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Messages - John Rucker (

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CoopBoss Information / Re: CoopBoss Photos
« on: February 15, 2017, 09:24:24 am »
Rod, that is a fantastic looking install!  I like the way you mounted the door on the outside so debris will just be pushed out of the way instead of being trapped between the door and the floor.  It should work good for you!  I also like the idea of using a non wood door.  I would like to see a little bigger lip on the end of the door to increase the surface area that may push up against a chicken.

Where did you get the aluminum h channel?  I really like how clean that looks!!  Thanks so much for sharing!! 

CoopBoss support / Re: Feature/app request - lock closed
« on: February 13, 2017, 01:12:11 pm »
Sounds cool.  Let us know if it works! 

CoopBoss support / Re: Coop door doesn't auto close while testing
« on: February 09, 2017, 03:58:35 pm »
Yep I get that for sure.  I think a lot of people jump back and forth between auto mode and some type of manual trigger.  We have two coops and both have a coopboss.  My wife has them both set to auto close but she opens them manually in the morning.  We have to check for coyotes before we let them out.  They have really been hunting them lately. 

CoopBoss support / Coop door doesn't auto close while testing
« on: February 09, 2017, 02:29:37 pm »
Recently one of our new CoopBoss owners emailed me asking why his CoopBoss wasn't closing the door when he turned off the light to the room he was testing it in.  He was following the product manual and going through the setup procedure.  He had his actuator attached and everything was working as expected.  He could close and open the door with the SmartApp, see that the light sensor was reading a light value and everything looked fine.  So as an extra step he decided to test the auto close feature.  He made sure auto close was enabled in the SmartApp (door closing icon was green) and turned the light off in the room.  After a few moments the light value jumped to a low enough value to trigger a close but the door did not close nothing happened.  Before he took the time to install it in his coop he wanted to make sure it was working so he sent me an eMail to see what the heck was going on. 

Well everything was fine and the door did auto closed for him later in the evening.   You have to wait two hours after tuning off the light for the CoopBoss to auto close the door after a reboot.  Keep reading if you want to know why.   

Explanation:  The CoopBoss has a fairly complex algorithm that uses the light level over a period of time to help it figure out what mode it should be in.  When the CoopBoss is powered up it has to figure out if it should be in day mode or night mode.  To give it time to make that decision it wonít do an auto close or open for two hours after a reboot.  This gives the CoopBoss enough time to observe the sun and set the proper mode.  Why is this so complex you ask? Heck if it is light out it is day mode if it is dark it is night mode right.  Well I wish it was that simple.  Without this delay the CoopBoss may incorrectly open the door in the evening if the power cycles just at the right time during sunset.  Yea I know that sounds like an unlikely situation but in the Midwest it happens more than you think.  Since we are this deep in the theory of operation I might as well explain the other set of times in the algorithm.  The CoopBoss has another set of timers that kick in to prevent the doors from closing or opening prematurely.  Say its afternoon a couple of hours before your chickens go in for the night and a bad storm blows in with thick black clouds making the light level go below the close light threshed.  To prevent a premature close in this situation another timer is used to make sure roughly 24 hours has passed since the last time the door was closed.  A similar timer is used to keep the door from opening at night.  After all you don't want the door to open just because of a passing car's headlights or you turn on a light in your backyard to check on things.

This algorithm allowed us to design the CoopBoss without an internal clock.  That was one of the original design requirements.  If we based the auto open and close on time, then we would have to make sure the clock is always set correctly and have to keep track of when the sunsets at your location.  We wanted to make sure the CoopBoss was as independent as possible, so it wouldnít have to rely on the internet once it was configured and up and running.  Since we donít have to rely on batteries to keep a timing circuit running we donít have any batteries inside the CoopBoss.  That is a big deal as the CoopBoss is used in extreme temperatures that batteries would not be able to survive. 
There you have it, probably way more than you every wanted to know about how the CoopBoss figures out what to do next.   :)

CoopBoss Information / CoopBoss YouTube Video
« on: February 09, 2017, 11:39:19 am »
The video in this post is from the CoopBoss YouTub channel

CoopBoss Information / CoopBoss Installation Resources
« on: February 09, 2017, 10:16:15 am »

Furl-Kit Documentation / Furl-Kit manual
« on: February 09, 2017, 10:02:03 am »
Over its lifetime the Furl-Kit was available in two configurations one with a solar-array supervisor and the other without. 

The higher the number the more sensitive the door is to objects.

I just posted a virtual CoopBoss custom device handler and virtual coopboss manager SmartApp to  I have been testing it the last couple of days and it is working great.  I have also created a install video to walk you through setting it all up.  Basically what it does is allow your CoopBoss door to respond to on / off and lock / unlock commands so you can include it in SmartThings automations.  It allows us to control our coopboss with the amazon echo.  Its a little clunky but we can say "Alexa, turn on north coop door" and she will close the door! 

The virtual CoopBoss also has a set of open / close contacts that represent the door status.  If they are closed the door is closed.  You can include these contacts in your SmartThings Home Monitor routines.  I have mine set to alert me if the coop door is still open 45 minutes after sunset. 

Please let me know if you problems with this!!

Best regards! 

This video updates the CoopBoss product manual for version 2.2.3 of the SmartThings mobile app.   SmartThings has changed the add new devices process since the manual was published, I will illustrate the new process in this video.

Currently I don't have plans to go through the certification process again.  It is pretty long and drawn out.  However, SmartThings just made some major enhancements to the development environment and if they make significant changes to the mobile app I will most likely rewrite the interface and resubmit.

Would it be possible to do what you want if I created a virtual switch for the coop's door?  When you turn the switch on the door would close and off open?  That way you could include the switch in automaton routines.  It would require some setup (in the IDE) on your part but I bet it would work.  Let me know I will kick that around if it will help.

The smart-app for alerting when your door is jammed went through certification and was approved.  But for some reason (as of the last time I check) you still had to install it manually.  As for the other smart-apps they should work but I didn't submit them for approval. I wonder if you were using the beta custom device type that had the lock cluster and you were using that in your automation.  Unfortunately the certified driver does not treat the door as a lock.

Yes that looks like a good radio connection!  Curious to see how it works once you get it reinstalled.  If you still see issues we can now use that xBee stick to get a running log from the coopboss.   

Understand.  Why couldn't this have happened in the summer!! I will keep checking for an update. 

This morning I pulled a new unit off the shelf and connected it to SmartThings.  I connected it to Hub v2 Rev E with firmware version 000.016.00009.  The IOS version of the SmartThings client was Version: 2.2.3 (1357).  They have changed the install process of new devices yet again (I think it gets better every time) it is just hard to keep the documentation updated.  Since you had installed the custom device type manually I suggest you follow these steps (very sorry you have to do this yet again):

1) Remove the CoopBoss from the ZigBee network by removing the power.  Then hold down the button on the PCB and plug it back in.  This will tell the CoopBoss to remove itself from the ZigBee network.  This also resets the door current so you will have to re-calibrate your door as instructed in the manual.  When your done with this step unplug the CoopBoss for now.

2) Go into your SmartThings IDE and find the CoopBoss under my devices and delete it.  Make sure you delete all duplicates if they exist.

3) While your in the IDE go to the My Device Handlers tab and delete all CoopBoss device types you no longer need them.  The CoopBoss device type is now built into the SmartThings core driver database.

4) At this point you can install your CoopBoss as I did in this video I made this morning.  First turn on the power to the CoopBoss then add it as I did in the video.  Here is the video link.

5) After your reconnected please don't forget to reset your door close current.

I also attached what a screen shot of my hub's join process looked like in the hub log:

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