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Animal Feeder

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mark24

New Member
Hi everyone,

I am fairly new to electronics, in fact I just completed the Electronics for Dummies book, but I have made several circuits from kits in the past. I understood everything in the book, but I don't really think that I could design my own circuit.

I was interested in making a small project to automatically feed my rabbits. My initial ideas are to have a sort of hop which delivers food by turning a servo which turns a segmented wheel which "draws" food from the hop above and drops it into the bowl below. The circuit side of it would have a built in clock with an LED screen and some buttons so that two or more times could be set (as well as the time) to deliver food. I think a PIC could be used to program the setup. I have looked everywhere for something similiar to this, but no luck. Any one could help me design or find a schematic for this, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Mark
 

MikeMl

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I'd go to Home Depot and buy a sprinkler timer. That will give all the food-delivery timing functions. The outputs are 24Vac. The conveyor system likely needs some simple relay/limit switch logic which could be created as needed.
 

crutschow

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
To deliver the food you could connect a motor to one of these cereal Dispensers.
 

Wp100

Well-Known Member
Hi,

Making a Pic do the timing etc is not difficult, its the delivery system that will require a lot of work to get right.

What you want is already on the market as an automatic fish feeder - have seen the smaller ones used in home fish tanks, they might be a bit small for your needs, but they might be adaptable or there may be a larger versions used by the pond fish and Kio keepers - search online or pop into your local Aquatics shop
 

BrownOut

Banned
I love the idea of automating as many of the mundane tasks as possible. But when it comes to caring for and feeding animals and such, I hesitate to rely too much on automation. Many of my projects hiccup and fail as I work out the kinks, but I would hate the idea that my animals don't get fed properly because of something I didn't think about while I was developing my system, or worse... something I don't have control over,such as a power outage. I would always want some sort of a backup in these cases.
 

mark24

New Member
Hi all,

thanks for the huge amount of replies and thanks for the ideas (Daenke Carl fuer der hyperlink) . It was interesting to see that a product is already out there to deliver pellet food, but I was more interested in making one myself as a little project as I am stuck at home for the next four months before I start Uni. I shouldn't have any problems making the hardware, it is the circuit that I would need help with. Also, I was thinking of running it on batteries (9V or 4 1.5V bats)

Mark

P.S. Don't worry about my rabs going hungary, I would test it extensively and for a few weeks before I left them at home by themselves.
 
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Wp100

Well-Known Member
Hi Mark,

Think four months will be enough time to get all aquainted with the Pic micros.

Although your timer / motor is a good project to work towards, think you will be well advised to learn some basic stuff first.

In the ET Microcontrollers Section there is a Sticky made for you - the first tutorial WinPicProg is acknowledged as one of the best assembler / hardware beginners courses and the guy who wrote it is on this forum should you become stuck.

http://www.electro-tech-online.com/threads/pic-newcomers-please-read-upd-0xd1.15035/
 

crutschow

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
If you want to use a micro, then the easiest way to program one is in a high level language like BASIC. Unless you really want to delve into the nuts and bolts of assembly language (which to me is difficult and arcane), I would recommend that to start. For example Parallax About the BASIC Stamp Microcontroller sells several Stamp Basic controllers that are programmable in Basic, and have numerous interface circuits available to help you do the project.
 

Boncuk

New Member
Hi Mark,

here is a suggestion for the mechanical part of the feeder.

The "throttle" should be activated according to feed time and amount of food to pass (timed activation).

The amount of food is important not to exceed the maximum allowable weight of the rabbits for exhibitions. (mine: Blue Vienna (Blaue Wiener) at max 4.5kg)

You might use an extending or retracting solenoid with its zero position retained by a spring.

It's easy to do with a few tools and should not have mechanical malfunctions even if some pellets are jammed between the throttle and the feed line.

Boncuk
 

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vincentspm

New Member
Hi Mark,

here is a suggestion for the mechanical part of the feeder.

The "throttle" should be activated according to feed time and amount of food to pass (timed activation).

The amount of food is important not to exceed the maximum allowable weight of the rabbits for exhibitions. (mine: Blue Vienna (Blaue Wiener) at max 4.5kg)

You might use an extending or retracting solenoid with its zero position retained by a spring.

It's easy to do with a few tools and should not have mechanical malfunctions even if some pellets are jammed between the throttle and the feed line.

Boncuk
May i ask in this thread how to do the mechanical part, from the pic, i still don't understand how to made it
 

tytower

Banned
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