In this Instructable I'll be showing how to make an easy automatic chicken coop door opener.
For anyone who keeps chickens, the ever present threat of predator animals like foxes is always a worry. We recently had all of our chickens (4 of them) killed by a fox and as you could imagine it wasn't a pretty sight. Usually when something like this happens its due to human error, like leaving the coop open. I wanted to ensure that this didn't happen again and so started investigating automatic coop doors. There are quite a few on the web, many expensive or just plain complicated. After much searching I finally stumbled across one which seemed like pure genius.
The door is lifted and closed by an electric car antenna which is activated by a timer. Simplicity itself! Electric antenna's are easily available from any car wreckers for next to nothing, and it's a great way to re-use something that just going to be land-fill anyhow!
There are a few versions on the net on how to make this door opener. I noticed though that they all used a couple of computer charges to power the antenna which made it complicated. My version uses a timer and battery and keeps everything simple.
The reason why I have included the word "simple" in the title is this really is an easy build. If you do a quick search on the net you'll see a bunch of builds which either cost a heap or seem really complicated. This project can be done for as little as $20 if you use mains power.
The following Instructable will take you through how to wire-up the timer and antenna and also how to mount to the door.
Your chickens ill thank you!
I've also included a short video of the door in action.(if you are using a mobile, try this link)
1. Electric car antenna - you can get these from your local wreckers if you have one. Alternatively you can get them on eBay
2. Timer - I used this one from eBay
3. Power supply. You can use either a 12v battery or a 12v power source. I went with a 12v battery so if there were any power outages then it would still keep on going. The battery I scavenged was also from the wreckers and only cost me $10
4. Various wires
5. Terminal Strip - eBay
- Small ones (they need to fit into the C channel
- Larger ones to screw everything together
7. Aluminium C channel - Hardware store
8. Voltage Meter - eBay (optional)
9. Small switch (optional)
10. Solar Panel - eBay
11. Solar regulator - eBay
1. Bench Saw
2. Hot glue
3. Soldering iron
4. Super Glue