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Automatic chicken coop door opener

darylhewston
Super Contributor

Automatic chicken coop door opener

G'day fellow workshoppers,

 

Finally got around to designing, building and installing the new auto door for our girls.  I was quiet shocked at the price of purchasing a pre-built opener, but I've put together a price list and can understand why these items are expensive.  Anyhoo, I will attempt a how-to on this project.

 

Here are the parts required for the build that I put together.  Motor, photocell, double pole double throw relay, timer, transformer, micro/limit switches and an enclosure to put it all in. (The black transformer may be used as an alternative).

WP_20170211_001.jpg

I had to make a shaft for the motor so as to lift and lower the door.  I decided to use a bolt with a hole drilled in the end to suit the shaft.  A couple of very large washers and nuts and a smaller bolt tapped to lock onto the shaft as a key.

WP_20170211_002.jpg

Time to put it all together.  Wiring is via the diagram attached below.  I also decided to install some LED marker lights I had as surplus to come on just prior to dusk and turn off after a couple of hours (photo upside down for some reason).  I did a test run at this stage to ensure it worked.

WP_20170211_004.jpg

The following is after installing on the coop.  The little pulleys allow the door to open/close without binding.

WP_20170211_005.jpg

The rope is just plain 'gunline' and is not prone to rotting.  I will probably replace this with something more permanent in the future.

WP_20170211_006.jpg

Last but not least is the placement of the micro/limit switches which shuts down the motor when either in the raised or lowered position.  In this case I used a long bolt and positioned the switches to allow activation.

WP_20170211_008.jpg

Here is the wiring diagram.  It may look a bit intimidating but it is foolproof.  

Chicken Auto Door.pdf

 

If anyone wants a PDF version, just let me know.  Also if you have any questions, please don't hesitate.

 

Nearly forgot the price list.

24v DC motor with 48RPM reduction gearbox - $10.80 (ebay)

Photocell - $3.26 (ebay)

Relay - $4.70 (wholesaler)

Timer - Free but can purchase for under $20.00

Transformer - Free but approx $20-30 on ebay

2 x Limit switches - $12.00 (wholesaler)

Enclosure - $32.00 (wholesaler) but can get much cheaper without clear lid.

Cable, connectors and misc stuff - Approx $5-6

Labour not considered (approx 4 hours to put together, test and install).

 

Considering a pre-made purchased unit costs upwards of $250.00 - $400.00, I think I made the right decision making it myself.

 

Cheers'n'beers

Daryl

 

AndreaNg
Established Contributor

Re: Automatic chicken coop door opener

I've been thinking about getting backyard chickens for a while but still haven't taken the plunge. 


Can I ask why you needed the door opener @darylhewston? You are very clever making it yourself. 

darylhewston
Super Contributor

Re: Automatic chicken coop door opener

@AndreaNg

 

Thanks for that.  We like to get away when we can and I don't like the idea of the coop being left open overnight.  This way the girls are secure and we also have quite a large feeder and waterer that is fed off the bore.

 

The only 1 bit of advice I will give you is have a dedicated area for your girls as they will get into everything and poo absolutely everywhere you don't want them to.

 

Really hope you get some as the entertainment alone is really cool.

 

Cheers'n'beers

Daryl

MartyH
Valued Contributor

Re: Automatic chicken coop door opener

Awesome @darylhewston.

 

Can you build me one of these?

 

darylhewston
Super Contributor

Re: Automatic chicken coop door opener

 

@MartyH

 

I love it, I want one myself.  Probably not big enough though.

 

Cheers'n'beers

Daryl

Mouthpear
New Contributor

Re: Automatic chicken coop door opener

This is a very nice setup. Complicated yet simple. Complicated only due to the amount of wires. Yet simple in the use of only one relay and one timer. I've seen so many that really just over complicated it with 2 or 3 relays and two timer. Not to mention the cost. How is it doing?

 

Here is my version based on liner actuators. With and without photocell and flashing LEDs (night time door down indicator and red eyes predator deterant)

 

Chicken Door 1 DOWN.jpgChicken Door 1 UP.jpg

 Chicken Door 2 DOWN W Photo Cell And down Flashers.jpg

 Chicken Door 2 UP W Photo Cell And down Flashers.jpg

 

Community Manager Jason
Community Manager

Re: Automatic chicken coop door opener

Hi @Mouthpear,

 

I see you've made a blank post. Please let me know if you need a hand with anything to get the most from the site.

 

Let me also extend a very warm welcome to Workshop. It's great to have you join the community. I'm looking forward to you sharing your projects and plans.

 

Jason

See something interesting? Give it the thumbs up!

Mouthpear
New Contributor

Re: Automatic chicken coop door opener

My apologies. Fixed.

Community Manager Jason
Community Manager

Re: Automatic chicken coop door opener

No worries @Mouthpear.

 

I'll tag @darylhewston so he sees your reply.

 

Jason

See something interesting? Give it the thumbs up!

Mouthpear
New Contributor

Re: Automatic chicken coop door opener

TY

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