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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Nifty-Chicken, Oct 25, 2008.
Dave, that's an interesting design and may be a good option if they could learn to use it.
BTW, I've got my page created with lots of pics and details:
One cool door. I really like the picture of the raccoon, made my day.
Quote:Well, in as I envision it in my mind, I think it would have to be a lot wider, because you'd have to have a chicken be able to fit itself in the compartment completely, then there is the other side. So it might even be like 2 ft wide! Then, I was thinking maybe in order to encourage them to use it, it could be made out of plexiglass.
Well, it might be an expensive experiment! I think I'll just look at your design now.
if you already have a timer or don't want to splurge at harbor freight on a digital one you could simply drill a small hole a light switch and run a sturdy nylon string from the switch to the dropping door which will then cut the power to the actuator. this may not work when you slow the door down though.
after reading a bit at the other page, it looks like the actuator may have enough strength to pull a switch itself. then in the morning you would just put the switch back up to reset the current.
LOL the revolving door, I can imagine the chicken running in circles
"IM SO CONFUSED"
Edit: im sorry
Quote:I can imagine that too!
a few ideas that came to me today, i'll just put them here for record
actuator may work on 9 volt battery.
use the same method to open but use a small weight dropping to lift the door, perhaps the actuator punches the locking device out of the way or there is a cable of some sort attached to the actuator that pulls the latch out of the way
use original actuator method to close door, but use a heavy door that will overcome a damper (screen door or cabinet)
use a swinging door and have the actuator just punch it shut and pull it open (with no thought to the locking mechanism)
use swinging door where actuator either:
pulls out of a weight hung by strings and pulleys and closes the door, latch is similar to OP's latch or maybe just a baby proof cabinet door latch
pulls a pin out of whatever holds the door open and door closes via spring, bungee, screen door spring/damper, leaning 2x4 or whatever can be used to close door.
ok and here's the fun one!
use sprinkler timer to fill bucket as posted elsewhere
BUT when the bucket hits end of line, have it tip and spill water into a chicken waterer. assuming that either a small bit of water will close the door or that you have a lot of thirsty chickens.
I've been thinking about the design of an automatic door opener/closer for some time and I think the simplest way to do it is a horizontal sliding door driven by a lead screw with the nut that the rod goes through fastened to the door.
A 2' length of 1/4-20 threaded rod from Home Depot or the like should work fine. The screw threads make it auto locking: you can't open or close the door by pushing on it because that will just jam the nut against the threaded rod. Since threads have inherent mechanical advantage, a small motor should be enough to drive the door. My "chicken door" is only about 12"x18" and is currently hinged, but I could put it on drawer slides so it moves easily (tried that with the main 3' door, but couldn't get slides long enough!).
I just came up with this idea this weekend so I haven't had a chance to build it yet, but I do plan to.
I'm also working on a timer to run the whole thing. Need to move fast since I'm sure predator activity will pick up as winter gets here and they have trouble finding food!
CedarLake, and GREAT first post!
Your screw idea is a great one and is on one of my plans (not posted online). Many of the linear actuators use a screw drive to move a piston in and out and is a great idea, self locking (by nature of the screw) strong, and slow (i.e., non guillotine) and could easily go side to side or up and down.
The alpha plan I was working on was going to use a huge bold inside of a driver drill. This would "spin" a large nut which would be fastened to the door. I was going to use limit switches and relays to stop the motor and to change polarity so it would spin the other way.
If you are going to build this thing PLEASE take a ton of pics. It's amazing what we could all do if we worked together on this cool project!