How does it work? Is it "magical"?
There's nothing magic about it. It is just good hardware and software design. We designed the first highly successful deer feeder timer that worked on detection of daylight. We patented it. That was almost 20 years ago ... the Kenco Smart Timer. Coming up with a reliable design that was not fooled by dark clouds or shadows was something we had done before. We may be relatively new to chicken coops, but innovative and reliable electronic design and software is not magic... it is what we do. The ADOR1 Auto Chicken Door looks at the ambient light level outside and averages it over time. At night, , the door stays closed. We added a delay on closure because experience dictated that people would rather the door close a little late because some chickens do not go in right away. We think the factory setting on the light level is sufficient for most cases, but if you want to, you can change the timing yourself.
We have performed tests on individual ADOR1 units to see which parts wear out, if any. After the equivalent of more than 35 years of continuous open/close action, there was no visible wear on the mechanism and there were no outwardly visible signs of wear on the motor. We continue to do more tests as part of our product development and improvement. The ADOR1 product is currently in its 6th year with a great track record.
No Assembly Required?
All you do is remove the ADOR1 from the shipping box. If your order included a battery or not, you need to open the cover (two screws) and connect the battery. This is simply done by clipping the wires to the terminals on the battery.
It is easiest if you mount the frame on an existing wall. It's as easy as mounting a picture on a wall. Just put one screw in each of four corners of the ADOR1.
Use the ADOR1 as a template to mark where to cut the opening. You can jog the door up and down with the pushbutton so the door moves away from the mounting holes. You should have a drill, a level, a saw if you need to make the opening, and a screwdriver.
If you already have an opening in the coop, you may only need to mount the ADOR1 to cover the opening.
If you are making a new opening, this is how you do it: First from inside the coop, drill a hole in the exterior wall about an inch or two above the coop floor. By mounting the door up a little bit it will help keep chicken scratch from obstructing where the door comes down and seals out the vermin and predators. After you drill the hole, you go outside and hang the frame like you would hang a picture. Start a screw in the top mounting hole of the frame and use a level to level the frame. Then trace the opening with a pencil, remove the frame, saw the opening by following the pencil mark. Then mount the frame over the opening.
Can I mount it to the inside wall instead of the outside wall?
The ADOR1 is designed for exterior mounting. It is designed to be out in the weather. The reason of this is that the electronic controller has an integral light sensor that "sees" daylight and must be able to see daylight. This is easy enough if the door is mounted facing outward, even if it is recessed. Also, we consider that outside installation is easier and keeps the door out of the dander, dirt, and dust that is typical inside a coop. Of course, that is a tradeoff with being outside where there is exposure to the elements -- but we've designed the ADOR1 for outdoor function. The one thing we can't do anything about is ice in the door guides. In many climates, the melting snow, sleet or rain could get into the guides and freeze. An overhang on your coop may help. Better yet, the door can be mounted recessed so that water cannot run through the guides and freeze. If recessed sufficiently in the wall of the coop, that is ideal for cold weather farms. Here in Central Texas we can just worry about freezing contingencies on the infrequent occasion.
Mounting On the Inside Wall Facing inward. Daylight Considerations.
The ADOR1 can be mounted facing inward on an interior wall very easily. It must be considered if there is adequate daylight that comes inside the coop so the door can respond to it. As long as there is enough daylight coming inside the coop and as long as incandescent light sources are not used in the coop at night, this can work very well. LED lights are usually OK. The new white LED lights are normally not hot enough to fool ADOR1, so remember for an inside installation you must use non-incandescent lighting. The "hot" light as from a tungsten filament bulb is indistinguishable from sunlight as far as the ADOR1 is concerned. Even a tungsten bulb flashlight is sufficient for ADOR1 to think it is daytime. If you currently have incandescent lighting in your coop and want to use the door facing inward, then all you might have to do is to swap-out the bulb with new LED type lamps. Florescent lighting inside a coop with the door facing inward may not work because some florescent lighting puts out too much infra-red light and the ADOR1 will think it is sunshine.
We have an optional kit offered that allows mounting the door on the inside with a separate light sensor that can be mounted outside if there needs to be a workaround, so call us if you need that.
Can I use a 6V rechargeable battery and put it on trickle charge?
Yes. You can do that. Shouldn't be a problem. Just use a 6 volt rechargeable battery with a 6 volt charger. We do not recommend 12 volts. For the ADOR1 the charger should be unnecessary. Just replace the cheap battery with a fresh 6 volt battery once per year.
What about operation off house electricity? What about SOLAR?
The ADOR1 Automatic Door for your coop can be run off of 115 volts AC -- you can use and inexpensive battery charger for that and leave it connected across the battery if it has a trickle charge mode.
We designed the ADOR1 to be frugal on electrical use. A lantern battery only costs $3 at Walmart and today manufacturers make them mercury-free. Our tests show a new battery should last at least 1 year. We don't see any advantage of using an expensive Alkaline or other so-called "long-life" battery -- just the cheapest carbon-zinc 6V lantern battery. This product is in its sixth year and feedback reveals some customers getting well more than a year... some reporting over 2 or 3 years, on one dry cell 6V battery... but some customers have reported only 3 months of life from their battery. Electronics is tested before shipping for average electric current draw, but there are some factors that can affect shorter battery life. Even with the long life on a dry cell 6 volt battery, it is not a bad choice to purchase a rechargeable battery because then you can keep recharging it for years and years of usage.
If you are worried that a battery might go weak or dead without you knowing about it, we put an early warning in the ADOR1 to warn you. It should give you plenty time to get a new battery before it dies. Also, the the internal buzzer and LED, and the external alarm warns of low battery.
Remote Pushbutton Switch
If you want to manually operate the ADOR1 automatic chicken door from a remote pushbutton you want to mount where it can more easily be accessed, you can do that. There is a connector where you can connect a pair of wires to run over to a pushbutton that you can purchase and mount where you want. Please see the items in the CATALOG tab under the ADOR on this website where you can find this accessory and others.
Outside on the farm, there are things that can damage products. Of course there are lightning strikes and near lightning strikes. There is dirt, dander, dust and dreck (or that's what my grandmother told us not to step in when we were kids). With storms, flooding, driven rain, ....You may want or need to buy a replacement part someday and you can find the motor and electronic board available to purchase on the website... except for physical damage, it is not likely any other part will ever need to be replaced.
A solid-state contact closure output is designed into the controller for connection to future options such as lighting control or warning that the door did not open or did not close due to obstacle, low battery, or other malfunction that requires attention. There is an audible alarm that quietly annunciates fault conditions and the auxiliary output can be used to extend the alarm to farther away from the coop.
We have a set price for shipping and handling which is presently $19 for FEDEX ground or equivalent for all 50 states shipment in USA. Your tracking number will be emailed to you when we ship. For international orders please call us. Canadian orders we ship by FEDEX or USPS for $65.
The ADOR1 is warranted against failure due to manufacturing or material defect for one year from date of purchase.
Please order from this website via the buy button that puts the automatic chicken door and any accessory you want to order in your cart. Then you can checkout with your credit card or with Paypal or you can check a box that indicates you will mail in your payment. Or you can click the ORDER FORM below and order by mail. If online ordering is not going to work for you please call us.
During most of the year we usually ship all orders received the same or next day. The rest of the time we may limit out shipping days to Tuesdays and Thursdays so please call/text us at (832)444-0192 if you need your order to go out the same day or next day. We will try to accommodate you. Don't forget that FedEx Ground takes one to five days (or more) depending on your location. Call us if you want faster shipping than FEDEX Ground.