[Don] installed an Android tablet into his wife’s vehicle and realized he wanted to allow it to operate and monitor the garage door. His biggest challenge? Meeting the (what he refers to) as the WAF or Wife Acceptance Factor. He decided to use a Web app on a Raspberry Pi, along with a handful of switches and a relay. His list of goals were straightforward:
- Provide the status of the door (open/closed/unknown)
- Open and close the door
- Work across multiple platforms
- Secure enough to connect to the Internet
- Reliable and simple
The Pi uses two switches to determine the position of the door and relay to trigger the existing garage door opener’s operation button. This simple circuit could serve many different purposes, not just opening a garage door. It would be easy to replicate the relay driver, too, if you needed more than one switch for some other purpose.
The Web app is available on GitHub. There’s a cool SVG animation (see left) that shows the status of the door as it opens and closes–presumably to help get the WAF higher. This would be a great starter project for someone getting their feet wet with the Pi or with Web apps. We saw a lot of garage door openers earlier this year, including one for a cat. Still, we liked the simplicity of this one and the mesmerizing animation.