JN-448 another cheap Chinese egg incubator

Discussion in 'Poultry, Domestic Livestock, Pets, & Bees' started by Mark, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Yesterday, my new and latest no name no brand cheap Chinese egg incubator arrived in the post!

    This incubator is different to my other failed Jn8-48 as it's much smaller for a start, has a different auto egg turning mechanism using rolling tubes instead of oscillating egg holders and has an easy open top lid rather than the top and bottom half design.

    I had said over the past several months since my Jn8-48 died that I would save my money and buy a top brand incubator such as the Brinsea Octagon with auto humidity but after mulling over the cost and knowing I was up for $750 (before postage) I decided to give another budget incubator one more chance...

    This incubator simply called "Automatic Incubator" was only $88 and I got it on eBay here (model number JN 448) and the reason I chose this one was because of the design. Most cheap incubators (even the made in USA ones) are built in two halves meaning the top half is also the lid and in my opinion this is a big design flaw because whenever you have to gain access to the inside it means basically removing or lifting the top half and in turn letting out all the warm air! Whereas this incubator has a small see through lid on the top which can be raised - this is so much better.

    incubator chinese no brand blue 400.jpg

    Also, cheap incubators are mainly cheap because of the outer materials the container is made of which is usually thin plastic. Expensive incubators are made from thick materials and have double glazed glass viewing windows etc. Therefore, cheap incubators need to be insulated manually to assist its heating element to maintain a constant stable temperature. This is usually done by placing the incubator into an insulated box or wrapping it in a doona or whatever especially if the incubator is kept in a room that has fluctuating temperatures. If no extra insulation is provided for the incubator its heating and fan will burn out quickly because they have to work too hard to maintain the perfect conditions required to incubate eggs.

    In most other cheap incubators removing the top half means removing the extra insulation and that's a pain but with this incubator it can remain all snug and wrapped up when inspecting eggs, retrieving chicks, or making other adjustments.

    Interestingly, I noticed this incubator actually came with clear instructions recommending to use the packaging foam and cardboard box it came with as extra insulation for operating it. And this is exactly what I am doing, although I have added more insulation to the box and made some adjustments.

    The incubator (as with most) has a water reservoir to create humidity (needed for successful incubation and hatching) but the reservoir is accessed and filled from the front of the unit so that would mean the whole incubator would need to be removed from the box each time the water reservoir was checked or re-filled. To solve this I simply cut a hole in the front of the box and through the insulation packaging so the reservoir can be accessed easily.

    Overall the controls are very basic and easy to set with a temp reading setting, egg turning intervals, hatching countdown, too high temp alarm, etc and you can manually activate the egg turner tubes to rotate the eggs if you wish.

    The egg turning mechanism is "different" and works by turning four tubes at set intervals for between 1 - 12 seconds depending on the egg sizes. The tubes turn and this action rolls the eggs 180 degrees. So far, it seems to be working well and it even works when the eggs are stacked.

    I've run the incubator for 24 hours and calibrated the temp and it seems to be holding steady. Today, my quail eggs arrived in the post (I'm introducing new bloodlines into my flock so purchased some quail eggs online) and this afternoon I placed them into the incubator (all 44 eggs).

    At the end of the day the proof will be in the hatching... I'll keep this thread updated plus post more pics soon and we'll see if this batch of quail eggs turns into a bunch of chicks or a disaster. :)
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2015
  2. Ann

    Ann Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hi Mark,
    I'm interested to know how this works for you. I was also thinking of getting the fancy Brinsea someday. But, it's so expensive! If i was an heiress maybe :)
    I'm on my 4th incubation now and so far MT janoel inky is holding up. Fingers crossed. I like the clear viewing window on your new one. That's one thing I don't like about the janoel 48. The 4 little windows. I'm also trying to figure out a mod to put my humidity Gage in it. If you can put more pics up that would be great Mark!
     
  3. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Ha ha, I just finished asking you a question about your incubator over here :)

    Yes, I will post more pics soon! But, I was also looking for an incubator to replace my JN8 48 that had a better viewing window and access from the top. I'm keep to test this incubator out and will post as much information about how it works as I can here...
     
  4. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Ok, here we have the incubator (in our study) on a small desk and insulated by a pillow on top and in the front plus it is in it's original packaging box which also has extra insulation foam on the inside. I can hardly hear the incubator running and the motor seems to be working at an appropriate level. The temp has remained constant between 37.4 C and 37.8 C - this is being monitored by the machine gauge and also a thermometer I placed inside the unit which sends back wirelessly to the screen seen on the bottom left.

    eeg incubator insulated with pillows and in box.jpg

    As I mentioned earlier, I needed to modify the box by cutting a hole allowing for the humidity/water container to be easily removed without having to take the incubator out of the box each time. I refill the container by a small watering can and so far this needs to be done about every three days before the water evaporates. There is no other way or chambers (as part of the incubator) to regulate the humidity; however, I'm finding the humidity is remaining stable between 50 and 65 percent.

    front box incubator refill water humidity container.jpg

    front box incubator refill water humidity container open.jpg

    Below shows how I taped up the sides of the box to give it extra height and allow for a small pillow to be placed on top of the incubator to help reduce heat loss through the top lid.

    pillow on top of incubator box.jpg

    Here is a shot of the top view incubator in box and sender unit on top of eggs. I only placed the thermometer on top of the eggs for a SHORT TIME to get an accurate reading and then I move the thermometer to the inside front where it sits away from the eggs. I do this because even in a small incubator such as this the temp readings can be 1 or more degrees difference depending on where the position is inside the unit. To get an accurate reading the temp should be taken on top of the eggs. A smaller lightweight thermometer could stay positioned on top of the eggs.

    Also in this image, you can obviously see I have a lot of quail eggs 44 to be exact and more than recommended but I really wanted to test out the turning mechanism being the tubes under the eggs. These tubes turn for a set time at set intervals - I have mine set for 12 seconds every 3 hours meaning the tubes turn for 12 seconds every 3 hours. The turning action of the tubes makes all the eggs turn and it actually works surprisingly well!

    egg incubator Chinese quail eggs top.jpg

    The control panel is very basic and easy to use. You can manually turn the eggs if you feel the need (but it is automatic too) and all the other expected controls of the incubator can be adjusted using the setting button and scrolling through the various settings.

    It also counts down days to go before hatching and stops automatically turning 3 days out from expected hatch day. Currently, I have 12 days to go before my quail eggs should begin hatching so the proof of how this incubator works will be how successful the hatching goes (unless the eggs themselves weren't any good) so we'll see! :)

    control panel incubator Chinese.jpg
     
  5. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I ended up with 28 good and healthy quail hatching out on time (out of 44) this gave about a 64% hatch rate which I was pretty happy with and is not considered too bad really. I reckon anything over 50% is a good hatching although I have had exceptions in the past with hatch rates over 90%.

    Unfortunately, we had a power outage just as the quail started hatching and I had to move the incubator into our back shed which still had power (during a thunderstorm) it's very possible some of the eggs failed to hatch out due to this interruption and sudden drop in temp at such a critical time.

    Nevertheless, I have to conclude my new cheap Chinese JN 448 incubator worked as it should and did the job! Happy with that :twothumbsup:

    The initial incubator and brooder set-up back inside once power was restored. The temporary brooder box is just used to hold the chicks until hatching is over because the incubator is left to run for two more days incase of any late hatchings - in this case there were none.

    incubator jn 448 and brooder in operation setup.jpg

    quail chicks newly hatched in temporary box brooder.jpg

    Transferred the chicks to my outdoor cage brooder adapted from a guinea pig or rabbit cage.
    cage brooder for coturnix quail chicks.jpg
    Standard globes (blue) on left and ceramic heat lamp on right.
    cage brooder for coturnix quail chicks show heat lamps.jpg

    cage brooder for coturnix quail chicks feeders.jpg
     
  6. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Here's a vid review I knocked up :)

     
  7. James P

    James P Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Hi Mark, Just wondering how this incubator is going (if it is still going :hysterical:) as I am considering purchasing one to use for our chook and duck eggs but don't want to buy it if it doesn't last long enough to make it worth the 150$ it costs to buy and ship it here. The reason we are leaning towards this model is because of your positive rants about its performance and because it is so power efficient only using 30 watts! (Parents aren't to keen on super expensive power bills)

    Cheers, James :twothumbsup:
     
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  8. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    All I can say James is that it's still working and I do really like it!

    I only paid $88 including postage (free) for mine but it seems they've gone up in price dramatically - maybe they're getting popular and that could be a good sign.

    Here's a review I made just yesterday on the Jn 448 in our new reviews section on my blog it basically outlines the same points as the video.

    I'll be hatching out another batch of quail eggs after Xmas but I'm yet to try ducks so I might do that first to see how it works with that sized egg - I don't foresee any issues though.

    One thing I should reiterate is it does need extra insulation whether that be the box and packaging it came with or a custom made box otherwise it would struggle to maintain a constant temp and probably peak out and kill the motor. It is a cheap Chinese incubator after all... :)
     
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  9. James P

    James P Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Well, sounds great to me :thumbsup:. I don't mind the idea of extra insulation like you did in your video and I think we might order one this afternoon :yahoo:

    Cheers, James
     
  10. James P

    James P Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Oh and really loved the review but I think you should make a point of its electricity efficiency being only 30w in comparison to 85w or 100w on most others. That was the main reason I liked this one because the parents were not to keen on expensive electricity bills :clip::ROFL:

    James
     
  11. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    You make an excellent point there and the electricity usage is something I forgot to mention :oops:

    I can always amend my review but if you can do me a favour and also write a user review on the blog (mentioning your views on power usage also) that would be really helpful.

    At the end of the day, I just hope the incubator does the job and you have no problems with it... Or, I might get in trouble with your parents for recommending it :p
     
  12. James P

    James P Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I have just ordered the incubator :yahoo: can't wait for some fluffy chicks and ducklings :twothumbsup:. Oh and sure I can write a user review for you but I might wait until I test it out first so I can fill out the sections on its performance etc.

    P.s. I don't think I would have been allowed to get an incubator if it was over 30 watts so I think you have done my parents and I a favour :chuffed:

    Cheers, James :wave:
     
  13. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Yes of course - you should write a well informed review of your own (I wouldn't want to influence that and wouldn't be offended if you had a different view on the incubator than mine) but I do hope it does a great job for you just the same!
     
  14. James P

    James P Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Hey Mark, the incubator arrived yesterday!!! I have flicked it on for an hour just to see how it works and I just wanted to know how accurate you found the thermometer on the actual incubator as I bought a thermometer that read almost a degree different to what the incubator said?

    James
     
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  15. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Yeah James you'll need to calibrate the thermometer on the unit because they are rarely spot on out of the box.

    Also, I always use a second thermometer - a good accurate one - to monitor the temp just in case. Half a degree out here or there is no real problem.

    Make sure you run the unit over several days and get a constant temp going before using it.
     
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  16. James P

    James P Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thanks!

    James
     
  17. chris Gee

    chris Gee Member Premium Member

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    I bought a JANOEL12 incubator but could not get it to keep a constant temp. I got on to the supplier and they were good they contacted the manufacturer and we tried allsorts of setting but no success so I sent it back and they tested it in Melbourne and it worked OK. I live in Mackay and our ambient temp. was about 35C and humidity was 80-90% has any body had trouble in these conditions?
     
  18. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    If this was the temperature where the incubator was operating in then it could be a problem particularly if the range was pretty big ie 35C through day and 25C at night because these smaller motors/heating elements don't cope well with larger temp ranges.

    I live just north of Brisbane so it's pretty warm as well and when I ran my old incubator in our shed even though it wasn't cold the ambient temp still wasn't consistent enough and it ran like a dog...

    Now I run my incubator in my study. It's a smaller insulated room and the temperature is more consistent over 24 hours plus I place the incubator in a separate diy insulated box to ensure the temp range is even less. This works for me so it might work for your unit also.
     
  19. chris Gee

    chris Gee Member Premium Member

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    thanks Mark , it was ranging 35C - 23C and in the shed 41C so this is probably the probably the problem.
    On another note, I have been playing around with the Korea Natural Farming system where you harvest local micro organisms and ferment them to create a inoculant but as yet it is early days and we are coping a heap of rain at present so that may disrupt my tests.
     
  20. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    That sounds very interesting Chris! I love dabbling in fermentation of foods etc. If you have a chance, please start a new discussion thread to perhaps document your testing so we can check it out and chat about it?
     
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