  • Push in the tabs on the sides of the box and slide back the slotted shroud
  • This will expose the circuit boards. 
  • Blow the circuit boards and the contactors between the circuit boards
  • Blow especially the heating and humidity contactors. Follow their tracks from terminals 19, 22, 24 

    When restarting, monitor the closely and ensure that the heating relays are switching on and off and that heating has stopped
    Check also with a test lamp that the humidity relay is switching on and off
    The test lamp should light up only whenever the small green `WET’ LED light is illuminated

 


 What if I am concerned about anything regarding the operation of the incubator?
Stop operating the incubator until your concerns have been resolved.
Cool it down safely - Consult your manual how - Contact the supplier.
Help may also be available in these FAQ answers.