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Author Topic: Using Arduino to control greenhouse cover motor on a schedule/timer  (Read 1591 times)
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My project is to use an Arduino and a high current motor shield to control a motor in our greenhouse. It seems simple enough to write a program that activates the motor at a certain preset time in one direction and then activate the motor in the opposite direction at another preset time. I have never used an arduino before but have lots of electrical experience and understand important electrical concepts.

What we are trying to do: We have panels on our greenhouse roof that need to be opened and closed at a certain time of day. The motor we will use uses is a 6RPM 12V @ 13A that can handle 450ft-lb torque (800 stall) We need to program the arduino to activate at a certain time to open the panels in one direction for a set amount of time then the same to close in the opposite direction.

What do y'all think about doing something like this? Or how easy would it be?

Thanks!!!  smiley-lol
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You can use a Realtime clock module like the one herehttp://www.bhashatech.com/breakout-boards/86-i2c-rtc-breakout.html . Or you can build your own using DS 1307 chip. Using a realtime clock module is probably the only way you can know the correct time.
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thanks for the reply. using the realtime clock in conjunction with an arduino & high current controller, what I had proposed would theoretically work? I have never programmed an arduino but I am a fast learner.
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What you proposed will totally work and you can also use the time library I believe to compare current time with a given time (when the panels open/close) to decide what action to take.I suggest you start small with just the arduino and a couple of LEDs to indicate what the panel is doing so you can get the logic right before you hook it up to the real motor shield and motor smiley
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awesome, thats what I needed to know so I could order the parts and be sure they would work. Any recommendations on models for arduino and high-current motor shields??
What you proposed will totally work and you can also use the time library I believe to compare current time with a given time (when the panels open/close) to decide what action to take.I suggest you start small with just the arduino and a couple of LEDs to indicate what the panel is doing so you can get the logic right before you hook it up to the real motor shield and motor smiley
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I would get an UNO Rev 3 but I don't have a suggestion for motor shield. Like I said, you can start the dry runs first without any motor shield while you read more about them. smiley-wink
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We need to program the arduino to activate at a certain time to open the panels in one direction for a set amount of time then the same to close in the opposite direction.

Are you planning to put in some limit switches so you can stop the motor once it has reached the end of its travel, or will the motors just sit there straining against the end stop for however long you decide to leave them running?
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Yes, I was planning on using some distance sensors until the door reaches a certain value in each to direction to stop/retract
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In that case it all sounds feasible.
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With the following parts you'll be able do complete the project (Ithink)

1) A realtime clock module(DS 1307).

2)A H-bridge for the motor.

3) An ultrasonic ping sensor or Ir proximity sensor for tracking the door.
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I would not use IR sensor. During the say the sun gives off plenty IR radiation. I would use a couple of hall sensors to pick up the location of the window and a limit switch to physically cut power to the motor if the window moves beyond a limit to prevent damage.
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fun smiley

You could use a damper motor as well. They often come with built in end-switches and spring return. Depending on the motor, they take a 5V DC signal to a pin to open. On pin LOW event, the damper shuts auto-magically. You can also get fail to open position damper motors. This way, you wouldn't have to invest in the motor board...unless you WANT to do that smiley-razz
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