Automatic Door Closer---Update

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jimbob, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. jimbob

    jimbob New Egg

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    Jul 29, 2008
    Hello, all, I had written a couple of months ago about problems I was having with my "AXT" automatic closer. I've sorted out the problems, haven't lost any more chickens, and thought I'd post my experience and solutions for all to read.

    1) The general workmanship of this thing is very good. It opens and closes with no problems, powered only by a couple of C Batteries!

    2) The "Light Sensitivity" adjuster is a joke. Even if you set it to the maximum setting, it is going to close WAY after sunset and open WAY before sunrise. I lost several chickens finding this out.

    3) The only way I could figure to make it close when there was still some light was to cover the outside clear plastic housing with weather proof electrician's tape. This was trial and error, and I ended up covering (I would estimate) about 90% of the unit with tape. Basically this "fools" the unit into thinking it is darker than it really is. It still closes after sunset, I would guess 30 minutes after sunset, but it is still fairly light. With my setup, all the chickens have gone in for the night and the predators don't seem to be active yet.

    4) The opening time was more problematic. Even with the tape, it was opening fairly early in the AM, still relatively dark, and the predators in my area seem VERY active about then. I finally broke down and bought the "optional" timer they sell. I have it set to open each AM at 8AM, which even in the dark of winter will be after sunrise in these parts. Luckily, you can set it to close in response to the ambient light and open to the timer. (Setting it to close by timer too would involve adjusting it every month or so as sunset times change. In the AM I don't care if they don't get out right away but if it closes too early in the PM they may not be in the coop yet depending on the sun situation, so having it close according to waning light and open at a certain time is perfect for my situation)

    5) Although the unit is well made, do NOT expect much help from the dealer or the manufacturer. I emailed both, asking why in the world they couldn't put a different photo eye in the unit that would open and close at a better time. They simply said "buy the timer". The instructions are not particularly good, either, but I would still buy this again.

    Sorry to be so long winded, but I couldn't find any of this info a couple months ago and hope this helps someone.

    Jim
     
  2. Alexis

    Alexis Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 28, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    Helpful information, thanks! I have debated getting one of these, as sometimes we don't come home until WAY after dark and frequently I don't WANNA get up and let the chickens out when they want out. I would have hated to purchase one and then go through several lost hens before I found the info you just posted.
     

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