Author Topic: Coop door doesn't auto close while testing  (Read 1064 times)

John Rucker (Solar-Current.com)

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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 won’t 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 wouldn’t have to rely on the internet once it was configured and up and running.  Since we don’t have to rely on batteries to keep a timing circuit running we don’t 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.   :)
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 03:09:32 pm by John Rucker (Solar-Current.com) »

Fallon

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Re: Coop door doesn't auto close while testing
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2017, 03:49:22 pm »
Interesting & good to know.

My assumption it wasn't this smart (along with the fact I didn't want our rooster out & crowing before my alarm went off at 8am or 9 on the weekends) was why I went with a time based opening & closing through he SmartThings.

John Rucker (Solar-Current.com)

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Re: Coop door doesn't auto close while testing
« Reply #2 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. 

rod97301

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Re: Coop door doesn't auto close while testing
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2017, 08:21:51 pm »
I have a better appreciation (and understanding) of the thought that's gone into the design of the CoopBoss.  I was the guy John referred to, and I did want to make sure that it worked with the actuator before installing the whole deal.  At first I thought I had a defective product, but like John said, I just had to let it sit overnight by a window inside and sure enough, the auto open and close feature did what it was supposed to do.

I told John this but I did want to share this with others - the build quality of the materials as well as the thought that's gone into the little features like the timers John referred to is top notch!  No one is paying me to say this but this product is engineered to commercial grade quality.  I should know as I work with engineers in that design and build communications equipment for remote outside applications.  This product is worth what John is asking, and I recommend it for those that want a long term solution for their chicken coop.

John Rucker (Solar-Current.com)

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Re: Coop door doesn't auto close while testing
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2017, 09:32:24 am »
I told John this but I did want to share this with others - the build quality of the materials as well as the thought that's gone into the little features like the timers John referred to is top notch!  No one is paying me to say this but this product is engineered to commercial grade quality.  I should know as I work with engineers in that design and build communications equipment for remote outside applications.  This product is worth what John is asking, and I recommend it for those that want a long term solution for their chicken coop.

Rod, thank you for saying this!  There have been hundreds of hours put into this project and comments like this and others I have received make it worth every second!!
« Last Edit: February 15, 2017, 10:07:20 am by John Rucker (Solar-Current.com) »

John Rucker (Solar-Current.com)

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Re: Coop door doesn't auto close while testing
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2017, 10:07:31 am »
Rod was our first customer to purchase a CoopBoss from our new store at Etsy.com.  At the first of the year (January 2017) I moved our store to the Etsy store as they have fantastic management tools and really foster a close buyer seller relationship.  Rod had to stomach all the moving pains and there have been several. I was worried it was going give a bad impression.  I'm so happy he stuck with us and this is all working out!  I think our new store is going to work out very well!! 

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