Pi Pico Automatic Chook Door Control

I’m more capable as a programmer than a hardware/electronics boffin, so I’m hoping someone can maybe help me out with my project.

I’m looking to build an automatic chook shed door controller plus a window opener/closer. I like my existing Pi’s that I use for things like my 3D printer and home automation so I wanted to base this project around the Pi Pico and MicroPython.
I’ll need the following capability:
F/S/R control for 2 motors (12v) (a variation for this would be 1 DC motor for the door and a stepper for the window so that I can adjust how much the window opens depending on the inside temperature.)
Ambient light sensor
I/O for 4 limit switches
Temp sensor

I was looking at the Maker Pi base board as it has many ports and a spot to add the wifi. I was wondering though if I can use the JP8 Grove connector with PiDev connectors to link to your modules? The pins seem to match but I’m not sure about the connector design. I liked the atmospheric PiDev module as it would give me the temp plus humidity and pressure. I can then daisy chain the PiDev ambient light module to detect day night changes for the main door.

If you have any other suggestions I’d be interested in any ideas.


Hi Graham,

Welcome to the forum!!

Sounds like an awesome project!!
The Grove connector isnt the exact same but an adapter cable can be used to plug in the PiicoDev modules.

The next step would be selecting some motors, to stop the window from slamming shut and holding their position I’d use a threaded rod attached to a stepper for fine control(you might be able to DIY a solution).
What kind of mechanism did the door/window have? (I’ve bumped up your level so you can post photos :slight_smile: )

As for motor control I’d check out the Makerverse motor driver - it can deliver up to 1.6A (shared across each channel) and up to 3-16V.

Another option would be to go for the Pico Wireless pack and solder some stacking headers on.


Hi Graham,
I was going to build an automatic chook door system (until a fox eliminated my flock) so I have not completed it yet. Two options for mechanisms which can open/close doors and windows can be readily obtained at car wreckers, those being windscreen wiper motors or electric window mechanisms. They run off 12V DC and are cheap. The window mechanisms have a gear drive and a geometry which holds the window in position when power is stopped (otherwise your car window would open all the time). I was going to use simple limit switches to identify when the door was either fully open or fully closed. I guess you could use a timer function to get better position control if needed using a bit of trial and error.