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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran PythonWallace's Avatar
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    Radiant Heat Panel - DIY

    Here are plans for DIY heat panels. I would suggest using Flexwatt for the heat element, but other options can be found here:
    http://www.goldmine-elec-products.co....asp?dept=1196
    http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bi...c_Coolers.html
    Any element that doesn't run on 110v standard power has to be properly wired and run through an on/off thermostat. That's why Flexwatt is probably the best option for most people.

    Materials:
    Flexwatt
    Flexwall connectors (Solder, clamps, male terminal connectors, etc.)
    Extension cord
    Reflectix
    1/8" - 3/16" plexiglass or acrylic sheet w/ Weld-on acrylic cement or 2-part epoxy OR 1/8" - 1/4" hardwood sheet and wood glue.
    Nylon screen mesh
    Drill and hole cutter bit (1"-3" diameter) and 3/8" drill bit
    Gorrilla Glue
    Sticky backed velcro tabs

    Step 1. Measure the dimensions of the side of the enclosure where you plan to put the heat tape, and decide what size you want the radiant heat panel to be.

    Note: If you are using 11" Flexwatt, the panels should be 12" X (any length. You can use multiple rows of any width Flexwatt, but keep that size in mind when determining the widhe of the heat panel. A 16" x 16" heat panel won't be any more effective than an 11" x 16" panel if the element is only 11".

    Step 2. Cut 2 equal size panels from the wood or acrylic to the size you determined before.



    Step 3. Cut 4 panels to be the top, bottom and sides, to fit flush on the inside of the front and back panels, all 3/4" deep.

    Step 4. Drill a 3/8" hole in the center of the TOP panel.

    Step 5. Attach the BACK, sides, top and bottom using whatever method of construction you decided on, based on the panel material.



    Step 6. Line the entire inside back with the Reflectix and secure with thin rows of Gorrilla glue.



    Step 7. Cut the end off of the extension cord, separate the end down to about 10" and strip the insulation off both wires of the exposed end.

    Step 8. Push the stripped end of the wires, from the outside, through the hole you drilled and connect the cord to the Flexwatt.

    Step 9. Use a few dabs of Gorilla glue to attach the Flexwatt to the Reflectix. ONLY GLUE ON THE OUTSIDE PLASTIC STRIPS.

    Step 10. Use the drill with the circle cutter bit to drill evenly spaced circles in the FRONT panel. Leave 1/2" around the edges of the panel. I suggest making a paper template, or measuring and marking, to make evenly spaced holes. They will be visable.



    Step 11. Put a bead of glue around each hole and attach a piece of the nylon screen that's 1/2" shorter than the panels. That will be the inside front.



    Step 12. When all the glue is dry, attach the front panel (Screen side in) to the box. You might want to test it first, to make sure the tape is wired correctly.

    Step 13. Use some gorilla glue to attach some velco tabs to the back. These will make it easier to mount and remove the heat panel during cage cleaning. The back of the velcro tabs can be attached to the inside of a glass enclosure using the pre applied adhesive.



    That's it. Plug this right into a thermostat. If you want you can paint it or apply heat shrink film coating used on R/C planes to make it more asthetically pleasing, but if you paint it, do the front panel before attaching the screen.
    What are these mojavas I keep hearing so much about?

    J. W. Exotics

    Reptile Incubators

  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran lord jackel's Avatar
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    Re: Radiant Heat Panel - DIY

    Awesome DIY.

    Question on step 10 - about drilling holes could you use peg board instead (save the work)? If so would the nylon screen still be needed (as I assume it is to keep the snake away from the flex)?
    Sean

  3. #3
    BPnet Veteran PythonWallace's Avatar
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    Re: Radiant Heat Panel - DIY

    Hell yeah it could. I guess. I kind of just thought this up as I was typing and drawing. A pegboard front would save some time and probably output heat a little more evenly. You probably wouldn't need the nylon screen either. Good tip.
    What are these mojavas I keep hearing so much about?

    J. W. Exotics

    Reptile Incubators

  4. #4
    BPnet Veteran Holbeird's Avatar
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    Re: Radiant Heat Panel - DIY

    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to PythonWallace again.

    Well I can't give you rep so I'll just say it here, that's awesome!
    ~Dexter Mason~
    Wife 0.1 Children 0.1.1 Dogs 1.1 Ball Pythons: 5.22
    Bearded Dragon 1.0 Ornate Horned Toad 0.0.1 Leos 1.3 Russian Tortoise 0.1

    Melodrama coming from you is about as normal as a bowel movement - Clerks
    I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class. Especially since I rule. - Clerks
    Dante Hicks: But you hate people.
    Randal Graves: Yes, but I love gatherings. Isn't it ironic?

  5. #5
    BPnet Veteran lord jackel's Avatar
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    Re: Radiant Heat Panel - DIY

    Quote Originally Posted by Holbeird
    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to PythonWallace again.


    Well I can't give you rep so I'll just say it here, that's awesome!
    I hooked him up
    Sean

  6. #6
    BPnet Veteran PythonWallace's Avatar
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    Re: Radiant Heat Panel - DIY

    Thanks! Last night I thought of an easier, only slightly ghetto way to make these using two Sterilite lids glued together to house the guts. Everything else would be the same, except it would be plastic and you could make one in about 15 minutes. I think I'm going to start making some of these.
    What are these mojavas I keep hearing so much about?

    J. W. Exotics

    Reptile Incubators

  7. #7
    Registered User K80tik's Avatar
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    Re: Radiant Heat Panel - DIY

    seeing how im making a enclosure 7ft long and is gonna be pretty big for my 7 foot burm, this is awesome! belly heat is taken care of but as far as ambient, i really didnt want to buy a expensive heat panel.. thanks alot! saved me some $$$$...


    I say we Sticky this
    ~Chris~
    Snakes have blood, feal fear, breathe air, eat food, drink water, reproduce, and they happen to live in a body which is difficult for the average person to understand. One fears what one doesn't understand. ignorance creates fear. The fear of snakes is not cultivated…we are not born with it…children love snakes, just as naturally as they love dogs and cats. don’t be afraid of a reptile’s tongue…the only animal that can hurt you with its tongue is the human being.

  8. #8
    BPnet Veteran PythonWallace's Avatar
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    Re: Radiant Heat Panel - DIY

    Thanks. Yeah making your own 6'-7' heat panel should save you a lot of money.
    What are these mojavas I keep hearing so much about?

    J. W. Exotics

    Reptile Incubators

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