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Author Topic: Auto opening door for chicken coop  (Read 820 times)
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Hey guys, so pretty simple project this - but I'm a newbie to this so could do with some help. I'm trying to create a latch for my chook coop which will open a spring loaded door at the same time each morning. My current thought is to have a motor which engages a sliding latch - not sure where I'll get this from, but I'll worry about that later. Can anyone give me some pointers for hooking up & programming my Arduino circuit so that it runs a motor for say 10 seconds at the same time every day (I said it was simple).

Thanks
Tim
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Check out this thread - it's mostly about astronomical sunrise calcs, but the code for the chicken coop project is posted at the bottom: http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,66426.0.html
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at the same time every day

If you need the time to be accurate long-term then you really need a real time clock.
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Why a motor? Why not a solenoid to pull the bar back when energized? A spring returns it.
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Servos can be used for moving things. Below are some previous discussions concerning chicken coop projects.

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&as_q=coop&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&lr=&cr=&as_qdr=all&as_sitesearch=http%3A%2F%2Farduino.cc%2Fforum&as_occt=any&safe=images&tbs=&as_filetype=&as_rights=
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This Video could also be useful for you:


... and a Video about the whole system:
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Hey guys - thanks for the responses. As this is my first Arduino project, I'm aiming pretty low - and maybe I'll add some features such as a light sensor and solar panel at a later stage. For now, I'm happy with the door opening at the same time every morning and I'll reset it at night.

I though about a solenoid, but the ones I saw at the local shop seemed pretty naff - no spring and the inner shaft isn't held in at all so would be liable to just fall out. I guess a solenoid would be a good latch if I could find the right one - does anyone know where to get a good solenoid for this purpose?

Also can anyone help me with code & wiring?

Thanks, Tim
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I would have thought that the simplest and easiest (to build and operate) solution would be to use an ordinary household mains timer to define when the door should be open and closed. You can use that to switch a relay which toggles the door to either go up until it hits a limit switch, or goes down until it hits a limit switch. The hardest part would be assembling the mechanism to move the door, and that's a non-Arduino problem which will be equally hard whichever solution you choose. (A cheap and easy option would be to get an electric window lifter from a car breakers and set it up to pull a cord which raises the door; gravity would lower the door for you, so no worries about crushing anything.)
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