We discussed the low cost lab incubator again at last night's meeting.
I have a pretty good idea of how I would like to make the incubator programmable (series of temperature steps). I also have an idea of how to make it somewhat reliable with an electricity supply that has brief episodes of unavailability (as experienced with rolling blackouts in California summers, & more randomly in other territories with poor infrastructure) - by remembering how much of the programme is complete & resuming when power returns.
I am now especially interested in any knowledge, opinions & suggestions relating to:
1. Automatically switching over to battery power when the mains fails? There are mains and 12V (via car cigarette lighter connection) inputs on the base line incubator, but selection is manual via a switch in the back. First question is, are labs in developing countries likely to have a 12V dc backup supply? Otherwise maybe this is a waste of my time to look at?
2. Maybe incorporating a small orbital shaker (or rocker or ???) inside the incubator. Controlled by an extra motor control channel from the incubator control electronics, and built with 3D printed plastic parts.
Happy to chat about any of the above by email, here on the Biology Club mailing list (for openness) or at the monthly in person meetings. :-)