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Alternative autofeeder wiring
#1
First post here, thought I might start a new thread for visibility. Hope that's alright.

I wanted to use several feeders for different types of food, and to extend trips away from home. I was having difficulty triggering one reliably without changing the code, and didn't like having them hardwired. I chose to use common 3,5mm stereo connectors to link feeders together, and a 2N3904 to short the built-in feed button to ground when the signal from the controller went HIGH. A 10k resistor from base to ground keeps the NPN from triggering accidentally, and another 10k between the input signal and base limits the current. (I added an additional capacitor to power the feeder clock for longer if disconnected, but only because it was at hand.)

The wiring should be visible in the attached image, which shows a disassembled feeder in front of a finished unit. The jacks are wired in parallel. On the stereo plug, the tip is ground, the ring is the signal, and 3,3V is on the sleeve.

Hope this helps.


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#2
Hi Belaya, nicely done and feel free to post whatever you want. I like how you've set it up, better than what I've done. I'm going to get that transistor and do mine this way so I can recommend instead. I assume you can still press the manual button on any of the feeders and use without controller still?
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#3
Hi Rob, and thanks! Yes, the manual button still works, and pressing it will not trigger any others connected.

I used what I had lying around, but it could turn out to be a decent add-on PCB for your shop. MMBT3904 and DigiKey P/N CP1-3513-ND might do the trick.


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#4
Sounds good to me, I like the idea of a small board which would make things much easier for others. Thanks for the improvement.  K05164
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#5
(11-26-2017, 07:44 PM)Belaya Wrote: Hi Rob, and thanks! Yes, the manual button still works, and pressing it will not trigger any others connected.

I used what I had lying around, but it could turn out to be a decent add-on PCB for your shop. MMBT3904 and DigiKey P/N CP1-3513-ND might do the trick.

Where can I buy this kind of stuff?
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#6
I wanted to post this diagram so I'll jump in. :) You should be able to get that 2N3904 at a local electronic store if they sell components, its quite popular and if they don't have that one any NPN transistor should work as current isn't an issue for the feeder. If they have that they should also have resistors. You can also get it online at mouser or digikey but shipping is expensive for a cheap part. 

https://www.mouser.com/productdetail/cen...W1QkrbVyPn

I did wired up my feeder as suggested and it is better, thanks for sorting it out and letting me know Belaya. :)

Here's a diagram for anyone who wants to update, using this method you shouldn't have to worry about cable length. On my next set of boards I'm going to have this built in but this is how you upgrade.
[Image: Feeder_NPN.jpg]
You can use the image in original post to see where to connect to feeder. In Belaya's image the wires are as follows.

Orange = +3.3v
Green   =  Ground
Brown   =  Signal from NPN
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#7
(12-28-2017, 12:24 AM)Rob F Wrote: I wanted to post this diagram so I'll jump in. :) You should be able to get that 2N3904 at a local electronic store if they sell components, its quite popular and if they don't have that one any NPN transistor should work as current isn't an issue for the feeder. If they have that they should also have resistors. You can also get it online at mouser or digikey but shipping is expensive for a cheap part. 

https://www.mouser.com/productdetail/cen...W1QkrbVyPn

I did wired up my feeder as suggested and it is better, thanks for sorting it out and letting me know Belaya. :)

Here's a diagram for anyone who wants to update, using this method you shouldn't have to worry about cable length. On my next set of boards I'm going to have this built in but this is how you upgrade.
[Image: Feeder_NPN.jpg]
You can use the image in original post to see where to connect to feeder. In Belaya's image the wires are as follows.

Orange = +3.3v
Green   =  Ground
Brown   =  Signal from NPN
Thanks Rob!
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#8
Hi all,
My feeder doesn't run correctly. Sometimes ok but more often not.
May be I need to increase the time, as I had to do with my first generation board.
Right now I going to upgrade my feeder like your picture but is it better doing that on the feeder or on the board?
Dom.
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#9
How old is your feeder?
Mine is over a year old and continious use in a damp enviroment (like the inside of an aquarium hood) takes its toll..
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#10
Hi Dom, increasing that pause time might help but you should wire it up as above, this is much better as the transistor triggers the manual feed switch, after this change cable length won't be an issue. Some feeders do work better using the method you currently are, maybe that's because of age of feeder but this other method will work as long as the feeder spins. It'll be easier to add the transistor in the feeder otherwise you would have to cut the trace on the controller board and put the transistor inline. You should have enough room in the battery compartment for the parts. Good luck!
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#11
Hi Rob,
With last board, my feeder doesn’t work. It only works when I push the manual button on that feeder.
I tried 2 ones. With and without n3904. Same result.
How can I check signal from controller?.
Dom.

(10-18-2019, 03:22 AM)Dom59 Wrote: Hi Rob,
With last board, my feeder doesn’t work. It only works when I push the manual button on that feeder.
I tried 2 ones. With and without n3904. Same result.
How can I check signal from controller?.
Dom.

(10-18-2019, 03:22 AM)Dom59 Wrote: Hi Rob,
With last board, my feeder doesn’t work. It only works when I push the manual button on that feeder.
I tried 2 ones. With and without n3904. Same result.
How can I check signal from controller?.
Dom.

Sorry, it’s working! It was the signal wire on wrong place on feeder...
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#12
Hi Dom, great, glad you got it working.
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#13
Would a bd139 work with this setup?
And where is the signal exactly fitted on the feeder?

Edit:
Nevermind, picture in opening post is crystal clear.
Feeder works with a bd139 :)
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#14
Sounds like you have it going, making my job easy. :)
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#15
rob is this built in to the new Pi boards or robo boards I have a couple kicking around still that little board (addon) few post up would be cool
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#16
(08-31-2020, 03:28 PM)rott Wrote: rob is this built in to the new Pi boards or robo boards I have a couple kicking around still that little board (addon) few post up would be cool

Yeah it's the feeder port, you can solder wires from it directly to the feeder, no transistor required.
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Current time: 09-20-2020, 11:41 PM