Really cool coop auto-door

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DeepFriedBacon, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. DeepFriedBacon

    DeepFriedBacon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2013
    NW Indiana
    Looking @ these neat auto-doors, I began cruising through one of my favorite websites for DIY things. This "instructable" (link @ the end) goes through how to build one yourself, if you have the required tools and a decent "follow the directions" based skill set. I'm sure with a little electrical ingenuity, and spare cash solar panels could be added for really true "green coop". The door is self locking, and has programmable arduino circut board, for setting open/close times.

    There was another set up one can do, i 'm trying to find it, but one person on the instructables website evenn went a step further, and automated to the point they could open and close the coop doors using their computer, and even cooler, their smart phone! How's that for automation!

    I'm still looking for the smart phone set up. Anywho, I have found the instructable website to be superfun, just browsing through what people make to share.
    1 person likes this.
  2. JanetS

    JanetS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2012
    Thank you. I'm going to show this to my husband. See what he thinks. I like this.
  3. DeepFriedBacon

    DeepFriedBacon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2013
    NW Indiana
    Even if you don't go with the electronic part, just the way the door locks is pretty cool.

    If one is really good @ programming arduino (I keep hearing it's really not that hard, and anyone on "instructables" usually more than happy to help, possible even write the code for you, you could technically program it to the calendar, with the daily sun-up, sun-times times, and remove the possibility of bad weather, or an outside light triggering an unwanted open/closing of the door.
  4. CentralOregon

    CentralOregon Out Of The Brooder

    May 8, 2013
    Bend, Oregon
    It's true, Arduino programming is simple once you know a little bit of C programming language. And you certainly can write the code with specific values for sun-up/sun-down, though hard-coding values is never recommended. For instance, let's say you release your code (hardcoded for Eastern US times.) Then, assume someone in a far off country wants to use your code -- if they don't know how to edit that code and find out their own time values, they're sunk -- or you wind up with an email asking for help.

    If I understand the Arduino correctly, in order to keep time you will need to add a real time clock to the board, otherwise a power outage or surge will reset your open/closes out of sync with the actual day/night cycles.

    A better solution would be to use a photoresistor to determine the dawn/dusk times automatically, so that it works "right out of the box" (so to speak) anywhere in the world. To remove the possibility of bad weather and/or lighting affecting the open/close functions, the sensitivity can be programmed to prevent the door from closing when a cloud or shadow passes by. And you could even program a delay so that, for example, the door closed shortly after dusk, rather than right at dusk, to make sure any stragglers don't get locked out. Finally, to get around lightning or other flashes of light (such as camera flash) that might affect a photoresistor, you can add a delay to the opening function so that the light must be at a given threshold for, say, 10 full seconds before the door is actually opened. This is how I plan to do it, anyway... I'm sure there must be easier/harder/better/worse methods out there.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. johnlogan

    johnlogan Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 28, 2013
    A very ingenious lock mechanism.

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