View Full Version here: : Help Needed: Control Garage Door Opener from a PC
I'm looking for some good ideas.
I have installed a garage door open on my observatory and it's working really well with the original wireless remote control.
As a next step, I want to control it from a computer. Inside the opener, it has 3 contacts - a ground, one to open and another one to close. I've tested it with a small piece of wire, and it works fine.
So how to trigger this from a PC? I was thinking of using a Super4 (http://www.dontronics-shop.com/super4-usb-relay-module.html)
Or perhaps an Arduino Uno (http://littlebirdelectronics.com/products/arduino-uno) and a relay shield (http://littlebirdelectronics.com/products/relay-shield).
Any other cost effective ideas? I don't mind if it's USB, Serial or Ethernet.
19-09-2011, 10:36 AM
For some thing DIY is OK, time consuming and sometime buggy, but if you are up for it then no problems. I though where ever possible look for commercial items as much as possible unless i feel adventurous.
If commercial items them you can consider http://www.smarthome.com.au/en/ for some ideas. They have many remote system idea including garage door opening either via switch or computer.
Hi James, what type of motor do you have? Please give me model and I should be able to work out what's best. I have particular comtroller board that i use so i can use weather inputs and other safety's and light triggers etc as well as pc control via lesvedome.
The motor controller it has a wired directly to the motor rather than the logic based in the sectional motor assembly. It's very difficult to get a motor these days with separate inputs for close and open. I use lesvedome to fire the motor controller inputs.
It's a bunnings only model - B&D 'Econolift' or something like that. You can see the jumpers on the RHS. From top to bottom they are: IR, Open, Shut, Common.
I'm not planning to replace the controller, just link this one to my PC.
I also wouldn't mind trying to get the IR beam thing working - so it won't shut the roof if the scope is still in the way.
That motor is manufactured by chamberlain. The beams you require are the model c77 from chamberlain, which only work with chamberlain/merlin products. B&D are no longer affiliated with chamberlain, in fact they are now bitter competitors. Which is why you got that motor so cheap.
Im pretty sure the close is actually an output rather than an input, for confirmation for an alarm system. The open input is usually a rotating command Ie if the roof is closed it will open, if it is open it will shut etc. If that is what you want, just use a basic usb relay board like from ocean controls. I did use this exact motor to automate a roof in newcastle. I did bypass the onboard PCB though. We later replaced it with a motor with a bit more stick a couple of months later.
If you want directional control and emergency close functions, you need another controller, or you may be able to rig up a rudimentary controller using some relays and external limit switches.
Thanks Brett - I just did a test and your right - it is a rotating input. In that case I think the safety beams will be a good idea.
The safety beams for that motor are pulse type (governed) beams not relay based. Which limits there usefullness as a controller. They are a two piece unit, one transmits and one recieves. These beams are brand specific, ie they will not work with other brands. I keep these in stock, but you can get them on ebay. When I have used pe beams in an observatory I usually use them to detect the scope in the parked position rather than trying to detect if the scope is obstructing the roof, the former works 100% the latter works some of the time.
There is only one sectional operator that I know (my business goes through around 800 garage door operators per annum, so I check out a lot of different brands) of that uses seperate input commands for up and down, but in my opinion is a piece of crap. Which is why I use a seperate motor controller.
Brett - I just noticed I got your name wrong TWICE - sorry about that.
24-09-2011, 03:34 PM
Looking with interest if you get this going. I am attaching a sectional door, garage door opener to my observatory roof. I probably wont go down the PC control rout but it sounds interesting if it can be done effectively. I currently have one that opens, closes and I can stop it if needed.
I may add the Optical sensor later on if I feel I need it.
That's ok, John.:P
The company that manufactured the motor you have, flew me to Malaysia for visit to their factory in KL earlier this year. While I was there, I got to go to the grand prix at sepang. They asked me to do some development when I got back, haven't got around to it yet, my own Garage door business has kept me too busy.
Btw I bought 150 of those motors this week for work.
Like I said before, currently there are no manufacturers making non rotating command motors for sectional doors. That's why I use separate motor controllers. I have automated observatories all over the state and beyond this way.
If memory serves me, you work for gliderol? If so you can use the old model gts sectional ( the boxy looking model) operator as it has separate inputs for open and close. That's if you have a very light and smooth running roof. They have a tendancy to break drive cogs.
24-09-2011, 05:49 PM
Yep thats right, I do work for them... I did look at the old units but decided to steer away from the chain drive and have gone belt drive. I was lucky that one had been severely damaged and was thrown out, so I grabbed what I could of it, luckily the control board was undamaged. Took a little while to get it back into a fully working unit though.. My obs only being 2m sq it wont have any trouble moving it.
As a quick update : I added a Super4 (http://www.dontronics-shop.com/super4-usb-relay-module.html) that is connected to the PC via USB. It comes with some software that I use to trigger the roof open / close. I also have cameras and lights in the obs so I can see what the roof is doing.
25-09-2011, 06:26 PM
Awesome, looks like it should do the job :)
04-10-2011, 01:30 PM
Do you have any pictures of the motor attaching to the roof? I'm trying to sort out a flip top observatory which would benefit from having motor control but I am unsure how to sort out the leverage and mechanics of it all.
It's set up the same way a sectional door opener works - but I use the observatory walls instead of the supplied aluminium beam to keep the fixed spacing between the pully wheel at one end and the motor at the other end.
The portion that runs past the motor is a chain, and the remainder is a steel cable (so it can roll around the pully)
Both ends are attached to the roof.
I think the key to success is to make sure your roof is as light as possible and really smooth running.
I should also say the cable/chain connections to the roof are able to be removed easily just in case I need to shut the roof manually.
vBulletin® v3.8.7, Copyright ©2000-2013, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.