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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:30 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:24 pm
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Hi,

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.
Image

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.
Image

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:
Image

For those of you who know and understand electronics, please feel free to correct me where I have made errors.

The bottom micro switch:
Image

The top micro switch:
Image

Where I hid all the relays and wires:
Image

The finished product:
Image

Video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRziYGiOWIA

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.

Enjoy

Mick


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:45 pm 
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Golden Cockatoo
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Fantastic information! Well done. I will put a link to this thread in the Housing Index under automatic doors.

NellyG :thumbs:

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:36 am 
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Prime Pekin
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What is the relay closest to the timer do.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:42 am 
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Dapper Duck
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Denis wrote:
What is the relay closest to the timer do.


I needed that extra relay to manage the actual switching, there is probably another better way to do it, but I just couldn't figure it out. At least this way it actually works as desired.


UPDATE:
I have just installed a permanent power supply. I had an old laptop computer power supply lying around, so I wired that up from inside the house and it now runs DC power out to the coop, no more battery to worry about.

Mick


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:20 pm 
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Clever Cockerel
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Very nice :thumbs:
If you can see your coop from your house, i would wire up a green light to the "closed" micro switch so that i could confirm at night that the door was closed :D
(Too many late night "are the coop doors closed?" panic attacks :lol: )


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:05 pm 
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Prime Pekin
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Location: Bendigo
micbec wrote:
Denis wrote:
What is the relay closest to the timer do.


I needed that extra relay to manage the actual switching, there is probably another better way to do it, but I just couldn't figure it out. At least this way it actually works as desired.


UPDATE:
I have just installed a permanent power supply. I had an old laptop computer power supply lying around, so I wired that up from inside the house and it now runs DC power out to the coop, no more battery to worry about.

Mick

You get 11/10 from me mick, well done.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:41 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Location: Canberra
Pretty clever, similar in a way to a project im working on which will tilt an egg turning tray back and forth by reversing polarity.

i see you used a number of relays to ahceive this, which is fine, but for your next project, find a double pole double throw relay - this will do everything that your last 4 relays do on its own- another idea is to use a latching one, as that way your timer only needs to pulse the relay, this avoids having the relay energised all the time.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:00 pm 
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Prime Pekin
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Location: Bendigo
I had similiar thoughts to hellocharlie.

You have two pairs of SPDT that could be replaced by a single DPDT.
In effect you have two coils doing exactly the same thing so one will suffice.
The colored nodes show more clearly what I mean.

Image

I've used a very similar sort of circuit in the past. One SPST to turn power on and a DPDT to change motor direction, I used similar with the microswitches but on/off and direction switches were controlled my a micro. Believe me you need microswitches when you are controlling windscreen wiper motors, they have some serious grunt.
You've done really well micbec.

I'll have a look, I might even have the transparencies to make a circuit board up.

At the end of the day hellocharlie and micbec are both doing the same thing. Turning a motor on and off and changing direction. So the hardware could be the same just the decision process of when etc. I should be able to come up with a circuit for both applications just the micro programmed differently.

Edited to add:
I found this in my PCB software program. It is unfinished but originally was to control a dc motor to run one of my auto turns. A pot to vary the duration between turns and a pot to control the turn on period. I should be able to alter it so it stops when microswitches make it or when a sensor tells it to stop.
For a chook door will still need the digital timer though.
Image


Last edited by Denis on Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:28 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Thanks!

I thought there would be an easier/better way to do it all, but this was a brainstorm on the fly, so my limited electrical knowledge shows up in the result.

But, it works the way I want it to and I had fun making it and that's what counts.

Chooks don't know how good they've got it!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:34 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Ruffled Feathers wrote:
Very nice :thumbs:
If you can see your coop from your house, i would wire up a green light to the "closed" micro switch so that i could confirm at night that the door was closed :D
(Too many late night "are the coop doors closed?" panic attacks :lol: )



I was thinking of wiring up a flashing red strobe to indicate when the door is opening or closing for a bit of fun.

We can see the door from the family room, and I don't think the kids will ever get bored of watching the door so checking if it is closed shouldn't be a problem.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:59 pm 
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Wise One
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Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:42 pm
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Location: Cardinia Shire, Victoria.
That looks great! :claps: pity l don't have any idea to do that sort of stuff even with the diagrams lol. Are there any handy women out there? I'm certainly not. :roll:

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:37 pm 
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Prime Pekin
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micbec;
I'm pretty sure this is just a simplified circuit of what you are doing.

Image

It works like this.
Set your timer so it breaks the 24 hr day into 2 parts.
e,g ON from 9am to 9pm ---> OFF from 9pm to 9am
ON from 5pm to 9pm ---> OFF from 9pm to 5pm ... whatever
I want the door open ----> I want the door closed
I want the motor moving up ----> I want the motor moving down
I want the relay energised -----> I don't want the relay energised

The timer and the relay control the direction of the motor, and of course when it changes direction. The microswitches make it stop.

When you install it be prepared for the following.
You might set it up and find that the motor is turning in the opposite direction to what you want. If so reverse the two wires at the motor.
When you have it heading in the right directions then you have to work out which is the top microswitch and which is the bottom one. Only one will work for each direction.
It is probably a good idea not to have the door connected, just a weight on a string until you are sure of everything.

For those thinking of auto tilt substitute the words UP and DOWN for back and forth or left and right or whatever. Then find a similar timer that allows for as many OFF ON cycles in a day as you can find.

Included in the picture is a DPDT relay. The other thing is what they call a cradle, you plug the relay into this. The cradle actually has screw terminals to connect wires to which means we don't need a soldering iron, just pliers and a small screw driver.

Go into Jaycar and politely ask for a
"Double Pole Double Throw Relay and a Cradle to fit it. 12 Volt one please"

Take the circuit picture with you and ask them to label the screw terminals from 1 to 8 as shown in the diagram.

Be very careful how you hook up a light to any of these circuits, especially around the microswitches, they might provide a pathway for current to flow and render the microswitch useless.

Edit to remove unnecessary comment, Stella mod.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:04 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Denis,

Fantastic, I figured there would be an easier/better way, but I don't have the knowledge in electronics to design stuff, I can in my own bumbling way figure stuff out and I understand some of the principles, but what you have there is heaps better.

The important thing is, is that anybody who wants to follow up and build their own now has this information available to them. :claps:


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:43 pm 
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Prime Pekin
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You aint no bumbler mick.
You came up with a logic circuit that does what you set out to do, using what you had available. And you managed it all the way through even when it was looking complicated and messy. Amazing.
Back when vidieo games first came out, simple bar tennis and the mighty Space Invaders, they really only had logic chips that would simple things like AND, OR, NAND, NOR etc. so they needed hundreds and hundreds of chips to make it work. Nothing wrong with those designers.

And you are right Mick. Everyone should now be able make their own automatic chook door and all those wanting to have automatic turners in their incubators have no excuses not to now.
For Multiquip users there is nothing different about moving a lever back and forth compared with a door up and down which.
Just find a timer that allows as many ON- off - ON - off - cycles in a day as you need

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Electronic-Digit ... 33635c0ae1

Subject: Auto turner in about 20 mins.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:53 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:14 am
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Location: Canberra
Denis wrote:
Image



i stared at this for ages before i realised you didnt have 3 relays, but rather one relay and 2 micro swiches..

anyhow for a hint with timers, i use a 3 volt ( or whatever voltage your motor is) dc plug pack plugged into one of those mechanical timers with 15 minute intervals where u push the tab in. they are less than 5 dollars and simple to set up. that way the whole system can be powered by 240, but all your wiring is down in the safe low voltage range.

Edited to cut length of quote to aid readability. NellyG (Mod)


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