Solar Powered Trapdoor Opener For Tree Hut

16 Nov 2014

I've found a use for the broken solar panel I repaired...

Last month I added a trap door and rope ladder to my sons tree hut/platform. Currently it opens with a rope and pulley - which the kids love. But it is a bit tricky keeping the door open and climbing up at the same time. So one of the local kids suggested a motorised trap door. Coooool.

Here's the plan:

  1. Use the shattered 24V solar panel mounted on the chicken coop
  2. Run wires to a waterproof box on the tree hut/platform
  3. Into which will go two 12V sealed ex-burglar alarm batteries (wired in series), plus a solar charge controller [US$25] and a 24 to 12V DC converter [US$20]
  4. Which will connect to an old 12V battery drill, with it's clutch set to minimum strength (to reduce risk of injuring kids)
  5. The drill will turn a spindle for winding the rope up and down.

So far I've got the solar panel wired up to the power battery box. The next stage is getting the drill fitted with a spindle to wind the rope.

I'll start out using the trigger switch built in to the drill as the control switch. If that all works OK I'll think about a better control panel setup.

Cheers, Paul

Page last modified on November 16, 2014, at 10:03 am
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