Another Garage Door Opener, This Time With Security

We’ve been seeing a lot of garage door opener hacks, whether it’s because one person inspired everyone else to build their own Internet-connected GDO or because there’s something in the water that’s caused the simultaneous building of one specific type of project, we’re not sure. However, the latest one we’ve seen adds a little something extra: motion-based security.

[DeckerEgo] really went all out with this one, too. The core of the project is a Raspberry Pi hardwired to a universal garage door remote. The Pi also handles a small webcam and runs a program called motion, which is a Linux program that allows for all kinds of webcam fun including motion detection. While the other builds we see usually use a button or limit switch to tell whether the door is open or closed, this one just watches the door with the webcam so [DeckerEgo] can actually see what’s going on in the garage. As a bonus, the motion software can be configured to alert him if anything suspicious is going on in the garage.

The build is full-featured as well, with an interesting user interface overlaid on the live picture of the garage door. According to [DeckerEgo] the camera is a necessity because he wouldn’t trust a simple status indicator, but if you wanted to try one of those before breaking out the Raspberry Pi, we’ve featured one recently that you can check out.

10 thoughts on “Another Garage Door Opener, This Time With Security

  1. I’ve brought up the project wave phenomenon before. I think there are several factors:
    1) Pricepoint/availability of the components.
    2) A real/perceived need. ie. Some failure of what is currently available
    3) Previous groundwork (first came the Raspi OS projects, then projects using those components.
    4) Well documented projects on similar or related subjects (Oh, I like that but think it should do as well/instead>.

    That said, I like this but I think more security is needed.

  2. I had to test as I could not post under my usual email addres.

    I suggest that you consider how garage door hackers operate. They drive down a street and try to activate the garage doors. if they get it to open, they take that as an invitation to approach. If you use the motion detector to not open the door unless it detects motion in front of the door, the door is prevented from opening from the street, even if they have the right code. Have the Pi sense the motion,, then set a 20 second timer to allow the door to open with the right code. If it does not record motion, never open no matter what. What do you think of that idea?

  3. It’s pretty shameful that it’s 2015 and I still can’t buy a stateful garage door opener that uses an 802.15.4 radio. With an opener that has a “Go to Open” and a “Go to closed” button. One that will do a few retries, rather than the resulting retarded dance of hammering the button, opening the door 20 degrees only to accidentally stop it, then let it close, then open it again and let it get all the way open.

    EVERY radio supports RSA/AES encryption. With key rotation by CTB. The features have existed in hardware since the days of the failed Zibgee standard.

    And it wouldn’t even cost too much. A garage door opener can cost $60 for a replacement unit. And it has 1 or 2 chips inside it. I don’t think they even use digital radios.

    I’ve heard that Nest is going to do *something* in the garage door world, but unless they release their own first-party Nest branded unit, there’s no chance they’ll be able to clamor onto the crap 80’s technology that is still the state of the art.

  4. While this project would fill my need, I’ve been looking for something far simple than this:

    Is anyone aware of a project already out there that would have some sort of sensor inside the garage to detect if an object (“car”) is already inside, and if so have some sort of LED/light indicator (outside)?

    In a house with 5 adults and 4 cars – and no actual garage door opener – this would indicate (as I approach the house) on which side of the garage to drive my car up to, before getting out and opening the garage door, and then driving in… or if the garage is full on both sides, just not even try parking indoors.

    It sounds simple enough so I thought I’d find something out on the web, but after many searches I’m convinced I’m either using the wrong terms or just don’t know where to look. Otherwise might have to pull out the old Pi, order some sensors, and do this on my own!

    1. Pressure pads on the garage floor where the parked cars tyres will be?

      Break beam detector mounted vertically between the garage floor and the ceiling/roof – beam is broken when a car is present?

      RFID chips mounted in each car and a reader/readers in garage? This would not only allow you to know if *a* car is present but also *which* car and on which side.

      Ultrasonic sensor mounted on the ceiling facing down? Different reading depending on the presence of a car underneath?

      Any of these sensors could be monitored with an Arduino or Raspberry Pi which could then control the on/off status of your street visible LEDs.

      Sounds like a fun project.

  5. If you mean security and you use a webcam pointing outside, why not try to acknowledge plate and if true open door, otherwise stay close.

    It can be tricky, and may not work 100% times but.. and just in case you want to park in front and not open, you can also use the remote control to open or close, and use the webcam only to validate..

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