Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1161 - 1180 of 1196 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I am planning to split the difference......

The K sensor I picked up is the threaded kind so I'll machine out of brass or copper (SS should be fine?) with the bottom thickness matching just more than the threaded sensor so that the tip of the sensor sits as close to the sublimation surface as possible. Not everyone has access to machining so Biermann's way is much more user friendly.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
438 Posts
BTW, just talked to my welder and the answer: 'copper is so easy to work with'. We TIG (not MIG!!!) the copper.

bluetyr, that is okay for one unit, but build 100 and more and you will agree the loop connector type is the better and quicker solution.

My motto: keep it simple.

JoergK.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
In addition to the parts list, it would be good to have a list of sellers, links to their web sites, or instructions how to order, prices, etc.... I'm thinking I would like to have one in my gubby little hands by June. I would like to see pictures with descriptions. Though it will be difficult to know who has the best product. Maybe Consumer Reports will buy some and give some ratings ;)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
438 Posts
Everyone has the best product, so it goes, but maybe some of us builders don't want to end-up like Johno, with the 'Genie in the Bottle' taking control.

One thing I learned, one has to be able to say 'no', sometimes and that is a hard judgement.

JoergK.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Everyone has the best product, so it goes, but maybe some of us builders don't want to end-up like Johno, with the 'Genie in the Bottle' taking control.

One thing I learned, one has to be able to say 'no', sometimes and that is a hard judgement.

JoergK.
Biermann speaks truth.
There's a bunch of differences that need to be accounted for when discussing making things for market versus DIY a one or couple off. There are some things where it's a price per part that needs to be justified or a ease of production time / labor to factor. I can say for sure that there's no way much of the DIY I go about would suit even hobby level help a brother out production. Not to mention I'm **** slow at some things............. doesn't mean I can't do them just I shouldn't be charging someone my time on them.

I'll have to look into MIG copper. It would likely involve buying a special spool and possibly a different gas shield. I'm looking at the TIG braze mostly because I have TIG and all I have to buy is some relatively cheap filler rod.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
438 Posts
The devil is in the detail. I mistakenly wrote MIG, but I am talking about TIG, no special filler rod needed, just strip a piece of copper wire. My welder has a little rotating table he build with the foot switch, goes like making rabbits.

My apology, JoergK.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
No worries, I'm not that good at TIG yet and YouTube university (and Mller welding) suggest that one should shield copper with helium gas which I don't have. I'll give it a go with just argon but brazing sounds easiest. A bit off topic but have to guess that a bunch of people with bee for interest also have other diverse knowledge bases.
The devil is in the detail. I mistakenly wrote MIG, but I am talking about TIG,

My apology, JoergK.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,351 Posts
No worries, I'm not that good at TIG yet and YouTube university (and Mller welding) suggest that one should shield copper with helium gas which I don't have. I'll give it a go with just argon but brazing sounds easiest. A bit off topic but have to guess that a bunch of people with bee for interest also have other diverse knowledge bases.
Give it a try with argon. I have done a few little projects on copper without even being aware of what or why helium would be preferred.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Hello all!

I've been following this thread very eagerly! I'm just about ready to build my own and was wondering why these are made with primarily copper chambers? Could 416SS or 316SS be a good alternative--or is it just a price point that drives the use of copper?
Greetings,
It is my understanding that copper is used because of its ability to transfer heat most affectively.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Hello all!

I've been following this thread very eagerly! I'm just about ready to build my own and was wondering why these are made with primarily copper chambers? Could 416SS or 316SS be a good alternative--or is it just a price point that drives the use of copper?
For me it is because I am following the guidance of others. Also because of the availability of the pieces needed to fabricate the bowl, Then the big one is that with copper I can do it with a MapPro torch and my minimal skills.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,351 Posts
Lack of heat conductivity is the issue; Surprisingly it is only about 10% of what copper is. The band that heats the unit applies the heat to the sides of the vessel but much of the effective surface area in contact with the charge is the bottom area so it depends on conductivity of the metal to take the heat down and across the bottom. Also the temperature sensing thermocouple is located on the bottom (most commonly)

Stainless probably would work but would result in much longer boil off times. It would also cause the heating band to operate at a higher temperature too.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,980 Posts
Discussion Starter #1,173
Lack of heat conductivity is the issue; Surprisingly it is only about 10% of what copper is. The band that heats the unit applies the heat to the sides of the vessel but much of the effective surface area in contact with the charge is the bottom area so it depends on conductivity of the metal to take the heat down and across the bottom. Also the temperature sensing thermocouple is located on the bottom (most commonly)

Stainless probably would work but would result in much longer boil off times. It would also cause the heating band to operate at a higher temperature too.
You could probably get away with cast iron if you are prepared to heat the nozzle with a propane torch every time you treat with it, but if you are selling to a customer and the nozzle keeps plugging up you are going to have them returned to you and that is the reason they are built from copper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,351 Posts
I agree with johno on the conductivity affecting plugging (or not) of the discharge tube. Copper, copper, copper!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Greetings,
It is my understanding that copper is used because of its ability to transfer heat most affectively.

Sorry guys, I forgot this forum has all replies go to the bottom of the list and I should have read all the other listings before responding above.

Some other observations I've made while producing my own units is that the PID functions of the controller should not be used, the short time involved to sublimate the OA, the decreasing amount of mass of the OA and the variable in the time spent between uses make it of no value. The controller should be set to ON/OFF. Different controllers have different settings available but the Inkbird 106RH is what I'm using and what I'll share about. Since I am using the internal mechanical relay I want to keep its operation to a minimum while maintaining the temperature desired. This can be done 2 ways and I set both, the "control period" set to "4" seconds (instructions recommend 18 but I have the cup reloaded and moved to the next hive sooner than 18 seconds), and Hysteresis "DF" set to "2" degrees (this will give you a 4 degree swing in temperature which also keeps the relay from multiple on/off clicks as the temperature does not change that quickly.
I have my units set to 380 degrees and though I am in full agreement that it doesn't matter if the temperature is set higher because the OA will react the same way no matter what I think it will prolong the life of the plug you fill with OA if you maintain the lowest temperature that will do the job. those plugs are rated for 600 degrees but they do show ware from use.
While I'm talking about temperature I'd like to say that in my opinion the optimum place to be drilling you 7/32" hole is 1/4" down from the top of your bottom board drilled in the back or sides. This is because the occupants of the hive are not going to be located here and you are dumping a 375 degree gas into the hive. I also crack the top so that there is air movement within the hive, the heat will rise bringing the OAV with it. When I can see the OAV escaping the top I seal it back up but make sure after a couple minutes you provide the bees a way to dissipate the heat you just dumped into their home. I have also seen how far away from my bare skin I can hold the OAV and you can get 3" away but that is out in the open air and the heat is dissipating more quickly than it can in the hive (not saying it is harming the bees, just saying that putting the heat as far from the brood and bees is a good idea.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,980 Posts
Discussion Starter #1,176
Sorry guys, I forgot this forum has all replies go to the bottom of the list and I should have read all the other listings before responding above.

Some other observations I've made while producing my own units is that the PID functions of the controller should not be used, the short time involved to sublimate the OA, the decreasing amount of mass of the OA and the variable in the time spent between uses make it of no value. The controller should be set to ON/OFF. Different controllers have different settings available but the Inkbird 106RH is what I'm using and what I'll share about. Since I am using the internal mechanical relay I want to keep its operation to a minimum while maintaining the temperature desired. This can be done 2 ways and I set both, the "control period" set to "4" seconds (instructions recommend 18 but I have the cup reloaded and moved to the next hive sooner than 18 seconds), and Hysteresis "DF" set to "2" degrees (this will give you a 4 degree swing in temperature which also keeps the relay from multiple on/off clicks as the temperature does not change that quickly.
I have my units set to 380 degrees and though I am in full agreement that it doesn't matter if the temperature is set higher because the OA will react the same way no matter what I think it will prolong the life of the plug you fill with OA if you maintain the lowest temperature that will do the job. those plugs are rated for 600 degrees but they do show ware from use.
While I'm talking about temperature I'd like to say that in my opinion the optimum place to be drilling you 7/32" hole is 1/4" down from the top of your bottom board drilled in the back or sides. This is because the occupants of the hive are not going to be located here and you are dumping a 375 degree gas into the hive. I also crack the top so that there is air movement within the hive, the heat will rise bringing the OAV with it. When I can see the OAV escaping the top I seal it back up but make sure after a couple minutes you provide the bees a way to dissipate the heat you just dumped into their home. I have also seen how far away from my bare skin I can hold the OAV and you can get 3" away but that is out in the open air and the heat is dissipating more quickly than it can in the hive (not saying it is harming the bees, just saying that putting the heat as far from the brood and bees is a good idea.
Just a word of warning to all the new suppliers, Keep an eye on the point of diminishing returns. Trying to keep up with the incoming orders I ended up working near 80 hours a week in 2020 which worked out in earnings to around $28 per hour. Now as I am retired and get a income from Social security this income is added to the total income and after the Feds and State revenue collecters took their share the income ended up at $18 per hour. So for me I cannot work for more than 30 hours a week without being punished by the tax man. I would also add that not much heat goes into the hive using a band heater vaporizer as there is no gas exiting the nozzle only OA crystals, as far as the temp of those crystals I have a pic out there of me sublimating onto my bare arm with the nozzle about 3" from my arm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
62281


So here is the OAV unit that I am producing. I have made every attempt to follow in John's footsteps in keeping the price as low as I can. None of the parts are made on a 3d printer and I will share a parts list for those who want to make their own but honestly you can see all the parts :D. My thoughts other than cost were to keep it as light as possible to limit damage to the nozzle caused by gravity since we are all going to let it hang there while we prepare for the next hive. The nozzle attaches to the bowl 1/2" from the top just above the center of the top of the band heater. I thought of making an option of the nozzle out the bottom to allow placement through the front on the landing board but in doing so you lose having the gap between the bowl and the support bar sacrificing heat dissipation and you'd also have to insert the OA after placing the unit because there would still be no way to rotate it, or rotate it and then place the unit (either way I decided to only offer the unit with one nozzle location option. It is wrapped with Gropho-glass to help maintain heat in windy conditions and more importantly help prevent burns. I originally wrapped that with 500 degree tape but didn't like the looks so went with tucking the end of the rope in and using some super glue to make sure it stayed together (not sure it was necessary). I started with a 1/4"x1" aluminum strip to support the bowl but switched to 1/8" thick because it doesn't have the heat retention that the 1/4" has. the bowl is connected with a 1/4" machine screw that has about 1/2" of thread exposed to the air to help dissipate the heat. a 3/4" piece of hard wood keeps any heat from making it to the plastic box, again not sure it is necessary as not much heat gets that far, but it's cheap insurance. The handle is simply 1/2" electrical plastic conduit that is attached to the plastic box with a male connector that is threaded and glued into the box. the other end of the 6" handle has a cable gland that seals the 3' 16 gauge cord and keeps it from spinning within the unit when you rotate it to dump the OA. I placed the handle straight out the back of the unit to allow for those who keep their hives on a single pallet. There is no on/off switch because the cord is less than 3' long so disconnecting power is pretty easy.
The cover is a metal exterior blank cover that I punched a 45mm square out of to accommodate the controller. The unit will come with 2 of the blue cups to load the OA with and more can be purchased if you feel you need them. I am starting the price at $150 each plus $30 for packaging and shipping within the continental USA.
For those who want to build their own but lack the confidence to make some of the necessary parts I can produce just the bowl unit for you or any of the other parts I'm purchasing. I will also answer any of your questions that I can, Just PM me.
As many of you know getting the controller is the most costly part of this equation and since I am just starting out have only purchased enough for 25 units which took a month to arrive. As far as I know there is only one USA company making these controllers and maybe I'll switch to them depending on the depth of their unit which is the issue (assuming all quality controllers are of the same quality :rolleyes:)
That's enough jabbering. Thanks for reading this far. JohnO thank you for the education and showing me that it is affordable to take proper care of my bees. My bees thank you!
62282
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Right now the biggest challenge I am having is cutting the holes in the project box. I am using a hard plastic project box, the Hammond 1591 box. It takes me FOREVER to cut the openings for the PID and the switch I am using. On top of that unless I am VERY careful I end up cracking part of the box. I am basically measuring it out and marking with a marker then drilling four corner holes and then cutting with my multitool. Then I spend a ton of time with a file to bring it out to the right size. This is taking FOREVER. I think the fastest I have done one is a half an hour.

Any hints would be appreciated...
 
1161 - 1180 of 1196 Posts
Top