Auto Chicken Coop door with Astronomic Clock Timer Project

Thread Starter

Jbrienza

Joined Sep 21, 2017
12
Hi I am looking to build an auto chicken coop door with the following parts. I am a circuit dummy and have done much reading but just don't understand everything fully. I would like to use the timer below bc it has dawn dusk programming by time zones built into it and will eliminate standard timer shortcomings (reprogramming as days get longer and shorter) and sensor issues(snow, storms, etc). Basically I would like door to open and close on the dawn dusk schedule of the timer (on off schedule). I am planning to bring AC power to the coop bc I will need a water heater to prevent frozen water in the winter. I have read many of the coop door posts but cant seem to find what I am looking for. Is there someone who can please help me with a wiring diagram. I would like to keep it as simple as possible. Any help is much appreciated.

timer:
https://www.intermatic.com/en/timer-controls/electronic-in-wall-timers/st01

linear actuator:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Heavy-Duty-...637038&hash=item4d04a75949:g:b-cAAOxyiOxR0Ol4

Relay:
(not sure If I need or what exactly what to get....)

coop wiring diag temp_Jbrienza.jpg
 

AnalogKid

Joined Aug 1, 2013
8,676
Since the equinox is today, lets start with a 12 hour on / 12 hour off pattern. Yes, you will need one DPDT relay. Also, one 12 V power supply capable of powering the actuator. This can be as small and stupid as a wall wart.

The relay has a 120 Vac coil and it connected directly to the output of the timer.
The power supply has a 120 Vac input and is connected directly to the AC input (not the timer output).
The actuator is connected to the two "pole" or center contacts of the relay. The throws are wired to the actuator.

The idea here is that the relay is continuously in one state during the day and the other state during the night. In one state it passes the two DC power connections from the output of the power supply to the actuator; in the other state it reverses the two connections.

This plan works if the actuator has internal limit switches to prevent the motor being powered and stalled all day or night. Check with the manufacturer to confirm this. If it doesn't have internal switches, then we can add them externally. Also, find out the current requirement for the motor.

The ebay page says the actuator has a clutch, not switches. Check with them to see if it is ok for the actuator to be powered continuously. If not, there are two ways around that. One is mounting limit switches on the coop door and frame. The other is to add a second timer that runs the motor for a few seconds longer than needed, then shuts it off until the next cycle.

How comfortable are you with building a small timer circuit?

Schematic later.

ak
 
Last edited:

GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
Hi I am looking to build an auto chicken coop door with the following parts. I am a circuit dummy and have done much reading but just don't understand everything fully. I would like to use the timer below bc it has dawn dusk programming by time zones built into it and will eliminate standard timer shortcomings (reprogramming as days get longer and shorter) and sensor issues(snow, storms, etc). Basically I would like door to open and close on the dawn dusk schedule of the timer (on off schedule). I am planning to bring AC power to the coop bc I will need a water heater to prevent frozen water in the winter. I have read many of the coop door posts but cant seem to find what I am looking for. Is there someone who can please help me with a wiring diagram. I would like to keep it as simple as possible. Any help is much appreciated.

timer:
https://www.intermatic.com/en/timer-controls/electronic-in-wall-timers/st01

linear actuator:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Heavy-Duty-...637038&hash=item4d04a75949:g:b-cAAOxyiOxR0Ol4

Relay:
(not sure If I need or what exactly what to get....)

The dawn/dusk feature works well but it assumes you are at the beginning of the time zone. Adjust the clock to fool it into starting at dusk/dawn for your exact position in your time zone if you want it to be as accurate as your chickens will want it.

By the way, Intermatic did a really good job with this feature.
 

ebeowulf17

Joined Aug 12, 2014
3,274
The dawn/dusk feature works well but it assumes you are at the beginning of the time zone. Adjust the clock to fool it into starting at dusk/dawn for your exact position in your time zone if you want it to be as accurate as your chickens will want it.

By the way, Intermatic did a really good job with this feature.
I'm intrigued by this feature. Hours of daylight vary quite a bit as a function of latitude - is there some way of telling the device where you're at?
 

GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
I'm intrigued by this feature. Hours of daylight vary quite a bit as a function of latitude - is there some way of telling the device where you're at?
Kind of. It has three bands, North, Central and South. Ultimately pretty well thought out. A nice balance of accuracy vs easy user input.

Here is the user manual.
https://www.intermatic.com/-/media/inriver/11657-10594.ashx/ST01-ST01K-EI600 Instructions-EN

We've had ours for about 12-years. The clock is powered by two 357 batteries that last about 3 years. No need to reset/reprogram after a power outage. they are not just backup because the whole clock stops if you don't change the batteries.

There is a manual switch to override on the front plate. We like them a lot.

Also, the dawn/dusk feature can be "randomized" so it is not exactly dawn/dusk to make the house look occupied rather than set by timers. I think randomize allows the lights to go on/off in a 30-minute range.
 
Last edited:

Thread Starter

Jbrienza

Joined Sep 21, 2017
12
Thanks so much! I am checking on limit switches in actuator now. Also thanks for a the forthcoming wiring diagram. Sorry for follow up questions but is there any way to link me to the appropriate relay and wall wart to get?(not sure about appropriate amperage)
 
My turn. I looked at a "comparable" actuator and found this: https://www.firgelliauto.com/products/linear-actuators#ptab-specifications So, it;s 5A Maximum current. Not wall wart material. 200# is a bit of force.
Purpose was to just get an order of magnitude current requirement.

The actuator will likely stop pretty quickly, but to make it stop quickly you employ "dynamic braking". This basically "shorts" the actuator when stopped. This is standard automotive door lock stuff.

Automotive relays such as these: https://www.parts-express.com/12-vdc-automotive-5-pin-relay-spdt-30-40a-bosch-type--330-073 can be purchased with socket pigtails.

e.g. https://www.allelectronics.com/item...cket-for-automotive-door-lock-circuits/1.html
poor spec sheet by the way.

The terminals face down, so water drips away.

So, you generally need two relays, one for up and one for down.

You have to decide if you want to switch positive or negative and wire each relay such that the Common terminals go to the motor terminals respectivey. and the NC terminals go to ground. The NO terminals goto +12.

Some relays have supression diode on the coil. Some don't. There is a preferred positive connection. There are two very similar wiring diagrams, but not the same. The diode is a good idea. 1n400x is fine. Where x is 1 or 2 or 3. They are wired across the coil so the band faces the positive direction.

You need a limit switch that has a current rating of the coil, w Enclosed which I think is about 150 mA. enclosed switches are expensive.

Without the protections, they can be $5.00. They need to open at the limit. If they are SPDT you can use these as a STATE indicator. e.g. Light an OPEN LED or CLOSED LED.

So, one of the relays acts as OPEN door and the OTHER acts as a closed door. If both are on or both off, nothing happens.

The limit switches OPEN the wires to the coil. e.g. OPEN the wires to the down coil, when the DOWN limit is reached and the same for the UP.

One way to wire this is to switch positive, So, the Up/down relays share a common ground and yo apply power to one or the other wires (e.g. an SPDT switch)

The timer you selected has a potential free SPDT switch. Called 3-way in the electrical world and SPDT in the electronucs world.

Your timer then selects the UP or DOWN relay.

The relays don;t get any power when they are at a limit, but the 12 V supply has to be on all of the time. It would be wise to get one with PFC (Power Factor Correction).

here's https://www.trcelectronics.com/View/Mean-Well/DR-100-12.shtml a suggested power supply. 1 W under no load conditions. The motor may draw much higher current when starting. This makes power supply selection kinda tough.

Everything can be placed in an enclosure with a door including your timer and DIN rail constructed. The enclosures are typically flange mounted on the wall and have a 1/4" aluminum plate at the bottom.

If you use a sealed limit switch, you can use Sealtite flex conduit to the switches and be free from chicken damage.

You can choose an enclosure like https://www.automationdirect.com/ad...-z-_Lighting/Enclosures/Fiberglass_Enclosures Choose an IP rating and go from there.

You can mount the control in a clear case if desired. Not sure if you can find one with hinges.

On the surface, it may appear cheap, but its not.

1. On power fail the chicken door won't open or close
This https://www.trcelectronics.com/View/Mean-Well/ENC-120-12.shtml, programmer and battery would solve that. Power supply not needed in this case.
2, Timer won't need resetting after a power failure.
3. No way to move the door manually (likely)
4. Astronomic timing

5. Chicken proof wiring (sealed switches, conduit power in)
6. Low quiescent power consumption

Future
Monitoring of coop door state.
Might consider running CAT6 cable (IP camera, door state etc)

The tricky part is to find a decent limit switch that will handle the coil current of the relay and wiring the whole thing so it;s chicken proof.
 

Thread Starter

Jbrienza

Joined Sep 21, 2017
12
Analog Kid, thanks for the help! The relay has internal limit switches (I contacted them). Also thanks for a the forthcoming wiring diagram. Sorry for follow up questions but is there any way to link me to the appropriate relay and wall wart to get?(not sure about appropriate amperage). I am fairly comfortable with building a circuit.

Hi I am looking to build an auto chicken coop door with the following parts. I am a circuit dummy and have done much reading but just don't understand everything fully. I would like to use the timer below bc it has dawn dusk programming by time zones built into it and will eliminate standard timer shortcomings (reprogramming as days get longer and shorter) and sensor issues(snow, storms, etc). Basically I would like door to open and close on the dawn dusk schedule of the timer (on off schedule). I am planning to bring AC power to the coop bc I will need a water heater to prevent frozen water in the winter. I have read many of the coop door posts but cant seem to find what I am looking for. Is there someone who can please help me with a wiring diagram. I would like to keep it as simple as possible. Any help is much appreciated.

timer:
https://www.intermatic.com/en/timer-controls/electronic-in-wall-timers/st01

linear actuator:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Heavy-Duty-...637038&hash=item4d04a75949:g:b-cAAOxyiOxR0Ol4

Relay:
(not sure If I need or what exactly what to get....)

View attachment 135595
Since the equinox is today, lets start with a 12 hour on / 12 hour off pattern. Yes, you will need one DPDT relay. Also, one 12 V power supply capable of powering the actuator. This can be as small and stupid as a wall wart.

The relay has a 120 Vac coil and it connected directly to the output of the timer.
The power supply has a 120 Vac input and is connected directly to the AC input (not the timer output).
The actuator is connected to the two "pole" or center contacts of the relay. The throws are wired to the actuator.

The idea here is that the relay is continuously in one state during the day and the other state during the night. In one state it passes the two DC power connections from the output of the power supply to the actuator; in the other state it reverses the two connections.

This plan works if the actuator has internal limit switches to prevent the motor being powered and stalled all day or night. Check with the manufacturer to confirm this. If it doesn't have internal switches, then we can add them externally. Also, find out the current requirement for the motor.

The ebay page says the actuator has a clutch, not switches. Check with them to see if it is ok for the actuator to be powered continuously. If not, there are two ways around that. One is mounting limit switches on the coop door and frame. The other is to add a second timer that runs the motor for a few seconds longer than needed, then shuts it off until the next cycle.

How comfortable are you with building a small timer circuit?

Schematic later.
 

Thread Starter

Jbrienza

Joined Sep 21, 2017
12
Since the equinox is today, lets start with a 12 hour on / 12 hour off pattern. Yes, you will need one DPDT relay. Also, one 12 V power supply capable of powering the actuator. This can be as small and stupid as a wall wart.

The relay has a 120 Vac coil and it connected directly to the output of the timer.
The power supply has a 120 Vac input and is connected directly to the AC input (not the timer output).
The actuator is connected to the two "pole" or center contacts of the relay. The throws are wired to the actuator.

The idea here is that the relay is continuously in one state during the day and the other state during the night. In one state it passes the two DC power connections from the output of the power supply to the actuator; in the other state it reverses the two connections.

This plan works if the actuator has internal limit switches to prevent the motor being powered and stalled all day or night. Check with the manufacturer to confirm this. If it doesn't have internal switches, then we can add them externally. Also, find out the current requirement for the motor.

The ebay page says the actuator has a clutch, not switches. Check with them to see if it is ok for the actuator to be powered continuously. If not, there are two ways around that. One is mounting limit switches on the coop door and frame. The other is to add a second timer that runs the motor for a few seconds longer than needed, then shuts it off until the next cycle.

How comfortable are you with building a small timer circuit?

Schematic later.

ak
Analogkid is there a way to msg you directly for more guidance
 
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