Hinged door project for newbie

Hi guys;

Wondered if you can help. I have a chicken coop and want to automate the door opening so that it opens and closes at dawn and night.

The problem i face, hence the arduino route and posting here, is that i do not have a pop door [vertical sliding door] nor enough room to fit one. The coop has a hinged door that the chickens use and a horizontal sliding door. We have got the girls using the hinged door so would prefer the project to be based around this.

i have myself an arduino uno. I know i need a photoelectric/light sensor and some code but the thing that is bugging me the most is the mechanics of actually opening a hinged door.

What would be the best way? Would i use a servo motor fixed to an arm attached to the door? would a pulley system be best? Would i need any switches to determine open/closed?

The door is quite small, about 12 x 6 inches, so i suspect would not need the most powerful of motors?

Any advice from anyone that has done something like this would be appreciated, or even pointing in the direction of a method could be useful.

Thank you In advance.,.....


There are dozens of Chicken coop Threads on the Forum.
Google should find them for you - "chicken coop site:arduino.cc"


Dan, only you can determine what to use to open the door. You do not need a computer, just a switch. when you get that figured out, replace the switch with a relay and the arduino.

You say the door is hinged. What kind of hinges? Could be steel, can rust and get hard to move. Brass, easy to move and won't rust. Leather, easy to move, but weather causes them to harden and crack.

Do you also think the girls will want the door closed? If so, your mechanism will need to do that, also. Don't need and Arduino to figure that out, either. Add the Arduino after you get a plan.


Hi have looked at a few of the chicken coop projects on here and most are based on a vertical sliding door.

My small door has brass hinges.

I want to be able to have it close at night to offer protection from the elements and predators.

I just need to figure out the mechanism to do this, any ideas? The ardunio will handle activating the mechanism at the correct time.

What you need to do is write down the requirements. Is the door hinged on the side, top or bottom? Is there a latch on the door that needs to be manipulated? Does the door need to be held open? Does the door need to be held closed? how much force is needed to open and to close the door? How much time should be allowed to open and close the door? Should obstructions to closing the door be considered? How far does the door need to open?

Perhaps then you can design what you want for a mechanism. Perhaps a stick attached to the house with a pulley and a string attached to the door. A rock on the string to pull the door open. A motor and winch with a second string to pull the door closed.

Or Perhaps a lead screw with nut attached to the door and a stepper motor driving the lead screw?

Or a spring on the inside, like a screen door and a motor on the outside pulling the door open and letting the spring close the door.

Or other?


My small door has brass hinges.

I just need to figure out the mechanism to do this, any ideas? The ardunio will handle activating the mechanism at the correct time.

Perhaps you could organize a pulley driven by a small electric motor that winds up a string to lift the door. Then use two limit switches (microswitches?) to identify when the door is fully open or fully closed. Keep all the electrics well above the chicken-sh*t.

Or change to a sliding door :slight_smile: