I would like to use a linear actuator and and a lever switch to open a small door (either slide up and down or on a hinge). This is to let a robot lawnmower through a boundary fence. The linear actuator, power source and any other electronic components need to be able to be kept outdoors. I also want to actuator to be relatively high speed so that the mower doesn’t hit the flap of the door? I hope this is not too confusing request?
That shouldn’t be too hard! A hinge would probably be easiest in my mind, and the actuator should be strong enough to hold the door closed. I would start by looking at something like this:
Hi Stephen. If that actuator can be kept outdoors it would definitely fit the purpose. How do I go about connecting it to a lever switch? When the lever is pushed in I want the door closed and when the lever is out the door open?
From the product description: “the entire case is sealed to protect against dust and water (rated IP63).”
I’m not sure what you mean by a “Lever Switch”, but the directions to control the unit are all toward the bottom of the product description. You will need a motor controller as well.
I apologise for my complete ignorance!! What is a motor controller? Which one would be best for my purposes and can it be left outdoors?
What I mean by a lever switch is something like this :
i.e. - when the mower docks inside the door, the switch is depressed and that closes the flap with the linear actuator?
You can find a helpful tutorial here:
You will need to mount all the electronics inside a waterproof housing if you want to keep them outside. A switch could easily be read by an Arduino, that could then send signals to a motor controller to drive the actuator.
See Chapter 2 of our Arduino Workshop for Beginners to learn more about using a switch with the Arduino.