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Electronic dog kennel Help!

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by dganon, Feb 16, 2010.

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  1. dganon

    dganon Guest

    I am designing an electronic dog kennel. This kennel has a door that will only let the chosen dog into the kennel. It does this using RFID tagging and 1 geared motor to raise and lower the bridge with to micro switches at the top and bottom to cut the motors off. Inside there is a 175w infrared heat lamp that will be linked up to a temperature sensor to keep the kennel at a constant temperature. This will all be linked up to a microcontroller pic16f877a to control the system. Basically I need suggestions into what type of circuit boards and coding that you guys would think are involved in this project. Any and all help will be much appreciated. Cheers guys.
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Cute, just beware of the problems that might occur if the designated dog is close to the door and another dog walks in. The designated dog walks away and the door closes, locking the other dog in. I would recommend that you have the door hinged at the top and held closed by a spring or similar so that in the event of a power loss, or a dog getting locked in, the dog can just push the door open.

    Also you need a very short range RFID reader or the door will never close with the dog inside (or maybe that's the plan).

    It actually makes sense then to have the RFID reader some distance outside the door so that the door only lets the dog in, and the dog pushes his way out (that way power failures or faults won't be a learning exercise for him.

    The door also needs to stop if there's something in the way, be it a tail, a leg, or bedding. You don't want to hurt the dog or burn out the motor. Maybe the limit switch could also be connected to a bumper on the lower edge of the door.

    I have considered something like this for letting our cats and dogs inside the house, or for keeping their food bowls separate (for animals on a special diet).

    There would be nothing special about the circuit boards or the coding as nothing has to happen really fast. Limit switches for the door mean that you don't need to be careful at all with the way you control the motors. The only tricky bit is that you may want to keep the door open for a fixed minimum time after the RFID tag is selected so the door opens fully allowing the dog in if he walks too quickly to the opening hatch.
  3. dganon

    dganon Guest

    the door of the kennel will remain open at all time while the dog is within the set distance. In the point that you raised about the tail/ bedding getting stuck inside is a very valued point and I shall have to look into this. This project is in fact already built its just the electrical parts that still need to connected up and programmed to all work in the correct manner. below are some images of the kennel
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2010
  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Hahaha -- I see what you mean by drawbridge ;D

    One thing you could do is have the drawbridge "rope" weighed down by a weighted pulley. If the rope goes too slack, the pulley will lower, if it gets too tight it will pull up. If you place limit switches on the travel of the pulley you can detect a jammed door (either one that won't lower or one that won't raise).

    Other than that, your program simply needs to operate the motor in the "lower" mode when the RFID tag is detected (allowing the limit switches to stop it) and run in the "raise" mode when the RFID is no longer detected.

    in pseudocode, I'd try something like this:

    turn off motor
    turn off lamp
    set x = (some small value)

    read Temp

    if Temp < reqdtemp - x
    turn on lamp​

    if temp > reqdtemp + x
    turn off lamp​

    if RFID detected
    turn off motor
    set motor direction DOWN
    turn on motor
    wait 10 seconds
    turn off motor​

    set motor direction UP
    turn on motor​
    until false​
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