The Rcom Mini 3 egg incubator is a little incubator packed with technology I think better than any machine on the market except its big brother the Rcom 20 series. Always read the manufacturers instructions however here are some tips below.
There are some things the Rcom 3 cannot do. The Rcom 3 cannot automatically adjust humidity. The unit adds moisture using an evaporator system and operates an alarm if it runs out of water. This is what we call "static humidity". The size of the water bowl cannot be changed, and if the room humidity varies so will the incubator. Mostly this will not be a problem, as a good average has been selected. To increase the humidity, place the incubator on a dampened towel. This will increase the humidity around the incubator so the air intake will enable an increase in humidity inside the incubator. To decrease the humidity, perhaps because in candling you can see the air cell is too small, remove the bung under the machine and drain out the water. Run the incubator with no water for a day or two, check progress of the air cell.
When using the Rcom 3 incubator as a rescue egg machine, for when the bird is off the nest - select OTHER BIRDS, it is necessary to press OK once, then press the SEL key for the number of days you think the egg has to go. Remember, the machine will then stop turning 3 days before estimated hatch day. If you just press and hold OK, the machine will start with 1 day to run and consequently not turn.
Once the hatch is complete, the incubator will remain in incubation mode - that is maintaining heat and running humidifier. If the incubation sequence is not ceased, then the Rcom 3 will be in incubation mode without turning when you start the machine next season. To reset, press and hold both the SEL and OK bottons for 5 seconds. The machine will then stop running the fan will stop, the heaters will stop, and the species display will flash again. If you press srart again the machine will now start up for a new batch, and the turning and count down will function correctly. Most important, unpluging the power will not reset the machine to standby, it will simply forget the time it has been switched off.
The Rcom Egg Incubators are factory set for 37.5 degrees, and are programmed for that temperature. A thermometer placed at egg height will confirm the incubator temperature.
Check the rotation of large eggs by marking with a pencil. You may need to manually turn large duck or turkey eggs occassionally to ensure random turning.
Upon first operation, after receiving your new Rcom incubator and reading instructions is to check the calibration of the temperature. Place the Rcom calibration thermometer on some blu tac that simulates the height of the egg. Allow the incubator sufficient time to heat to the standard default temperature of 37.5 degrees Celcius. Wait for 30 minutes and check that the calibration thermometer, and the digital temperature display both read the same.
If they are not the same, only then follow the calibration instructions.
The Rcom 20 MX chicken egg incubator standard or standard series come with an adjustable tray or universal dividers. Adjustable trays can cause egg migration, where the eggs tent to "walk"up and down the grids. Place same egg ends together i.e. pointy ends together and round ends together.
As with all electronics, incubators are suseptible to power surges and lightning strikes. These are difficult to guard against and standard household surge supressors are not ideal for containing large and long power surges. We recommend the use of computer UPS power supplies for those in areas where power supplies are unstable or have frequesnt short shutdowns. The problem with these situations is that the return of power is often accompanied by a period of high voltage, and this can be detrimental to the power supply in the incubator. UPS systems are available from all computer stores and large retailers. In recent times the widespread use of computers has caused a great reduction in the price of these units so the security is worthwhile, especially with rare eggs.
It is best to use demineralised or distilled water for longevity of your Rcom incubator's humidity system. Water from bores is likely to be of high salt so will clog up the humidifier. One customer in a research facility used, sterile deionised water. The incubator insisted that there was no water when it was full. The water sensors rely on a small electric current through the water. Deionised water or reverse osmosis water will not allow a current to flow so the machine will not detect the water.
In Rcom pre-2009 models humidity pads may dry out during incubation, especially in areas where the room humidity is low, or where the humidity settings of the machine are high. It may be that sometimes the evaporative pad will needs to be manually rewet in the middle of the incubation period. Humidity pads for Rcom 20 are no longer made so you can cut up rcom king suro pads for this purpose.
When transporting or storing your incubator ensure it is empty of eggs, hatching material or water. The same goes for incubators coming in for servicing or repairs otherwise you will have corrosion and operational problems. IT IS ESSENTIAL that the machines be cleaned and dried ESPECIALLY if the machine will not be used again straight away. Clean all the bottom of the incubator with warm soapy(kitchen detergent) water, wipe over the top half with a damp cloth. The best way to dry the machine is to simply run it with no water in the machine for at least 48 hours after cleaning. Air drying is also recommended. Then store securely in a dry place.
Can I put two different ages of eggs in the Rcom incubator at once? Yes you can but it is a significant disadvantage for 2 reasons.