Our two small dogs have free access to our fenced back yard via a doggy door.

This is great during the day, but we block their access at night. Typically we do not let them out until after 9am, and do not let them out after 9pm. There are two reasons for this,
(1)We don't want them barking and bugging the neighbors during potential sleep hours,
(2)Worries of raccoons and coyotes - both of which we have had enter the yard - at night.

My challenge/motivation , if we are going to get home late, after "curfew", how can we automatically close the dog door?

My "Design goals": During “curfew” hours, drop a cover over the dog door to prevent exit. Be a “visible” barrier (such that the dog will not try to force exit and the door looks distinctly different than when “open” ). When barrier is in place, continue to allow dogs to enter - do not trap them outside.

Operations. ·
  • Barrier can be scheduled – at minimum by updating software or timer on device. ·
  • Be “obvious” so dogs don’t try to go out when cover is in place ·
  • Does not block entrance from outside - allow dogs in – so not “trapped” outside when closes ·
  • Simple manual override? ( lift up cover /switch?) ·
  • Physically robust – can survive dog “attention” ·
  • Don’t spend a “lot”

bonus ideas . ·
  • Web access to control and schedule ·
  • Temporary overrides ( open for 1 hour) Bonus bonus
  • Do something with an Arduino as that looks interesting.

So this bounced around in my head for a while,,,, then I saw the “perfect” set of parts. I had an old ( non-working) scanner in the corner of my office. The scanner moved a carriage back and forth under the glass. This seemed like “about the right amount of movement” for the barrier. So I opened it up to see what my options might be.

Step 1: Parts

Equipment I used:
• Old Scanner
• Arduino Nano
• L293D (Dual H-Bridge Motor Driver for DC or Steppers - 600mA ) – adafruit ~$3
• DS1307 Real Time Clock breakout board kit[ID:264] – adafruit ~9$ ( actually did not end up using this… read on…)
• X10 PUM01 Universal Module/Receiver - $28 on amazon - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007N72CY/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
• 3x7 galvanized plate from hw store - http://www.homedepot.com/p/Simpson-Strong-Tie-Z-Max-3-in-x-7-in-Galvanized-Heavy-Tie-Plate-HTP37Z/202329565# (4 of these for mounting brackets )
• A small bread board.. this is all a “test” still.
Brilliant idea! I don't have the knowledge base to understand much of your process, but I'm sharing it with my husband, who does. I see potential here for a door for our chicken coop as well as a pet door. I hope you keep us updated on your progress.
Thanks for your kind words. I encourage you to do some searches for chicken doors. There are a bunch in instructables. the principles are the same, but it would need to be very robust.

About This Instructable


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Bio: I am an engineer in high tech. I like to make things. ( many of which are not high tech :) )
More by kenbob: Simple OTA HD TV Antenna - Near zero cost - mostly scrap materials Doggy Doorman - or K9 Curfew ( extended prototype...) Squirrel Nest Camera
Tags: upcycle pets dogs
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