Garage Door opener via phone dial?


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by abishur » Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:55 pm
An idea struck me this morning. Every so often I'll need to either loan out my garage door opener to a family member or the battery will die making it annoying ordeal to get out of the car, walk around the house, get inside, go to the back and open the garage door from the inside, then finally pull my car in.

So what if it were possible to open the door by dialing a number then inputting a 4 digit pin?

Does anyone know if such a thing would be possible? I would think it would be if we were still in the days of dial up modems but is it still possible? Here's the order of events I'm thinking of.

Call Google voice number

Leave message with 4 digits

Google voice creates e-mail with digits

E-mail account is setup on R-pi

Every time it receives e-mail with the right 4 digits it closes contacts on GPIO

Contacts on GPIO are attached to spare remote or possibly even directly connected to contacts on garage door opener.

What do y'all think? Is there a better way to do this? Well other than just putting a little pin pad out side. Yeah that would work, but it wouldn't be nearly as cool. ;)

Is there a way to directly call r-pi via eihernet and type in pin directly?
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by Chris » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:24 pm
You do know you could have a delay between the phonecall and the door opening of up to an hour with that method dont you?

Email is not Instant as many people think. Easier would be to have a sensor in your car and the opener and have the sensor active when ignition is active, so when you drive to the garage it opens, you drive in, turn the engine off and the sensor is now off, hence garage door closing.
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by stuporhero » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:34 pm
hmmm... You could write a simple server in {your language here} and an Android app to 'ping' the server with an open or close command...? Maybe overkill but far far quicker than email, and you could also have the server 'ping back' the client with door open/closed status, or if the doors are being opened/closed by other methods...

(Assuming you're running Android of course)
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by asb » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:39 pm
You might be interested in this project using the Twilio SMS API and an Arduino to provide something similar to what you're wanting:
http://www.twilio.com/gallery/.....arage-Door (yikes, the Arduino Ethernet shield alone is more expensive that the Raspi).
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by Chris » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:58 pm
Quote from stuporhero on September 22, 2011, 21:34
hmmm... You could write a simple server in {your language here} and an Android app to 'ping' the server with an open or close command...? Maybe overkill but far far quicker than email, and you could also have the server 'ping back' the client with door open/closed status, or if the doors are being opened/closed by other methods...

(Assuming you're running Android of course)


Potential security device too, sensors on all doors and have it alert the phone to when a door is opened.
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by abishur » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:17 pm
@Chris I think the "up to an hour" might be the slightest bit of an exaggeration ;) but yes I'm fully aware of the potential delay involved.

@asb I like the sounds of that. I'm not a big fan of pay services, but I might be able to do the same thing with twitter....
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by mcscruff » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:24 pm
Also have to hope your internet stays up and there are no problems on the line or with the email provider.

If it is just for you why not set it up on a wifi signal so when you are on your drive you will be close enough for your phone to be on the same network and have an app that has a "open garage" button on it. This then will not rely on a constant internet connection being needed.

If you have no worries about your internet connection then i would use stuporhero's idea
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by Lob0426 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:24 am
Power not a big issue. telephone lines are self powered. if the RasPi is on a battery backup it will work fine. better yet power the RasPi off of the phone line. 30v I think. Just don't let the phone company catch you. They hate people powering stuff from their lines. Use an old serial modem to connect directly to RasPi?
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by abishur » Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:47 pm
If power is out I don't think my garage door opener will open at all guys. :P The idea isn't to use this to replace me garage door opener, the point is to have an emergency backup or device I could let my family have access to when I'm out of town and need them to stop by and check on the cat.

As such, I couldn't rely solely on an android app as most my family still uses 'dumb' phones, and making anything where I had to give them something to make it work is self defeating as I could just as easily buy a spare garage door opener and let them have it.
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by thexman » Sun May 20, 2012 7:51 pm
check out Projects on http://www.yoctopuce.com they did a wireless door jack operator i am sure if you speak nicely to them they will share information
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by bonelifer » Sun May 20, 2012 9:02 pm
You could try and get Asterisk 1.8 installed and connected to a Google Voice number. Then call and have Asterisk run a program to open/close the door.
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by HerpaMoTeH » Mon May 21, 2012 5:49 am
Why don't you try with a GSM modem (or GPRS modem I forgot what was it's name :D ) ? Using AT commands you can receive SMS messages with it and the rest depends on your program :)
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by SeanD » Mon May 21, 2012 6:34 am
I did something very similar to this years ago. I used an 8870 http://parts.digikey.com/1/parts/467312 ... -01sm.html as the heart of my own phone answerer and DTMF decoder. Of course it was probably against all sorts of regulations but it worked very well although I did play nice and used a small relay as my on/off hook device. For someone with reasonable electronics and microprocessor experience this is the kind of thing you could do in an afternoon using something as basic as an Arduino.

Downsides are it would have to be on your home phone line rather than on the net. An IP telephony solution might be a whole lot more fun to implement but the above is real easy.
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by hayesey » Mon May 21, 2012 9:04 am
I would say, install Asterisk onto the Pi, Register a VoIP number on it and then people can call that number and your code can process the digits and let them in (or not).

Up to an hour for email isn't an exaggeration, there's no guarantee that an email will ever get anywhere at all, let alone in anywhere near a real-time fashion. Not the right mechanism for this job I think. People take email far too much for granted these days!

I think some people haven't read the OP, ideas of installing anything in his car aren't what he's after. He wants a way for *other* people visiting his house to be able to open the door.
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by domesday » Mon May 21, 2012 9:38 am
Wouldn't it be easier to keep a spare battery for the remote in the car ?
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by abishur » Mon May 21, 2012 3:06 pm
HerpaMoTeH wrote:Why don't you try with a GSM modem (or GPRS modem I forgot what was it's name :D ) ? Using AT commands you can receive SMS messages with it and the rest depends on your program :)


I suppose that would be possible, but I don't want to have to pay for another phone line just to do this

domesday wrote:Wouldn't it be easier to keep a spare battery for the remote in the car ?


Please re-read the original post ;-)

hayesey wrote:I would say, install Asterisk onto the Pi, Register a VoIP number on it and then people can call that number and your code can process the digits and let them in (or not).

Up to an hour for email isn't an exaggeration, there's no guarantee that an email will ever get anywhere at all, let alone in anywhere near a real-time fashion. Not the right mechanism for this job I think. People take email far too much for granted these days!

I think some people haven't read the OP, ideas of installing anything in his car aren't what he's after. He wants a way for *other* people visiting his house to be able to open the door.



I've never used (or heard of for that matter! :-P) of Asterisk before, but if I can associate a google voice number with it then that might just be the answer.

Also as a corollary to this project, I was also thinking about using the pi to light an LED in the master bedroom to warn me when the garage door is open
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by thexman » Mon May 21, 2012 4:02 pm
abishur

http://www.yoctopuce.com once were fully running on pi already did a mail notification project its simple to make a similar project and they already have all the hardware it just needs RPI to fix the USB Stack issue were getting on PI boards thats not present on every other system available.
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by SeanD » Mon May 21, 2012 4:27 pm
Asterisks is a great solution and i know that there are many integrations for entry phones etc. so there is almost certainly something to base your project on.

I do not think that Google Voice supports SIP so you would need to find a free SIP/PSTN gateway provider. Depending on who your telephone/cable provider is you may already have this capability accessible via sound router tweaking. If not you need to get a fixed IP address for the Asterisks server, or leverage an ATA (approx. $25) to connect your incoming phone line to the Asterisks server. The later solution (or the former if you have a hackable VOIP service) would be really useful as you could add additional features to your phone service, Asterisks is very powerful.
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by bobd91 » Mon May 21, 2012 5:30 pm
abishur wrote:
HerpaMoTeH wrote:Why don't you try with a GSM modem (or GPRS modem I forgot what was it's name :D ) ? Using AT commands you can receive SMS messages with it and the rest depends on your program :)


I suppose that would be possible, but I don't want to have to pay for another phone line just to do this


You wouldn't have to pay for another phone line. A GSM modem isn't cheap (£30 for a USB one) but then you just need a SIM card (a free PAYG one would do) and your garage door has its own mobile number.

Through the GSM AT commands you can get caller id so it your Pi could be set up to recognise a limited list of numbers. No need for text messages or anything, just phone your door and if it recognises your number it would open - without even answering your call.
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by bonelifer » Mon May 21, 2012 5:31 pm
Actually Asterisk supports Google natively as of the 1.8 branch. A good place to checkout is http://www.plugpbx.org/ The guy that runs it already has it running on the Sheevaplug.
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by abishur » Mon May 21, 2012 6:05 pm
One thought I had is if this doesn't work, I can throw up a webpage whenever I'm out in which after they log in they can click on "Open Door", but I'll give Asterisk a shot first
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by SeanD » Mon May 21, 2012 9:24 pm
bonelifer wrote:Actually Asterisk supports Google natively as of the 1.8 branch. A good place to checkout is http://www.plugpbx.org/ The guy that runs it already has it running on the Sheevaplug.



That looks really good. When I get some time i am going to build myself a new server and try out some of the new stuff.
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by miLORD » Thu May 24, 2012 12:57 pm
I'm very sorry to post that here, but you won't need a raspi at all for this. Just take an old mobilephone and a SIM-card. Take out the little engine for vibrating and hook up a relay (make sure it's the right specs). Reassemble the phone and put it to silent mode, except for the numbers that should be able to open the garage. These should be on vibrate.

So every time the phone would vibrate, the relay is switched on/off. That could trigger your opener. It's important not to let it ring/vibrate twice, because then it would close again. ;)

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by error404 » Thu May 24, 2012 6:45 pm
Asterisk would definitely be able to do this, but configuring it is a bit of a bear. Shouldn't be that hard really. You could use ipkall to get a free phone number, forward that to FWD or CallCentric or voip.ms or any other provider that gives free IP->IP SIP accounts and then have Asterisk register on that account.
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by SeanD » Sat May 26, 2012 5:14 pm
I was just out in the garage thinking about an issue from the same problem domain, finding a solution to my wife leaving the garage door open, when I had an idea that would be much better suited to the capabilities of an RPi.

Attach a web cam and use OCR to detect the number plates of the cars you want to give access to. In your case you could update the lookup table remotely and all your relatives would have to do is drive up to the garage. I would be a good fun little project.
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