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Looking for advice/instruction for building garage door closer project

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by mjohnson, Apr 11, 2005.

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  1. mjohnson

    mjohnson Guest

    I thought up an idea to hookup a timer to my garage door to ensure
    that it is closed by 10pm each night. Since I have zero electronics
    experience I figured this might be a good project to learn some basic
    skill with for fun. I picked up a couple of Forest M. Mims books but
    realized quickly I'm over my head as to now to decide what circuits I
    would need; but, I didn't want to give up too easily and I'm hoping
    folks here would enjoy helping me out.

    The first phase of project as I envisioned it would include:
    1) a timer
    2) the garage door transmitter
    3) photo sensor to determine if the door was up or down

    The McGyver in me wanted to buy an inexpensive battery operated travel
    alarm clock for the timer piece thinking that I wouldn't have to
    construct a timer and interface. My thought was to tap the buzzer
    leads to determine when the timer went off to actuate the "closer"
    circuit. Otherwise, there is an example of building a 24 hour timer in
    the Mims book that I could use.

    Before getting to far into things my initial questions are:
    1) could I use the travel alarm clock as described?
    2) how do I interface the timer (either bought or homebuilt) to the
    switch on the garage door transmitter?

    For question #2 I assume that I can carefully unsolder the push button
    on the remote transmitter and wire it to some sort of transistor type
    switch or relay. Could someone describe some possibilities and hold I
    might actually get it connected?

    As far as the door open/close sensor goes I'm assuming it's straight
    forward and that it would interface to the circuit with via an AND
    gate. I'll look into that later.

    Anyway, thanks for your time and your responses....

    Mark.
     
  2. Bob Monsen

    Bob Monsen Guest

    McGyver! A hero to all hobbyists...
    Most garage door mechanisms have a manual override button. You may want to
    interface to that instead of to the remote. On mine, for example, there is
    a wire that runs from the unit to the button. I'm assuming the button is
    normally open. Thus, you could use a little relay to short the two sides
    of the wire, and thus activate the mechanism.
    I can carefully unsolder the push button
    It's unlikely that your remote will interface properly to an electronic
    alarm. You will probably have to measure the voltages and signals, and
    then design some interfacing circuit. If you make the measurements, and
    post the results, I'm sure somebody will step up to help you with the
    design.
    Depending on the type of door, you could use a little opto-interrupter,
    like they use in printers to detect paper. Alternately, some kind of
    physical switch, even a wire that closes across two contacts, would work.
    Sounds like an interesting project. Good luck with it.
     
  3. JeB

    JeB Guest

    I'd imagine you might get by with a lamp timer in parellel with the
    wired button in the garage.
     
  4. Dave

    Dave Guest

    I use a magnet on the door and a reed switch mounted on the frame wired
    to an indicator in the house to let me know when I left the door
    opened.
    cheap and simple.
     
  5. Chris

    Chris Guest

    Providing there is nothing in the way when it is being closed - eg. car,
    child etc. You could get a 240V/24h plug-in timer, Bunnings sell 2 of these
    for $10, connect to a 12V transformer, $15 from an electrical wholesaler and
    get a 12V ac relay. Connect your N.O. contacts across the manual button and
    presto!

    Cheers.
     
  6. mjohnson

    mjohnson Guest

    So to measure the "voltages and signals" at the output of the buzzer
    would I just set the alarm off and use a multimeter to determine
    what/if there is any voltage?

    Would I do the same with the transmitter -- put a multimeter between
    the switch and then push the button and see what registers. What kind
    of numbers should I expect to see? Something above 1 volt but smaller
    than 5 volts?

    Is voltage and signal the same thing or do I need to measure the signal
    differently.

    thanks!
     
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