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Re: A challenge for you all... can you help me out?

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  • Chris AKA Junkman
    A couple of other problems with starter motors: (Besides being expensive) The require HUGE amounts of current... As anyone who has tried to start a cold car
    Message 1 of 12 , Nov 2, 2003
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      A couple of other problems with starter motors:
      (Besides being expensive) The require HUGE amounts of current... As
      anyone who has tried to start a cold car with a 'not-so-new' battery
      knows! The initial start-up current can run into, in some cases,
      scores and scores of amps! (Score=20, in case anyone forgot) That
      sudden surge can fry even some of the most robust power supplies,
      which again, will add to expense, since you would be forced to use a
      power supply that is sheer overkill for the job at hand. Another
      problem, related to the previous post on this, is not only does the
      output shaft going to give you headaches, but to really make the
      thing work, you will need to deal with what is often called
      the 'Bendix', (A trade name) which is often used to describe any
      version of starter drive gear. This gear is designed to engage when
      the starter motor first starts, and dis-engage once engine speed
      exceeds the starter motor RPMs. It's all done with a helix cut into
      the shaft combined with a spring. And all this has to have something,
      (Normally the teeth on the flywheel) to 'work against'. Starter
      motors are also heavy. Could one be made to work... Yes... But then
      you still have the problems of stop limit switches, and these starter
      motors are NOT designed to run in reverse. (Imagine what would
      happen to your flywheel if they could run backwards! Uh, ugly to
      even think about) The 'Bendix' will not work in reverse, even if the
      motor would. (And it could be made to do so, it's just a DC motor,
      after all... but the headaches wouldn't be worth it!) So then, how do
      you set the starter motor to stop after a set number of revolutions?
      Could be done, sure, but again, more headaches. Even with the starter
      drive grar removed, you have to hook it all up somehoe, and as the
      other post correctly pointed out, this wouldn't be all that easy.
      As for building the car door into the wall of the chicken coop, or
      even doing away with the coop and just using the whole car, that
      person obviously has never mucked out a barn! I have! (I realize the
      comment was toung-in-cheek... I HOPE!) Starter motors also tend to
      run hot, not a good thing around a lot of straw, hay, or the like.
      Normally, a starter motor should never be run for more than 30
      seconds with 5 minutes cool down between running again for another 30
      seconds. (I've seen a lot of burned out starter motors that were
      cranked for too long, and the damage usually dosen't stop with just
      the motor) You also will need one very heavy duty solenoid to start
      the motor. If you DO go this route, use FORD parts... Theis solenoids
      are easy to set up and to even by-pass if needed. Many starters now
      have the solenoid incoperated into the body of the starter, and so
      would be harder to get to the wires needed for control.
      So, for all those reasons, and more, an engine starting motor would
      not be my first choice. As I said before, the car window motors are
      almost made to order for your use. The only thing you might want to
      add would be a fail safe, or a waaaay for the door to stop in case
      something, like a chicken, gets in that way. Here, garrage doors DFO
      have an edge, all newer ones already have this ability built in, it's
      the law now. But it would not be hard to design something for this.
      (Did I mention that I once worked for SEARS? As a lawn & garden tech.
      That was supposed to mean small, air cooled engines, but somehow,
      SEARS decided that also meant garrage doors, power tools, and gas
      grills. I went to Briggs & Straton school, and hired on with SEARS as
      a small engine mechanic, but I was forced to learn these other things
      as well) A garrage door opener WOULD word work... but there's a lot
      of converting you would still have to do. The car door window motors
      are already setup to do what you need. To add a saftey, for that one
      straggler chicken, I would just add a light beam and sensor, in
      circuit with the ON switch, either visable light or IR. Break the
      beam and it would stop the current to motor via a relay to the power
      supply, or tied into a stop limit switch. If you would like details,
      write me off list, and I'll be happy to help.
      JUNKMAN
      TherealJunkman@...



      --- In home_electronics@yahoogroups.com, "daveismissing"
      <daveismissing@y...> wrote:
      > automotive starters will require gearing and it's harder to attach
      pulleys or gears to that spline
      >
      > how much DIY skill on the farm? soldering? PCB artwork?
      >
      > I prefer old GM power window motors- leave the big lever attached
      > a battery charger for a power source
      > now you get into the relays to reverse direction , limit switches ,
      timers...
      >
      > --- In home_electronics@yahoogroups.com, "Merrill MacMillan"
      <merrill@s...> wrote:
      > > Hi Donna
      > >
      > > Interesting problem!
      > >
      > > An automated garage door solution would be your best option.
      However, if you want to save a few dollars, be prepared for a lot of
      tinkering.
      > >
      > > I live in Canada where weather is always a factor, mainly in
      winter. Ignoring this issue and assuming the chickens go inside
      before dark, I would suggest you use one motor with lots of pulleys
      and ropes. You could probably use an old starter motor and solenoid
      to open the doors with an elevator style brake to hold the doors open
      and let them down slowly. Every farm has an old car or tractor that
      can donate these things. All you need for power is an old 12 volt
      battery. Just charge it overnight once per month.
      > >
      > > Merrill
      > >
      > >
      > > if it's automated how do you know the chickens are on
      > > the correct side when the door changes state?
      > >
      > > --- In home_electronics@yahoogroups.com, "Donna Kaiser"
      <donnaweb@k...> wrote:
      > > > Hi All,
      > > >
      > > > I came here hoping that someone here could help me out. I want
      to
      > > > build an automatic chicken coop door opener, and I don't know
      what
      > > > parts to use or how to do it.
      > > >
      > > > I have six chicken doors in my barn that are all rigged to
      slide up
      > > > vertical tracks when pulled up by their strings. I was thinking
      of
      > > > rigging them each to pulleys to a central line, then by pulling
      the
      > > > one central line, I could open all six doors at once (and later
      close
      > > > them). Their total weight is maybe 10-15 lbs.
      > > >
      > > > I want to rig a way to automate the one central line such that
      at X
      > > > time each morning the central line is pulled tight to a certain
      > > > degree, then at Y time at night the line is loosened to the same
      > > > degree.
      > > >
      > > > I thought of using a garage door opener, but was hoping to come
      up
      > > > with a smaller and cheaper solution. I thought maybe a motor
      could
      > > > be used, and when a switch told it to actuate, it would crank
      up a
      > > > certain amount, like a winch, then when the switch went to the
      other
      > > > mode, it would uncrank the same amount.
      > > >
      > > > Ideally, the use of a cheap light timer (the kind you use to
      tell
      > > > your lamps to turn on a x time and off at y time when you are on
      > > > vacation) would start and stop the operation. I have
      electricity in
      > > > the barn. But I don't know what kind of motor to use or where
      to get
      > > > one, and how to tell the motor to do this.
      > > >
      > > > I could get the help of someone good enough at electronics to
      follow
      > > > instructions if you could help me figure out how to set this up.
      > > >
      > > > I realize that this is more mechanical in nature than
      electronics,
      > > > but I hoped that this board would have the kind of talent
      needed to
      > > > help me out.
      > > >
      > > > Thank you sincerely for any help you could provide. I am very
      > > > resourceful if I have an idea how to accomplish this.
      > > >
      > > > I could provide pics of the environment if that would help.
      > > >
      > > > Donna
      > > > donnaweb@k...
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Merrill MacMillan
      > > +1 613 256-1718
      > > merrill@s...
    • Donna Kaiser
      Hey Guys, Thanks so much for the ideas and info. You guys rock. I ll have to think about where junkyard is around here. I live way out in the boonies and
      Message 2 of 12 , Nov 2, 2003
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        Hey Guys,

        Thanks so much for the ideas and info. You guys rock.

        I'll have to think about where junkyard is around here. I live way
        out in the boonies and none come to mind...

        Someone else suggested this motor. What do you think? I have a 12v
        adapter already. http://www.surpluscenter.com/item.asp?
        UID=2003070308293941&item=5-1415&catname=electric

        But I also like the idea of the limit switches built into the car
        window motor.

        I'm posting a pic of one of the six doors under photos "chicken door"

        Thanks again,
        I'll definitely check back and tell you how I fared. It might take
        me a month or so, as I have a bunch of projects going right now.

        DOnna
      • Chris AKA Junkman
        ... Dear Donna: I tried the link below... I got a message that that item is no longer being offered, and there was no discription of the item. What I would
        Message 3 of 12 , Nov 3, 2003
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          --- In home_electronics@yahoogroups.com, "Donna Kaiser"
          <donnaweb@k...> wrote:
          > Hey Guys,
          >
          > Thanks so much for the ideas and info. You guys rock. [Clip]



          Dear Donna:
          I tried the link below... I got a message that that item is no longer
          being offered, and there was no discription of the item. What I would
          need to know is the ratings of said power supply. Specifically:
          Contunious amps it can deliver, surge amps capability, voltage, is it
          regulated volts, (Not required for this case, just something to add
          expense, and something more to go wrong) and is it in a case or
          protected some way, how do you hook up to it for input and output...
          That sort of stuff. As I mentioned before, and others did also, a
          ordinary car battery, motercycle battery, even a deep cycle battery,
          (Best choice if available) with a trickle charger would be plenty for
          your application. The battery need not be 'prime', that is, good
          enough to still use in your car. So long as it still will take some
          charge, it will still provide the needed 12 volts, and quite a few
          amps, even if only for a short while, and that's all you need, a few
          amps for a minute or so. The battery could then 'rest', and
          recharge 'till next use. A trickle charger need not be anything
          fancy... or expensive. The nearest pawn shop should have what you
          need for less than ten bucks. (Hey, they don't call me the "Junkman"
          for nothing! I earned the title, according to my wife)
          If even that isn't an optiion, just write me off list, and I can help
          you out. There are LOTS of sources for 12 volt power supplies already
          made. Old VCR's, for example, have one that can do maybe a couple of
          amps or so. Old computer power supplies can provide tons of amps for
          nothing... They are being thrown into the trash every day. I can show
          you how to use one for this sort of use, it's easy. In fact, I can
          show you how to use multiple computer power supplies and do away with
          any standby batteries altogether. I'm making such a power supply
          right now, capable of 13.6 volts, (exactly right for float charging
          lead acid/gel-cell batteries, and for things like mobile HAM radios)
          and it can provide in excess of 65 amps without breaking a sweat! If
          you do the math, you will find that's well over 800 watts. Price one
          of those babies on eBay! The one I'm building is going to power a HAM
          radio, 10 meter 25 watt output, and needs 'clean' power. (That is,
          very stable, and without significant ripple) Switching type power
          supplies are light weight for the amperage they deliver, and very
          efficient, that is, they waste very little of the power, and so run
          cool. And old computer power supplies are everywhere now-a-days. Most
          computer repair places have a bunch that they have to pay to send to
          the landfill... IF they landfill will even take them. (Some consider
          them 'hazerdous material', which they are, there are things inside
          that you DON'T want in your drinking water!)
          Well, that's about all I have time for today. good luck, and let me
          know if I can be of help. I'll even send you some parts if you need
          them, with instructions. I don't plan to do that for everyone! But as
          a former country boy who loved having free range chickens about the
          place, I'll do it in this case. (I loved the idea that the chickens
          kept the bugs down in the garden, and I got eggs in return! A win-win
          situation all the way... Now, GOATS in the garden, that's another
          story!)
          Good luck:
          Junkman
          TheRealJunkman@...
          Junkerman@...






          > I'll have to think about where junkyard is around here. I live way
          > out in the boonies and none come to mind...
          >
          > Someone else suggested this motor. What do you think? I have a
          12v
          > adapter already. http://www.surpluscenter.com/item.asp?
          > UID=2003070308293941&item=5-1415&catname=electric
          >
          > But I also like the idea of the limit switches built into the car
          > window motor.
          >
          > I'm posting a pic of one of the six doors under photos "chicken
          door"
          >
          > Thanks again,
          > I'll definitely check back and tell you how I fared. It might take
          > me a month or so, as I have a bunch of projects going right now.
          >
          > DOnna
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