HYDROGEN PEROXIDE IN A BOTTLE - YAY!:
You know, I give Walmart shit as much as the next guy, but they have something I haven't seen anywhere else: Hydrogen Peroxide in a little spray bottle. *Ding!* Somebody gets it. It's perfect. can't tell ya how many times I've dumped a tablespoon of the stuff from a bottle right *next* to the cut. Some in the cap is about the best it gets with just a bottle. But a spray-bottle. Boom, direct application, one can even use the spray pressure to force the peroxide into the nooks and crannies a bit, it's sterile for the most part, and it's ready to go at a moment's notice.
COOP DOOR STATUS:
As previously noted, the cold weather was affecting the coop door motor/battery performance. Because I time the motor acceleration and deceleration to avoid slamming the stops, when the weather was cold, the motor would decelerate stall out before hitting the top stop.
As previously mentioned in the blog, and because the coop-door project is all about wanton overkill, I added a TI TMP75 temperature sensor to the controller's i2c bus and am modifying the door timings based on the outside air temperature. This has solved the problem for the moment, and as an added benefit, I get temperature I can display on the coop status page. The new door material is excellent, although one could deduce the workings through the now-translucent door. We haven't seen much in the way of raccoons out here so far though. Knock on wood.
The status LED was neat for Halloween when it had the throbbing bloodshot-eyeball on it, but the eyeball eventually fell off. The LED, though fun and colorful, is really bright by itself. So I came up withe some different blink patterns as well as an OFF setting and added "LEDMode" button to the page. I'm all about configurability whenever possible.
The next task I'm working on is the sunrise/sunset time offset for the door. Though I can manually set the open/close times for the coop door, the chickens appear to be programmed to respond to apparent dusk, taking weather .
Also made some circuit boards for prototyping, including a "chronodot" DS3231 breakout board.
Another related project I made a few boards for is a bi-directional current shunt and voltage monitor sensor so I can monitor battery charge and discharge in real-time. This is going well so far. I have near perfect voltage reading with a 0.1% tolerance 1K/9K voltage divider. My current reading is with an INA169 High-side current shunt monitor chip. Here, I've had a few design changes. I was going to go with the bidirectional circuit shown in the datasheet, but the diode voltage drop meant that I wouldn't get any current readings below about 100-200 milliamps or so. Not good. Then I realized I could just use two analog inputs and let the MCU determine direction based on which pin is rising in voltage.
Also made a bunch of little component breakout boards; SOT23-6, 0804, current-shunt, etc. The SOT23-6's ought to be really handy because they'll work with any pincount SOT23.
That's all for now! Stay tuned and have a Happy New Year!