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Junior Member
Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 
I have a question about a project that I want to do. I want to create a box where the lid opens up based on ambient light. Basically the lid closes at night and is open during the day. It will be a wildlife feeder that deters (nocturnal) raccoons from eating all of the feed but allows daytime wildlife to feast heartily. I know very very little about arduino but believe it would be possible to do it using the correct setup. My basic design is to have a linear actuator opening the lid but was also considering a crank type system (similar to a steam engine drive wheel). I need to either be able to control how long the actuator extends when enough light is present and reverse the action when not enough light is present or turn a servo motor with a crank a certain distance. Id prefer to use the actuator since the lid will be about 10Lbs and will need to extend about 10”. Is this possible? if so, how hard would it be for a aduinewbe be to program? Thanks in advance for the advice!!! Ive attached a crude drawing.

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Posts: 141
Reply with quote  #2 
That would be relatively simple with any arduino board, the microview would be ideal.
As the motor would require more current than the arduino can supply a relay board (£2) would be needed to run that circuit, but would be very happy to give you specific advice if you wish, and writing the program would not take long.
If you opened the lid by sliding it sideways rather than lifting it you could do it with a much smaller motor

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Senior Member
Posts: 75
Reply with quote  #3 
Depending on how the actuator is powered, you could likely just use a transistor and resistor on each output to control it, instead of a relay as micro suggested.

You should consider that you might also need limit switches wired to inputs on the arduino, to cut power to the actuator when it reaches the open and closed positions. That is, unless the actuator is self limiting, or power can just be applied for a given time and the actuator safely stalls when it reaches the limits.

Also, if the actuator itself doesn't sufficiently hold the lid closed, you may need to have the arduino additionally control a latch. Raccoons are quite strong and crafty (and if they ever learn how to use a torch/flashlight then your plan is thwarted [wink] ).

If you have a latch, or the actuator itself holds the lid closed strongly enough, you could possibly put a counterweight on the lid (or make it slide, as micro proposed). You could then use a less powerful actuator.

Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #4 
Thank you so much for information. I tried and I can control actuator with Arduino. I have used camera with Arduino. I purchased it from Arduino starter kit.
Arduino starter kits
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