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add-a-motor D20 reliability

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I keep going back and forth on what motor to use for my coop door.  I have an antenna but don't like the idea that it needs constant power to stay open.  I will be running everything off of a battery and want to use as little power as possible.  I have also considered an automatic car window mechanism.  I am not an electrical genius so the wiring of these things intimidates me a bit.  I am sure if I knew how to wire it I could use a 12v cordless drill as the motor.  Plug and play would be a huge plus for me.


I love the simplicity of the Add-a-Motor D20 but read a lot of reviews about the plastic gears breaking.  I am trying to get a sense of how common this is.  The whole point of installing an automated door is so when I am away for the weekend the girls can still get out.  But if it is likely to fail while I am gone it defeats the whole point.  What is the general consensus here?  Is there an alternative motor with metal gears?  How reliable is the D20?

post #2 of 4

Add-a-Motor D20  ( about $100)    is operated  by house current. ( 115 volts.)    You want to run things by battery power..   There are complete battery operated chicken doors.  

Here is one for $240.

There are others also. 


post #3 of 4
We have an add-a-motor D20 on our popdoor. The only problem we had is the string (which raises/lowers the door) broke. We had it maybe 3 months. Hubs replaced the string and so far has been fine. Other than that it's been very reliable.
2 Buff Orpingtons, 4 Black Sex Links,. 1 Golden Retriever, 1 "old man" cat and 2 Betta.
2 Buff Orpingtons, 4 Black Sex Links,. 1 Golden Retriever, 1 "old man" cat and 2 Betta.
post #4 of 4

As cavemamrich mentioned, the Add-a-Motor won't work with batteries, only AC.  


I bought this one from Fleming Outdoors:


Easy to install, easy to configure and has worked flawlessly for me.  It runs on either batteries or AC which was a big plus for me as someday I hope to have electric added to my coop and didn't want to have to buy a new opener.  You can also purchase an optional solar kit to power it if you want.

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