Thanks for joining in the discussion @BrianDStuart. Great to see you receive such a helpful and prompt reply from @Baretta11. Please let us know if you need any further assistance. We'd be very happpy to help with any projects you have on the go in the house or garden.
Welcome to the community,
I understand a bit more now. My closure trigger occured just at Dusk when the chickens were still pottering. So I guess the timer is held in the off state until such a time as it is completely dark and the chicks will definitely be in the coop.
I see that I can set the timer to fire at say 10PM, the photocell will activate, detect it is dark and switch the coil appropropriately triggering the door closing sequence. As you say the morning sequence can time for whenever.
I could keep resetting the timer to activiate closer to dusk but I would have to keep changing it with the seasons as the days get longer - so I might as well set it for 10 PM -that way it deals with both winter and summer (in my area anyway).
I also tried to find if I could have the photocell activate itself at dusk but the have some sort of "power on" delay. My google skills have failed to unearth any invention the can acheive that.
Thansk all to the great insights.
Hi Brian, sorry to tell you 10pm is waaaayy too late, the timer has to be not long after dark as chooks don't usually roost just on dusk so they should be inside before that without any prompting. Foxes seem to find such simple anomalies in a system and I'm afraid like us, you might come home or go out to find dreadful carnage.
It is a bit of a nuisance to have to be resetting the clock but in all fairness, day light saving is around for quite a while, so if you notice the chooks are always in by say 8.30pm, then set the timer about 15 min later, you will find they will be very regular, that is in their nature to roost as all birds do but that extra hour or so is unnecessary for the chooks as they are never still going to be out once the daylight is all but gone.
I live in Victoria so it is dark by 5.30pm in the dead of winter so having the timer close the door at 10pm would most certainly be curtains for the chooks having an open door for over 4 hours in the dark assuming of course you could have a fox issue but given foxes are in suburbia too nowadays and in fact a study I heard suggested there are more foxes now in town than in the country, you would really need to re adjust the clock from time to time but that is usually not too hard??
I have had a huge power bill coincidentally and as a result of making some changes to try to save on power, I have included timers on things like our bathroom heated towel rail and the charger for the stick vacc for example, so I don't have these devices still on 24/7 but running after midnight when we have cheaper rates, so I have become pretty proficient with the use of timers hence my comment they aren't too hard to change the time providing you don't do what I still do occasionally and forget to set the right time to the arrow after setting the on/off time ha-ha ha-ha