I thought I would share my little Chicken Coop Door project with everybody. I have seen a few variations around but nothing that I really liked. The commercial automatic doors were way too expensive, and I thought it would be fun having a go at making my own.
Firstly, I am by no means an electronics expert, I have a basic understanding, a soldering iron and some determination.
So, what did I want? Well, a door that would open and close when I wanted it to, without any intervention from me.
A guillotine type door is definitely the way to go, as it offers the most simple means of opening and closing.
In this case I used some Perspex I had lying around, so that I didn't block the natural light into the coop, so the door itself can be a little hard to see!
For the side rails, I went to Bunnings, and got some aluminium window weather moulding, which just happened to be perfect for my project.
So, with the slide rails in place and the door made, how was I going to get it to go up and down all by itself?
To raise and lower the door I decided on a 12V DC electric motor complete with gearbox. This motor runs slowly and has a 1.2kg torque, that is it can lift 1.2kgs. It can handle the weight of the door, and goes slow enough to let the chooks get out of the way! On the end of the motor drive shaft I manufactured a 'spindle'. Basically is an old bolt, a hole drilled into the end which fits on the motor's drive shaft and another hole in the side to act as a grommet screw to stop it spinning freely, this is what the rope that is attached to the door wraps around. Next I mounted this onto the back of the door.
Now comes the hard part, the wiring. I have decided to go with 12V because it is safe to use outside and there is no requirement to be 'qualified' to do it yourself.
The motor I chose will change direction of rotation (door goes up/door goes down) when you change the polarity of the power going into it, so I used a collections of relays to change the polarity.
Additionally, to stop the whole thing when the door is fully up or down I used some micro switches.
I decided to go with an electronic timer to control the door, which you can see in the photos.
Here is a schematic of the wiring:
For those of you who know and understand electronics, please feel free to correct me where I have made errors.
The bottom micro switch:
The top micro switch:
Where I hid all the relays and wires:
The finished product:
So, what did it all cost?
YG 2732 12V DC Motor x 1 $14.95 $14.95
SM 1040 SPST Micro Switch x 2 $3.75 $7.50
HB6122 Enclosure box x 1 $8.95 $8.95
AA0361 12V Digital Timer x 1 $59.95 $59.95
SY4066 12V 5A Relay x 5 $4.95 $24.75
WH3025 Hook-up wire pack x 1 $4.95 $4.95
Aluminium window moulding x 2 $6.00 $12.00 Total $133.05
The above letter/numbers are the catalogue numbers for the parts from Jaycar electronics.
If you want more information to have a go yourself or want a better copy of the wiring diagram please PM me.