Use Bluetooth to open your garage and start your car remotely

bluetooth_remote_garage_opener_and_car_starter

Instructables user [tcollinsworth] is a big fan of his Android smart phone. He practically carries it with him everywhere, so he figured it would be cool to integrate as many of his home electronics with the phone as possible. His garage door openers seemed like easy enough targets, and while he was in the garage, he decided to hack his car’s remote starter as well.

He put together a small circuit that allows him to trigger any device via an application called Daisy On/Off, made specifically for the Bluetooth board he selected. One set of pins were wired to the garage door opener’s terminals, and the other to his remote start key fob. Once he had everything connected up, he packaged his components in a project box courtesy of his MakerBot. With that finished, he put together a simple interface in the Daisy application which can start his car or open the garage with a single button press.

It should be mentioned that [tcollinsworth] works for Daisy, so the reasoning behind his choice of components and Android applications is an obvious one. That said, schematics for the Daisy Bluetooth board are available online and the device can be controlled using BlueTerm, so you can feel free to roll your own implementation if you wish.

Our only nagging thought is that the system should probably include a feedback circuit that relays messages to the phone, indicating that the door is indeed open and that the car has been started. Pocket dialing your car to start without opening the garage first would definitely be a bad thing.

Check out the video below to see the system in action.

Comments

  1. Aaron Bitler says:

    This is pretty cool, now if you could incorporate this with voice recgention that would be cool… for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQ6Ubllw_4k

  2. Aaron Bitler says:

    recognition*

  3. Cisco Sanfran says:

    yeah great. remotely start your car. what the heck? go on wasting gas like there’s no tomorrow. you’re not gonna tell me a car kept in a closed garage needs defrosting or a great deal of cooling before leaving?. here in switzerland you’re not even allowed to start your car before driving only for defrosting or cooling. if we go on wasting ressources like that, humanity is doomed… (oh right, we are anyway…)

    • canid says:

      Where I grew up we had to preheat the car just for the door latches to close again after opening during the winter. Alternatively of course we had a truck which did not have a properly working heater, and for that we used bungie cords to hold the doors closed while driving. Low tech solutions also work.

  4. Matt says:

    It’s a really cool idea and I like the effort to minimize devices but I’d be a little concerned about how easy it is to pair with a Bluetooth device. Isn’t it just a 4 digit password?

  5. Fred says:

    I’ve created something similar with a Netduino controlling some lighting and my garage door. Fronted it wi both an Android UI and a simple web UI served up directly from the Netduino.

    I decided on WiFi to connect rather than bluetooth. This makes it more flexible as I extend it to control more round the house, and also gives me the option to expose it over the web if I want. For now I decided I keeping it local network only was better for security.

    This is nice as a simpler option. I agree with the other posts about starting the car though. Who wants to come out to a garage full of carbon monoxide?

  6. Paul says:

    Cisco, why do you care what someone else does? If you don’t like it don’t do it yourself. If this guy wants to use fuel to warm his car so what? I only looked over the article but I doubt it indicates he will be using the remote ignition in the garage, just because you have a garage doesn’t mean you will use the remote starter in the garage. I have a garage and my cars don’t even go in there!

  7. steve says:

    >why do you care what someone else does?

    Maybe because he ruins the very same planet that the rest of people is living on?

  8. Cisco Sanfran says:

    generally the remote controlling part is great. really. but i just don’t get the part with remote starting a car. i know the equipment to do that is sold, but imho it’s just so ignorant and selfish.

  9. sowhat says:

    Cisco, no offense, it does not affect you and its his prerogative to warm up his car in the morning.

    I live in Minnesota, and it can be cold as f**k during the winter. My car is in the garage over night but the garage temp can drop down into the teens or below. Every morning before I leave, I warm up the car so that my kids and I don’t freeze on the way to school. Selfish and ignorant? I think not.

    Your blasting of his actions without knowing his situation sounds ignorant, imho.

    The article says he works for the company where the bluetooth dongle comes from. I checked out their site and they are located in Rochester, NY. It is cold as hell there as well. I can see the desire to warm up the car before leaving in the morning.

    And for those people in hot climates like Arizona or New Mexico, I would find it totally reasonable to start the car ahead of time to cool it off. There’s no pain like bare skin on hot leather.

    You say: “here in switzerland you’re not even allowed to start your car before driving only for defrosting or cooling.”

    That is probably the exact thing this guy is doing, so whats the problem?

  10. Bergo says:

    @Cisco Sanfran
    In the climate I live in, it’s nice to have a remote car starter. I have a heated garage this year, but last winter where I live, we have some days that are -40 C, cars won’t even start without an electric heater attached ot the engineblock overnight, and starting the car a few minutes early from inside my house while I get ready is realy nice. The 5-10 minutes of idleing really doesn’t use that much fuel.

  11. Brian says:

    I wrote a general purpose Bluetooth scripting app for use with embedded systems called BlueScripts. If you guys are interested in applications like this you may find it helpful.

    http://teholabs.com/docs/bluescripts:overview

  12. Andy says:

    Nice.

    As others have said it needs some logic to sense whether in the garage/garage door closed/open for running the engine. Condition feedback to the handset would also be a worthwhile step.

  13. Boyan says:

    Any iPhone software support at all? The Daisy BT app does not exist in the restricted Apple world, yuk. What would one do with an iPhone. I would love to be able to control the board sign an iPhone?

  14. Brian says:

    @Boyan as far as I know the Bluetooth hardware in an iPhone doesn’t really have an open API. So it is very unlikely, but I don’t know for sure.

  15. ZeUs says:

    “Instructables user [tcollinsworth] is a big fan of his Android smart phone. He practically carries it with him everywhere”

    Wow! He must REALLY love his mobile phone to carry it around all the time!

  16. Driving the car by Bluetooth would be badass.

    :-)

    Not to mention extremely illegal. I suppose you could hide in the boot, steer, drive and park the car remotely, wait till no-one is around then exit boot and close very quickly.
    Just the thing for uhm, “black ops” methinks.

  17. Ok, so the first implementation wasn’t ideal, par for the course. The car starter was primarily for demonstration – visual and audio effect. Locking and unlocking the doors is not as demonstrable.

    I’ll be taking down the car starter and mounting one of my Daisy Arduino derivatives in each car. I plan to have it crack the windows when hot to keep the car cooler. It will automatically close them when it senses dust or rain.

    Using either the Android GPS (battery hog) or just the Bluetooth proximity, it will unlock the doors as I approach and lock them as I leave.

    Yes, the Bluetooth can be a battery hog too, but the Android app keeps it off except when necessary so it hasn’t been a problem. As for pairing and security, the device supports up to a 20 character pin code that only has to be entered once.

    I’ve been using the device for a while, and it is quite quick and convenient.

    I won’t be starting my car, wasting gas, and polluting the environment. My family tries to be environmentally conscious. We have a garden and our yard is not your typical suburban grass mono-culture. We welcome the native plants and insects like milkweed, clover, lady bugs, monarch caterpillars, and praying mantis. The kids love it.

  18. BMW M3 says:

    you people are epic dicks, crying about planet being destroyed, wasting gas and bla bla bla. maybe you should look at your self before you criticize others. I can bet you half of you people waste a lot more stuff then he does. he didnt just connect his car with bluetooth to start in his garage he can start it anywhere like if hes at work and get off and its freezing outside he can start his car before he comes. THINK you RETARDS.

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