Getting a camera in an incubator has a lot of the aah factor and lets you see what’s going on without opening the incubator up all the time, which is good for the incubator, the eggs and the reliability of hatching.
You have to take into account that the incubator is a fairly harsh environment. There are lots of ways of making an incubator camera in principle, but the heat and humidity rule out a lot of them, like webcams and trail cams.
Five requirements of a Incubator camera
- sealed against moisture
- elevated temperature running
- physically small
- capable of shortening the close focus to ~ 5cm
- externally powered
It used to be on top of a fence post looking at my bird feeder, and stood the test of time against the rain. I removed the square part on the front and tried replacing the lens with a wide angle lens, which stuck out too much and cracked the glass.Fortunately replacement mineral watch crystals are to be had – a 24.8mm was a suiable replacement. Replacing the original lens and unscrewing a bit to get the short focus closer worked a treat, and the replacement glass and O rings have held so far.
A single channel Vivotek 8100 CCTV webserver turns the analogue CCTV signal into a IP-compatible one and thei nbuilt FTP client uploads a picture every so often to make it publically viewable. The 8100 could also stream video but I don’t have a good enough connection for that.
Goose hatching camera (inactive most of the time!)
Real IP CCTV cameras are still on the expensive side and a little bit too big for this job.