Sunday, May 29, 2011

The new incubator and flowering Polystachya paniculata

This past rainy weekend I received the shell of my new incubator, a beast at 1500mm high x 1000mm wide x 600mm deep. I got to work to install the heater and the temperature controller. I cut a panel at the back of the incubator for easy access and any future replacement of the heater. The panel is hinged and everything is bolted for easy removal. Today I will hopefully complete the installation of the lighting and finish off the electrics. I have kept the glass sliding doors wrapped and will put them in last once everything has been cleaned. The incubator has a combined surface area for flasks of 3m² and is heated with a 270 watt panel heater controlled with a Danfoss EKC 102A temperature controller which has an impressive overall functionality. This is the upgrade of the EKC 101 which I use in my greenhouse. The glass doors were purposefully made without finger grooves or handles of any kind to prevent my todler from accessing any flasks! I will post an update with pics once it is up and running and I have programmed the controller. Here are some pics:

Incubator and Harry the boerbull's bottom
Incubator front view with heater at the back
Incubator's rear end with heavy-duty heater access panel
Danfoss EKC 102A temperature controller
UPDATE: 5 June 2011

The incubator is now complete (minus a few wires to neaten up). I moved flasks into the new space this past weekend and monitored the temperature closely. Apart from the electricity interuption that we experienced on Sunday, which tested the readiness of my generator, everything ran smoothly. I did some dry seed sowing for a client on Sunday evening which included various Stenoglottis species and hybrids and some Bletilla hybrids. Here are some pics of the working incubator:

Working incubator with flasks
Babies happily enjoying their new home
My Polystachya paniculata flowered this weekend. The flowers are beautiful. The photo really doesn't do the flowers justice. The flowers are small and quite rigid and waxy. I will be selfing a few of them to see if they take but I will need to find a good magnifying glass first!

Developing buds 11 May 2011
Polystachya paniculata

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