How long does the supplied battery last between charges?
The time between charges would depend on the weight of the door and also the capacity of the battery you use in conjunction with our product. The solar panel should, in normal use, provide almost indefinite use without the need to recharge the Hentronix-supplied battery although we do recommend an additional charge of the battery around the beginning of November to ensure smooth operation through the winter months. When using the additional lighting feature, additional charging will be required more frequently, and for these cases, we either suggest utilising two of the Hentronix-type batteries with one being on charge at any one time, or using a larger leisure-type battery.
Where does the battery go?
The battery goes into a weatherproof box which can be placed on the ground, under the chicken house or anywhere nearby. The weatherproof box supplied is a DriBox 200
How do I know if my battery needs charging?
Every morning after the door has opened the battery is tested by the controller. If it needs charging you will hear a repeating chirping noise and see the blue light flashing in the controller. This means that you need to charge the battery (using the charger supplied, if you have ordered the Battery and Charger Unit).
I want to use my own battery & charger. Can I do this?
Absolutely! The battery needs to be 12V, of 5Ah capacity or greater, suitable for slow charge & discharge, and sealed lead acid. The charger needs to be suited to the battery (so charging at around 500mAh if the battery is 5Ah). We do not recommend using car batteries. When fully-charged, the battery should be reading about 13.5V, as is typical with good 12V batteries.
You can also order our recommended battery & charger kit through our Store. Ordering through us has the benefit of us guaranteeing the function and suitability of the battery & charger for your unit, again for two years as standard.
As of November 2018, all of our battery packs come with the facility to run from mains electricity permanently. These will enable you to connect your unit to a battery, and the battery to the mains. The benefit of having a battery in the circuit is that it will protect the unit from voltage surges as well, and it will keep the unit operating perfectly if there is any sort of power outage! If you ordered your unit before November 2018 and would like to run your unit from the mains, please get in touch!
I want to run my unit from mains electricity. What's the best way to do this?
Can I (or my chickens) be electrocuted?
What happens if I connect my battery the wrong way round?
There is no problem – the electronics have built in protection against this.
Can I use a car battery?
Car batteries are not suitable for use with Hentronix units because they are not made for slow charging and slow discharging. Car batteries may work for a small amount of time, but the life of the battery will be very short. We recommend our own Battery & Charger kit, which can be found on the Store.