Project layout and hardware advice.

Greetings folks,
So Santa brought me a whack load of sensors and stuff to play with (also known as a taxible business expense for year end) and being new to Arduino I’m not entirely sure of their limitations. So I’ve devised a project that will be simple to start, modular and expandable, and completely over my head at this point! :astonished:
Introducing the Arduino Chicken coop
It will have the following components…

  • Automatic door opener
  • Metered feeder
  • Auto water dispenser (bucket level)
  • Coop light controller
  • RF ID tag on bird, reciever on coop door
  • Heat & ventilation
  • Coop Cam
  • possibly more widgets in the future

I would like to have it operate first via the home PC then eventially by Android. I have a slightly dated programming background in HTML, C++, C, VB6, Java, SQL, Oracle, and I’ve been learning Arduino environment & AndroidBasic for a few weeks now. The hardware isn’t a problem since I weld, wrench, lathe and mill for fun & wire industrial PLC’s, pumps and timers for work. (I also make a great salsa…)
Here are the questions…
Wifi or Bluetooth for each of the nodes?
What are their limitations?
Keep in mind that most of the units will need to send and receive data back to the Home PC &/or Android, are too far to be hard wired together and 35’ from the house. Besides, this is a wireless based experiment.
Any design advice?

OMG! (said like a school girl!) There must be something in the air. I literally just posted about about the ultimate chicken coop controller a couple days ago. This guy is way ahead of us multi function chicken coop sketch - all but 1 function works (door) nsw? - Project Guidance - Arduino Forum! And Here is a better way to search this forum [coop site:](http://coop site:

I'm curious too if there is a thing as wireless sensors. I want to build a perimeter surveillance and predator deterrence as one of the core functions of my project. I figure I'll have a website/db act as the interface/api to interact with.

Why would you need tags on the birds? For Egg Cam? That'd be a slick idea. Know who is producing. Otherwise door open/close via photo sensor is good enough, as well as water level mgmt via trip valve. I figure I'll run either wifi APs down to our run or worst case Ethernet, which could be POE as well. But thought running off of solar and battery backup was the way to go.

Let's huddle on ideas and progress!


The dairy farm down the road has their cows tagged and this interfaces with their feeder and milking program. I thought that it would be useful to tag my birds to do two things. First off you could identify if all of them made it back from free ranging and didn't end up bobcat food. As they pass the door it would keep an inventory of the troops. Second is that you could quantify egg production based on their time in the nest box and time at the auto feeder. That dairy farm has a robotic milker that will entice the cow into the milking parlor with grain. If the computer sees that the cow is due for a milking it will drop a ration of feed and proceed to milk it. If it's not due then the computer will not allow it in. Not that I'm suggesting that chickens can be milked...

Still can't find any info on the amount of slave wifi and/or bluetooth units on a network.

Ok, finally found it. (had to source it on a pdf found by a google search) :roll_eyes:

Network Size
The maximum number of devices belonging to the network’s
building cell is 8 (7 slaves plus one master) for a Bluetooth and
UWB piconet, over 65000 for a ZigBee star network, and 2007
for a structured Wi-Fi BSS.

Can anyone confirm that this is true for the Arduino environment and hardware world?