DIY automatic chicken coop door for under £10 ($20)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by HeadlessChicken, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. HeadlessChicken

    HeadlessChicken In the Brooder

    Jul 29, 2011
    Hello everyone,

    I think I may have worked out how to build a light-sensitive automatic chicken coop door for under £15. Would someone with some experience with electronics please let me know if I am on the right track:

    1) It will need to be battery-powered, as I do not have mains power in my coop.

    2) I would like to use this kit in conjunction with a battery-powered mirror ball motor and a couple of limit switches .

    3) When light levels rise the relay opens, which turns the motor in one direction and opens the door. It stops when the limit switch is activated.

    4) When light levels fall the relay closes, which turns the motor in the other direction and closes the door. It stops when the limit switch is activated.

    Can anyone see a flaw in this plan? It looks like it has a couple of advantages over other solutions proposed on here. It is extremely cheap, it uses commonly-available parts and the door will open and close slowly and smoothly.

    Run down of parts:
    Light-sensitive relay - £4.11
    Battery-powered disco ball motor - £3.49
    2 x Limit switches - £2.29
    Total - £9.89
    + miscellaneous bits of wire that can be salvaged from scrap electronics.


  2. heybarb

    heybarb Songster

    Mar 9, 2012
    North Carolina
    Did it work? We are looking to build an automatic door inexpensively too!
  3. canesisters

    canesisters Songster

    Aug 18, 2011
    OH! If you build this, please - please - please take LOTS of picts and post step by step instructions. This sound like a reall good idea.
  4. Kit-Kat

    Kit-Kat Songster

    Apr 4, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Bumping for interest! I want to know if anyone's tried this!

  5. GardeNerd

    GardeNerd Songster

    I agree! I would love to know if headlesschicken ended up building it and how it worked. I have an automatic coop door opener on my current coop, but I will be building another coop in the near future, and am starting plan what kind of opener I want.
  6. keenecowboy

    keenecowboy Chirping

    Oct 24, 2011
    Coshocton, OH
    Oh please let us know. I am getting tired of r unnin out to the coop to let them out.
    Sounds like a great idea.[​IMG]
  7. Tatum hills

    Tatum hills In the Brooder

    Oct 15, 2012
    Bump!! I need to build 4 so cheap is good. Pls tell us :)

  8. rachmickmurphy

    rachmickmurphy Chirping

    Sep 3, 2013
    i too am bumping this but as it doesnt seem that the original post came to be. i am wondering if there are any ingenious members who have the ability to bring this concept to reality i am thinking scrap the parts list from oringinal post and go to the garage for our design. we are thinking the smooth slow action of a cars electric window motor and being 12v it will be easier to convert to solar power. the sensors for a remote opening garage doors maybe can also be used. i am sure that there are members who have the knowledge to assist with other ideas. maybe it wont come in for the purposed budget but maybe it is possible to build to build it from mostly cheap recycled parts. all input and suggestions greatly welcomed.

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