Instructables

Automatic Chicken door opener

Hi this is my first instructable so sorry if it's not perfect.

Basically i bought some chickens a while ago and thought about making something to automatically open the door when it gets light cos im pretty lazy in mornings ;) .
After looking on ebay i found out they were between £90 - £110 so i decided to get my thinking cap on and make my own.

I have seen a few floating around but they all seem to be done by time not by light level.

What it must do:
open the door as it gets light
close the door when it gets dark
pretty simple huh? haha

Before we begin i would like it know i am planning on making some of these up and selling them online for about £60-70 if anyone cannot or doesnt have the time to make it themself. i will post it up when thery're on ebay.

so...anyway thats enough chat lets get on with it.


EDIT:
Im also plainning on adding a solar pannel with a diode to charge the batteries when its light but not allow the batteries to discharge through it.


here is the project set up as a trial in my garage  :)
 
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Step 1: What you will need:

i went to http://www.techsupplies.co.uk which i would advise all of you to go to, really quick delivery (one of my orders was at 11 oclock in the evening and arrived midday next day).

Suppiles:
PICAXE-14M microcontroller
PICAXE-14M Starter Pack (USB)  (for ease of project)
IC Holders (14 pin)
IC Holders (16 pin)
L293D motor driver
Stranded Wire   (either colour will do)
Worm drive gearbox pair (solar motor)
ABS Box largest one
Solder
Light Dependent Resistor ORP12
10k potentiometer
2 x Miniature Microswitch
Stripboard (perfboard)

non-techsupplies stuff:
Fishing line
peice of wood the same size as your chicken coup door
hinge
small screws
small scraps of wood

Tools:
Soldering iron
Wire cutters
Wire strippers
 

Step 2: The Circuit

Here is the diagram for the circuit, its hand done so sorry about quality :P

Tech_Master2 years ago
Can you rig this up too a timer instead of light sensors cause i live in the middle of woods and i don't want it too close in the middle of the day
stocky (author)  Tech_Master2 years ago
you could, a good cheap alternative, would be a ANOLOGUE alarm clock, you would need one where it beeped for 1 miniute then after that stopped (timed out) most do this.
you could then remove the buzzer and wire it to the input of the chip instead.

then modify the program so that when it received the input it would open the door then wait for 70 seconds (to give it a chance to stop), then when it hits the same time but PM the hands will align again and it will go off once again the door would close and it would wait 70 seconds.

the best times to pick would be 7 so that it went off at 7am and 7pm.
If you need any help i would be happy to give it
Stocky
harbisgirl2 years ago
Great job! Have you made any to sell?
stocky (author)  harbisgirl2 years ago
sorry for the long weight on this having started uni i have not had time to build much so i havn't yet.
thanks
drgnflyz3 years ago
Just wondering how your door has been working for you? I have been considering trying to make a door that slides to open. Think a modification like this might work?
stocky (author)  drgnflyz3 years ago
i did try something that slides but an issue i found was that it could slide close with a chiken in it, also its alot easier for it to get jammed.
this way the makimum weight on the chicken will be the door weight which isnt enogh to hurt.
:)
rrcole3 years ago

I am pretty lazy in the mornings too. this is a really cool plan. I think I am going to add these to some of my chicken coop plans. Thanks for the post
stocky (author)  rrcole3 years ago
thats ok, my pleasure, if you need any help or any advice please ask, btw i would reccomend using a wall adaptor if there is power near by (you can use an old phone charger just check its 5v and lowish apms) or put a cheap solar pannel on top of the coup as the microcontoroller/motor combination uses battery power fast, just an idea :)