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Building a timed motor circuit

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Grifftapher, Nov 21, 2018.

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  1. Grifftapher

    Grifftapher

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    Nov 21, 2018
    Hi everyone, new to electronics so your help is greatly appreciated.

    I need to build a small mechanism where a motor opens/closes an acrylic cover horizontally on a timer.

    So, for example, at 10:00pm the acrylic cover slides open and then closes at 11:00pm.

    The design is similar to a funnel, where the base is around 5" in diameter. At a certain time, I want a piece of acrylic (or anything of-the-like) to open the base of the funnel by rotating away and then close after a certain time as well. It is a very basic setup, but as someone who has never studied electronics i'm a bit at a loss where to start.

    Any advice as to where I can learn the circuitry and the underlying mechanisms to make this function would be greatly appreciated.

    I'm guessing I need a motor that is linked into a system where it is triggered to open by some sort of timer and then cut off by a trigger (to stop it constantly spinning) and then close again on the basis of the timer.

    Thank you in advance
     
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Jan 21, 2010
    One option is to have a disc with a hole in it that is rotated so the hole lines up, the rotated back again to block the opening.

    You could do this with a stepper motor or a servo, but either way the controlling logic would most easily be implemented in a microcontroller (think Arduino).

    If you need exact timing, you may also need to interface to a source of this information. It could be a clock chip (like those used in PC's to retain the time when they're off), the internet (to periodically query a time server) or a GPS device which will return the current time based on satellite data. Each have their pros and cons, and require different programming.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
    Grifftapher likes this.
  3. kellys_eye

    kellys_eye

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    Jun 25, 2010
    I use a similar system to open/close a hatch to my hen coop! I used the KISS principle and a couple of relays with reed switch sensors to detect open/closed and an electronic timer to open/close at the appropriate times.

    There are loads of examples on Youtube - perhaps you might want to look at those before committing to your own particular solution?
     
    (*steve*) likes this.
  4. hevans1944

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

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    Jun 21, 2012
    Does the acrylic cover slide horizontally to open and close the wide-mouth part of the funnel? Would a rack-and-pinion mechanism be appropriate for this function? If the cover is allowing something to fall through the funnel when the cover is open, is there any chance it will get jammed when you attempt to close it? A rotating circular cover may be a simple solution, with appropriate gearing and limit switches to detect the open and closed positions, and a simple mechanically programmable day-timer could be used to open and close the cover. Please provide a few more details of what you are trying to accomplish. So far, it sounds like this could be anything from a gumball machine to a chicken-feed dispenser! Of course a 5" diameter gumball would be a bit of pill to swallow... so it's probably not that.
     
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