Energy efficient pet door

I am new to forum as well as electronics. I am looking for guidance on parts and or configuration needed to create a large dog door that slides up and down when dog nears the door. Looking for small rfid tag or other information can attach to dogs collar. I am a Carpenter,energy auditor and building analyst but have never attempted a project along these lines so please bare with me.

This kind of project keeps popping up. An rfid reader with more than a couple inches range is expensive.

Other than RFID is either complicated or heavy (including batteries hanging on the collar).

You can buy them - working on the pet-id pellet. A Cambridge firm makes them - forgot their name..

neat idea - requires a very sensitive transducer.

go googling



Active RFID will work, not sure how you define energy efficient, though. You want a moving door. The energy used for the RFID system is trivial compared to your motor solution.

Well the energy efficient part will come mostly from my install and fabrication of the sliding panel and air tightness. As far as the consumption for operation is of a lesser concern for now. I don't believe I want or need much range as I don't want the door to open until dogs are right in front of it.really trying to get a basic part list to start. I'm assuming I need a servo or actuator, the tags for collar, rfid reader, etc... it's all foreign enough to me even after googling for days I'm in a bit of a struggle.

You also need some sort of sensor to detect if the closing door hits something so it will reverse again. You don't want to trap the dog (we get that situation here where one of them comes in/out then stops and the other one is half way through and won't move (or my female likes to sleep just inside the dog door so he can't get in/out - we found putting a lead weight on the floor right where she likes to sleep (blocking the door) seems to discourage that (I have 2 samoyeds - 60-80 pound range). You also need a fairly solid door if you have decent sized dogs. If they go through in a hurry not waiting for it to open completely, they can hit it with their shoulders and bend the door (occasionally mine will hear something outside and run out to investigate and they don't get the order worked out so both get there at the same time ... the house shakes when they collide like that partway through the dog door :slight_smile:

GPS Mikey did you make or buy your door as mine will be for 2 large dogs as well. The sliding panel will be similar to a cabinet door with a closed cell foam core. I am not familiar or know exactly what parts I will need for the operating mechanism. The store bought ones are not close enough to match the style is need nor can I find a sliding one that doesn't require the bulky collar. Looking for something smaller key tag style

Our current door is just one of the regular pet doors - it has a plastic flap to let the dogs go in/out and a panel you can slide in when you are away so they (or other critters) can't get in. I think ours was by "Johnson" and is about 10 years old now and getting pretty tired. I would definitely prefer a door like the current one where it is a soft plastic/vinyl they can see through (so they don't run into each other going opposite directions!) as opposed to a sliding door. Dogs are NOT known for their patience when they want to go somewhere (do NOT be in their way to the back yard if someone says "squirrel" or you will get run over :slight_smile: )

Why not just use a small RF transceiver in OOK (on-off keying) mode? These simply transmit a sine wave when activated, and the receiver pulls a line high when it senses signal. They sell for about a dollar on Ebay. A 555 timer hooked to an OOK transmitter could send a pulsed signal, and the receiver, with an arduino, could listen and check for the right pulse rate.

The part that would go on the dog could be made quite small, attached to the collar. The only iffy part here is having too much signal strength, so that the door activates when the dog is far away. But by attenuating the incoming signal enough (like, use almost no antenna), you could probably get a short range.

One consideration with a battery operated thing on the collar is that if it drops off (or gets pulled off by the other dog) and one of them swallows it, most of those batteries are not good if ingested (we had trouble keeping collars on my last two - the would play together and manage to get the collar off of the other one).

So i need???? lol some sort of servo? adruino? (not quite sure what that specifies as they seem to have sell many products)tag for dog? sorry i am so lost with this

So i need???? lol some sort of servo? adruino? (not quite sure what that specifies as they seem to have sell many products)tag for dog? sorry i am so lost with this

your project breaks down into electronical bits and hardware bits.

you need to use the electronics to detect the dog. there are a few ways, you can even train your dog to hit a switch to open the door.

then there are hardware bits. you need to figure out what type of door. swing, guillotine, etc. and how to motorize it.
choose wisely, your skills of adapting the motor wll be more important than the type the dog cares about.

of course there is the safety and bypass issue. can the dog force it open if being chased.
will you need to have the dog's tail nipped first, or will you let the door do that ?