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Author Topic: Arduino garage door opener  (Read 8689 times)
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I want to show you a cool project I've been working on and is now complete. I made an iPhone garage door opener! It works with anything that has a browser as well. I made a relay circuit to control the switching and Apache HTTP Server 2.2.13 and PHP 5.3 to send serial commands to an Arduino. Right now it is just a prototype since it isn't realistic to have a web server hanging out in the garage.
 
Please watch the video I made. It is on You Tube, just search for iphone garage door opener. It should come up first, my username on You Tube is RuthJ180.

Thanks!
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Heres the link;

Very cool iphone app! Very unique project too, hackin a garage door opener with an arduino and a relay  ;D
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As with any control action there should be a status feedback to the controller.
Where is your "open/close" garage door status feedback?
 8-) 8-) 8-)
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Nice garage, but where do you keep the car  smiley
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I agree, without positive feedback of what the present status of the door is, open, closed, or moving then you are using a form of open loop control where you can't guarantee that activating the door switch via web is really opening or closing.

The control switch input into a opener is just a momentary alternating control and without a pair of eye balls to verify what existing state of the door your remote control might lead you think your closing it when in reality you opening it. A full closed and full open feedback switch would be needed and of course the more expensive technical part of a web link going the other way. Also most openers have a auto open if it meets an obstruction when closing, so again it's easy for the real door state to not reflect what one thinks that state should be.

So cool demonstration, but not really practical/useful/safe without a feedback status data link provided.

Lefty
« Last Edit: September 01, 2009, 05:24:37 pm by retrolefty » Logged

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Two feedback options:
Option #1:
You could wire in a snap action (Micro switch) on the garage railing.
All electronics have a snap action switch with lever cat# SMS-195 (or roller)
http://www.allelectronics.com/

Option #2
You could add a more expensive magnetic garage door switch if you cannot attach to the garage
door railing but to the base of the garage door.
https://all-systems-are-go.com/product.php?productid=229
(shop around for the best price)
 8-) 8-) 8-)
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Hi everyone, thanks for your comments on the garage door opener. My intention with the project was to create a web controlled door push button that would work like the manufacturer buttons already wired in and that I could wire mine into the drive unit in addition. Currently, my garage door isn't very smart with or without any cool arduino addons. If you click on one of the manufacturer's buttons it will go up or down depending what the last state was. There is no explicit up or down button. A good thing about my garage door opener is that it has the auto open safety feature if it meets an obstruction.

I like ArduinoAndy's and retrolefty's ideas to add a staus feedback to the controller. It would require adding more hardware and software and I'm probably not going to doing that right now. I agree that it isn't ready for production but I find it just as useful as my manufacturer push button openers. I have to look to verify that the door is doing what I expect, all of the buttons have the possibility of not activating.

Jabber - I can fit one car in the garage!  smiley There are just too many things to put into a garage... always an organizational engineering challenge.

Thanks again!
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That's a cool thing.  Now you don't have to keep track of a separate garage opener, just your iPhone which you'd already probably have in the first place!

Just out of curiosity:
Do you have one of those expensive apple developer subscriptions to make apps?  If not, does that mean you can make and use apps that you make with the free SDK?
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You know there is a very low cost commercial alternative to your garage door application.
Smarthome sells their Insteon Internet "Central Controller" which controls via power line / Internet their Insteon PLC modules. By using two of their I/O Lincs and an iPhone or ipod touch you could control the garage door and receive the proper open/close control feedback. With this Insteon system, you also control your lights and thermostat and also view web cameras.
 8-) 8-) 8-)  
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 07:39:25 pm by ArduinoAndy » Logged

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You could just add a Ethernet Shield to the Arduino, that way you could skip the webserver in the garage (or anywhere). This would and also enable you to get feedback/door status in the html code easier....

/Kristian
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Nice video, i commented on your door bell video that it would be sweet to get it to play short audio tracks through a speaker instead of the ding dong. ya know.

have fun!
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I'm not really crazy about x10 (plus I wouldn't need an Arduino then) smiley

Ethernet shield sounds like a really great idea. I have a friend that will let me borrow his, I'll probably play around with that soon.

I used the arduino and relay first to control a doorbell (before messing with my garage door). It would be cool to hook up a relay to an mp3 player and connect up a speaker and amplifier. Then the door bell could play many different kinds of audio.
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On a similar topic...
I made a general purpose Arduino alarm system, one for the home and one for the garage.

One function of the garage alarm...  in disarmed state, is to monitor the motion detector. If no motion after 20 minutes, and door is open... close the Garage door!  I too used a reed relay to simulate a button push.
Works well. No more worry about leaving the door open, as I have many expensive wood working machines in there.
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George,

Your garage security and door monitoring system sounds really cool. Do you have a video or website with info about it?

I'd like to see it if you have time.

Thanks,
Ruth
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Here is a photo album of my Garage MRMP shield project to help you appreciate the details, and 'fun'...
http://web.me.com/sgmatthews/MRMP_Projects/Photos.html
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