Given that this is a chicken house controller, we had better start controlling something. There is also an expectation that the new gadget will do what the off the shelf ones at £70 do and we have spent a lot more than that already. So, we're going to need a lifting mechanism. Luckily, I have a couple of geared motors from "Robby the Robot", who was a previous project that has since been broken down.

Robby was made several years ago from previous materials from an old A4 drum plotter I made with my Dad back when I was a boy and I had a BBC Micro. The plotter was made by adapting an old broken Apple plotter that was going spare. As you see, there is a level of recycling and random projects over many years, however, I digress. Lets get back to the current random project ;-)

I'm going to need a spool and something strong to do the lifting, after all acting as "Madame Guillotine" on the girls would not go down well. Again, due to other home improvements, I have a length of nylon cord from some cord opening curtains and I have some threaded bar and brass couplings, but what we don't have is the gearing and fixings to bring this all together.

This is soon sorted out by a quick scour on e-bay, I end up with a sheet of 10mm aluminium and a 25mm round bar that will go between the discs - all courtesy of from Forward Metals (who are good btw). The metal is way too thick deliberately, since I didn't want any sharp edges or cutting capability within the coop - particularly not near the door.

The problem is that I don't have a lathe to pull all this together, however I know a man who does, so its time to go and drink good coffee with Peter and learn something new again. Peter is a retired teacher who lives nearby who enjoys the challenge of an engineering project or two and I recipricate with IT related things. 

After a couple of hours in the shed over Easter, we have a lifting mechanism that can be fixed to the vertical struts in the coop, now we can start to do something useful.