QUESTIONS ABOUT R-COM INCUBATORS
Last altered 15-07-2008
This new range of incubators has been on the market for 3 years in the Mini 3 egg incubator and 2years in the Rcom 20 range. It has been a pleasure to offer these machines, and the new technology is a delight to use.
However some find the new technology different for a while. Remember, the easiest way to get answers to to call, preferable from a phone next to the incubator, and we will guide you along the way.
USER TIPS for the R-COM MINI 3 EGG
As with all new market releases there have been some bugs and hiccups along the way, and we have learnt much about the capabilities and shortcomings of the machines. If you have some tips you want to share with other users, please call us.
WHAT IT CAN'T DO
The Rcom Mini 3 egg has been a wonderful little machine packed with technology I think better than any machine on the market except its big brother the Rcom 20 series. But there are some things it can't do.
It cannot automatically adjust the humidity. Some web sites are listing this machine as having "Automatic Humidity". I think this is misleading. 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.
HUMIDITY ADJUSTMENT IN THE MINI
To increase the humidity, place the incubator on a towel and dampen the towel. This will increase the humidity around the incubator and so make the humidity higher inside the machine. 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.
DO NOT TURN THE INCUBATOR UPSIDE DOWN WITH WATER IN IT AS THIS WILL CAUSE DAMAGE TO THE ELECTRONICS AND VOID THE WARRANTY.
When using the machine as a rescue machine, for when the bird is off the nest, we had a few people say the machine did not turn. When selecting 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. Then hold the OK button until the machine starts. This sets the number of days to count down. 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 no turning.
The second point about turning is that once the incubator has reached the time to switch off the turning, and you have completed the hatch, yu must tell the incubator that the batch is completed. To do this 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 incubators come already set for 37.5 degrees, and are programmed for that temperature. However it has become apparent over time that with some machines the calibration is not correct. We find this is due to production spread of the components particularly the temperature sensor. We had been selling the machines with no testing, as our initial testing showed consistent results. When a percentage of the machines showed differences we started testing and re-calibrating each machine upon test using the temperature set function. This is ok but now the computer says its running at a wrong temperature, when it is actually right.
We now have a new Firmware program which allows us to have separate Calibration and Temperature set functions.
We now have upgraded all R-Com 3 sold after 6 December to have a new calibration program and a calibration thermometer included. Start the machine follow the calibrate instructions, just to make sure each one is correct.
It has been discovered that the turning also does not give a full rotation of large eggs, and though in most cases it does not seem to be effecting the performance, it has been also corrected in the new firmware upgrade listed above.
Applies to 3 egg mini machines sold before June 2007
TIPS ABOUT THE R-COM 20 RANGE
START UP CALIBRATION CHECK
First operation after receiving your new incubator, is to read the instructions, and Check the calibration of the temperature.
Place the R-Com Calibration thermometer on the turning tray, and press the start button until the incubator starts ( R-Com 20 just turn on the power). The incubator will 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, follow the calibration instructions for your model until they agree. Then press stop to turn the machine off.
We have had a few comments about the trays design of the Rcom mini and Rcom 20 series. The trays have a sloped edge and sometimes this causes the eggs to turn end for end. We don't see that as a problem, because studies in the nest show the eggs are turned very randomly. However one user reports adding strips of card held in place with bluetac, which caused the very small eggs to roll correctly.
A user with the Rcom 20 did the same thing and in effect made an adjustable tray.
Rcom now make an adjustable tray for the Rcom 20 series. The drawback encountered with many adjustable trays is egg migration, where the eggs tent to "walk"up and down the grids. I have a customer with another brand who places O rings on the dividers and this seems to cure the problem.
As with all electronics, the RCOM range 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 with computers has caused a great reduction in the price of these units so the security is worthwhile, especially with rare eggs.
PROGRAMS FOR THE RCOM20PRO Usb.
Mr Yang from Rcom in Korea has visited us and added many refinements to the program, including slide button adjustments of alarms for temperature and humidity, many help messages and better compatibility with the many variability's in computers. We still have a few problems with the older ( 4 years plus) HP computers but all others tested appear fine. If we have missed sending you a Beta Version 2 December 2006 version, give us a call. The new operating manuals are now available
PROGRAMS FOR THE RCOM20PRO Usb. No 2We have had a few operators report that when unplugging the communication, error reports occur. This is because the data stream from incubator to computer is interupted. 2 causes have been found. 1/ If you unplug the computer mid data stream, the program sees the error and gives that wonderful contact microsoft message. It is to unplug after shutting down the program itself, then disconnect the cables. 2/ At odd times, this message occurs all on its own and the system is just shut down. While it did not sem to effect the data quality, repeated shutdowns did in one case corrupt the data, and it was difficult to shut down the incubator with the computer. It seems that the incubator uses a substantial amount of power from the computer USB port, and in some cases the computer USB ports are not able to supply enough power to continue the data stream. So if this occurs give us a call, the fix is to use a separately powered USB hub, which has its own more robust power supply than is in most laptop computers.
WATER QUALITY IN R-COM INCUBATORS Pre 2009 machines
People often ask about water quality. Most town water supplies are of adequate standard for use with any of the R-Com incubators. Water from bores is likely to be of high salt so will clog up the evaporative pads in the machines.
If the water is clear and tastes ok, it is ok for the machines. In the Rcom 20 series, wash the evaporator pad each hatch, and in both machines a few drops of white king in the water will adequately disinfect the machine.
One customer in a research facility used, sterile de ionized 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. De ionized water will not allow a current to flow so the machine will not detect the water. Add a few drops of bleach or Detol and all is well again.
In a couple of machines we had a faulty float, which allowed the evaporation reservoir to overfill. If you have that problem give us a call. ( only pre 2009 machines)
HUMIDITY PADS DRYING OUT pplies only to pre 2009 machines
We have had a number of reports of the pads drying 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 need to be rewashed in the middle of the incubation period.
With large eggs its easy, just unclip the top of the machine and pick it up eggs and all, remove the pad, wash under the tap and replace.
HOWEVER with SMALL eggs it will be necessary to remove the eggs from the incubator, before unclipping the top of the machine.
INCUBATOR CLEANING and SERVICING
We have had a few machines with corrosion problems. These machines have arrived to us with operational problems, including the water empty bell sounding.
Examination of the returned machines found substantial amounts of water in the machines, with most surfaces of the machine still with beads of water, even after a trip through the post.
Corrosion was evident on parts of the machines, and the machines had not been cleaned after the last hatch(es). 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.
Reassemble the incubator, then, just press the OK START button, and allow the machine to run. After a suitable time press STOP for 5 seconds, and the machine will shut down. Then store securely in a dry place.
REMEMBER, TURNING OVER THE INCUBATOR WITH WATER IN IT WILL VOID THE WARRANTY AND IREPAIRABLY DAMAGE THE INCUBATOR
WHAT'S IN A NAME
A large incubator manufacturer and distributor in another country has the agency for Rcom in that country. They have branded the machines as their own brand so many think the machines are a specific product made by that company. This is not true. R-Com is a brand conceived, developed and manufactured in Korea by AUTO-ELEX.
R In Korean this sound is the sound for egg, Com is short for computer. So in Korean R-Com means egg computer. In the town of GimHea in southern Korea, there is an old folk tale. The very first king of that area was reputed to have hatched out of an egg. Auto-Elex is famous in its own area, the incubator maker if the town where the king hatched from an egg. Talk about Kingmakers!!
Auto-Elex have appointed agents in various parts of the world. Bellsouth has been appointed the Australian and New Zealand Distributor for AUTO-ELEX R-COM incubators.
Some other Australian companies are disappointed that they have not been able to secure the distribution of this revolutionary product range. They have chosen instead to simply bag the products, which they have never seen or used. Whatever it is, they sure are spitting chips, or maybe its just sour grapes.
Bellsouth was established in 1980 and is now the oldest specialist poultry equipment supplier in the same ownership in Australia.
Phone: 03 9796 7044 Fax: 03 9796 7033
Post: P.O. Box 1233, Narre Warren, VIC 3805
Showroom: Unit 8, 5-7 Vesper Drive, Narre Warren, VIC 3805
Showroom hours 9am to 5pm EST, however we do attend a lot of shows so call if you are travelling far to visit.