Scale model cockpit FPV

cool scale cockpit video

Funny Zoo Snap

man enjoys elephant My wife noticed this in the family archives.

RC Nitro motorcycle racing

rc motorcycle Motorcycle racing in Lilliput.

Manned RC Multicopter

manned multicopter
Here’s an RC multicopter big enough to ride on!

Make: Talk 004

make: Talk 004
I had a fun time talking to Mark Frauenfelder in episode 4 of his new podcast, Make: Talk!

One Man Basement Band

one man band
I feel like I could be getting more mileage out of my right foot.


liberty vintage motorcycles An Etsy portrait. Thanks, Danny.

Tequila Sleeve

tequila the champs
Champs sleeve

Wolf-Stelzer Book Lamp

Book Lamp
My friend Tess just made the cover of ReadyMade with her cool lamp design.

Tree Stump Bug

Can this be for real? The design is so awesomely Thunderbirds. Via

The Nothing Box

nothing box


Thunderbirds are go
Are Go!

Command Center

command center
Sweet assemblage spaceship’s bridge.

Four Drano’s

Watch the sink slowly, all but disappear from the design .

Toothpaste Aerosol

toothpaste aerosol
Aerosol toothpaste

Multi-purpose incubator

Juvenile Acanthoscurria geniculata

Tarantula spiderlings find the temperature in my Seattle basement just a tad on the chilly side. To keep them active and growing through the winter, I needed to add a heat source. Pet stores offer up some cheap little “resistance-wire” type heating pads intended for reptiles, but the ones that I saw lacked any type of control, and I read that they tend to be hot and unpredictable. I tried a medical type heating pad which had a rheostat, but it ran pretty hot even on the lowest setting.

I remembered reading about people incubating bird’s eggs by placing a one gallon jar full of water with an aquarim heater in it, into a box containing the eggs. An aquarium heater makes a great tarantula warmer, since it has a thermostat that quite effectively regulates temperature right in the range that tropical animals like. I elaborated on the design slightly and came up with my spider warmer.

I had all of this stuff lying around from various projects, so this is what I worked with:

  • 1 – 150 watt submersible aquarium heater
  • 1 – aquarim filter pump
  • 1 – plastic tub
  • 1 – 12 x12 slate tile
  • 1 – 12×12 square mylar insulation
  • 15 ft 1/4 in o.d. copper tubing
  • 8ft 1/4 in i.d. vinyl tubing
  • 1 – 5 gal. bucket w/lid

The heater and the pump go inside the plastic bucket, which is full of water. The pump circulates the heated water through the copper tube, which is coiled and sandwiched between a sheet of mylar insulation and a slate tile in the bottom of the plastic tub. The tile keeps the heat nice and even and buffers it a bit. I then put all of the containers full of adorable little arachnids into the tub.

So far, my spiders seem to be liking it. This heat transfer concept could be applied to terrariums or other tropical animal or plant habitats, but keep in mind that if the heat-exchanger is going to come into direct contact with the animals or their substrate, avoid using copper tubing, as copper is poisonous to most critters.

3 Responses to “Multi-purpose incubator”

  1. vladimer kerchenko Says:

    love their box…, “Tidy Cats” !


    Are thems spiders, or just a bunch of ‘tidy cats’???


  2. Brenda Helverson Says:

    I’m not convinced that you need the pump and tubing. In an aquarium, we circulate the water eliminate any hot spots within the water (and of course for other reasons). Here, you don’t care about the temperature differences across the pool of water, you only want to control the air temoperature in the space above the water. It seems to me that your aquarium heater in the water bath would do that by itself, although the tile is a good idea.

    Brenda — The animal habitat to be heated is remote from the water resevoir (bucket) , about 6 feet away. The clear tubing delivers the water to the cage site. The copper coil beneath the tile is the remote heat exchanger.


  3. Birdy Says:

    Steve, You should add some pictures of the spiders!