automated pet food feeder

damage

Senior Member
i'm thinking of making a pet food feeder for my dog. what i have in mind is some 2" pvc pipe oriented vertically, with some kind of flap on the bottom end. i'd fill the pipe w/ food and at some preset time, the flap or whatever on the bottom of the pipe opens and the food falls out. i was hoping to activate it w/ an appliance module. so...any suggestions on what i can use as the flap and the opener? thanks!
 

damage

Senior Member
single meal for now. i was figuring if i need multiple meals, i can put a few these in parallel.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
What if you used a piece of sheet metal attached with a hinge? You could release it with a small solonoid that engages a tab or wire loop on the edge of the flap.
 

damage

Senior Member
upstatemike said:
What if you used a piece of sheet metal attached with a hinge? You could release it with a small solonoid that engages a tab or wire loop on the edge of the flap.
that's a good idea. i need to run down to my local surplus electronics store & see what they've got. thanks!
 

mdesmarais

Active Member
Or use a disk with an off-center hole. Drive it with a small AC motor switched by your favourite HA- very simple. You do have an old clock motor, right? ;-)

Markd
 

Bruce L

Active Member
Cabella's (and other outdoor gear stores) have automatic feeders. Most cost in the $50 range. I had thought they would be a good starting point as all the hardware is in place. You could always hack in more automation if you didn't like the basic programming they come with.
 

ver0776

Active Member
The design I am going to make uses a tupperware type bowl with multiple compartments, with the lid cut out to expose 1 compartment. Then use a servo motor (Phidgets.com) to turn the lid to expose a new compartment.

So the food never moves, nothing to clog, but limited to the number of meals that the tupperware container can hold.

Using Phidgets, this would be a USB device and I have the software interfaced to the HA already.

Vaughn
 

damage

Senior Member
Bruce L said:
Cabella's (and other outdoor gear stores) have automatic feeders. Most cost in the $50 range. I had thought they would be a good starting point as all the hardware is in place. You could always hack in more automation if you didn't like the basic programming they come with.
i'm going to need something for outdoors and most of the ones i've seen are indoors only and fairly flimsy looking. the problem i've read w/ some feeders is the dog will take it apart to get to the stored food...
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
How about putting the food in paper bags suspended out of the dogs reach? Devise a system where one bag is released per day to drop to the ground for the dog to tear into.
 

Steve

Senior Member
upstatemike said:
How about putting the food in paper bags suspended out of the dogs reach? Devise a system where one bag is released per day to drop to the ground for the dog to tear into.
As long as there were no long sticks nearby. Otherwise the dog may think the bags were piñatas and have a field day!
 
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