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Solar Powered Fully Automated Chicken Coop with Wifi

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jason29252, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. jason29252

    jason29252 New Egg

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    Nov 10, 2014
    Just wanted to share my chicken coop project that I have been working on. Initially, I just wanted to have an automatic chicken door. I was unable to find any reasonably priced product off the shelf, so I designed my own, taking ideas from various other DIY builds. The door is lifted by a 12" linear actuator. The linear actuator has built in limit switches, so it automatically stops when it reaches the limit of it's travel. I also placed a safety sensor right outside the coop door so that the doors will not close if there is a chicken standing underneath it. If there is a chicken that is trapped outside after the door has closed, the door will reopen as soon as the chicken triggers the safety sensor.[​IMG]

    The brain of the operation is a WiFi relay box. It is linked to home WIFI and allows me to control the coop from anywhere with internet. It has 8 different channels, allowing me to control 8 different units. It also has a built in timer function, so that each channel can be automated by setting a timer. Also in this picture you can a LED light that turns on at 4:30pm and turns off at 8PM. It is attached to a LED dimmer so that it dims over the course of 15 minutes to avoid a sudden lights out that causes the chickens to freak out.


    [​IMG]

    There's even an iphone app to control the Wifi Box.

    [​IMG]


    The coop is powered by two 35AH batteries, which is charged by a 100watt solar panel. Solar panel is attached to the top of the run.

    The water for the chickens is delivered through a nipple system. There is a 5 gallon bucket right behind the solar panel that is automatically filled every night using a sprinkler timer.
    [​IMG]


    I also attached a fan to the coop to improve ventilation. It is running for most of the time, except for a few hours in the middle of the night, when it is the coldest.
    [​IMG]

    As you probably guessed from the pictures, there is also a surveillance camera mounted in the coop. It's a Foscam tilt camera with night vision, allowing me to monitor the coop day and night.


    My next plan is to add automated window openers so that they open in the morning and close at night.

    Would love to hear your feedback and ideas for other accessories for the coop. If anyone wants to do something similar, feel free to ask any questions.
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I like this approach. In next year or so a barn will be built roughly 600 feet from house. I would very much like to have it operate off grid with respect to power. I currently have a similar setup for fish lab but no actuators are in the mix.
     
  3. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Love it.

    Is the run as secure as the coop?

    Will the door also open to allow predators in with your safety sensor?
     
  4. jason29252

    jason29252 New Egg

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    Nov 10, 2014
    The run is pretty secure. The safety sensor is only on for 30 minutes after the doors close. After that, it is a total lock down.
     
  5. rootes

    rootes Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2014
    Amherst Township, Ohio
    Nice!

    A few questions:

    -where did you get the linear actuator with the limit switches? How much did it cost? Did it require any relays, mounting kits?
    -the dimmer for the LED, it is automatic or is it programmed through your app? Where did you get it and how much was it?
    -where are you located?

    Thank you!

    Tim
     
  6. jason29252

    jason29252 New Egg

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    Nov 10, 2014
    Linear actuator was purchased from ebay for around 60 bucks. It did require 1 DPDT relay. There is no mounting kit, use your creativity. All you really need is a screw and a string to attach to your door. The dimmer is design for aquarium LEDs but it works well for any LED light bulb. It's call a current USA single ramp timer, which you can purchase on amazon for 26 bucks. I'm located in Socal.
     
  7. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a picture in my head of a chicken jumping up and down yelling "LET ME IN !" [​IMG]
     

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