Garage door close via the internet? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 01-03-2008, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Several times my girlfriend who's been an apartment dweller all her adult life forgets to close our garage door when she leaves for work in the morning.

I'd like to figure out a way of remotely closing the door via the internet. I have several PC's I can use but am not sure which software to go with. I also need to know what hardware the PC would need and what hardware would be needed to monitor the status of the door. If needed, I could add a camera inside the garage to make sure there are no obstructions (people or animals) as the door closes. The door also has sensors for reversing in case something is in it's path.

As it is I connect remotely from work to one of my home PC's via PCAnywhere. Running Cat5 can be done very easily as I have routes already run for phone & network.

Looking to do this as inexpensive as possible .

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

TIA
Dave
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post #2 of 20 Old 01-05-2008, 09:16 PM
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You might want to try an autocloser.


http://www.autocloser.com/

You could also use X10, Insteon or other powerline automation system to control a relay that will bridge the contacts on your garage door opener. You could run the program specific for the system you choose on the computer that you PCAnywhere in to.

For this you would need the relay control module, a computer interface for the system you choose, and IP camera to monitor the status of the door. I think it would be less expensive to go with the autocloser...you know your door is closed...but it does not provide a way to monitor the door.

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post #3 of 20 Old 01-06-2008, 06:43 AM
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Most tie their garage door into their security system, and then monitor their security system via software connected to the Internet.

HAI / ELK make the most compatible security panels for this purpose as they will tell the PC specifically which zones (garage door) are open / closed (and when that occurs).

There are several software packages to tie this all together. MainLobby, Homeseer, and CQC get most of the votes.

The above is way more than what you asked, and you did say inexpensive (which the above will probably be considered by most not to be inexpensive), but the above is hugely expandable to your next, the next, and the next need / want, including security cameras for monitoring. And, the event rules processing to close the door when you want it closed etc.

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post #4 of 20 Old 01-06-2008, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothtlk View Post

Most tie their garage door into their security system, and then monitor their security system via software connected to the Internet.

HAI / ELK make the most compatible security panels for this purpose as they will tell the PC specifically which zones (garage door) are open / closed (and when that occurs).

That is what I did! (actually... am doing )

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post #5 of 20 Old 01-08-2008, 05:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Guys, I appreciate all the feedback.

I forgot to add that I currently have a RadioRa system controlling all my lighting. I have the RA-IR interface to work in conjunction with my URC MX-900 remote. I do NOT have a security system in place and wasn't really looking to add one at this time. Not to say I wont want to add it later.

videocam: I have seen these autoclosers from several different manufacturers and have given them some consideration. For around $50 they could be a quick fix but I was looking for a little more "wow factor". I know, I know, "wow factor" will cost more $$$$
Your second solution sounds a lot more like what I'm wanting to do. When you say "system I choose" are you referring to the software I'll be running on the PC? Let's say I opted for Homeseer, what would be the computer interface, RS-232? Is there any other PC interface?

smoothtlk: I have been looking at Elk products. Specifically system packages like the M1 Gold. I don't see a need for keypads at the moment so I'm thinking I could get away with just the basic package and expand as needed. What I'm unsure of is what other hardware would be required to give me the functionality I'm looking for? IE; what else goes into the M1 panel and what would go to the garage door? What would be needed for one IP camera

On the PC software side of things, I've been looking at Homeseer. I see they have a RadioRA interface but I would be required to add the RA-RS232. All this could be added later as $$$ is available. Another question I have is if the RadioRA uses RS232 as does the M1 Gold, would I need two serial ports on my control PC?

Again guys, I really appreciate your input. Other then the lighting, this stuff is all new to me.

Thanks Again,
Dave
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post #6 of 20 Old 01-08-2008, 09:44 PM
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with hai you can use snaplink on a thumb drive to see status of your door and to close or open it, all you have to do is plug it into any internet connected computer. it runs off the thumb drive so you wont have to install anything on your work / public computer.
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post #7 of 20 Old 01-10-2008, 07:50 PM
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davey28,
For a garage door, you typically need a means to tell the opener to open / close. With the M1, you would use a relay. Elk has relays on the main board, and expansion modules that connect via RS485 with relays. This typically connects where your wall switch connect on the opener unit.

You also need to know the door state. this is usually done with a magnetic contact switch that connects to the door frame. A magnet rides with the door, and when it gets close to the switch, the circuit opens telling the ELK that the door is closed.

Once you have the ELK up and running, then you can connect PC software to it. For example with MainLobby, you can create a floorplan view of your garage, and a graphical Icon depicting the door. When the ELK tells the PC software that the door is open, you can swap the graphic for an open door.

This can also get more involved. We have a customer that put a "10 turn potentiometer" on his garage door spring. He then connected that to the ELK and the ELK measures the voltage. This is then interpreted mathimatically to a 0 - 100 scale from closed to Open. We built a custom Flash graphic (that is now a standard graphic) that displays the door open position from 0 - 100. The neat thing is that he also has a RF motion detector in the car. When the car is "docked" in the garage, and the garage door opens, MainLobby user interface shows a closed, then a partially open, then the car tires, decklid, rooftop and then a wide open garage door (or any state inbetween if the owner cracks the door open a bit for ventilation). Pretty neat. Functional for the owner, because he cracks his garage door open a bit for ventilation in the heat. He did a full writeup on the above on cocoontech.com

MainLobby also supports the RadioRA lighting system BTW. You can add that when you are ready.

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post #8 of 20 Old 04-12-2009, 11:02 AM
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i built an internet garage door opener/closer out of a few spare bits. here's what.

A serial port has three binary lines you can read (CTS,DSR,CD) and two you can write (DTR,RTS).

I used the DTR to drive a transistor and a relay (12v for the relay was taken from the PC's power supply). The other side of the relay "piggybacks" onto the switch on the wall which controls the garage door.

A little C program opens the port, engages the DTR line for 0.5 seconds and then disengages it. This is equivalent to pressing the button on the wall, and opens/closes the door.

For reading the position of the door I bolted a piece of cardboard to the chain which drives the door up and down. It slides into a slot optocoupler, which is then read by the CTS line of the serial port. Another C program opens the port, checks the status of the CTS line and reports TRUE or FALSE.

To put it all on the web, I installed apache server on my linux box, wrote a simple PHP script with a button to open/close the door, and a piece of text which tells you the status of the sensor.

I found a password-protecting PHP script on the net, configured my router to port-forward to the web server, and got a dynamic DNS from no-ip.org. Now I can access it anywhere!


the picture shows the top of the opener mechanism. You can see the piece of cardboard bolted to the chain in the bottom of the picture. There are two sensors: one for "open" and one for "closed" although I only use the "closed" one at the moment. at the moment you can see the cardboard interrupting the slot opto for the "open" postition.

The prototyping circuit board contains a few resistors and stuff for generating a 0-5v logic level from the output of the slot sensors.

It took me about 5 hours to figure out how to do it, and build the whole thing. Cost: about £5.

The good thing about slot optos is that you can put them anywhere on the door, all you need is some kind of attachment to the door which slides in between the emitter and sensor. An alternative would be to use a webcam, so you can see whether the door is open or closed. I didn't have one hanging around, so I went with the slot opto idea.


good luck ! let me know if you need any help. I can give you code, schematics etc.

owen
LL
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post #9 of 20 Old 02-16-2011, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastfourier666 View Post

i built an internet garage door opener/closer out of a few spare bits. here's what.

SNIP

good luck ! let me know if you need any help. I can give you code, schematics etc.

owen

I'd love to have a look at your schematics and code. I'm handy, but not much of a programmer, and this is exactly the setup I wanted.
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post #10 of 20 Old 02-25-2011, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davey28 View Post

Several times my girlfriend who's been an apartment dweller all her adult life forgets to close our garage door when she leaves for work in the morning.
I'd like to figure out a way of remotely closing the door via the internet. Dave

You need this: http://www.elkom.com.tw/?section=2&subid=19
It has strong security measures. At least you will be sure that nobody will open your garage.
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post #11 of 20 Old 12-15-2012, 05:34 PM
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fast fourier 666, any chance for more details mate? an email or smthing?
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post #12 of 20 Old 12-24-2012, 10:08 AM
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If you already have a garage door opener, and you don't necessarily need to integrate it into an existing system, I would checkout Craftsmanship Assurelink openers.

I installed the belt drive model in place of my old unit in a couple hours.

I was able to just reuse the old wires which saved a lot of time.

It has (I think) everything you are looking for; ios and android apps and pc access. You can also set things like auto close, so you know that even if you don't manually close the door from home or online, it will close for you.

When closing remotely, it sounds an alarm to alert anyone nearby that it is closing. The unit also has a back up battery so you can still operate the door without power (no light though).

Other things I like is that is uses a smart controller so all programming is done at the main keypad. (over the existing 2 wires) The keypad has a motion sensor to turn the units lights on as well.

For Internet connectivity, it has a small unit that talks to the opener via wireless (900 mhz I think) . You just place the wireless unit next to your router and connect it to the Internet with a supplied patch Cable. Mine is about 40' from the opener in my basement through quite a few walls and I don't have any connectivity issues.

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post #13 of 20 Old 09-06-2013, 10:27 AM
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Hi,

I am very interested in your approach. Could you please show me how to put the resistor, relay, and the door switch together?

Thank you.

Mike
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post #14 of 20 Old 09-06-2013, 10:42 AM
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There's video's on the net of someone that has an ip cam with built in relay hooked directly to the opener. Then you can use a software program to activate the relay which open and closes the door. You would be able to see the door status due to the cam being installed as well.
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post #15 of 20 Old 09-08-2013, 05:24 PM
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All you need is a controllable relay. To get the garage door to open or closer simply open up the wall controller or a spare portable garage door opener and wire the relay across the contact points. Then you can close the relay and it will in effect mimic a person pressing the button down. This will open the door if closed and close the door if opened. Monitoring the system is obviously key. I would highly suggest a camera to do this as it will allow you to see if the door is open or closed as well as see if there is an obstruction or not.

There are lots of options as far as finding relays that you can control with your computer. You don't need one that handles high voltage because there won't be any need for high voltage (although you could/should measure the voltage across your garage door opener's contacts just to see what you really need.).

- Brian

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post #16 of 20 Old 09-09-2013, 08:51 AM
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While a camera it very helpful, you can also use reed switches (like the door / window sensors for alarm systems). If you mount one side to the door, and one side to the rail that the door rests in, the switch can tell your controller whether the door is open or closed. Most doors also come with sensors that prevent the door from closing if something or someone is blocking it. The best combo is to have reed switches (or something similar), the blockage sensors, and a camera.

I use a raspberry pi to control my doors. Using the sensors, my system can tell if the doors are open or closed (and open/close them). The pi has secure web server so I can control the doors from anywhere. It also controls my sprinkler system.
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post #17 of 20 Old 09-09-2013, 02:23 PM
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What I/O platform did you use with the Raspberry Pi? I'm thinking of doing some similar things on my new home and have purchased a model B Pi, but not done much with it as yet.
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post #18 of 20 Old 09-10-2013, 08:40 AM
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I'm using a couple of relays and reed switches that are connected directly to the GPIO pins on the RPi. I also have an OpenSprinkler board connected to the Pi that controls my sprinklers. OpenSprinkler comes with opensource software that includes a webserver that responds to HTTP Get commands. So since it's already "listening" for commands to control the sprinklers, it was easy to add a few more GET commands to activate the relays or get the status of the reed switches.

I might post some details later this weekend, but you can browse the opensprinkler forums in the meantime.
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post #19 of 20 Old 09-10-2013, 10:10 AM
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I have seen the open sprinkler board, and it appears to be a nice addition. I'm planning on adding Z-Wave and X10 network support as well as an IR interface so that I can combine universal remote and web server functions for home entertainment and automation (big plans...little time). Thanks for the reply.
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post #20 of 20 Old 09-23-2013, 12:46 PM
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I know that this is an old thread, but for those of you that stumble across it looking for a similar solution. I recently purchased a Craftsman Garage door opener that allows me to use a phone app to close it remotely, check to make sure that it is closed, and it sends me a text message any time that it is opened or closed.
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