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Thread: (Electric) Garage Door control

  1. #1
    Automated Home Sr Member cliffwright's Avatar
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    Default (Electric) Garage Door control

    Hi folks,

    I've got an electric roller-style front garage door & the key fob "zappers" have given up the ghost.

    The control unit has a zero-volt connection for manual operation which I've connected up to an old X10 "Powerflash" unit I had lying around - but there's plenty on noise on my mains & this chooses to trigger itself randomly (leaving the garage door wide open to anyone wanting to steal my tools!) so isn't viable.

    Obviously I want to connect this into my Idratek setup but not sure of 2 things;

    1) Which module is 'best'? Would an SRH be suitable? I'm imagining its be expecting a voltage on the relay so how would it work for a zero volt operation?

    2) What control options are there other than just the mobile plugin? Being the garage door, I don't want to have to get my phone out, unlock it, open the app, login, navigate some layers to the control & then select to control it every time I pull up on the drive - I want a more 'single click' option that mirrors the traditional "zapper" effect.

    Is anyone aware of a-n-other wireless control input (I can only really think of an ir module and keep whatever IR controller I can find that's really small in my car, but that's maybe not all that secure)?

    I'll obviously connect up a mag contact to sense open / closed (there's no real need for any kind of part open setting so it'll be binary).

    Appreciate any help / advice.

    Cheers

    Cliff

  2. #2
    Automated Home Ninja Viv's Avatar
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    I would assume that the door control unit in saying zero volt means it is expecting a switch input. That is if you simply connect the control unit to a switch and close it the door should move. I assume you have two inputs one for close and one for open.

    If the above is correct then you can use any Idratek module which has relays.

    I would then get a key fob unit such as

    http://cpc.farnell.com/unbranded/htx...20This%20Range

    You can then connect the receiver to the digital inputs on the module.

    This would allow control from Cortex Webserver, Any buttons, menus etc or the keyfob.

    Viv.

  3. #3
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    If you know the make of the keyfob or the door opener you can get spare fobs and just program the garage opener to accept the new fob. some fobs have dip switches inside which set the code, these are often referred to as binary or trinary code fobs.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

  4. #4
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    just a thought but, at the rear of our motor-units, under a / the cover, we found a terminal strip which gave access to lots of options - open, close, toggle, light, disable-jumper, etc, etc ... and we used some QRIs to give Cortex full access, and so control of when they can be activated, opening & closing from buttons around the house, etc, etc ...

  5. #5
    Automated Home Sr Member cliffwright's Avatar
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    @ Viv - sorry, I perhaps didn't explain thoroughly enough. The control unit literally has a 2 pin input which originally had a make/break doorbell button connected inside the garage for manual control. A push of the doorbell button for a brief period will start the door opening from closed (you don't need to keep pressing for the duration of the open/close operation - just a momentary press of maybe < 1 second) - visa-versa, a brief press from open will start the door closing. (I think I'd need to setup a macro to switch the relay off after 1 second to mimic the doorbell button effect).

    I figure I'll attach a mag contact at the closed position to whichever module I use for control in infer open / closed state . . . but need a module that will operate without having any voltage on the relay - if I used for example a DRB to connect 1 of its' relays in place of the doorbell - wouldn't the DRB be expecting a voltage across the relay and error without?

    Thanks for the info on the key fob unit - that looks good - will order one to have a play.

    @ toscal - I do know the make but I believe they're factory set - the key fobs don't have any dip switches and there's no obvious programming options.

  6. #6
    Automated Home Ninja Viv's Avatar
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    I would create an On/Off Load object to associate with the relay.
    Then use a pulse on connection triggered by button etc.

    The relay contacts will act like a button and you do not need to worry about any voltages.

    Viv

  7. #7
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    If you sill have the original remotes it may still be possible to copy them.
    If you let me know the make I can possible tell you if spare key fobs are available and if its possible to copy them or teach the system the new ones.
    When you say they have given up the ghost what do you mean, have they just stopped working, if so it maybe the batteries. You can normally change the batteries yourself, they will either be button cells or a 12V electronic lighter type battery.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

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    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    It occured to me that whilst you were at it, it might also prove useful to have another sensor detecting fully or perhaps (95%) open door if that was easily achievable.

    As Viv mentions, relay module outputs are just mechanical switches operated by electromagnets. The latter get their power from the IDRANet supply, unlike the SLD dimmer whose lamp side electronics are powered from mains via the bulb. This is why an SLD (or QLD) module will complain if they detect no mains voltage on the output side.

  9. #9
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    we did this (reed switch at each end or travel) - quite easy to arrange, and quite useful - gives Cortex positive recognition of both closed / secure & open / safe to drive-out or drive-in ...

  10. #10
    Automated Home Sr Member cliffwright's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toscal View Post
    If you sill have the original remotes it may still be possible to copy them.
    If you let me know the make I can possible tell you if spare key fobs are available and if its possible to copy them or teach the system the new ones.
    When you say they have given up the ghost what do you mean, have they just stopped working, if so it maybe the batteries. You can normally change the batteries yourself, they will either be button cells or a 12V electronic lighter type battery.
    Yes - I still have the remotes - they were unused for a period and no longer appear to work at all. They have an LED indicator which is supposed to flash when they transmit (press the button) but having changed the batteries in both, neither light up and neither operate the door.

    They're made by "Zap" who inform me that they no longer make this type of remote (they have offered to re-furb them for me at a reasonable enough cost).

    I've seen a couple of "learning" type solutions which claim to clone remotes but I doubt my existing ones work for them to be learned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karam View Post
    It occured to me that whilst you were at it, it might also prove useful to have another sensor detecting fully or perhaps (95%) open door if that was easily achievable.

    As Viv mentions, relay module outputs are just mechanical switches operated by electromagnets. The latter get their power from the IDRANet supply, unlike the SLD dimmer whose lamp side electronics are powered from mains via the bulb. This is why an SLD (or QLD) module will complain if they detect no mains voltage on the output side.
    I can easily add an "open" Mag contact too but given the motor operation is timed through the unit, it's a sure fire guarantee that if a "closed" position mag contact is broken, then the door is open. I'll do it for the sake of it

    OK - Reckon a DRB will be my best bet - I can use 1 relay for this, and one for the garage lights whilst I'm at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by chris_j_hunter View Post
    we did this (reed switch at each end or travel) - quite easy to arrange, and quite useful - gives Cortex positive recognition of both closed / secure & open / safe to drive-out or drive-in ...
    As above - i'll add one at each end of travel purely for the sake of it - but think an "open" state is very reliably inferred by the lack of "closed" mag contact.



    From following Viv's suggestion, I found this;

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    on Amazon which seems nicely plug-n-play (and cheap enough) which would both connect to my door controller, plus could be connected to the digital input to give a sense of control instruction. Might order both this one and the one Viv suggests just to see them both in the flesh and send whichever I don't use back.

    Thanks folks - will let you know how I get on

    I've also got to figure out how I get an Idranet cable from the house out to the garage (which is detached from the house) now too . . . hmm . . .

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