Garage Door Automation With No Extra Hardware

Home automation projects have been popular as long as microcontrollers have been available to the general public. Building computers to handle minutiae so we don’t have to is one of life’s great joys. Among the more popular is adding some sort of system to a garage door. Besides adding Internet-connected remote control to the action of opening and closing, it’s also helpful to have an indicator of the garage door state for peace-of-mind. Most add some sensors and other hardware to accomplish this task but this project doesn’t use any extra sensors or wiring at all.

In fact, the only thing added to the garage door for this build besides some wiring is the microcontroller itself. After getting the cover of the opener off, which took some effort, a Shelly Uni was added and powered by the 12V supply from the opener itself. The garage door opener, perhaps unsurprisingly, has its own way of detecting when the door is fully open or closed, so some additional wire was added to these sensors to let the microcontroller know the current state. Shelly Uni platforms have a WiFi module included as well, so nothing else was needed for this to function as a complete garage door automation platform.

[Stephen] uses Home Assistant as the basis for his home automation, and he includes all of the code for getting this platform up and running there. It wouldn’t be too hard to get it running on other openers or even on other microcontroller platforms; the real key to this build is to recognize that sometimes it’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel with extra sensors, limit switches, or even power supplies when it’s possible to find those already in the hardware you’re modifying. This isn’t always possible, though, especially with more modern devices that might already be Internet-connected but probably don’t have great security.

10 thoughts on “Garage Door Automation With No Extra Hardware

  1. “Garage Door Automation With No Extra Hardware”
    “a Shelly Uni was added”

    That’s the same as saying you’re making a shake without milk, then the first instruction is to add milk.

  2. What does this project do, it’s confusing or it’s a Shelly ad?

    They’re tapping into the opener’s two position switches – door fully open, or fully closed. That’s two DI’s.
    Then, to remotely open/close the door you need another DO and I don’t see the add-on board having that.

    I used an ESP8266 to tie into my old school garage door operator, and add an siren as part of an alarm.
    It’s paid off, thug tried to bash his way into the garage. Since then I added a handle shake sensor which also gives warning chirps – before they get too heavy handed with the hammer/bolt cutters.

    Anything but the WiFI cloud-connected central server used nowadays for authentication. That is just ridiculous, Liftmaster.

  3. That’s pretty cool.

    I would consider a Shelly “extra hardware” though.

    But I think the point is they didn’t need extra sensors on the door, unlike even Chamberlain’s own myQ.

  4. I did the same thing to my garage door, without any extra hardware or wiring! All I did was wire some extra hardware (wemos d1 mini, running Tasmota) to those door position contacts.
    The 5V regulator on the opener couldn’t source the current for the ESP8266, so I tapped off the transformer after the rectifier. The range of the remote because so short afterwards, after days of shielding and moving electric around, I had to replace the opener’s wire antenna with an SMA and move the antenna a few feet away.

  5. I bought a cheap wifi one from amazon. It’s basically a wifi controlled NO relay. I wired the relay contacts in parallel with the button that’s inside that closes the door. It has its own app but also works with Alexa, HA and others. Bought it because the keypad the system came with is starting to get flaky and I didnt’ want to drop $400 on a new one. So ~$40 for the wifi opener was the way to go.

  6. I did the same thing with limit switches after finding out a Zwave coin cell tilt sensor wouldn’t stay alive in an unheated garage during the Canadian winter. I used a Zooz Zen17 dry contact inputs for closed limit switch detection and the relay output to toggle the door opener. Worked good, but I added a diode in series to the “dry contact” input as it specs no input voltage to avoid damage, and the limit switches on my lifter did have voltage present.

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