I need to build a small mechanism where a motor opens/closes a acrylic cover (horizontally) on a timer.
So, for example, at 10:00pm the acrylic cover slides open and then closes at 11:00pm.
The design is a similar to a funnel where the base is around 5" in diameter. At a certain time, I want a piece of acrylic (or anything of-the-like) to open the base of the funnel and then close after a certain time as well. It is a very basic setup, but as someone who has never studied electronics i'm a bit at a loss where to start.
Any advice as to where I can learn the circuitry and the underlying mechanisms to make this function would be greatly appreciated.
I'm guessing I need a motor that is linked into a system where it is triggered to open by some sort of timer and then cut off by a trigger (to stop it constantly spinning) and then close again on the basis of the timer.
Thank you in advance
This sounds like a project which is very suitable for the use of two timers from the 555 family. Use one for the initial delay, and the second for the timing of the open time of the door. You may well have to use a relay connected to the output of timer two to switch the motor, but this will depend on the actual devices and motor that you have.
There is a very useful "Beginners' Guide" on this site - read that first. There are also many, many books available on the net (not amazon alone!) to get you started.
You might like to think about modifying a cat feeder (you can get these in any pet shop) to complete your project. You can also get complete timers that will do the switching on and off at regular intervals for such things as water pumps, heaters and so forth, and will plug into a mains socket.
>> IF YOU ARE USING THE MAINS, EXERCISE THE GREATEST CARE! <<
Hope this helps. Post again on this site if you can be a little more focussed as to what you want to do, what power supplies, tools etc. you have and what engineering experience you have.