automated coop door?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mudhen, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

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    OK, I can find automated feeders, waterers, heaters, brooders, egg turners, etc.
    Why can't I find a simple guillotine style opener (like the pet door ones) that I can set on a timer to open at a certain hour and close at a certain hour?
    Any ideas?
    The only one I can find is in England and I don't think the electric issue is compatible out here.
    Anybody out there have an idea how I can modify the pet door kind to work on a timer (on=open, off=close)?
    And, I don't have a problem with getting up to open the coop door, my problem is the dark.
    Yes, I'm one of those who is afraid of the outdoors at night, hence can't go out there to close the girls in and keep the bad guys out after dark.
    I've let this routine slide for a while, but with the cold and the new chicks on the way, I have to get that door closed at night.
    SO...
    I can try to build something on my own, but don't want to re-invent the wheel. I know I can't be the only person that want a automated chicken coop door.
    help!
     
  2. nmantime

    nmantime Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mudhen, I purchased the auto coop door from the guy in England and I very happy with it. It runs on batteries so no elecrtical compatability issue. I have had mine on the coop for a year and a half and the batteries are still working. you can set the time to open in the morning and close up shop at night or you can have it operate off the built in photovatic cell. Great device as my hours don't allow me to get home early enough to close them up at dusk...

    Norm in N.CA
     
  3. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    Norm... we need links! This is exactly what I need.

    What's funny is that just this morning while I was getting ready for work I thought, "I need to post a topic in the forum for creating an automatic door."

    I've got some ideas, but would like to see what's out there!
     
  4. nmantime

    nmantime Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: Jan 26, 2007
  5. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    Ok gang, here's my idea:

    My problem isn't so much remembering to let the girls out, as it is remembering to close them in at night. I'm thinking it would be relatively easy to build a system that simply closes the door at night after I've manually opened it in the morning.

    Thoughts / Notes:

    1: I want to keep this cheap and easy
    2: I want it to be timer based, not light based. I don't want to risk cloud cover or anything else closing the door on my girls and locking them out.
    3: I'm thinking about simply using a solenoid that pulls in a pin and lets the door drop.
    4: The door needs to be rigged so that it drops relatively quietly and is also secure.
    5) It would be nice if it was battery powered, but on house power / extension cord is fine with me.
    6) My last issue is that where I want to put the door is on a door that the girls don't usually go into at night. If I close up their usual door and have them use this other door they might get stuck outside.

    Phew.... maybe I should just buy an automatic door! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

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    nmantime, I didn't realize the one on ebay ran on batteries (duh!) I completely dismissed it when I saw it was UK, assuming the electrical differences would negate use here, so I didn't even read it through. Do you use yours on a timer?

    Nifty-Chicken, on line I found a pet door timer project whilst I (spent a few hours [​IMG])
    researching the automated door yesterday. (I can't believe how time just disappears while I'm on the computer!!!)
    Heres the link:
    http://home.san.rr.com/bamboo/PetDoor/
    (if I didn't do that right, go on yahoo and search pet door timer project)

    There is also a person selling plans on ebay on how to do the same thing (with a solenoid as you mention), but I am waiting for a reply from him to my question of whether or not it can work on a timer (on=open/off=close). Unfortunately I am electrically challenged, so I need step by step instructions if I have to modify anything. I can certainly follow directions though, so we'll see what their response is.
    link:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...MEWA:IT&viewitem=&item=160077758146&rd=1&rd=1
    (or search for the ebay Item number: 160077758146)
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2007
  7. chickenhouseman

    chickenhouseman New Egg

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    What can I say - I think the VSb door openers are great. If you're buying them outside of the EU then you get them tax free - www.chicken-house.co.uk/backyard
     
  8. V Chic Chick

    V Chic Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mudhen, if you buy something that was meant for the UK's electrical system, which runs on 230V, then you can always just buy a plug-in adaptor at the same time.

    Just noticed the guy's barely an hour and a half away from me . . .
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2007
  9. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    With the way exchange rates are going in the US, now is not the best time to buy. <making excuses to build one myself>
     
  10. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

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    I did it!
    Got it on ebay from chickenhouseman, hello by the way!
    Hoping to hear about getting a timer for it too.

    My girls will be safe at night ( and I won't have to brave the deer/rabbits/frogs that grow razor fangs and claws in the creepy dark....:eek:)
     

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