Automated Chicken Door code
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Raspberry Pi Automatic Chicken Door controller software


  • hardware interleave gravity lock mechanism
  • instant-read photoresistor poll door actuation trigger
  • photoresistor signal analog to digital conversion
  • worm gear 12V DC motor controlled via L9110 motor driver chip
  • dual hall-effect magnetic door position sensors
  • fallback door status mitigating magnetic sensor failure
  • night-vision wide-angle camera with motion-triggered video capture
  • C + bash + python polyglot control code with standardized output convention
  • offline operation with 2.4Ghz wifi for monitoring and maintenance

This repository

This code is deployed onto the chicken coop raspberry pi computer.

Edit code, commit/push, then deploy with ./deploy. The deploy script also documents summaries, source, and destination for all code deployed to the pi.

Use tree Chicken bin on the Pi to see all deployed code.


Raspberry Pi 3 Model B v1.2. Bought off

  • 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARMv8 CPU
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 802.11n Wireless LAN, 10/100Mbps Lan Speed
  • Bluetooth 4.1, Bluetooth Low Energy
  • 4 USB ports, 40 GPIO pins, Full HDMI port, Combined 3.5mm audio jack and composite video
  • Camera interface (CSI), Display interface (DSI), Micro SD card slot (now push-pull rather than push-push), VideoCore IV 3D graphics core
  • 32 GB SD card

Operating system

The operating system (raspbian jesse with PIXEL desktop, v2017-04-10) was written to a 32GB SD card using Etcher following this install guide. Something doesn't seem to work with 64GB SD cards... I bricked one before I got it to work on a 32GB SD card.


The pre-installed gpio program can read and manipulate general purpose IO pins.

NOTE: sudo is not required to run gpio (Adeept_Starter_Kit_for_RPi_User_Manual.pdf is out of date in this regard).

pi@raspberrypi:~ $ gpio -v
gpio version: 2.44
Copyright (c) 2012-2017 Gordon Henderson
This is free software with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
For details type: gpio -warranty

Raspberry Pi Details:
  Type: Pi 3, Revision: 02, Memory: 1024MB, Maker: Embest
  * Device tree is enabled.
  *--> Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Rev 1.2
  * This Raspberry Pi supports user-level GPIO access.

Watch GPIO pin status, highlighting cumulative differences (this is an undocumented feature of watch). 1-second resolution.

watch -dc -n 1 gpio readall

NOTE: this didn't work for checking mag (hall effect) sensors, I had to use Python code for that. See ./src/scripts/ . Well, it sorta worked, just not reliably. During testing I noticed the mag sensor values reading incorrect values frequently.

Other dependencies

Build-time dependencies:

  • git v2.x
  • GNU system / POSIX
  • rsync
  • ssh
  • FIXME: complete this list (maybe containerize)

Runtime dependencies:

  • Python v2.7.x
  • Imgur client library: sudo pip install imgurpython
  • FIXME: complete this list (maybe containerize)


EE basics

  • Ohm's law calculator
  • anodes and cathodes
    • Current enters a device via anode. Mnemonic: ACID - anode current into device.
    • Current leaves a device via cathode. Mnemonic: CCD - cathode current departs.

More Links

Secrets formats


  "imgur": {
    "album_id": "xxx",
    "client_id": "yyy",
    "client_secret": "zzz",
    "refresh_token": "mmm"
  "slack": {
    "chickenbotWebhookUrl": ""