Home made automatic coop door question

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Songster
8 Years
Sep 22, 2011
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So I’ve been thinking of building a automatic coop door since I’ve lost so many chickens this year. I want to make it out of parts I have laying around and here’s what I have so far. I’ve taken a window regulator out of a parts cars, a piece of 1/2” ready rod and a digital relay/timer.
I now think I want to use a photo eye so I won’t be using a digital relay/timer??
Does someone know how to hook one up to my window regulator or what else do I need. I’ve never hooked one up. Here’s what I think

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Connect sensor's black wire to black wire coming from house.
Connect red sensor wire to motors black wire .
Connect all 3 white wires (from house, from sensor and from motor) together.

NOW I need to hook up limit switch’s so it stops when it’s open and closed.
 
Last edited:

jthornton

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Assuming the motor is 12v you need two relays to power it, one for CW and one for CCW. Next you need a sensor to tell the relay to stop when the door is open and one to tell it to stop when the door is closed. The photo cell is ok but I didn't care for that because it closed my door when thunder storms came and it got dark. You might be better off using the gear motor to wind up a string to pull the door open (how I do it with my two doors) the all thread may take forever to open the door. The photo switch you have is 120v AC so to use that you need another relay with a 120vac coil.

JT
 

northdakotaoutfitting.com

Songster
8 Years
Sep 22, 2011
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Yes it is a 12V motor. I can always get a 110v to 12v converter. They are really cheap and I might actually have one but can’t find it right now. I can just take 2 relays in my tool box then but not sure how I Hook them in place. I have limit switch’s so that’s my stop at the open and close switch.

I see what your saying about the photo cell. Maybe a timer would be better so then I’d be back to my digital timer set up. Hummm

As far as the ready rod taking a while to open or close, I really don’t care as long as it opens and closes. I have some ball bearing slides for a drawer laying around I thought about using for the door track.
 

cavemanrich

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Apr 6, 2014
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I'm watching this thread because I considered making an opener using a threaded rod like you have. I have pretty much everything figured out but have not constructed it yet. In my opener, for power ,,, using a reversing drill (110 volt). Less then $20 for a cheap one. Still trying to figure the BEST (dependable) limit switches for my setup.
JT suggested using the motor to operate a string spool. That is a time saving construction idea, I think I may incorporate into my revised setup.:thumbsup
I have already purchased an Ador1 opener and using it for my coop. The second opener I would use to operate a Cat Porthole to let my cats in and out of the garage. Currently, I do that one manually. There is no danger to cats from predators. (at least the predators in my area)
The bearing drawer slides are a good idea BTW. :thumbsup
 

northdakotaoutfitting.com

Songster
8 Years
Sep 22, 2011
183
82
151
I'm watching this thread because I considered making an opener using a threaded rod like you have. I have pretty much everything figured out but have not constructed it yet. In my opener, for power ,,, using a reversing drill (110 volt). Less then $20 for a cheap one. Still trying to figure the BEST (dependable) limit switches for my setup.
JT suggested using the motor to operate a string spool. That is a time saving construction idea, I think I may incorporate into my revised setup.:thumbsup
I have already purchased an Ador1 opener and using it for my coop. The second opener I would use to operate a Cat Porthole to let my cats in and out of the garage. Currently, I do that one manually. There is no danger to cats from predators. (at least the predators in my area)
The bearing drawer slides are a good idea BTW. :thumbsup
I’ve seen the drill idea before and I don’t want to do the string idea cuz I already have the lifting mechanism built. Just need to attach it to a piece of plywood and build a bracket for the motor. I think I’m going to build the door right now and attach it whae I’m thinking about it. I’ll post pics after a bit
 

jthornton

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Aug 30, 2017
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I'll draw up an electrical schematic for your door in the morning if I can get ACAD running.

The basic upshot is you need an up switch and a down switch, the timer can provide that function as well as a couple of wall switches for manual override. In between the up switch and the relay coil you put the up sensor (switch, prox etc.) this breaks the up command to the motor. For down you do the same thing the down sensor breaks the down command to the down relay.

The motor connects to the common on the relays, + to one relay and - to the other. Wire - to both normally closed contacts and + to both normally open contacts. I hope this makes sense. So when you close the up relay for example you send + to the motor on one wire and you already have - connected up to the other wire. When the door reaches the top of travel the sensor breaks that connection to the up relay and the relay opens and the door stops. The door can no longer go up only down.

If your timer only has one output then you need another relay to act as the up and down switches.

JT
 

northdakotaoutfitting.com

Songster
8 Years
Sep 22, 2011
183
82
151
I'll draw up an electrical schematic for your door in the morning if I can get ACAD running.

The basic upshot is you need an up switch and a down switch, the timer can provide that function as well as a couple of wall switches for manual override. In between the up switch and the relay coil you put the up sensor (switch, prox etc.) this breaks the up command to the motor. For down you do the same thing the down sensor breaks the down command to the down relay.

The motor connects to the common on the relays, + to one relay and - to the other. Wire - to both normally closed contacts and + to both normally open contacts. I hope this makes sense. So when you close the up relay for example you send + to the motor on one wire and you already have - connected up to the other wire. When the door reaches the top of travel the sensor breaks that connection to the up relay and the relay opens and the door stops. The door can no longer go up only down.

If your timer only has one output then you need another relay to act as the up and down switches.

JT
Thanks JT that’s awesome! So are you thinking I just use limit switch’s to stop the door from going up or down to far or no??
 

jthornton

Free Ranging
Aug 30, 2017
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Poplar Bluff, MO
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Thanks JT that’s awesome! So are you thinking I just use limit switch’s to stop the door from going up or down to far or no??

Exactly, if you don't have a controller (Raspberry Pi, Arduino etc.) of some sort to process the input signals and decide what to do then you need to use electro-mechanical logic. So the up sensor(switch, prox etc) will break the input to the up relay coil preventing it from going past full up. It's a very reliable straight forward setup.

Btw those magnet type of door switches work well if you don't get too much distance between the magnet and the switch. I used this switch on my new door and this switch on my current door.

JT
 

northdakotaoutfitting.com

Songster
8 Years
Sep 22, 2011
183
82
151
Exactly, if you don't have a controller (Raspberry Pi, Arduino etc.) of some sort to process the input signals and decide what to do then you need to use electro-mechanical logic. So the up sensor(switch, prox etc) will break the input to the up relay coil preventing it from going past full up. It's a very reliable straight forward setup.

Btw those magnet type of door switches work well if you don't get too much distance between the magnet and the switch. I used this switch on my new door and this switch on my current door.

JT
Yea ok. I just have regular limit switches. Thanks
 

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