Tag Archives: Philip Verbeek

Protect your chickens with this automatic door

Philip Verbeek has developed an automated, ATtiny84-powered door system to protect his chickens against fox at night. 

As anyone who has a chicken coop knows, fox will not hesitate to go after your fowl for its next meal. In fact, a single red fox has been known to wipe out entire flocks in a single raid. These predators are not just relentless, but they are also patient and very smart. They will find all the cracks, openings, and weak points in your chicken runs and use those as entry points.


Knowing this, engineer Philip Verbeek decided to create an automatic door system to protect his chickens against the fox at night using an ATtiny84. The door position itself is dependent of the daylight intensity, and door will automatically close at sunset and then reopen at sunrise. (Due to their natural biorhythms, chickens will always go inside at dusk.)

A user can manually set the light value at which the system should trigger. This can simply be done by turning the potentiometer with a screwdriver. In Verbeek’s case, light intensity was measured by an LDR. This sensor should be activated for more than five minutes to start the system, thereby preventing it from being involuntarily actuated by somebody walking by.


The time for door closing is set by a timer and the door is lifted until an limit switch is pressed. This way, the system has a reference point.

“At the moment, I developed the system further into one casing (black box principle). So it is much more solid, easy to install and up and running in no time. The advantage over already existing kind of systems is that it is relatively inexpensive and adaptable to your own requirements,” Verbeek explains.

Need a new way to protect your coop? Check out the automatic door here, and see it in action below.


Ring in the holidays with this cuckoo clock bell

Drive your family cuckoo with this awesome, ATtiny85-powered Christmas bell! 

Last summer, Philip Verbeek visited Philadelphia. And what would a trip to the City of Brotherly Love be without a stop at the Liberty Bell? While there, he bought his own little replica as a souvenir, which he planned to throw on his Christmas tree this year.


However, being the Maker that he is, Verbeek felt that wasn’t enough. Instead, he wanted to take it one step further by having it ring automatically. To accomplish this, he used a servo motor with a small hammer at the end. An ATtiny85 in combination with an RTC mini-breakout board is tasked with ringing the bell.


At the top of every hour, the clock rings the number of the current hour and once at every half hour. (Think of it as a cuckoo clock for your tree.) As an extra feature, Verbeek even included a push button for manual control and an RGB LED on top that illuminates as the bell chimes.

Ready to ring in the holidays? Check out Verbeek’s project here, or watch it in action below!