Some users of the ADOR1 Automatic Chicken Door want the door to open later than sunrise. A feature that has been standard in the ADOR1 for a few years is the Delay On Open feature. On page 8 of the instructions, program number 10 and 11 are crossed out but actually they are functional. Program number 10 is the default setting where DOO is DISABLED. While this has been a long standing unpublished feature, there is no reason why you cannot use this feature as it has been field tested.
To enable the DOO feature, you will have to set program number 11 followed by a code for how much delay time you want. You enter 11 as you would any of the other programs as described in the instructions, but 11 is different. After you pulse the button 11 times, the LED comes on and then you press the button X more times, where X is a code for how much delay you want.
Here are the delay settings. The longest practical delay is 6 hours after sunrise and you set it with the delay code 8.
Right after you press the button 11 times, the LED should go ON. It does that to prompt you to give the code for the delay you want.
So if you want an 8 hour delay (from sunrise to when it will open), when the LED goes ON, press the button 8 times.
So here is the table of D.O.O.settings. It means that it is program 11 followed by the specified delay code. :
- 11-1 20MIN
- 11-2 40MIN
- 11-3 60MIN
- 11-4 2 HRS
- 11-5 3 HRS
- 11-6 4 HRS
- 11-7 5 HRS
- 11-8 6 HRS
Delay times are highly inaccurate because the timer is not crystal controlled and the ADOR1 "sleeps" to save battery energy, and thus does not keep track of time very accurately while "asleep". But for the function of delaying the opening after sunrise to encourage egg laying inside the coop, or to give you time to put away the dogs in the morning, or whatever your particular purpose is, the variability in the delay time is probably not important.
If you need clarification of this feature, feel free to call us.
We get feedback from customers getting two years out of a battery. The average should be more than one year but if you aren't getting that and can't explain it due to bad batteries, or cycling the door multiple times a day, or leaving an active alert causing the LED to blink fast and drawing down the battery, then call us so we can help figure it out.
Some customers have looked for rechargeable batteries and chargers and have not found them at the prices we showed where we bought RayOVac brands from Walmart.
But here at our local feed store and ACE Hardware, I have seen prices that are not so bad. For instance, at the Tractor Supply Company (TSC) I took a photo of what they have. $13 for the battery and $12 for the charger (this charger needs to be switched to the 6 volt mode since it will also work with 12 volt batteries). But please run your ADOR on 6 volts, not 12 volts. you can stack two 6 volt batteries in series and put it into a 12 volt system, such as a 12 volt solar charged system, and run the ADOR off one of the 6 volt batteries.
Before you put the battery in service, it is a good idea to charge it over night. The ADOR1 should use less than 1 AH of energy a year so that is only around 2mAH of energy a day. That is miniscule and even a very small solar panel will be able to replace that energy plus more, every day, so you can see the charger is a big overkill to leave it hooked up all the time.
So here is what I found at TSC:
This charger plugs into a wall outlet or extension cord and has a 6v and 12v setting. I have not tried using this charger and I do not know for sure if it automatically will go to a "trickle charge" mode. A charger designed for temporary hook up may overcharge a battery.
Note that you have your pick of either the tab top or the spring top battery at the same $13 price. Either one works...your preference. They both are supposed to have 4 to 5 amp hour energy capacity.
Often we are asked if ADORs are in stock. 99% of the time we have either finished units ready to ship or units ready for final test and ready to ship. We usually ship the same business day or next business day from time of order.
The ADOR1 and ADOR2 LED indications that are revealed in the installation instructions (or User Manual) lacks explanation about warnings that may appear on the LED. These indications were added to the software around December 2013, so if you have an earlier model electronic board, these indications do not apply without a software upgrade.
Here are the LED indications:
- Flash once per ~17 seconds: Normal "heartbeat".
- On solidly but with some flickering: The motor is running or is attempting to run.
- On Solid: When you apply power with the button pressed, the LED will stay on until you release the button.
- Flash quickly:
- about once per 1.5 seconds: this is a warning that the ADOR is not in Auto Mode. See "JOGGING" in the instruction manual. If you hold the button down, you are JOGGING and PARKING the door.
- about once per 3 seconds: this is a warning that ADOR will stay shut or stay open until the next sunrise or sunset and then will be back in Automatic Mode. This mode is caused if you momentarily operate the pushbutton to close it in daylight or to open it in darkness.
- about once per 2.5 seconds is an indication that the battery voltage dipped low while the motor was operated. This is a low battery indication.
There are also audible codes that have been in the ADOR since the beginning and which indicate various things, in Morse Code:
HI (.... ..) This indicates power was applied. It greets you with "Hi"
E (.) This indicates it saw the magnet near the End of travel. There are two magnets on the door panel.
M (--) This indicates it saw you push the button momentarily to Manually operate the door.
L (.-..) This is an indication that the Light level changed and went over or under the light threshold.
SOS (... --- ...) This indicates a warning and is followed by a single letter: O, B, G
O (---) When O comes after SOS it means Obstruction or Obstacle. It means the motor took too much current.
B (-...) When B comes after SOS it means Battery warning.
G (--.) When G comes after SOS it means Grip error. Grip means timeout. The motor ran too long.
T (-) This indicates the motor stopped due to too much current detected It will retry and produce SOS O if unsuccessful.
Have you wanted to be able to just flip a switch to either AUTOMATIC mode or MANUAL mode? Maybe on very cold days you would like a switch at your backdoor that you could set to STAY CLOSED? Later you may want to set the switch back to AUTOMATIC.
Here is a diagram that shows how to do it. If you just want to always manually operate the door remotely, you only need to wire up a two position MANUAL SWITCH as shown in this diagram. But if you want to select AUTOMATIC with the switch then you need to wire up a three position switch as shown in this diagram.
A picture is worth a thousand words. We have posted a drawing that shows how to connect accessories. Print this sheet out in Landscape orientation. Suggestions are given on how to hook up things, such as:
- External Alarm (powered by ADOR's battery)
- NiteLite (powered by ADOR's battery)
- OvaLite (powered from separate power supply)
- Connecting a relay to the Aux switch in order to control AC lighting.
- External Pushbutton switch
- External Manual switch. This allows you to flip a switch up or down for OPEN or SHUT, remotely.
- Clock timer. Shows how you can control ADOR by a clock timer instead of by its own daylight based timer.
We have had a several questions about if a clocktimer can be used with ADOR. Yes it can. The diagram shows how. Another question is how to easily just manually operate the ADOR remotely. The diagram shows how to connect an ON/OFF switch to control ADOR instead of having it obey daylight. We can also show you how, with two switches or multiple switch positions to select: OPEN, SHUT, DAYLIGHT. Then you can easily switch back to automatic (DAYLIGHT) mode.
NOTE: If your ADOR is an earlier model it may not be able to do all these functions. It may only require you send your board in for a new program or the board may need to be upgraded to a later revision.
We get calls sometimes wondering if the ADOR will work in their state. Like "will it work in Ohio? It gets real cold here."... or "...will it work in the PNW (Pacific North West)? It rains a lot and often very overcast.". The answer is "yes", it should stand up to working to your satisfaction in those cold and overcast and rainy conditions. It doesn't need to be mounted inside. It can be mounted on the outside wall or on a fence.
There are ADOR1s in all 50 states and most of the provinces of Canada.
The ADOR is in its 6th year of use out there as of 2017,
Below is a blog write up about battery life that needs some commentary at this point. Some people have been get getting more than one year out of their 6V carbon zinc battery in the ADOR1. Many have not. People do not so much complain about having to replace the battery more than once a year or even 3 times a year but they just want to know when it is time to replace the battery. There are several things I can say about batteries that I didn't think too much about at the beginning:
- The battery can show 6.4V with no load but drop considerably when loaded with the starting current for the ADOR1 motor. The battery may still have 4AH of energy but cannot deliver the 1.3A for a fraction of a second to get the motor turning. This could be a brand new battery that is perfectly fine for a lantern, but not good enough for a motorized product. The fault is in the "internal resistance" of the battery, and it is not specified by the manufacturer. A new battery could appear to be dead for purposes of driving the ADOR.
- Dry cell batteries do degrade very fast on the shelf. Faster than I thought. Alkalines are better, but they may still have the problems with internal resistance. In the application of the ADOR1, the current is so low that basically the shelf life is the limiting factor on the battery, in addition to the battery's ability to deliver more than 1 Amp for a fraction of a second to start the motor turning.
- With incandescent lamps becoming passe in favor of LED lamps, the industry trend is that demand for the low internal resistance and high energy capacity is tacitly becoming obsolete. There's no indication the batteries are becoming scarce or anything, it is just that for most applications the manufacturer is safe to diminish his quality standards for these batteries.
Conclusion: All in all, the ADOR is very low power and has indications to tell you that the battery needs to be replaced. Keep the sprocket and sprocket holes lubricated. Pay attention to the beeping codes and the LED flashing (on units since Dec 2013). The external alarm can also be employed to warn of low battery. If the door stops halfway, that also can be a visual indication that the battery needs to be replaced. But despite my previous talk about how you don't need rechargeable batteries (and you don't), it may be better than taking a gamble on quality of carbon zinc batteries. A 6V sealed lead acid battery at least can be proactively charged periodically or can be kept on a trickle charger or small solar panel. You only need to replace less than 4mAH per day. A solar panel delivering 15mA would more than replace the charge in only one hour of partial sunshine per day. We do not currently sell batteries or trickle chargers or solar chargers when you as a customer have choices to find a good price for these things at the feed store or on-line via eBay or Amazon.
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Lab tests show ADOR1 Automatic Chicken Door should function for greater than 3 years on a battery that costs $2.88!!! ...In cold weather or hot weather. Our calculations show also that the amount of energy used out of the battery per year is only about one amp-hour if the door cycles once per day.
Now after so many units in the field we have enough feedback to say that actual results has varied a lot. There apparently is not a good amount of quality control on the capacity in new 6V lantern batteries.
We have run extensive tests on 6V Lantern Battery life. We accelerated the tests to get the actual number of door cycles that can be performed before the ADOR1 will start warning of low battery capacity. The voltage can fall below 5.1V and the ADOR1 will still function. Results are showing that our previous calculations are correct that the battery will last at least three years under normal use. We got the equivalent of 5 years of use here in the shop. Yes, five years with a battery from Walmart priced at $2.88! That is such a long time that I've got to believe that "shelf life" deterioration needs to be considered, and we should not bet on getting 5 years of real-time use.
I've put 6V batteries in the freezer and soaked them at minus 20 deg C and they still delivered the amount of current needed to run the ADOR1. Perceptions about car batteries (Lead Acid) not starting your car in cold weather is all about having to deliver 200 Amps! The ADOR1 needs 1/1000th as much to power the motor. And 1/500,000th as much to keep the electronics going! The automotive battery experience is a different concern.
As we add accessory options to the ADOR1, there will be more energy demands by some, and would reduce battery life. Along with the accessory shall also be the charger options you can use to extend battery life with accessories.
ADOR1 customers: Please email us your installation pictures. Thank you to Jamie M. in Indiana, Carol G. in New Hampshire, Buddy A. in Illinois, and Ted C. in California, Mike G. in North Carolina, and Tanja B. in Texas Panhandle for your pictures. Even from these installations you can see examples of how quick and easy some have installed the door versus some who put some extensive effort into it.
Several pictures are shown on the Jamie's installation of a "recessed" door. This is a little more work but Jamie did a really neat job. He had to do something because the exterior wall of his coop is corrugated. Carol's husband Jay even made a little "lobby" for the ADOR1. That helps keep it warmer in the coop. Buddy's and Tanja's pictures show a simple surface mount installation... it can be as easy as hanging a picture on a wall.
We recommend an overhang and on a flat wall, but not all these examples will show that.
Ted had a tunnel from the run to the coop, so he dropped the business end of the door down through a slot he cut in the top of the tunnel. To see these pictures go to the Catalog and click on the ADOR1 ad (or click here) and you will see a gallery of pictures under the ad.
Thanks for your pictures. Please keep them coming.
The ADOR1 has a connector on the electronic board where a pair of wires can be connected and the wires run over to a convenient place where you can use a doorbell button or any type of switch, to remotely control the ADOR1. The switch will function the same way as the pushbutton on the ADOR1 control box. Call us or email us if you need the connector and instructions to do this.