Smart Doghouse: Tardis Edition




Introduction: Smart Doghouse: Tardis Edition

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It all started with my Halloween Instructables. One of my props was the Fourth Doctor's scarf. Since then, I have been re-watching the series with my daughter. Somehow the idea came to me, partly just from perusing the different contests and thinking what would be cool. What if I re-purposed the Time Machine into a Doghouse that would light up when the dog was inside? Especially if you have an outdoor or livestock dog, good to know when they are "in for the night". The basic principal was designing some sort of sensor system, and my favorite idea was for the floor platform to complete the circuit when pushed down. I wanted it to be mobile, so I used a battery set-up. A plug-in design would also do nicely. Lots of options exist for both set-ups. I plan to build a Lighthouse version next.

The video version is above.

The traditional Image and Text Instructable is below

Materials/Tools list

(7) 2x4x8 KD pine, (1 1/2) 4x8 sheets of 1/2" plywood, 16' of strapping

variety of screws(1"-2.5")

greenhouse plastic, ~ 15"x70" piece, outdoor canvas 12" x 40"

rug fabric, ~ 1 yard, high density foam, 2" scraps

primer(1/2 qt) and paint color(1 qt)

1 mason jar with lid

3 LED's, wire, 465 ohm resistor, 9V battery/snap connector, tiny breadboard

40lb(or more) dog

tape measure, square, pencil, paint brushes

saws: circular, jig, miter

staple gun, 3/8" staples

drill, driver, clamps(2) 30"

rubber mallet, hot-glue gun, wood filler(glue and sawdust)

Step 1: Step 1. Build Frame

1. measure/divide (4) 2x4x8"s each into 3 pieces, ~ 32" per piece

2. cut for a total of 12 pieces

3. create top and bottom frames

4. attach top to bottom w/vertical supports

Step 2: Step 2. Floor, Roof, Back & Rails

1. cut (2) pieces of plywood 35"x35", attach on top and under bottom of frame

cut (1) piece of plywood 27.5"x31", (for back of house, to be put on later)

2. miter cut 4 equal size pieces from a 2x4x8 w/45 degree angles

center on top of house, square, and clamp together

3. attach with screws, down and up into, leaving a little space to allow rainwater to drain out.

(fill in any gaps w/wood filler if your friend's miter saw is imprecise) : )

Step 3: Step 3. Frame Out Windows and Doors

1. from (2) 2x4x8's, cut (6) 25" pieces, cut 1 of remaining scraps to 11" & 9"

2. wedge all (6) pieces in vertically to sides of house

these should be a snug fit, use rubber mallet to assist

3. cut (4) pieces of strapping 35" each to lock in those vertical studs

this also creates casement for doors/windows

4. cut (2) pieces of plywood 28.75" x 20.5"

5. place inside house onto sides and attach

6. cut (4) pieces of strapping 10.75" each, to fit in snuggly between vertical studs

7. place 5/8" higher than plywood, secure with 1" screws(these frame the windows)

Step 4: Step 4. Front and Back

1. place/lodge the 20.5" w/11.5" 2x4 into front, between top and bottom, at center(very snug fit)

screw into top and bottom horizontals

cut piece of strapping 35" for center horizontal bar, to frame front door/window and lock 2x4 seam

2. cut (2) pieces of strapping 35" each, attach one permanently to bottom

attach other to top at left so it can pivot; this bar swings up to allow back panel to be removed

3. from plywood scraps cut a piece 12.25" x 21.5" and attach to front side

now, prime everything!(including back piece)

Step 5: Step 5. Color!

1. paint 2 coats of beautiful blue

2. windows: crawl inside and staple green house plastic onto sides and front of house

cut pieces 2" larger on all sides to fold over for strength and neatness

3. create pet door: create flap from outdoor canvas, paint up larger area, let dry

4. design/function add-on: cut (2) pieces of strapping 12", paint top edge of one and slide under bottom of front

window, between plastic and plywood, to keep any rain from sneaking in.

(unpainted one is used for top of pet door)

5. (optional) line inside of house with outdoor canvas, if you have extra

6. hang pet door: cut painted canvas 12" x 40" , fold, glue and staple to unpainted piece of 12" strapping

screw into behind horizontal bar

Step 6: Step 6. Floor Platform

1. cut a piece of plywood 27"x 30", wrap rug over and around back and staple onto

2. cut 4 pieces of HD foam, 2" thick and glue down at corners

Step 7: Step 7. Electricity!

1. set up a series circuit for the light on top of house,

3 LED's, 465 ohm resistor, 9V battery with snap connector

2. set up on small breadboard, drill hole through jar lid to feed wire through, hot glue down

3. cut wax paper strip to put inside of mason jar to diffuse light, close tightly

4. light opening: cut out hole precisely so that lid drops in but stops at lip

staple wire up along roof, down sides of house, onto bottom

5. battery/power set-up: glue rectangular housing unit(I used half of a remote shell) to center bottom to slide 9V into. Stack about 1/2" thick of foil on top of this as a roof

then cover a plastic rectangle with foil and glue to center underneath of floor platform

(check that all connections are secure)

40lbs of pressure on the floor platform will complete the circuit and activate the light!

Step 8:

1. wait for dark and invite dog in for initial visit

(you may need to bribe her with a crack bone)

2. light's on!(hard to see with autoflash) let's try that without flash...

3. cool, eh?! (crunch, crunch, crunch...)

4. "All done with crack bone? Wanna come back out?"

(she was a little afraid, being her first time in)

5. dog out, light off "What a good girl!" (and a good sport!)

If you like this project, I'd love if you could vote for it.


~ Cynthia

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    7 years ago

    nice idea...what kind of dog do you have?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I don't, but that is a black dog, more specifically, Molly, a German Shep. : )


    7 years ago on Step 5

    the Tardis is a deeper blue ;)


    Reply 7 years ago on Step 5

    : D You're right! But when we were choosing the color, the darker one seemed too dark, especially for at night.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    love the idea! Now I just need my parents to let us get a dog...


    7 years ago on Introduction

    It's a Dogter Who House!

    Any concern about rainwater pooling up in the that center section of the roof, and messing with the light?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    : D

    Um, I don't think so. The mason jar is closed tightly, if that is what you mean. Also, there are a couple of small gaps under the rails, so it probably wouldn't pool up.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I think I'll revise the Instructable to note that any accidental gaps there are good. : )


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great Instructable! Well done! Thanks for all the great photos and the really detailed step-by-step instructions!