Automatic Hen Door Opener

Posted by: Anonymous

Automatic Hen Door Opener - 11/20/03 10:39 AM

I want one of these very badly and lack the skills to make my own and hubby doesn't have the time. Well after a few hours searching the net I think I have found the answer. Its a drapery opener (just the machine not the whole track) from smarthome.com for about 89.00US. Can be set up on timer and distance of draw can be adjusted. Just have to set-up your pull cord like a pull cord for drapes. While still expensive it is a solution. Now I just have to find one in canada.
Posted by: Larissa

Re: Automatic Hen Door Opener - 11/20/03 11:20 AM

You're awesome!

That is a great idea. I have been racking my brain for three weeks trying to come up with some kind of automatic door to my henhouse as well. The only thing that I have come up with is using an electric clock drive motor set on a timer. I'd go into detail as to how it would work but your idea sounds so much better. I think that I will search for the automatic drapery opener on the internet today. I will let you know if I find anything.
Posted by: Anny

Re: Automatic Hen Door Opener - 11/20/03 12:00 PM

Have a look at this web page for ideas.
Posted by: Larissa

Re: Automatic Hen Door Opener - 11/20/03 01:19 PM

Wow! Even better! Do you (Anny) have one of the light sensitve openers?

I wish I would have inquired about an automatic henhouse door a long time ago. I thought people would think I'm nuts and that it would be hard to find something--but apparently not.
Posted by: Anny

Re: Automatic Hen Door Opener - 11/20/03 02:04 PM

My son built our automated coop door with spare parts from a broken photo copier. It works on a timer. A good light sensitive switch is quite expensive. You don't want one that closed your coop door when a dark cloud moves by - or opens it at night when a firefly gets mad. wink
Posted by: Larissa

Re: Automatic Hen Door Opener - 11/20/03 03:48 PM

I actually wouldn't plan on using the light sensitive feature of the door. The timer, door lifter and door itself is what I am most interested in. The prices seem fairly reasonable as well.

An old copier mechanism huh? That's very clever.
Posted by: Ratbird

Re: Automatic Hen Door Opener - 11/20/03 05:34 PM

We have been trying to figure out a timer door for our rooster. We can let the girls out first thing in the morning no probs but the roo stays under dark until 10am. Often we have to leave early and wish we had a timer to let him out on.

THIS IS TOO COOL!! There must be one that is a simple timer rather than a light sensor.
Posted by: Anny

Re: Automatic Hen Door Opener - 11/21/03 01:50 PM

Ratbird, go to a car yard and find a windscreen wiper engine (you'll need a 6 volt battery or a 6 V trafo). Secure it above a vertically sliding door. Put it on a timer.
Posted by: Ratbird

Re: Automatic Hen Door Opener - 11/21/03 04:23 PM

OOOOHHHHHH!!!

I showed my husband the link to the site that Anny provided and he has been on a mission ever since.

All good ideas!! Thank you. I'll post a note when we get further on this!
Posted by: Larissa

Re: Automatic Hen Door Opener - 11/24/03 10:13 AM

Ratbird, Anny,--anyone else still following this thread. Has anyone of you tried to contact AXT Electronic? I have tried using their contact form to get some questions answered about the automatic henhouse door but haven't had much luck getting the info to send. I also noted on their online order form they warn credit card users that data will be sent "via an uncoded link", which basically means that it is not a secure site. So, I guess that if I really want to order their product I am going to need to call. I believe it's in Germany, so hopefully since their website has an english version someone their will speak a little english. I actually know a little bit of German but I can see a phone order being a bit of a challenge.
Anyway, if anyone has successfully contacted AXT or has any other helpful info about them I'd love to know. Thanks.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Automatic Hen Door Opener - 11/24/03 02:30 PM

Hi guys, I got ahold of them and they forwarded me to their UK sales rep as all sales come from them. The address is WWW.ascott.biz. I received a prompt reply from them when I request information about their product. I have decided not to purchase the product due to the expense and have decided to try the drapery opener from smarthome.com. Should get it by the end of the week. I will let you all know how it goes with the installation and operation of this product. Wish me luck.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Automatic Hen Door Opener - 11/24/03 05:03 PM

On what anny said: 'go to a car yard and find a windscreen wiper engine (you'll need a 6 volt battery or a 6 V trafo). Secure it above a vertically sliding door. Put it on a timer'.

There is one problem: It would just keep onening and closing. How about buying a secondhand electric garage door opener - at least it would stop when the door opened/closed and wouldn't keep opening and closing like a windscreen wiper motor would. And the door opener would run on mains supply - not a battery. Much more convenient!

Of course it all depends on the size of the door if it would work or not.

BRETT ENRIGHT - laugh laugh laugh
Posted by: Anny

Re: Automatic Hen Door Opener - 11/25/03 02:07 PM

You'd also need a relay, of course, and end course switches.

And with a trafo it would "run on mains supply".
Posted by: Anny

Re: Automatic Hen Door Opener - 11/27/03 06:46 AM

Hello! Anybody there????
I suppose everybody is out scrounging through the junk yards taking wiper motors out of old Ford pickup trucks! Daimler-Benz has a very good one too. laugh laugh laugh
Any feedback??
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Automatic Hen Door Opener - 11/27/03 08:11 AM

Good Morning Anne. I wish my hubby had time to build one for me as he is very good at that kind of thing. But he is away from home half the time and when he is home we usually have a million other "more important" to get done. But just wait till summers here and we want to go camping and fishing for the weekend. I can here the muttering already. Anyhow - the drapery opener came yesterday and it looks like just the ticket. Its something I can easily install myself and if it frees us up on the odd weekend - it was worth every penny. I will update on how well it works once it is installed.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Automatic Hen Door Opener - 11/29/03 07:34 PM

Yahoo. I couldn't wait for hubby so I installed the door opener myself. It was soooo easy. Just ran a line from the door, around the wheel of the drapery opener and to a counter weight to keep the cord tight. It took about 4 trys to set the opening and closing distance so it stopped at just the right spot. Added a timer set to open at 9:00am (so Wally doesn't disturbe the neighbors) and close at 6:00pm. I went into the coop to watch the big auto close at 6:00pm. Worked like a charm. I am going to run it for 7 days to see if it requires adjustments over that duration of time and to see how the drapery opener handles the load. We only need it if we are going to be away for a day or two. I'll update you all in a week
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Automatic Hen Door Opener - 01/12/04 07:02 AM

Just curious. What was the total cost US including shipping. I know that my opener won't last as long as the one from germany so I am still interested in this opener. Also, we are building another coop in April so will want another opener. Thanks
Posted by: Anny

Re: Automatic Hen Door Opener - 01/12/04 07:29 AM

Gish's Dad, you're welcome. You made me laugh with the "Bratwurst und Bier", but we are used to that. Every time we buy something new we have the "Bratwurst und Bier" ready - although nowadays "Sushi and Saké" might come handy. laugh With all the different languages here, we make sure to read instructions in the original language when possible as translations are mostly hard to understand.
Good luck with your Automation!
Posted by: Larissa

Re: Automatic Hen Door Opener - 01/13/04 09:48 AM

I'm curious as well about the total cost of the VSB. I went to the ascott website a few months back and decided not to order it because it seemed like it was going to be pretty spendy after getting all the parts and paying for shipping (over $200.00?).

Anyway, Chookers -- if you are still on this thread I'm also curious to find out a little more about how you set up your door with the drapery opener. I ordered one as well from Smarthome but I have yet to set it up. You hooked it up to a sliding door, didn't you? Also, since it really is an indoor mechanism, how is it holding up to the weather?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Automatic Hen Door Opener - 01/15/04 08:23 AM

Hi Chknlari. I installed mine inside the coop to avoid the weather issue. I think it will last longer as well.

My sliding door is on the outside of the coop so I drilled a 1" whole through the wall about 2' above the door. I ran a line from the door and through the hole to the inside of the coop. Then up the wall about another 2'to a pulley. I mounted the opener about 1 foot off the floor. From the pulley I continued to run the line down and through the opener and back up the wall to another pulley. I left about 3' of line on this side of the pulley and added a counter weight to this end. It is about the same weight as the door. This way the whole thing is balanced as best can be. As per the directions from the opener, I adjusted the line so that the door was 1/2 open. Then I plugged it in and the door went up. I unplugged it at the point I wanted it to stop and moved the first switch to that point. Then I plugged it in again and the door moved down. I again unplugged it as soon as the door touched down. I then moved the other switch to that point. That gave the machine the "basic" range of movement I needed. I had to adjust it a little more and since then it has worked great. Since then I have not had to adjust it at all.

I added the timer and yahoo. No more letting the girls out when its raining. Wish I could draw a picture for you.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Automatic Hen Door Opener - 01/15/04 08:29 AM

Chknlari - check your PM's. I forgot to add that I bought drapery cord from walmart.