|(Image source: Brad Harbert)|
If you’re in the process of turning your home into a smart home – or just want to add an extra bit of automation to your daily life, you can try building your own automatic garage door opener. Brad Harbert, a mechanical engineer, has shared plans on his website for adding internet connectivity to your garage door opener using a Particle Photon Wi-Fi IoT.
The device essentially simulates a button press on the garage door opener. It accomplishes this by being wired to the terminals where the garage door opener’s “open” button is attached. The relay shorts across those terminals and the door opener doesn’t know the difference between the signal and a physical button press.
Magnetic reed switches let the Photon know the position of the door (open or closed). The whole thing can be assembled onto a prototyping board and wall-mounted next to the garage door opener. Particle also provides a cloud-based service that allows for some straightforward coding of the Photon.
Once finalized you should be able to access the Photon app on any Android device and control your garage door over the internet. Since the app tracks the door’s state, the position sensing can also allow for an added layer of security and provide alerts if the door is opened unexpectedly.
Here’s a link to the full build instructions as well as the project source code for both the Particle's Build UI or Arduino IDE.
Chris Wiltz is a Senior Editor at Design News covering emerging technologies including AI, VR/AR, blockchain, and robotics.