Garage door opener using Siri and Raspberry Pi

Screenshot from 2012-12-11 09:54:36

[DarkTherapy] wrote in to tell us about his garage door opener that works with Siri and a Raspberry Pi. It’s pretty hard to find a picture that tells the story of the hack, but here you can see the PCB inside the housing of the garage door opener. He patched the grey wires into the terminal block. On the other end they connect to a relay which makes the connection.

On the control side of that mechanical relay is a Raspberry Pi board. This seems like overkill but remember the low cost of the RPi and the ability to communicate over a network thanks to the WiFi dongle it uses. We think it’s less outrageous than strapping an Android phone to the opener. To make the RPi work with Siri he chose the SiriProxy package. We’ve seen this software before but don’t remember it being used with the Raspberry Pi.

There is certainly room to extend the functionality of a system like this one. It would be trivial to add a combination lock like this one we build using an AVR chip. It would also be nice to see a sensor used to confirm the door is closed. Even if you don’t need to control your garage this is a great reference project to get the RPi to take commands from your iOS devices.

27 thoughts on “Garage door opener using Siri and Raspberry Pi

  1. I personally think that using an old unused Android phone isnt at all outrageous-its either that or it sits in a box doing nothing. Either that or you can fetch, maybe, 20 bucks for it on Ebay depending on the model, generally still cheaper than a new Pi.

    1. I guess its a matter of pref and all that, but hey still a nice hack.

      I tell you no matter how tired I am, always make it to HAD before bed.
      Seems like alot of door opener hacks are on the rise these days, I wonder how many of them make it harder for a thief/burglar to get in or how many just increase the chances.

    2. Well different option would be this. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004QY2KL8/ref=asc_df_B004QY2KL82300599?smid=A34JWT04R7KMFW&tag=sdcbing153-20&linkCode=asn&creative=395105&creativeASIN=B004QY2KL8
      You can hack it with DD-WRT or some other Linux routner software and it comes with a USB port. You could use the USB port to interface to an AVR, PIC, or anyother USB based micro or even a USB Parallel adaptor like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1340FU1023
      to give you IO. The Pi is great if you need video but one of these should work as well for this task.

  2. Why would it need to be an “Android” phone to do the same thing? Get an old Nokia 3210, make a custom ringtone – a 1 second single tone. Hook the headphone socket to a transistor, capacitor, resistor and relay. Set the phone to silent and have it only play that tone for a certain contact. Dial the Nokia from said contact and it will click the relay on for 1 second.. No other texts/alerts would affect it and it can be activated from anywhere in the country.. For free.

      1. No, it’s free for “pay as you go” SIM cards.. Plus, the Nokia never “picks up” or answers the call, so that is definitely free to just dial it.

        1. PAYG SIMS may be required to make an outgoing call or send a text message every X months to keep a connection to the cellular network. No major hardship – keeping the Nokia usable would be preferred. Alternatively use an additional uC to ‘script’ a text message, every month or so. It could even forward you the PAYG balance, if that is received by text message. Oh wow, there really is potential here.

          1. Thanks Riche, I’ve used this method in the past to remotely boot an old Xbox to use as an FTP server.. Works perfectly.

    1. Imagine the look on your face when you come home to an empty garage, look at your call history, and realize you butt dialed your garage door open! Haha.

  3. It’s a nice hack. Some sidenotes: it’s a sommer sprint driver, you can just use a transistor on the pushbutton-connector instead of a relay (saves you some parts). Also don’t know if it is good to change a secure rolling code radio-system with a dial-in method (like Ian says: you don’t want your garage door opened with a ‘booty call’) But still nice project!

  4. Okay. Am I the only one wondering about all these garage door opener posts? I guess I just don’t get it.

    “This seems like overkill but remember the low cost of the RPi…” No. It’s overkill. Remember what originally opened that garage door? it was a short-range FM transmitter that proadcast a miniscule amount of code. This uses not one, but *two* 64-bit processors, way too much RAM, and way too much storage. At least that’s what it seems like to me.

    I guess it’s pretty cool to have a voice-activated garage door. That’s pretty James-Bond-y. But what’s with *all of the garage door opener posts*? Is this an analogue of something more interesting? Is it to expand the usage of these devices? Why do so many people seek to Rube-Goldberg-ify their garage doors? Using a radio-controlled garage door used to be seen as a frill for wealthy people. Compared to this, it has a zen-like simplicity.

    I’m not trying to criticize anyone. This guy managed to pull off something that’s pretty complex and he should be praised. I just…whyyy?

    1. The reason a chose to automate the door was to show that the raspberry pi GPIO can be accessed via a voice command, it could have easily been anything else you can hook up to a relay.. It’s not just limited to hardware either, you could have “Siri” do stuff like “backup my NAS drive” or “play The Dark Knight on my Apple TV”. It’s just expanding what is possible with Siri.

    1. What do you mean by a “regular” opener? This is a remote control opener unit but it has the connections to add a button to open the door, that is where I attached the Pi. So it basically is a “regular” opener.

    2. The original remote uses an encrypted signal that the garage electronics receive and decode, I don’t have the know how to intercept that signal and decode it.

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