Sulcata Night Box And Great Way To Monitor Temp & Humidity

Johnkoch

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Wow, after two months I finally completed my Sulcata's outside night box. Moved him outside Friday (5/25/2018) night. Very much the same design as Tom's (Kudos to Tom, Thank You Tom!!!) also wanted to Thank Big Charlie for the info on the radiant heat panel and the Kane heat mat!!! This thing is a BEAST to move (8' X 4' X 44")!!! Another item that I found on line and added to my night box is called a Temp Stick. It's a WiFi temperature & Humidity sensor that you set high and low alarm points for both temp & humidity and if it goes into alarm it will send you a text, e-mail or both. It has an app that you download to your phone/tablet so you can check on current temp/humidity, provides historical data log, monitors battery life of the unit and sends alerts to multiple phones/e-mails!!! For those that want to monitor or get a little worried about the temp and humidity inside the box at night this is a great tool (only had it a week but love it), check it out at IdealSciences.com.
The box sits on my covered patio with two ceiling fans and a sun shade on the west side.
Anything I need to add/delete?? I have one question, I know the box should be at least 80 degrees but is there a temp that is too hot?

Floor, ready for insulation. 20180408 124132

Framed Out, Tito already checking it out!! 20180415 183049

Walls up and ready for insulation
20180427 181205

Insulated and wire run for power
20180427 184210

Getting Close to completion
20180506 142220

Door with strip curtain 20180519 131710

Tito Love It!!! You can see the Temp Stick on the end of the shelf next to the plastic box.

20180523 182042 20180523 182454
Basking lamp and fan
20180527 200740
Done at last!!!
20180527 200803
 

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PA2019

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Wow! That is one amazing night box! I am finishing up two smaller boxes and am incredibly impressed. I would love to steal a couple of ideas if that’s cool. First, what are the paired hydraulic roof rods called? My roofs are so damn heavy, I would love anything to help open and close them. Second, would you mind posting a picture of the doorway closed up? I would really appreciate seeing how it all hinges together and closed up.

Anyways, great stuff!
 

Tom

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The is the deluxe model! Man, nice job.

About the high temp question: I start to worry when it gets over 100, but I also feel like they can simply exit the box if its too warm in there. I let mine burrow and live underground in summer.
 

Big Charlie

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It looks great! Thanks for the information about the temperature stick. I've been looking for something like that.
 

Bee62

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Wow ! That is a deluxe night box ! I love it.:) It is great !
Would you produce some more and sell them ? :D LOL !
 

daniellenc

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That is amazing I am always in awe of all the talent on this forum. Very nice job.
 

Dizisdalife

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Terrific job on the night box. I like where you have placed it. Under a roof like that and out of the weather it should last a long, long time.
 

Johnkoch

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Wow! That is one amazing night box! I am finishing up two smaller boxes and am incredibly impressed. I would love to steal a couple of ideas if that’s cool. First, what are the paired hydraulic roof rods called? My roofs are so damn heavy, I would love anything to help open and close them. Second, would you mind posting a picture of the doorway closed up? I would really appreciate seeing how it all hinges together and closed up.

Anyways, great stuff!
Thank you for your comments!! The shocks I used are Suspa 26" gas spring shocks (100 lbs per strut, 200 lbs for the pair), bought them from Amazon for $48.50 for the pair. I originally bought the 20" model and they bottomed out before the lid was closed so I had to upgrade to the 26" model. Here is the link to Amazon for the 26" model: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BE5JBQE/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20
Yeah, I definitely needed the shocks that lid is heavy. I'm in the process of coming up with supports to lock the lid in place when the top is open (just in case the shocks failed, that lid would do some severe damage to you if it fell). I must say that the door was the hardest thing to build! I tried three different ways before I really studied Tom's design and did it the same way he did. Hopefully I can explain how it's done. My doorway is 24" X 16" and the door is 27 1/2" X 17 1/2" X 3". What you have to do is cut a piece of plywood 27 1/2" X 17 1/2" and connect it to the box with the hinges (you will need to shim the hinges on the box side, so if you use 1/2" plywood you would need to put a piece of 1/2" plywood under the hinges for the shims, if that makes sense?). And the screws will stick through the door plywood and will need to be cut off, I used a Dremel with a cutoff wheel. Once that was done I removed the door, used 2" X 2" boards to frame it, insulated it, put another piece of plywood on the outside and reattached it to the box. Hope that helps!!
20180528 085908
 

Johnkoch

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The is the deluxe model! Man, nice job.

About the high temp question: I start to worry when it gets over 100, but I also feel like they can simply exit the box if its too warm in there. I let mine burrow and live underground in summer.
Thank You Tom!!! I was under the assumption that I had to lock him in the box at night, for safety reasons. So do you suggest just putting him in the box at night and leaving the door open? I don't think there's any predators that get in my yard but not sure what's wandering around at night!! So the next project is to make a soaking area and then possible a man made burrow.
 

Johnkoch

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Frisco, Texas
Wow ! That is a deluxe night box ! I love it.:) It is great !
Would you produce some more and sell them ? :D LOL !
LOL, I would be glad to help anybody that needed it but to make and ship it would be out of this world!!!! I'm telling you it took all I had just to push it into place I couldn't imagine how to lift it!!!
 

Tom

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Thank You Tom!!! I was under the assumption that I had to lock him in the box at night, for safety reasons. So do you suggest just putting him in the box at night and leaving the door open? I don't think there's any predators that get in my yard but not sure what's wandering around at night!! So the next project is to make a soaking area and then possible a man made burrow.
I latch the doors shut with the tortoises inside every night. No sense risking it.
 

Tom

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Thank you for your comments!! The shocks I used are Suspa 26" gas spring shocks (100 lbs per strut, 200 lbs for the pair), bought them from Amazon for $48.50 for the pair. I originally bought the 20" model and they bottomed out before the lid was closed so I had to upgrade to the 26" model. Here is the link to Amazon for the 26" model: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BE5JBQE/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20
Yeah, I definitely needed the shocks that lid is heavy. I'm in the process of coming up with supports to lock the lid in place when the top is open (just in case the shocks failed, that lid would do some severe damage to you if it fell). I must say that the door was the hardest thing to build! I tried three different ways before I really studied Tom's design and did it the same way he did. Hopefully I can explain how it's done. My doorway is 24" X 16" and the door is 27 1/2" X 17 1/2" X 3". What you have to do is cut a piece of plywood 27 1/2" X 17 1/2" and connect it to the box with the hinges (you will need to shim the hinges on the box side, so if you use 1/2" plywood you would need to put a piece of 1/2" plywood under the hinges for the shims, if that makes sense?). And the screws will stick through the door plywood and will need to be cut off, I used a Dremel with a cutoff wheel. Once that was done I removed the door, used 2" X 2" boards to frame it, insulated it, put another piece of plywood on the outside and reattached it to the box. Hope that helps!!

I love the gas shock idea. Considered it, but never done it myself. Its great to see it done and working. You made a great example here.

I'll have to show the detail on how I make the doors. I sandwich a 2x2 frame and some 1.5" insulation between to sheets of 11/32 ply. I chisel out a little rectangular area on the 2x2 frame to fit the hinges under the plywood. This way, I can screw into the ply, go through the hinge holes, and into the 2x2, and I don't have to dremmel off the screw tips. I'll get some pics later today...
 

PA2019

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Thank you for your comments!! The shocks I used are Suspa 26" gas spring shocks (100 lbs per strut, 200 lbs for the pair), bought them from Amazon for $48.50 for the pair. I originally bought the 20" model and they bottomed out before the lid was closed so I had to upgrade to the 26" model. Here is the link to Amazon for the 26" model: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BE5JBQE/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20
Yeah, I definitely needed the shocks that lid is heavy. I'm in the process of coming up with supports to lock the lid in place when the top is open (just in case the shocks failed, that lid would do some severe damage to you if it fell). I must say that the door was the hardest thing to build! I tried three different ways before I really studied Tom's design and did it the same way he did. Hopefully I can explain how it's done. My doorway is 24" X 16" and the door is 27 1/2" X 17 1/2" X 3". What you have to do is cut a piece of plywood 27 1/2" X 17 1/2" and connect it to the box with the hinges (you will need to shim the hinges on the box side, so if you use 1/2" plywood you would need to put a piece of 1/2" plywood under the hinges for the shims, if that makes sense?). And the screws will stick through the door plywood and will need to be cut off, I used a Dremel with a cutoff wheel. Once that was done I removed the door, used 2" X 2" boards to frame it, insulated it, put another piece of plywood on the outside and reattached it to the box. Hope that helps!!
View attachment 240089


Perfect, exactly what I needed to understand how to make the door work. I placed an order for 156N, 14.5" extended gas spring shocks. hopefully they are the right size for my application. Your explanation should get my project finished soon, many thanks.
 

Big Charlie

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Thank You Tom!!! I was under the assumption that I had to lock him in the box at night, for safety reasons. So do you suggest just putting him in the box at night and leaving the door open? I don't think there's any predators that get in my yard but not sure what's wandering around at night!! So the next project is to make a soaking area and then possible a man made burrow.
I leave the door open on warmer nights like we are having now. During the winter, I close the door. My sulcata is huge so I don't worry about predators. He doesn't use the box at all during the summer.
 

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