Raspberry Pi Garage Door Automation

Like many of us, [Felix] sometimes wonders if he actually closed the garage door. I know I’m always double-checking my car locks! So, he decided to automate his garage door to give him some peace of mind!

He’s been working on a pretty big Raspberry Pi home automation series, and in this final segment he shows off his new GarageMote board which, as you can guess, lets him wirelessly control the door. It’s a very simple board complete with a small relay, a diode, and 2 resistors. The 8 pin header provides connection to two hall effect sensors that detect the status of the garage door, and the original door opener. He then connects this to an open-source wireless Arduino clone of his own design, dubbed the Moteino. A pair of these communicate to the Raspberry Pi which acts as his secure home automation gateway server.

The whole project is extremely slick, and very well documented – so if you’re looking at automating your home, [Felix] has a wealth of knowledge to share — well at least if you want to use is Raspberry Pi!

Stick around after the break to see the web-server controlled garage door in action.

10 thoughts on “Raspberry Pi Garage Door Automation

  1. I want to do this myself but I always felt an arduino (or clone as in this one) was a $30 solution to a $10 problem. It only requires 3 IO pins and means of communication. The Pi makes a good low power server though.

    1. $30 is very cheap for the time it can save a person who is not experienced with uControllers.

      If you work with AVRs (for example) frequently, you can probably whip something up very quickly, and it is especially worthwhile if you plan to go into production.

      For those of us who occasionally tinker with uControllers, though, Arduino is a HUGE time saver. In my experience (occasional tinkerer, not expert) it takes minutes to blink an LED with an Arduino, and hours with a bare AVR.

  2. well in this case it is only a $20 solution to the problem. I would love to see this nRF24LU1+ put into an inexpensive Arduino like board.

  3. Have the garage door mechanism its own sensor to stop when somebody is in the way? If not, this system needs one, since is intended to operate out of visual range.

    A simple break beam system will do.

    1. I’m quite sure the original garage door system has it’s own safety sensor, this system only “presses” the open or close button so to speak.

  4. [Felix] is the first guy I’ve found selling RFM69 modules in both regular and high power versions. These are the follow-on to the popular RFM12B modules used on the Jeenode. You can buy the modules standalone or on an Arduino compatible board, all at extremely reasonable prices and cheap shipping. I have no financial interest in his Lowpowerlab company – I’m just a happy customer.

    The big deal for me is that the RFM69 should, as far as I’ve been able to tell, be able to fill the role of a CC1101 module from TI. These modules are almost impossible to find in 915 MHz versions for use in North Americal. You can find Ebay versions that say they are 915 MHz, but that cake is a lie. The only decent CC1101 module that seems to work at 915 MHz I’ve found is integrated with a fairly wimpy Arduino on the RFBee from Seeedstudio. I want more horsepower behind it: my winter project is to hang an RFM69 module off my BBB to talk to my weather station, along with some other home monitoring stuff.

  5. Buy a Sommer door opener, 24 volt and they have the stop beam and a lock to keep kids in or out at the bottom or top position rendering the door inoperable. Made in Germany not China and probably the quietest there is. It’s the 228.00 $ solution

    1. What? The sensor will stop the door if it’s closing and something is in the way. Plus, the motor senses if the load is too much and reverses itself. Totally safe!

      1. I recently left a ladder in my garage doorway while the door was open. It tried it’s darndest to close (it tried to reverse but it was too late.) It mangled the tension cables and it won’t ever be the same :(

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