Cooptender coop door problems help needed

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Zwillingsmama, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. Zwillingsmama

    Zwillingsmama Chirping

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    We have the chickentender coop door with solar/battery for a few months now and have had nothing but trouble with it. For almost 400$ it’s a piece of junk. But now that we have it I was wondering if anyone else had it and was able to get it to work reliable. When it’s working it’s great but it is so unreliable that we have to check every night if it closed or not that we might as well have a manual door.
    Our problem is that it goes from a fully charged battery to empty without warning. We contacted cooptender and they said it’s the fuse, so we exchanged it after that is was working briefly and that went on for months .... on off on off.
    Before I take this thing apart and salvage the parts (motor, gear drive solar panel) and put it on a good old fashioned timer I was wondering if someone can give us some hints to get this thing working after all.
     
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  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Crossing the Road

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    I'm not sure of which door you have. Is it this one..
    https://cooptender.com/pages/automatic_chicken_coop_door#24
    [​IMG]
    When things have way toooooo many computerized features, there are more things to go WRONG.
    I have an Ador1, basic. Has been working very well. Change the battery once each year. Battery is $6
    I don't know what to suggest to you. I would send it back since the warranty is supposed to be 1 year on their site.
    If you are capable of taking apart and modifying to your needs, that may be option to consider.
    WISHING YOU BEST............................... and :welcome
     
  3. Zwillingsmama

    Zwillingsmama Chirping

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    Yup that’s the one. Unfortunately I can’t send it back. Although it was only installed in June/July it was purchased last year and the warranty has expired - plus the warranty is crap as we would have to pay for shipping both ways.
     
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  4. HenOnAJuneBug

    HenOnAJuneBug Crowing

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    How do you get the battery charged when it loses charge?

    Also, you said it started working again after replacing the fuse. What happened after that?

    I have a strong suspicion that it's the battery; either it's not getting enough charge (sunlight), or it's bad/going bad. After sitting for months before being installed the battery may have lost some charge and had enough to work for a while, but maybe there were some days when it didn't receive enough sunlight to recharge sufficiently. Lead acid batteries can only take so much abuse.

    There's only so many things it could be; we can figure it out.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
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  5. jthornton

    jthornton Crowing

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    If you do decide to remove the control and put it on a timer I can help sort that out. The first thing I'd check is the battery, do you have a multimeter? If not they are < $10 here is one. A photo of the working bits might help as well.

    JT
     
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  6. Zwillingsmama

    Zwillingsmama Chirping

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    The battery is always charged with the solar panel. We have no electricity to the coop and taking the battery out is a pain as you have to screw the thing open from the top (where it sits in the frame).
    Cooptender explained to us that the fuse prevents the energy backflow from battery to solar panel once the sun is gone. I live in sunny CA so the battery should not ever go completely empty.
    When it first happened we thought we had a bad battery since it was sitting there for months so we bought a new one. Both batteries acted the same and after we exchanged the fuse both batteries worked perfect until the next fuse blew.
    Thank you jthornton for your offer. It’s either using parts or making permanently a bigger raccoon proof run.
     
  7. jthornton

    jthornton Crowing

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    That's not possible with a fuse, as it does not have any way to prevent current flow in any direction. A fuse is simply a weak point in a wire that when too much current flows the weak point melts and opens the circuit.

    JT
     
  8. Zwillingsmama

    Zwillingsmama Chirping

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    Interesting and now that i am thinking about it that makes sense. I am stupid when it comes to electric stuff that’s my husbands job. But than do you have an idea why it would start working again after we exchanged the fuse?
     
  9. Criticalicious

    Criticalicious Songster

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    We use the Pullet Shut automatic door plugged into a battery system attached to an inverter and a solar panel, similar to this system but more DIY. We don't have any issues running out of power. The inverter has a display to show how much power is left in the batteries at any given time.

    Can you run a power cord out to the coop for a few days to test whether the problem is in the door or the battery/solar panel? That would help narrow down your issue.
     
  10. HenOnAJuneBug

    HenOnAJuneBug Crowing

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    What prevents current backflow is a diode. Fuses are for overcurrent.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018

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