Everybody knows that fetch is the most loved game by dogs. If you have tried plenty of variations of the game fetch, you might want to try using an automatic ball thrower for dogs. It gives your dog a continuous interactive play. This is useful when you get tired or bored with the game or just too busy to play.
While automatic ball throwers may be costly for a toy, you can make your own DIY automatic ball thrower for dogs, and there are numerous versions, some easier to make than others.
STEPS FOR DIY AUTOMATIC BALL THROWER FOR DOGS
GETTING YOUR MATERIALS AND TOOLS READY
Since this thrower is automatic, we will be needing some basic electronics that you can buy in hardware stores.
For the electronics you will need:
- Limit switch
- 12-24 volt motor
- Relay module 12 volt delay switch
- 12 volt LED automation delay timer control switch with buzzer and two buttons
- 12-volt solenoid
For the tools:
- PVC glue
For the tubes:
- 2 straight tubes
- 2-4 inches reducer
- 90-degree bend
- 3D Prints
- Get your reduction tube and cut a deep line. This will trigger the limit switch when a ball is placed in the tube.
- Measure your solenoid and cut a circle a bit larger than its diameter.
- If you have your 3D prints, use the measurement of the empty space of the “wheel” and cut it in a straight tube. Be accurate with this by marking it with a felt tip first.
- Join the pieces by using PVC glue.
- Make sure the solenoid and the limit switch go in the cuts you made for them. Make adjustments if it does not fit properly.
- When making the wiring, use small cables if you are planning to screw them. If you have access to soldering iron, you can use any cable size.
- On the blue board, the negative goes to the GND and the positive goes to the VCC.
- Motors are attached through a wire to GND and another wire to CK.
- Connect your jumper to the VCC.
- Connect the switch through a wire to IN and another to VCC.
- You need another wire to connect CK to DC+ that is found on the red board.
- Connect another wire from GND to DC- that is found on the red board.
- Connect the solenoid to the red board using wires from COM and DC+
- Connect the jumper to the red board DC- to NO
Make sure that your wiring is correct, otherwise check on the steps again. Stick the wheels using any type of glue. Make sure that the wires and the motors are clean and organized. Use glue and wraps if necessary.
Now test your dog’s new toy on your own at first. Make sure everything is functioning correctly and the toy is safe for your dog. If something is not working well, check your wirings and other parts to see if they are properly connected. After you have tested everything, go and play with your dog!
If you’re interested in more DIY projects for your dog, check out how to make an adjustable paracord collar and how to build a dog kennel from scratch!