New to arduino- which equipment for this project?

I want to build an automatic door for our new chicken coop. I already have a solar panel and battery charging circuit, and a battery-powered drill motor for actually lifting and closing the door.

I want a control circuit that I can program to calculate daily sunrise/sunset temps (which I think any arduino could handle), and also have a photosensor input so that if it is dark, I can adjust the open/close time based on that input. The board would just pass battery power to the drill motor on one channel to open, a different channel to close.

I’d also like to drive two separate LED panels with 1-4 LEDs each, which would just be a signal that could be seen across the yard (I’m not sure one LED would be bright enough), red LEDs indicate that there is a problem (door didn’t close at night or open in the morning) and green LEDs that might be on for a short time when an open or close event was successful.

I plan to use a magnetic or physical switch to tell if the door is closed, and probably another of the same to tell when the door is fully open.

Can all this be driven off a single board, or will any of this require shields? Does it matter what board I get? I’m not worried about space or anything.

Thanks,
Keith

This may help... http://www.electrichen.co.uk/ ...be sure to click the "PopHoleDescriptionV4.pdf" link!

114 hits just in the new forum... http://www.google.com/search?q=chicken+coop+site:arduino.cc%2Fforum

Wow! Folks must really like their chickens!

You need something to mount all your parts on, and you'll need an H-bridge or some relays to control the motor spinning in two directions. Red & Green might be a little tough to differentiate across a yard, maybe 2 flashing sequences might be better, or 2 different shapes.

You can screw your arduino down onto a board and add components from there, as an example here's a promini: and the equivalent with an ATMega328, crystal, 22 pf caps 100nF caps:

Let's make an inventory...

I want a control circuit that I can program to calculate daily sunrise/sunset temps

You will want a real-time clock (RTC). You can get a board with one included or get the clock separately. You will need two or three pins to communicate to the clock.

and also have a photosensor input so that if it is dark

One analog input.

pass battery power to the drill motor on one channel to open, a different channel to close

Two digital outputs.

I'd also like to drive two separate LED panels

Two digital outputs.

I plan to use a magnetic or physical switch to tell if the door is closed, and probably another of the same to tell when the door is fully open.

Two digital inputs.

Can all this be driven off controlled from a single board

Analog Inputs: 1 Digitals: 3 +2 + 2 + 2 = 9

Easily.

or will any of this require shields?

You will need high current / high voltage drivers for all the outputs so you will definitely need more than just a board. I don't know if you'll be able to find a single shield that will work; maybe a relay shield or something with several power transistors.

Does it matter what board I get?

Not too much. You may want to pick something that includes a real-time clock so you don't have to obtain that separately.