YAGDO – Yet Another Garage Door Opener

It seems like every few months we cover another garage door opener, and the concept is quickly becoming the “Hello World” of DIY home automation. In this installment, reader [ray] made his own garage door opener and chose the ESP8266 as the wireless interface of choice, but spiced the application up with an ultrasonic sensor that detects whether the car is in the garage and a web app that shows history, plus integration with Blynk for remote access. For posterity, he made the project open source as well.

The video is well produced with lots of details and instructions, and the circuit board and assembly are refined and clean. It may be a “Hello World”, but it’s done right.

Some of the other garage door hacks we’ve covered in the last year include the fingerprint scanner opener, the IM-ME opener, the motion-based security opener, the cat-enabled opener, the OpenCV Pi opener, and a Bluetooth Low Energy opener.

BTW, thanks for reading Hackaday in the video, [ray]. At 0:43 you can see him reading an article on a DIY IoT washing machine

19 thoughts on “YAGDO – Yet Another Garage Door Opener

  1. It’s my personal opinion that any garage door hack which requires you to stop and wait for the door to open (unlike hitting the button while still coming down the road) is entirely pointless.

      1. Does something deserve to be called a hack if it’s less good at performing a task than what already exists? I could “hack” a kinect and an electronic lock so that I’m trapped in my house until I dance the Charleston. I could “hack” a handle onto a wooden doorstop and use it as a bread knife. After that I’ll hack my diet by eating nothing but pinecones.

        1. @HC: let’s be honest, most things you can think of have already been done by someone somewhere. A new way to tackle the same task, or even just a better user interface, is still considered a contribution.

    1. The point of a remote garage door opener is that you can remotely check the status of the door, and open or close the door while you are far away. I don’t see how ‘waiting for the door to open’ is relevant here.

    2. The great thing about perspective is it’s never truly wrong, because it is an opinion and therefore not refutable. You can not prove something has no point, but evidently you CAN announce your inability to see one.

      The website you’ve chosen to comment on is one where most readers have the capacity to see how this could integrate with IFTTT and geofencing. Or at least they have the curiosity to pursue that.

      Welcome to HackaDay!

  2. I’m going to throw it in there because I don’t have any garage but what about a garage opener that uses some phototransistors to detect your car lights ? For example opening the door when the car is inside and you switch to reverse. Or open the door when the car is outside and you make a light signal (with specific pattern ?).

    1. A better approach, IMO, would be triggering it from a smartphone via the web interface (since the phone knows your position and velocity, it can start opening the door when you turn into your street).

    1. One missing part in the Particle-based garage door opener (which you linked to) is a sensor that can detect the door status. Without the sensor, it’s not feasible for remote control since you don’t know if the door is currently open or closed. Also, I consider ESP8266 much lower-cost: Particle Photon itself costs $19, while the entire BOM of OpenGarage is less than $15.

  3. I would have add a safetymechanism that prevents closing the door if an car/human is in the way. I’d like the idea of the proximity sensor untill he mentioned that the garagedoor was blocking its view (erhm detecting a closed door). Two Endstops are much easier ( and more reliable) i guess.

    1. @sjaak, this is a controller only, not the entire electronics for the opener. All modern automatic openers are required to have their own safety devices, which are required to be set up correctly and tested by the installer.

      They must have a means to detect an obstruction, which must prevent an open door from being closed, and it must cause a closing door to reverse and open. These are most commonly implemented as a photo eye pair set across the opening, 10″ from the floor.

      They must also have a torque sensor to reverse the door motion if it encounters a higher than normal effort while closing. Test is usually performed by placing a piece of lumber on the floor to ensure it reverses on a thin obstruction, and by placing a cardboard box on the floor to ensure it doesn’t crush the box.

      While not 100% perfect, they do prevent most garage door related accidents.

  4. @HC If you trust the GPS in your phone you can have IFTTT trigger an action to open the garage door before you pull up.

    Having a garage door opener car is now a security risk.

  5. Another informative article from your side. Even I believe that it can enhance the security of our garage. that is why I am also wondering to install such type of garage door opener. I have a question that an amateur person can do the installation or I should require an expertise for this?

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