We finally decided to do it. We are now stocking the Brinsea brand of incubators. We do not carry their full line of products, but we do carry most of their desktop incubators. Today I will be reviewing the Brinsea Mini Advance. The Mini series has 3 incubators the Brinsea Mini Eco, Brinsea Mini Advance, and Brinsea Mini Advance EX. Below is a detailed summary of the difference between the three
Here is a picture of the contents of the box (I left a few promotional papers out of the picture)
When looking to buy any of the Brinsea products most people notice the price right off. The price point for the Brinsea incubators is higher than other incubator brands (for similar egg capacity). This being the case I would expect a higher quality product that stands up to it's premium price. At first glance the clarity of the dome was a little milkier than I was expecting, however, that being said it is still VERY CLEAR. The very slight milky look is probably because the plastic dome is so thick. All the plastic pieces are very thick and durable. The gear for the turning mechanism had a little play in it, but nothing that would make it perform poorly (I have seen pictures of this motor shaft rusting, but not sure if they have fixed that problem).
For the price paid for this incubator I would expect some really nice glossy instructions, but they are just printed on regular printer paper, not a big deal, but just surprised me.
I plugged in the incubator and it started right up. It is not silent, I share an office and my office partner walked in and said "What is that buzzing noise" so the sound was noticable, but overall quite quiet.
The menu wasn't extremely intuitive at first. I consider myself a smart person and I thought I could figure out how to get into the settings part of the incubator controller. After reading the first couple pages of the manual I realized that you just have to press both the (-) and the (+) buttons at the same time to enter the menu. From there the menu was pretty easy to navigate. I just had to refer to the manual to decipher the titles of some of the menu screens (that isn't a big deal because they only have 8 characters on each line of the display)
The incubator was preset to Celsius, after a few minutes of reading the manual I found out how to change it to Fahrenheit.
Overall the Brinsea Mini Advance performed awesome. It took a little less than 20 minutes to get up to temperature and stabilize. The incubator seemed to bounce between 99.5 and 99.6 the entire time I was running it. After a few minutes I realized that when the * appears on the screen it means the heater is ON.
The first time the turning motor came on it startled me because it beeped 5-6 times and turned the egg disc. I was happy that I didn't miss the first turn. The second time the turner went I heard the beeps and thought that might be kind of annoying at 2 AM in my bedroom. the third time the turner motor turned on the novelty of the beeps had worn off and I was wanting to turn the beeping off. In all my looking I still haven't figured out how to turn off the beeps when the turner starts.
In reading the manual I read about a power loss feature where if the power goes out a P will appear on the screen notifying you that the unit lost power at some time so you might want to pay extra close attention to see if the eggs are still viable.
The closest that the alarm feature can be set to the set point is 1.8 F. Overall this is probably close enough, but seems like some might want a tighter range than this. I've seen this with other thermostats i've evaluated 1.8 F = 1 C so it is a pretty round number if someone is designing something in a country that uses the Celsius scale.
The bottom line is that the Brinsea Mini Advance is a really good incubator and the reviews from people are pretty unanimous that the Brinsea Mini Advance is a great incubator. It is good to note that if you buy the Brinsea Mini Advance you cannot buy the Brinsea Humidity pump later and add it. The control module is different for these 2 models.