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.
- 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.