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Looking for Do-It-Yourself automatic coop door.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sgray136, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. sgray136

    sgray136 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2007
    Huntertown, Indiana
    I have been searching the web for any ideas on how to make a simple automatic coop door that can be controlled by a timer.
     
  2. Smitty's Farm

    Smitty's Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2007
    St Clair County, Il
    Here's a link of info that might help. Everyone that has purchased one has been really happy.
    http://www.chicken-house.co.uk/vsb_export.htm

    If you didn't want to purchase one maybe you could get some ideas of how to make your own from the site.
     
  3. sgray136

    sgray136 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2007
    Huntertown, Indiana
    Been there. Expensive! Want to improvise.

    Thanks
     
  4. Smitty's Farm

    Smitty's Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2007
    St Clair County, Il
    Keep me posted and let me know if you find anything. I have been wanting to purchase one. I was actually going to purchase last week, but was to busy to call.
     
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    You might want to go to a DIY electronics forum to get some ideas on how to do this, if you don't find any help here. We took the easy way and ordered one. [​IMG]
     
  6. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
  7. 4myHennyPenny

    4myHennyPenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2007
    Colorado
    If you truly want to DIY:

    http://dragonflypower.com/doorcloser.htm

    If you try it, LMK how it turns out. Thought it looked a bit daunting. DH might have fun with it if we get stranded in another blizzard this winter, though. [​IMG] This is only a door closer, but maybe that's all you're looking for. Please post if you find a DIY version which both opens and closes the door.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2007
  8. sgray136

    sgray136 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2007
    Huntertown, Indiana
    Love the Goldburg. LOL:lol:
     
  9. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    Sorry to dig up this old thread, but this thread is the one that I always find when I'm searching for an automatic chicken door.

    I like the crazy Rude Goldberg design of the one above, but it seemed too complicated and like there were too many points of failure.

    Here is the automatic chicken coop door closer I just finished. It is still being field tested (literally). Hopefully it will spark some ideas and feedback.
     
  10. MrGreenJeans

    MrGreenJeans Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 10, 2008
    COS
    I'm playing around with a few ideas myself and what I'm coming to realize is that for a DIY type of job, at least for me, it's either a question of what I want, or what I've got. If I want a particular door design (pop up or guillotine) that might cause me to lean towards a particular drive system, or if I've got some of the mechanical parts on hand, that might cause me to choose a particular door type.

    I'm not sure if you have anything in particular you are leaning towards, but I can share with you some of the things I'm trying to incorporate into my automatic door:

    1) a reversible electric motor - polarity one way opens the door, reverse polarity closes the door.
    2) a double pole double throw relay (DPDT) - the motor voltage will determine what the rating of this part.
    3) a timing mechanism for driving the coil of the relay and ultimately the polarity of the motor.
    4) limit switches for "door open" and "door closed" positions that will cut the supply voltage for the motor (the limit switches will actually be a switch + a relay since the load current will probably be high).
    5) fuses

    The basic design: A lamp timer with a wall wart plugged into it. The lamp timer is set to come ON during certain hours and go OFF at a certain time. The DC wall wart drives the DPDT relay to switch the polarity of the motor (ON is forward, OFF is reverse). The motor will drive itself into whichever direction until power is cut via the limit switch (or fuse in the event of limit switch failure). One design flaw I can foresee is that in the event the mechanical link between the motor and door is broken - the motor will run constantly.

    I'm not yet to the point where a coop door has hit my honeydew list, but I do have some materials laying around (12v DC automotive electric window motor - power for it could be a 12v battery on a trickle charger - this would lend itself to a guillotine door) so some basic ideas are taking shape. I've got some bar napkin type sketches at the moment but that's about it. If you have any ideas or constraints you are working with just post them and we can go from there - I don't think setting up the electrics would be a big deal, and others here may have ideas for what kinds of mechanical equipment to use.
     

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