Don't know what to call it...

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  #1  
Old 10-19-06, 07:39 PM
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Question Don't know what to call it...

Not sure if this belongs in the 'automation' section either but I've read the rules for posting there and it seemed this forum was more what I need. So I apologize in advance for posting in the wrong forum.

I am currently finishing our (full) basement in our newely purchased home. A portion of the under the stairs area was going to be used for the cats in a form of a built in litter box.

My 'so called' idea was to have it boxed in but have the bottom electronicly slide out (via a rotary switch) so you wouldn't have to reach in to pull the old litter. So my thinking was to have some sort of 'slides' (kind of like some computer desks where the keyboard goes.. how it slides in and out) attached the bottom peice of wood, controled by a motor (with limit switches to control how far foward and backward it would travel).

If you follow so far... my question(s) is (are)... what do I need electrical/hardware wise?
 
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Old 10-20-06, 05:36 AM
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Well, a dc motor, or a reversible ac motor setup (expensive). A gearing system similar to a rack and pinion; three limit switches which can be wired NO or NC. One will cut the motor off extended, and the other will cut it off retracted. The third one will arm or disarm the two other switches. It would be easier with the motor and a forward/stop/reverse switch and do it manually. A 30 square foot litter box is sitting in the lap of luxury, and you shouldn't have to empty it but once a year.
 
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Old 10-20-06, 08:00 AM
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"If you follow so far... my question(s) is (are)... what do I need electrical/hardware wise?"

A garage door opener and some tools.

Doug M.
 
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Old 10-20-06, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by chandler
A 30 square foot litter box is sitting in the lap of luxury, and you shouldn't have to empty it but once a year.
Or at all ...30 square feet is just a tad too much, more like 4' x 3'.. give or take. Don't want to start subtracting feet from our rec room. The plasma needs to breathe
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So maybe I was over-thinking or over-dreaming. I dont want to really break the bank on something for cats. So i'm thinking something like this might be the simplest solution? Of course.. a smaller scale version. Would only need to push/pull at most ~10 lbs?

http://www.nookindustries.com/CCactuator/CCactuator_110VAC.cfm

As long as I can control the travel rate, I think the simple all in one design is easiest. Then would just need to make a track?

Would that be more practical for my application?
 

Last edited by BR-7; 10-20-06 at 09:21 AM.
  #5  
Old 10-20-06, 09:55 AM
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I know this is fun and all, but, any reason you can't just put castors on it and roll it out manually?
 
  #6  
Old 10-20-06, 10:26 AM
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No, no reason I can't. I was thinking outside the box (literally).

Thats what I originally planned on though.. a track, some casters and call it a day.

Then had flashbacks from what Monster House does with all the gizmos and whatnots and wanted to see if it was pratical/affordable to do something (albiet small on the grand scheme of things compaired to MH) out of the ordinary.

Maybe the kids would fight to change the litter as opposed to fighting 'not to change it.'
 
  #7  
Old 10-20-06, 10:41 AM
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Shouldn't be hard to rig up something with a single pole double-throw switch and a two limit switches It's just like having your own PLC system, only old-school! No need for any super-fancy motors, just have it so it's energized when you push a switch and activation of one or the other limit switch de-energizes the circuit.
 

Last edited by grover; 10-20-06 at 03:59 PM.
  #8  
Old 10-20-06, 02:48 PM
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all you need is a 120v reversing motor, two limit switches and a three way switch.

depending on how the reversing motor is wired, the three way switch may need more than one pole.
 
  #9  
Old 10-20-06, 07:50 PM
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I think your idea will work using the CC Linear actuator like in your link. Build a frame that slides either by rails (like a drawer) or wheels (not castering) that the litter box fits into. Pull the frame out and attach the actuator top to the wall at the trunions and wire it up. Slide the litter box frame into position and attach to the end of the actuator. Position litter box in place and enjoy. You could add a skirt around the frame to hide the mechanism.

We have 7 cats and have several litter boxes. We have several morter mix pans for the job. It works great and its easy cleanup. Now you have got me thinking if I could use this kind of contraption. Great idea!

Keep us posted and post some pictures if possible.
 
  #10  
Old 10-23-06, 02:24 PM
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I'm thinking actuator as well. Seems the simplest of all my brainstorming ideas.

Will post pictures of the finished product... but is going to be a while... egress is first and foremost... big budget buster there.

Glad you like the idea.. if you get around to doing something like that, lemme know. I'd like to see it as well.
 
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