Automatic chicken door is becoming my guillotine

Thread Starter

Sofa

Joined Dec 24, 2020
250
Ok, I have tried already. Exactly as per diagram but without the photo cell. No power on the relay as the actuator doesn't move (nor if I swap + and -) and the second relay (I have 2 new ones) doesn't work either. On the relay is a tiny green led, doesn't lid up either. It can't be that both photo cells are broken AND both relays as none work ........

The relays by the way are

LY2NJ 8Pin Power Electromagnetic Relay PTF08A Socket 12 VDC
 

Thread Starter

Sofa

Joined Dec 24, 2020
250
I covered them for minutes as I know some take long to respond. Anyway, without the cells the relays don't lit up nor pass on the power. I checked the numbers on the relay, as you can see from my drawing and I absolutely did not make a wrong connection.

Unless this relay has it's pin connections completely different than from the schedule BUT more people have used a LY2NJ .......

I have now also tried the second socket, nope ........... no power.

But there is power coming from the transformer so if I connect the actuator to the same wires as now the relay is connected, but without the relay, it works fine.
 
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Thread Starter

Sofa

Joined Dec 24, 2020
250
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If you put the relays (coils) directly across the power supply do they work?
Where did you get those relays? You may have fakes, that is another possibility. I have a few fakes that went into flames on an Electrolux induction filter board someone tried to repair.
Can you hook the relays directly to the power supply, without the socket. Do the relays operate, does the green LED light?
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
9,186
I am trying to avoid a divorce, not trying to keep wild boars out.

My wife wakes up shortly after she's gone to bed to let the chickens out and I feel that I should stop pushing her bum out of the bed asap.
Ever consider getting your sorry bum out of bed to avoid a divorce?

No, I don't have a multi meter except my fingers. They work fine with the local 220V but not with 12V. You don't feel anything!
If you’re using your fingers to measure 220V, perhaps a divorce isn’t your first concern.
 

Thread Starter

Sofa

Joined Dec 24, 2020
250
Guys, we watch UK TV here, the divorce was meant as a joke!

Yes I can hook up the relay without the socket but which pins - just 2? - which ones do I connect then with a croc clip?
 
I'm going to make my usual comments. You seem to have power which is a good thing.

Astronomic Timer
That said, an Astronomic timer beats a photocell every time. So, what's an "astronomic timer"? It's a timer that using latitude and longnitude, "computes" sunrise and sunset. For home, I have a light that turns on 1/2 hour after sunset and turns off at 11:30pm. The timer I have 'glitches' the day of the change and it has battery backup for the timing functions. No "low battery" alarm though. It should be a much more reliable system. This one https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001436665966.html uses AC power.

Power

There are companies such as this one http://www.alarmsaf.com/ that make integrated power solutions. You get 12VDC back-up power. The one I used gave me a bunch of class II, enabled and PTC protected outputs. Typical applications are fire, access control and cameras for 12 and 24V. Class II in the US is limited to 100W and the wiring doesn't need conduit. Needed it for sirens. A lot of battery supervision goes in there too.

Dynamic braking
One simple way to control a DC motor is to use SPDT Bosch style automotive relays with 40-40Amp contact ratings. You use two hooked up in a way that shorts each end of the motor to ground when the coils are off. The other NO contact goes to +12 and the common contact goes to the motor.

this gives you a truth table of:
0 0 - brake
0 1 fwd
1 0 rev
1 1 -brake

When the DC motor coasts, it acts as a generator. The load happens to be a short, so the motor stops quickly.

LIMIT Switches
Adustable limit switches for actuators don't seem to exist. End of travel switches do seem to exist. Potentiometer feedback and pulse feedback with org sensors seem to exist too.

With the SPDT relay system, your limit switch has to be able to handle the relay coil current. Its substantial for those relays. i think it's 150 to 250 mA. Once the end point is reached, they don't draw any power.

I put a "comprehensive" solution here https://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/...-greenhouse-roof-window-control.134958/page-2 in motor-limits.pdf which does a lot more.
 

Thread Starter

Sofa

Joined Dec 24, 2020
250
I am not quite sure what is meant by ‘fakes’. You could buy a watch which is filled with a few small pieces of stone so that’s a fake but this relay clearly has all the components inside and even the injection mould is of high quality as it looks flawless.

An astronomic timer is a good option indeed. I looked into that but found them too expensive.

Power: I bought 4 other transformers (last year for another project) and they’re fine. (So power I have)

Limit switches: the actuator’s got them.

I was looking for the cheapest solution (obviously) and that’s why I got these parts. As I suspected the relay nor the photo cell would be top quality I bought 2 of each but we are looking at USD 2 each for the relay and USD 7 each for the photo cell (shipping included) so if you have to replace a part after a year, never mind! And as I got all these parts now I just wanted to make them work!

It's winter and getting up at 7 am ...........

Getting 2 faulty photo cells and 2 faulty relays seems very far fetched. Both suppliers by the way scored high – I don’t buy from suppliers that receive regular negative feedback.

Anyway, I will look today for a data sheet!
 
Watch with the 1NO and 1NC contact arrangement, it's not SPDT unless you make a terminal common.

Also be careful, that the contacts can have very different ratings.

Make the circuit simpler. Either leave the motor out of the equation (use the LED in the relay) to understand what;s going on.
 

Thread Starter

Sofa

Joined Dec 24, 2020
250
Thanks so far. I am going to use an old 12 V car light bulb and start again with the photo cell. Black is power input. Red is power output and green is -

That can't go wrong and if the light bulb doesn't light up both photo cells are rubbish. I can't imagine (even cheap stuff should work when leaving the factory) but I will try that today.
 

LesJones

Joined Jan 8, 2017
4,226
Can you post a link to the supplier of the light sensor and a picture of it with the cover removed ?
Edit. I have just noticed post #39 Try connecting the green /yellow wire to the supply positive instead of the supply negative. If it uses an NPN transistor or an N channel mosfet for switching it is likely to work that way round.
Edit 2. Using a car headlamp bulb may damage the switching device in the sensor because of the high initial current when the filament is cold. I suggest using a smaller load such as a side lamp bulb (~ 5 W) or an flasher bulb, (~ 18 W)

Les
 
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MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
19,404
One thing about those relays, which gave my tech a fit for a few days, is that some have a diode across the coil, and if you connect backward the relay does not operate. Sneaky as all, it does not show, and you must examine the small circuit on the relay case very carefully. And they don't even work right on AC, at least not all the time.
 

Alec_t

Joined Sep 17, 2013
14,407
Black is power input. Red is power output and green is -
Are you absolutelu sure? A great number of electronic gizmos have red and black as the positive and negative of the DC supply.
Do you have a datasheet to confirm the pinout?
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
9,186
Are you absolutelu sure? A great number of electronic gizmos have red and black as the positive and negative of the DC supply.
Do you have a datasheet to confirm the pinout?
Red is often used as a switched hot lead. Black is the hot lead back to the panel.
 

Thread Starter

Sofa

Joined Dec 24, 2020
250
Hello Les.

This is the photo cell supplier and I have uploaded 3 pictures with the cover removed.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001320935334.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.13e94c4doSew2C

It has a green/red/black wire. You mean green to positive on the transformer and then black on negative? (So the other way round as 'normal' ?)

Pictures cover removed: https://www.eurocartridge.eu/Chicken-coop-door/Problem.htm

Point taken about the bulb. It's a very old car light bulb, not very bright but easy as it had pins!
 

Thread Starter

Sofa

Joined Dec 24, 2020
250
djsfantasi said:
Red is often used as a switched hot lead. Black is the hot lead back to the panel.

Right ............ well, I have also uploaded the diagram that came with the sensors
 

Thread Starter

Sofa

Joined Dec 24, 2020
250
anniel747

Thanks for that explanation, I get it now.

Alec_t said:
Are you absolutelu sure?

No I am not. That's why I uploaded the pictures. I thought: 'Maybe somebody is going to tell me that I should connect color X to Z and not .....'. But, I followed the diagram of the coop door opener and did not make an error copying it.


djsfantasi said:
Red is often used as a switched hot lead. Black is the hot lead back to the panel.

You could be right but according to the diagram of the cell (uploaded) it's black. So I connected black to the + of the transformer

https://www.eurocartridge.eu/Chicken-coop-door/Problem.htm
 

twohats

Joined Oct 28, 2015
459
This is turning into a saga.
I haven't read every word, if it hasn't already been suggested, wire the actuator to the power supply.
If no go, then one of them is kaput.
I'm sure the sensors & relays are good, the odds against two duff ones of each is too high.
Stick with it.
 

Thread Starter

Sofa

Joined Dec 24, 2020
250
A few weeks ago I bought some temperature controllers and black infra red bulbs. I built 3 large boxes with each 2 x 100 Watt bulbs and connected the wiring. That was fairly complicated I thought, especially as I didn't have a diagram. You set the temp, for example at 100 degrees and the bulbs heat up until the required temp. Then you get a cooling period and the bulbs start again when the temp has dropped to 90 degrees. (I am just typing some numbers here as Fahrenheit means nothing to me) There's light in there too and an extra temp checker. All of them work beautifully and the prices I paid were ridiculous, dirt cheap!

So now I am working on something else and ALL the components seem to be faulty. That just seems to bad to be true.
 
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