Need Help for a Time Controlled Motor


My cousin asked me if I can help him with his project.

What he has in mind:

He wants to open and close the door of a chicken coop at specific times of the day. It should open up at 7 o'clock in the morning and close at 8 o'clock in the evening.

He already built up everything, he only needs the code now. He has the Arduino Uno, a Motor Shield and a Power Supply for the Arduino and the Motor Shield. Now he wants to buy a RTC (Real Time Clock) also for it.

I tried it for myself but the problem is it needs to be fully automatically. This includes the change of the summer and the winter time.

I was also thinking of using a light sensor. Wouldn't it be a lot easier?

My question now is what's the best way to get this done?

This is the current code for spinning the motor. (Copied from a tutorial)

const int 
PWM_A   = 3,
DIR_A   = 12,
BRAKE_A = 9,
SNS_A   = A0;

void setup() {
  // Configure the A output
  pinMode(BRAKE_A, OUTPUT);  // Brake pin on channel A
  pinMode(DIR_A, OUTPUT);    // Direction pin on channel A

  // Open Serial communication
  Serial.println("Motor shield DC motor Test:\n");

void loop() {

// Set the outputs to run the motor forward

  digitalWrite(BRAKE_A, LOW);  // setting brake LOW disable motor brake
  digitalWrite(DIR_A, HIGH);   // setting direction to HIGH the motor will spin forward

  analogWrite(PWM_A, 255);     // Set the speed of the motor, 255 is the maximum value

  delay(5000);                 // hold the motor at full speed for 5 seconds
  Serial.print("current consumption at full speed: ");

// Brake the motor

  Serial.println("Start braking\n");
  // raising the brake pin the motor will stop faster than the stop by inertia
  digitalWrite(BRAKE_A, HIGH);  // raise the brake

// Set the outputs to run the motor backward

  digitalWrite(BRAKE_A, LOW);  // setting againg the brake LOW to disable motor brake
  digitalWrite(DIR_A, LOW);    // now change the direction to backward setting LOW the DIR_A pin

  analogWrite(PWM_A, 255);     // Set the speed of the motor

  Serial.print("current consumption backward: ");

  // now stop the motor by inertia, the motor will stop slower than with the brake function
  analogWrite(PWM_A, 0);       // turn off power to the motor

  Serial.print("current brake: ");
  Serial.println("End of the motor shield test with DC motors. Thank you!");



Thank You!

I suggest you get an RTC, and get that to work. Once you have solved the problems with that, then incorporate the functionality into your code.

Even with a RTC you still need a program to keep track of sunrise and sunset times that vary throughout the year, like an "Astro Clock". As you know, chickens have no concept of clocks and go about their lives according to light levels, (they go to roost during an eclipse), so a light sensor would probably be the better way to go.

You would still have to program an eclipse workaround. :grinning:

Thanks for the answers!

I'll tell him to get a light sensor.

Doesnt need to be a special one, right?