Dog Food Alarm

About: I am a 13-year-old DIY hobbyist. I mainly focus on electronics, but I dabble in other areas as well. (Yes, if you noticed my profile picture, I am a crypto enthusiast)

Hello again! In my household, the responsibilities of feeding our dog, a golden doodle named Taos (after the New Mexican city), often fall to us kids. However, when it comes time to feed him, it is difficult to tell if he has been previously fed or not (obviously because he may or may not have already eaten his food). So to avoid overfeeding him, we (I) have to go around the house of four others asking around. Unfortunately, in the age of the Internet, that means interrupting Netflix shows, school, and my parents catching up of their own work. So I am creating a device that uses an Arduino and a DS3231 Real Time Clock module to alert us when we need to feed him. Honestly, it's basically a glorified timer. All you have to do is press a pushbutton whenever you feed him. I hope you may find this useful as well.

The picture above is my dog, Taos.

Supplies:

  • Arduino Uno (any Arduino would really work- the code just may have to be altered)- Amazon
  • 8 Ohm Speaker- Amazon
  • DS3231 RTC Module- Amazon
  • CR2023 Battery- Amazon
  • Pushbutton (I may or may not be using one from an old doorbell)- Amazon
  • M/F DuPont Wires- Amazon
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • 3D Printer (Optional)
  • Soldering Iron

Step 1: The Circuit

For you, this part will be quite simple. just wire everything according to the diagram. Also, you are able to connect the SDA and SCL to the A4 and A5, respectively, on the Arduino. It really doesn't matter if which way you do it. Another choice you can make is the sound element. You have the option between an 8 Ohm speaker and a Piezo Buzzer. I used a piezo because I had one on hand, but you may want a speaker because they are generally louder.

IMPORTANT: As noted in the diagram, the DS1307 module should be replaced with a DS3231 RTC

Step 2: The Code

The code is really simple. It basically sets the time at the start of the program at 00:00:00. Pushing the button when you feed the dog will reset the program. If the time exceeds 11:00:00, it will raise an alarm for 8 seconds. IMPORTANT: Before running this code, download the DS3231 library from Adafruit. Then make sure to include the .zip library in your code. If you are unfamiliar with the Arduino IDE, please see HakckerEarth's fabulous guide. Upload the code onto the board, and you are all set in that department.

*Note the date set on line 17 (:

Step 3: The Case

I own a 3D Printer, so I printed my enclosure. However, I know not everyone has one, so you can also make a case out of cardboard or any other material you have on hand. If you want to print your encasement, I have attached .stl files. The enclosure should be about 10.5cm x 7.5cm x 4cm (~4.5in x 3.5in x 1.5in). Make sure there are two holes in the side- one for the power cord (the left of one of the short sides) and one for the button (you can place this wherever fits, mine is shown above). It should also have a lid (picture).

Step 4: Stuff the Electronics in the Case

Now, hot glue the button into the hole on the long side of the case (as shown). Then lay all the electronics into the case, dividing them with something so the circuits don't touch (you can use cardboard, folded duct tape, whatever), like the picture above. Plug the USB cord into the Arduino through the hole in the front and make sure everything is working properly. Then glue the lid on.

Step 5: Use It!

Plug the USB cord into a wall adapter and set the alarm near the dog bowl. Now you can always remember to feed your dog (or cat- this really isn't animal specific). Hopefully, you will never forget to feed your furry friend (assuming it's not a reptile, amphibian, fish, invertebrate, etc.). But if you do, will get an annoying sound for eight seconds. Please comment below if you have any constructive criticism, or if you liked this Instructable.

*If you can't read what I wrote in my awful bubble letter handwriting, it says, "Please Press After Feeding", a little note to the other member of my household.

If you enjoyed this project or found it useful in any capacity (I sincerely hope you did), feel free to vote for me in the Pets Contest. Or don't. It really doesn't matter that much. (:

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    Discussions

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    WeTeachThemSTEM

    12 days ago

    Great solution to a common problem! Thanks for sharing your design.