BlinkM Smart Garage Door Opener


Calling Canada home, Hackaday reader [TheRafMan] has seen his share of bitterly cold winters. He also knows all too well how hard it is to get his cars started in the morning if somebody happens to leave the garage open. After the door was left open overnight for the second time this last winter, he decided that it was time to add an indicator inside the house that would alert him when the garage had not been closed .

Inspired by our BlinkM Arduino coverage a short while back, his circuit incorporates a BlinkM as well as several other components he already had on hand. He disassembled the garage door switch situated in the house and fit the BlinkM into the switch box once he had finished programming it. A set of wires was run to the BlinkM, connecting it to both a power supply located in the garage as well as the magnetic switch he mounted on the door.

The end result is a simple and elegant indicator that leaves plenty of room for expansion. In the near future, he plans on adding an additional indicator strobe to let him know when the mail has arrived, not unlike this system we covered a few months ago.

Stick around to see a quick video demonstration of his garage door indicator in action.

9 thoughts on “BlinkM Smart Garage Door Opener

  1. Neat idea and all, but with the location of the button within a step’s distance to actually looking out the door to see if the garage door is open or not, I don’t see the huge functionality of it. Great idea, but it’d be better if the garage door wasn’t in plain sight from inside the house though.

  2. @Will & @Spork
    Yes, you would think that being able to see the garage door being so close wouldn’t warrant the indicator, however it has happened; on cold windy days the house door is shut close right away and unless you close the garage door right after that, chances are you will forget once you start undressing your winter gear and bring the groceries in the kitchen… and it is no fun the next morning when the car is very cold and you have to remove wind-blown snow from the garage.

  3. -or set it up to detect the car in the garage and try to close the door after a certain amount of time with no movement?

    Very cool idea with lots of room for tinkering.

  4. I don’t understand why people like @Will and @Spork who either have a very small house or never make mistakes (or live with kids who do) need to comment and tell people that the project is stupid.

    Can you guys just not comment if the project isn’t applicable to you?

  5. hello i hope this finds you well, i think another alerter should be made and put in the bedroom or bathroom perhaps that indicates if someone is near the button or has pushed the button within the last couple of minutes, perhaps a dashboard that lists out garage door metrics

  6. Neat but does not work with new door openers. New ones have a serial data bus on those two wires and the manufacturer act like you will let the talaban win if you were told how to decode it.

    Honestly why cant the feds pass a useful law like ” all your communications protocols must be completely documented and in the manual or offered freely to anyone asking.”

  7. @fred
    Did I say the project was stupid? No I didn’t think so. Try actually reading the ENTIRE thing before you troll on. I said it’s a great idea, but didn’t seem useful as from where yous tand to press the button you can clearly see if the door is open or not. And Spork said that it would work great for him as his garage is on the back of his house and isn’t easily seen without going outside. So read clearly and think and you may make some sense next time.

  8. Depending upon the climate you live in this is a great idea. In the upper midwest of the U.S. it gets plenty cold and windy and most operator buttons for the overhead door are on the garage side of the wall. I don’t like opening the door between the house and garage in my house to see if the overhead door is closed, so in my situation, the concept is great and sounds like an inexpensive fix to a very common problem.

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