Garage door open remote indicator??

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Old 03-27-08, 04:07 PM
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Garage door open remote indicator??

What's a good garage door open remote indicator?

We have a detached 2 car garage and need a wireless indicator inside the house that will tell us if one of the doors is up.

TIA,
 
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Old 03-27-08, 06:23 PM
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Just google " open garage indicator " or similar. I quickly found one for $25. I thought that Radio Shack also had them but could not locate it. I hardwired one years ago and duplicated it in our current home. Of course it only has a light in the kitchen, but it works for us.
 
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Old 03-28-08, 07:48 AM
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I believe Genie or Chamberlain has one thats available at the box stores for about the price mentioned. Battery operated, self attaching. Not sure of the range on it tho, if thats a consideration.
 
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Old 03-28-08, 09:05 AM
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Rfi

I did a little reading and thinking about this problem and decided that wireless might not be a good way to go.

I just can't picture VHF wireless links working reliably when a laptop PC might be running only a few feet away from the receiver.

I was even looking at using a wireless video camera.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16881118001
This wifi model has it's own build in-website.
You log on to look at video your garage doors.
I'll bet that would be great if I was still working.
I guess it would make a good nanny-cam too..

---

I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and use a Wired indicator.
Now all I have to do is figure out how to get the wires from the garage to the house.?. Maybe I'll be digging a little ditch for some PVC pipe when the spring comes.

Thanks guys..

-----

After looking at ideas on the web, I've come up with my own 2 door adaptation.

Between the two garage doors are two big coil springs with pulleys on the door end.
When a door goes up, it's pulley moves away from the door.

I would install a 1.5"x60" PVC pipe on the front wall (vertically) between the two doors.
In the bottom of the pipe I would install a micro switch.
The switch would be connected to a flasher LED inside the house. (Wall-wart pwr).
A 1.0" OD cylindrical weight would sit inside the pipe. It's weight would activate the micro switch.

Two nylon strings would be tied to the top of the weight. If either string is pulled, the switch
changes state. The other end of the two strings would be (safely) tied to the spring pulleys.

So, if either door moves upwards, it's moving pulley will pull up the 1" weight rod,
signaling the indoor LED..
 

Last edited by XRing; 03-28-08 at 10:23 AM. Reason: DIY Idea light came on.
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Old 03-28-08, 12:55 PM
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First, me thinkth you worry too much. I believe most of the remotes are in the UHF band - probably the garage door opener area. I seriously doubt a laptop is going to be a problem.

If you do go hard wire, look at a couple pairs of magnetic security switches, the normally closed variety. Mount the magnet piece on the side of the garage door and the switch to the wall (may need a little aluminum bracket). Wire them in parallel. Then, when the doors are both shut, the switches are open and if either door is up, the light will shine.
 
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Old 03-28-08, 01:06 PM
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A mirror would probably work. Look out the window and see the doors. Won't look any worse than a security camera. Or even the reflection off a strategically placed potting shed window, etc.

The problem, and roundabout solutions, remind me of an installation I saw in Japan. Where typically we have a fisheye mirror mounted in underground parking, to see around the corner, some bright inventor had affixed an enormous LCD screen with video camera mounted on the same bracket.
 
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Old 03-28-08, 02:25 PM
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You can also go a step further, and install an automatic garage door closer, this is the one at my house. I would not, however, install one if there were children in the family, and it's also important to have a properly adjusted photo-electric sensor on the door.
 
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Old 03-28-08, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by goldstar View Post
First, me thinkth you worry too much. I believe most of the remotes are in the UHF band - probably the garage door opener area. I seriously doubt a laptop is going to be a problem..
It's not just the laptop, there are all kinds of RF noise sources in the house(and next door). Too many to list. I've seen a lot of RFI problems in my years as a Ham, I don't need to see anymore.
 
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Old 03-28-08, 02:50 PM
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Why not just put the door closers on a timer? Most are programmable these days, and they won't close if they detect anything in their path. If they do, the timer starts over.

(Edit: In re-reading Michael's post ... he's talking about the same thing.)
 

Last edited by Rick Johnston; 03-28-08 at 02:54 PM. Reason: add
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Old 03-28-08, 04:32 PM
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I've seen a lot of RFI problems in my years as a Ham, I don't need to see anymore

Me too, but I don't let it stop me.

Advanced class . 73's
 
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Old 03-28-08, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick Johnston View Post
Why not just put the door closers on a timer? Most are programmable these days, and they won't close if they detect anything in their path. If they do, the timer starts over.

(Edit: In re-reading Michael's post ... he's talking about the same thing.)

I looked at that and it does seem like one way to go. But, it also seems like they should be using the RF signaling mode to operate the doors.
The closer-timer interface that I saw needs to connect to a simple 2-wire/push button control.

We have two new Sears 3/4 HP screw drive models that don't have just a plain button. Each has a little control panel that has an LED, 3 buttons(Lock, Light & door), a slide switch to enable a tiny IR motion detector, for light control.

They also came with outdoor remote wireless keypads and an extra remote AC switch that is controlled by a 3rd button on the remotes. (indoor Christmas light control?)..

Anyways, at a glance it seems like a hard unit to interface to.
 
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Old 03-28-08, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by goldstar View Post
I've seen a lot of RFI problems in my years as a Ham, I don't need to see anymore

Me too, but I don't let it stop me.

Advanced class . 73's

Well, I tried to use a little wireless La Crosse remote temperature monitor this morning while my wife was using her Sony Notebook (and my Dell desktop was also on), and could not get a single good reading.. (It was working the last time I tried it).

Plus, when I read reviews that talk about very limited range, I'm guessing it might be due to RFI OR shielding effects.

Anyways, the direct wired method I'm thinking of using will be so cheap, I just might have some bucks left over to buy a real toy.. (I'm dying to get a TED whole house watt meter).

Extra class. 73 OM..
 
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Old 03-30-08, 05:34 AM
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Somewhere inside the unit are two terminals that accept a simple momentary contact closure (switch) to activate it. Connect the timer to those terminals.

A timer may work on your opener, but it won't work on my old beast from the 80's. If mine stops for any reason -- even if half closed -- the next time the switch is hit the door will open.
 
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Old 03-30-08, 07:30 PM
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It's still to cold outside to work in the garage..

I got up this morning and it was 24 F outside (and 62 inside)!

I decided life is too short to mess with a FIY for the garage doors. I'm just going to buy the hardware at the local Ace hardware store. http://www.acehardware.com/product/i...ductId=1401714
If it doesn't work, I can always take it back, and fall back on plan B..

The DIY part will be the 5 minute installation job..
 
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Old 03-31-08, 07:22 AM
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Let us know how it works out. Hope it survives the QRM.
 
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Old 04-11-08, 11:18 AM
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Installed

I went down to Ace today and requested they find my order.
After about 20 minutes of searching the store, they found my stuff.

After programming both receivers to receive both transmitters, I performed a 20 yard range test and installed the transmitters on the top segment on both garage doors.

The receivers seem to work from any place in the house.
For now, I've got one in the living room near the two remotes that we use to open the doors(It's next to my LCD-HDTV).

The other receiver is in the den, next to the Plasma TV.
Both receivers work fine sitting next to the TVs (while they are on), so my fears on RFI from TV hash has been put to rest.

So far, I've very please with their operation. If there are any problems, I'll be back..
 
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Old 04-11-08, 07:10 PM
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Glad to see you got it solved.

Blues skies and 73's
 
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Old 04-15-08, 10:40 AM
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I just couldn't help myself!!

I've got the DIY sickness!!

The receiver in the den when into it's red & green 'lost signal' mode the other day for a few minutes.
Then it did it again yesterday! The other receiver is not so far from the garage and it wasn't effected. (Stayed green).
I blamed shielding effect. The path loss was too great for the 'connected' signal that occurs every 20 minutes.

So, I remembered the guy I read about who added a 1/2 wave antenna to his transmitter and I decided to add a 1/4 wave (7.2") antenna to my two transmitters. (There goes the warranty)!

That wide copper strap is the antenna. I attached the 7.2" wire at the center of this side of the loop. A small hole in the case for the wire and I was done.

So far, it's working fine..


 
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Old 06-07-08, 06:14 PM
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I needed the same thing, I just wired some magnetic switches that are N/O in parallel on the three doors, and strung a couple of LED's in the BR and hallway with a 12V P/S and a resistor. Instant garage door open indication.
 
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Old 09-01-09, 07:44 AM
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Still working fine

Once in a while, one of the receivers will lose the signal
and start flashing the error code. Red & green alternating.
It's easy to reset/re-sync with the power plug. Happens about
every three months.

The batteries seem to last a long time. When these go dead,
I'll start a once a year replacement cycle.

Over all, I'm very happy with the product.
 
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