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Dawn and dusk

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by bizzlemedia, Jun 28, 2011.

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  1. bizzlemedia


    Jun 20, 2011
    Hi There,

    I want to construct a mechanism that will open a chicken coop door in the morning, and close it in the evening.

    I have in my posesion a light sensitive switch, that turns on at night and off in the morning.

    How do i construct a ciruit that will revieve an 'on' signal from the light sensitive switch in the evening that will turn on a simple motor for a short period of time (i.e. enough time to close the door) so that the motor is not straining all night, and will open the door in the morning when the signal from the light dependant switch is off.

    I am experienced at building ciruits....i'm just not very good at designing them.

    Many thanks,
  2. duke37


    Jan 9, 2011
    Possibly the easiest way would be to get a car window motor which raises the window and then has a limit switch to switch off the motor when it reaches the correct level.
    A relay from your light sensitive switch would replace the door switches.
    Get to know a tame recycler at your local scrap yard.

    How will you know that the chooks are inside in the evening?
  3. daddles


    Jun 10, 2011
    You may want to rethink the light sensitive approach. I'm in the process of building one for my chicken coop and that was the first design approach I thought of (besides, commercial switches are already available and I use them on my lights in the front). However, a problem where I live is that it can get pretty bright at night when there's snow on the ground and it's overcast. I can walk outside and dang near read a book. I'd be worried that the light detector might falsely trigger or not trigger -- and, of course, it would happen when it was 10 below, which is of course a design corner that's not easily tested for a hobbyist.

    Instead, I picked a cheap 120 VAC timer that uses a synchronous motor. These things are reliable and I've used them outside in the wintertime, so I know they work (besides, you can find them dirt cheap). I'd used this single pole switch to turn on in the morning, opening the door, then closing the door at night.

    One thing to think about is what happens when you have a failure. Where I live, we sometimes lose our chickens and ducks to raccoons and foxes during the night (and sometimes the babies to hawks during the day) if we accidentally forget to close the door. Just as bad: on a hot day the chickens and ducks could be stressed pretty badly if the door didn't open during the day (a 100+ degF day in the chicken coop would be pretty bad, as they don't have water or food in there).
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