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Re: Garage Door opener via phone dial?

Sat May 26, 2012 6:47 pm

SeanD wrote: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.
Until some unsavory neighborhood lurker figures this out and makes a print of one of the number plates.

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Re: Garage Door opener via phone dial?

Sun May 27, 2012 3:34 am

If I was going to the difficulty of reading the plate I would probably also have a go at matching the front view of the vehicle.

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Re: Garage Door opener via phone dial?

Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:47 am

I don't like the touch tone interface. It's just to clunky and 20th century IMHO.

I built a garage door remote (not with a raspi but with a flyport wifi microcontroller). I can read the status of the door (open/closed/somewhere in between) via a web page (optimized for andoid, protected with SSL and a token). We can also open the door via that web page (my GF also has access). I get open/close (or open for 30 minutes) alerts via e-mail, but I'm not sure if I'm going to keep that in.

When I need to let someone else in they just call me and I open the door via the web page. It doesn't happen that often so no real need to give them direct access. I have, however, prepared a system to send out URL's with a temporary token via SMS or E-mail to give others access. Just haven't built it all yet, for lack of direct need.

Some thoughts:
- Any problems I've had were with unreliable wifi connections. Use wires if you can.
- I've used reed contacts with a magnet on the garage door opener to sense door (fully) open or (fully) closed. That works really well.
- To make it really fancy I may switch to using an infrared distance sensor (Sharp GP2Y0A710K0F) to read the door position so I can animate it realistically on the webpage via Ajax.
- The flyport also controls a really that fully blocks the garage door controller (it uses a sensor connector on the controller) so that even the IR remotes don't wok anymore. That's nice for added security.
- It's nice to be able to leave the house with just a smartphone in your pocket, but perhaps a finger print reader to open the door would be a nice addition as well. Also good to let the kids have access to the house without them needing to keep track of keys.
Screenshot of the web page on Android
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Re: Garage Door opener via phone dial?

Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:30 am

You could always buy a GSM/SMS gate opener. ... oller.html and then interface the PI to this.
PAYG cards can be quite cheap these days, depending on where you live of course.

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Re: Garage Door opener via phone dial?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:54 am

You might be able to achieve this with Tasker for Android which lets you set up task based on cell location, gps position, emails received, and other alerts. You can set it up to automatically open/close once it detects a signal from your phone or customize a script to execute on your server.

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Re: Garage Door opener via phone dial?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:46 pm

Another possible solution is ifttt which lets you create recipes from internet events: Now, it only checks every 15 minutes, and so that may be a disadvantage if you need it immediately.

What we did on our house when we redid the garage doors, is add a keypad for each of the two doors mounted on the outside, so that if we loaned out the opener or our battery is dead, we can still get into the garage. Much simpler than having to create custom software for your r-pi.

As somebody who has had several long term power outages (some with generator powering parts of the house, earlier ones without), I can state one thing you want to make sure of is you can disconnect the garage door from the power circuit, and lift the door manually. In fact, I need to call the garage door guy as the springs broke on one of our two garage doors.

BTW, unless you get multiple devices (hard right now), if you have the r-pi doing a bunch of fixed tasks, it makes it hard to add new functions, and debug them. I find with my Arduino, I'm currently having to tear down and recreate the setup as I go between projects. Ultimately I will go to separate breadboards or perfboards that have each applications setup mounted more permanently.

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Re: Garage Door opener via phone dial?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:09 pm

I guess I should mention that I've already decided what I'm going to do on this :-P Once I scrap up the money I'm going to use my pi to both operate my garage door and my sprinklers. The sprinklers will be for another thread but here's the broad details for the garage door and I'll update as I go.

I'll use 1 GPIO as an out put pin to trigger the Vishay VOM160NT Optocoupler which will in turn trigger the STMicroElectronics BTA12-600BRG Triac for half a second. The Triac will be connected in parallel to my push button garage door opener meaning when either one is triggered the garage door will open/shut.

A password protected webpage that I will activate whenever I need to (I don't want this always on in case someone hacks into my website) will have a single button on it that says "Open/Close". It will be extremely minimalistic so it can easily accessed via a cell phone. You click on the button it writes a one to the GPIO pin for half a second.

Not specifically related, but as part of this project I'm also going to add a magnetic reed relay and attach it to the GPIO to let me know whenever the garage door is open, and take a third GPIO and have it light an LED in the master bedroom so if I accidentally leave the garage door up I'll see it when I get into bed.

I'll make a new thread and link to it when I get started for those interested, but leave this thread here for anyone who wants to continue the original idea of controlling the garage door via phone dial ;-)
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Re: Garage Door opener via phone dial?

Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:34 am

My first main project for my Pi is a garage security system. I've got an electric garage door opener so I'm interested to hear how this progresses.

My main idea is sensing when the doors are opened (either with a key or by force) and then taking one or more actions :
- emailing me
- capturing web cam images
- storing images on the SD card
- storing images on my NAS
- storing images on my website
- mobile optimised "status" page on my website for remote viewing
- light sensors to determine if the lights are on or off
- flooding the garage with gas (this is more a "nice to have" rather than a firm requirement)
- nuking the site from orbit (see above)

I can do all I need so far apart from the webcam capturing. Switches, LEDs, email and website is all do-able.

One word of warning about garage door openers which I learnt the hard way. Do not leave your car unlocked with the opener on the sun visor. Otherwise some opportunist scum bag can get into your garage and steal your bike. grrrrr

Thus my motivation to over engineer a device to capture images if the doors are opened ;-)

In terms of interfacing with the electric door I think there are two options :
1) dismantle the opener and interface a relay directly to the electronics inside
2) use a spare key-fob to interface to the GPIO and perhaps power from the Pi to eliminate the battery issue.
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Re: Garage Door opener via phone dial?

Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:36 am


You can have multistage security, you could even assign one use codes.

Most phones have it.

A pairing code is needed, then an open door code.

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Re: Garage Door opener via phone dial?

Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:24 pm

Most garage door openers allow for a contact closure to open and close the door. I know this as I have interfaced a couple of security / secure access systems for a couple of self storage places. So you may find your opener has these contacts already in place. I know some need a special interface, which then connects to contact closure to the opener. Normally it converts a contact closure to either a DC or AC voltage, but some are a bit more complex.

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Re: Garage Door opener via phone dial?

Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:41 pm

How about a basic php web service on the pi with authentication but no actual page to speak of and then use tasker on android to periodically do a http post to the pi with your gps coordinates and if within x metres of the house to open the door. Or just make a home screen link to the tasker task. If you get taskers new app factory you can also export the task as an apk file for others to use.

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Re: Garage Door opener via phone dial?

Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:49 am

error404 wrote: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 or any other provider that gives free IP->IP SIP accounts and then have Asterisk register on that account.
You can set up IPKall to forward directly to your Asterisk box, no SIP provider necessary. Use IAX instead of SIP, it's just easier to configure (especially behind a NAT router). You just need something like a DynDNS address. Set the account up in IPKall to forward to [yournumber]@[your_DynDNS_URL], and set your IAX username/account in your iax.conf file to be [yournumber]. Of course you don't know your number until they assign you one, so just put in a temporary, made-up placeholder until tou get it. I run Asterisk 1.6 and this should work in pretty much any version. If you insist on Google Voice, just forward the number to your IPKall number too.

Sorry to get off-topic, since abishur is going with a different option, but this is how I'd do it myself because I know Asterisk fairly well (or at least know where to look when I have something in mind to do), but don't otherwise know Linux or programming very well. In fact, I may do something like this myself if I can ever find the time.
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Re: Garage Door opener via phone dial?

Sun Dec 28, 2014 5:14 pm

Looking to do something similar, but using DTMF over radio (also a ham radio operator). ie: key mic on radio and press the DTMF keys to send to a receiving radio at the Pi location. My biggest question is this:

Is there a DTMF decoder board built for Raspberry Pi?

I've been searching but I keep seeing all these Arduino ones. Once I figure out the hardware, i think that the Asterisk would be a good option.

Anyone have thoughts on that?
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Re: Garage Door opener via phone dial?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:09 pm

I think a simple android app would be a good option , it works for opening my gate (via relay).The app is called Script kitty , doesn't require any programs on the pi since it uses ssh ,or apache server with a button (go to web page and click the button and viola the door is open! ) or maybe even a rfid reader ( You could get 1 for 4-5$ on ebay ) and some key cards ... all except the 3rd solutions require internet so pick your best fit.

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