Automatic Door Opener - Chuxaway SC

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Bicudo, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. Bicudo

    Bicudo Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 11, 2012
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    Hi guys,

    I'm new to the whole chook game but know that I don't want to be getting up at 5:30 every morning to let the girls out which, has led me to looking around for an automatic door opener to put on my first coop build. I've done a bit of online detective work for the past couple of weeks and have (just a few mere mins ago) ordered the Chuxaway SC kit (http://www.chuxaway.com/page14.aspx) as it looks as though it will best suit our needs and falls within our budget.

    There doesn't seem to be a lot of info about this system on here so I thought I would share my experiences as I go. Will update this thread once it arrives and post a full review once I've got the coop to the stage where it's ready to be installed and the door is operational.

    I'm also keen to hear from anyone else who's had experience (good or bad) with this auto door opener too.
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    I haven't heard of that one. I imagine the p&p from the UK to Sydney will put a dent in your wallet though! Please do let us know how it goes. I have the pullet shut door and have been mostly happy with it. I do like the photo sensor on it so I don't have to adjust the open/close times as the daylight hours wax and wane - it opens and closes according to how much light there is, so it "auto adjusts" throughout the year.
     
  3. Bicudo

    Bicudo Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 11, 2012
    Sydney
    I also looked at the pullet door and it was on my short list but I really needed a battery operated door on a timer. Our coop is in a very shaded area of the garden so I wasn't sure how we'd go with a one that operated on a light sensor. Postage wasn't too steep either and it still worked out cheaper than anything I managed to find locally.

    UPDATE - This system has been shipped in under 24hiurs and is on it's way to Oz.
     
  4. fabdavee

    fabdavee New Egg

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    The Chuxaway SC door opener kit for chickens can be obtained on ebay.co.uk for around £84, my partner got me one, it came with the door,door guides and all the electrical equipment needed, you have to buy the batteries.
    The system works on a timer and not on light sensor ( some people with light sensor ones found their security lights activated the sensor so the door would open releasing the chickens when you dont want). It is easy to install and configure. I am really pleased with the door and it has meant that I am able to have a lay in now if I want.
    My partner says he would recommend the system to anyone.
     
  5. Bicudo

    Bicudo Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 11, 2012
    Sydney
    The Chuxaway kit arrived today! Looks good and seems pretty straight forward to set up. Now, if only I could get the coop to the stage where it was ready to install. Whoever said allow at least 3 weekends to build was well off the mark... 6 weeks in and the build continues! Need to get it finished soon though as it's starting to take over not only the house but my dreams too can't count how many nights I've dreamt about roost heights, nesting boxes and flat cordless drills. [​IMG]
     
  6. Bicudo

    Bicudo Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 11, 2012
    Sydney
    Have finally finished the coop and installed the Cuxaway SC.

    Out of the box I was a little dubious about the durability of the system but after installation I think it will last a lot longer than I initially thought. The instructions (all 8 pages) were pretty straight forward and easy to follow. The wiring diagram is cleanly laid out and easy to understand.

    The motor is neatly housed in a plastic box that simply screws to the wall of the coop above the door. The cut-off switch is located just behind and to the left of the string which means you either need a thicker door or to add a block at the top which is the way we went. (Sorry the below pic's on it side as I couldn't work out how to re-orientate it).

    [​IMG]


    The battery packs are of a standard fair you'd find at your local electrical supply store. Personally I would have liked to have had something made from a stronger, more water tight and durable material but that could be just me. They certainly have no trouble doing the job that they were intended for which is simply holding batteries.

    [​IMG]

    The control panel also easy to use with a large on off switch and a manual override button. You can choose to set the door to open and close at a set time every day of the week or set it at for different times on different days. Set up was as easy as setting the time on a microwave. We chose to go with a time operated door as our neighbors have a high powered security light that often shines into our yard. So we didn't want it going off late at night and upsetting our girls necessarily.

    [​IMG]


    Overall I found installing the system a breeze and so far it works like a charm (the girls moved in yesterday and this morning was it's first automated test I got up just after I'd set the timer for to check that all had gone to plan).

    The only trouble I ran into when installing the system was a warped plywood door due to some heavy rain. I've since replaced it with a piece of cor-flute which is working fine. My only criticism on the Chuxaway SC would be that the cables from the motor unit could do with being a couple of feet longer. I was hoping to install the control unit on the outside of the run area so I could access it without having to go into the run itself but I had to compromise due to the lack of cable length.

    All in all I know it's not the only system out there and it's certainly not the cheapest but I'd gladly recommend this to anyone who doesn't want to get up at the crack of dawn to let their little ladies out.
     
  7. AlabamaSweetpea

    AlabamaSweetpea Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2012
    Mobile, Alabama
    I can't afford a ready-made automatic door and I've been trying to figure out a way to make one .. auto antenna, door locks, etc., and I like the way this one looks but can't figure out the battery packs and motor. The case on the motor looks large - is there a spool inside and do the 2 battery packs go to the motor?
     
  8. CluckAcres

    CluckAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I made a home made auto chicken door using water, pvc pipe, wood, small pond pump, bucket, pulleys and a few other things.
     
  9. AlabamaSweetpea

    AlabamaSweetpea Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2012
    Mobile, Alabama
    how did you put it on a timer?
     
  10. CluckAcres

    CluckAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Silver Lake, Indiana
    The pump was pluged into the timer. So when pump kicked on it filled pvc pipe and then the weight of the pipe pulled the door up. When timer goes off the water drains out of pvc pipe and then the door goes back down. Here you all go! Im giving away my secret!! You can change the scale of this to make it smaller if your coop is smaller.
    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013

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