Client/server door opener

door opener

You can thank reader [Alexandre Novello]‘s laziness for generating this hack. Actually, as a self-proclaimed “software guy” he would have never approached this project if it wasn’t for the situation he was in: having to walk across the room to open the door for people, a door which has an electric opener right next to it. He’s got a thorough write-up on how he built the client and server portions of his software in Delphi. He also covers the hardware switch which is attached to the server via parallel port.

Comments

  1. This just seems about a thousand times more complicated than it should be. Honestly, wouldn’t it be much simpler to have a switch installed behind the button installed to complete the connection (button press) activated by a wireless controller? All the coding and bread board stuff he did seems like a waste of time.

  2. cdk says:

    Amen. This could have been accomplished easily with a momentary single-pole switch and some $8 wall warts wired in parallel to the latch relay. Oh, wait… I’m missing the point of doing the hack “because you can.”

  3. TomTheGeek says:

    It does seem like it was a little over engineered. I’m not sure why it has to be software based at all except for the fact that he’s a “software guy”. I think a simple wireless doorbell could have been hacked to do the same thing though maybe he didn’t want to buy anything. Even better would have been an IR reciever of some sort so he can just point a remote at the door to open it.

  4. virus2566 says:

    Normally I would agree with the above, but for one small gem which I discovered when reading his article. He only uses one bit on the parallel port. With a little more coding and some extra wiring, the program could be expanded to control just about anything from a single server. Given a little ambition, and time, you could potentially control your entire house from a control panel on the computer. Commercial solutions like this cost like 150 bucks.

    Like it was said above, you could add wireless capabilities by simply hooking up Radio recievers to the devices, and have a program that controls your wireless ethernet to send those radio signals.

    Just my 2

  5. challahc says:

    should’ve just constructed a long poking device

  6. amonkey says:

    i can’t rtfa cuz it seems to be overloaded,
    but looking at the circuit i’ve done this exact hack.
    And yes, virus2566 you can use 8 relays with 0 work, i think you can do 12 with some creativity.
    i saw it on http://www.drivemeinsane.com years ago(i am in no way related to the site), and i built the circuit/coded a site to be able to turn on and off my christmas tree/train set from my cell. my version of the circuit was a lot smaller than the pic, took about 1.5 inch square for each relay set.

  7. Rectifier says:

    yes, this sounds like a job for the “finglonger”… ah, if only Professor Farnsworth had invented it!

  8. rob says:

    Looks like the site is down. Is there a mirror anywhere?

  9. steelblueskies says:

    yeah one bit for one switch. yipee . look up electronicskits and other sites offerring ck1610 or ck1601 google will turn up pdfs with schematics by those names. and they are parallel /serial port relay boards with one bit logic control for each relay,and 8 relays per board. the serial nit has uplink possibilities for more relays but is more involved. the par-port version has just 8 . this is nuthin new at all/ and those sites provide source and software for dos/win to drive it. hells with a basic stamp board and chip one could drive the same just as easily . 16 i/o 8 outp pins for driving the relays and 8 inp pins for triggering a toggle of the outp pin states. for ref the google cache of the parport 8 relay setup is .

    http://64.233.179.104/search?q=cache:-waLku4CIcAJ:electronickits.com/kit/complete/elec/ck1601.pdf+parallel+port+relay+board&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=2&client=firefox-a

    and a site selling it as a kit with pictures and drivers

    http://64.233.179.104/search?q=cache:hQoMSWuRThwJ:electronickits.com/kit/complete/elec/ck1601.htm+parallel+port+relay+board&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1&client=firefox-a

    (hope those links are ok don’t usually post google cache links heh)
    anyone else think these are pretty much the same basic scheme?

  10. amonkey says:

    i can’t rtfa cuz it seems to be overloaded,but looking at the circuit i’ve done this exact hack.And yes, virus2566 you can use 8 relays with 0 work, i think you can do 12 with some creativity.i saw it on http://www.drivemeinsane.com years ago(i am in no way related to the site), and i built the circuit/coded a site to be able to turn on and off my christmas tree/train set from my cell. my version of the circuit was a lot smaller than the pic, took about 1.5 inch square for each relay set.

  11. micsaund says:

    You could also look into building something with an 8255 which interfaces very easily to the parallel port and offer up to 24 outputs. For example, here is a quick search from Google: http://www.phanderson.com/printer/8255disc.html (note that I have not verified his info).

    Granted, those are not high-current output, but it’s trivial to add a small diver plus the relay.

    Search for “8255 datasheet” for more info.

  12. mulcbone says:

    I made a hack like what #3 was talking about. I was too lazy to open the sliding glass door to let my dog in/out all the time. I bought a wireless doorbell from homedepot and hooked it up…needless to say. Using a wheelchair motor and ball-screw assembly to drive the door. Limit switches turn it off on either side and the one-button remote (original doorbell button) serves as open-stop-close control. Now I just need to read up on RFID so I can have the dog let himself out when I lose the remote…

  13. Victor says:

    What I see as the main advantage of using software is that his engine is client/server based which means that if he forgets his keys at home, for example, his door can still be opened using one of his coleague’s computer.

  14. lôncio says:

    Great initiative!! That what we need: guys who just cannot acept things the way they are!
    That’s no laziness about that!

    Good one!!

  15. travis says:

    For Christ sake, get a life!!
    This so-called “inventor” must be a total fatso with an enormous belly… lasyness for opening a f***ing door? That’s ridiculous.

  16. lowery says:

    “Here I am, using my legs like a sucker!”
    -Homer Simpson

  17. Amias says:

    I can’t read the article because there is no longer a link . Sounds interesting , i just wonder why he used
    delphi , urrgh .

  18. saracu de nazareno says:

    i’d like to congratulate novello for this splendid invention! i’m too fat, always on bed, and hate getting up to drink water, take a shower, open the door… one is solved! novello, more solutions, please!!

  19. Congratularions!! This kind of solution should be at the market! I can see a brilliant future for Novello and his tools!

  20. monolith says:

    Mmmm… yeah. Using a wireless doorbell would have been much easier.

  21. magetoo says:

    Reminds me of a contraption the engineers and assistants at my university have in their work area. Being electronics / robotics guys they obviously need to have something like a small servo pushing the door-unlock button, wired to some sort of RF remote control.

    Instead they have a piece of wood that pushes the button when you pull on a string, and small pieces of string hanging down from the ceiling all over the lab. It’s even badly tied together, so the whole “network” moves when you pull on it. I love it.

  22. Ali says:

    hi i am from turkey and i am wonder about such things.can you send me about this project???
    if u send i will be very happy.
    and can u send the requirements???
    please…

  23. This would be really handy if you set it to unlock the door on a timer,never need to get out your keys…

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