Using Lowe's IRIS to automate garage door

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by RHelton10, May 29, 2013.

  1. RHelton10

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 29, 2013
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    Hey guys, new to the forum and have a tricky project that I need some help on. I have the Lowe's Iris security/convenience system and I want to be able to control the garage door with it as well.

    If I'm correct, pressing the wall open/close button on the garage door opener sends a 5v signal to the opener to tell it to open or close. Basically, I want to be able to accomplish the same thing remotely.

    What I envision is a 110v "smart plug" (part of Iris system; anything plugged into it can be turned on or off remotely) that would power a power converter stepping down the 110v to 5v, and it running through a timed relay that would only send 5v to the garage door opener for approximately 1-2 seconds, and then turn off.

    I realize the Iris system would still consider the "smart plug" to be "on" even after the relay stops transmitting the 5v, and I'm ok with that. I could simply tell Iris to turn it "off", and then back "on" to send another 5v signal for 1-2 seconds to then open / close the garage again.

    Is this possible? I understand the basic concepts of circuitry but I'm by-far a novice so please keep that in mind; your explanations may blow right over my head lol.

    Thanks in advance for the help / tips!
     
  2. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    By "remotely", I guess you must not mean from your driveway, using the normal remote?

    The short answer is yes, it can be done as you are describing. But there are details, and the first thing I would want to know is the detail of what exactly is being switched, is it AC or DC, and what voltage, and where does it come from (a floating, isolated power supply?). We can assume the current is minimal. No matter the solution, you'll want to know these details.

    If you have a spare remote, you might consider using that switch instead of the door button. You could briefly power up the remote with the switch bypassed (always on) and accomplish the same thing.
     
  3. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Assuming you're in USA, the primary supply is 120 VAC. You really MUST measure what the wall switch is switching! That is the missing link right now.

    It might be a simple grounding switch with a 5 volt supply. It might be a 24VAC supply being switched. You simply must measure both the voltage and the current.
     
  4. RHelton10

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 29, 2013
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    Correct, I'm wanting to be able to open / close the garage while I'm away from my home via the Iris app on my iphone. I have the ability to turn on/off different devices through the app, and 1 option is that I can control a 110v outlet. I'm wanting to be able to switch on the outlet, and for it to in-turn though any needed relays and converters, send a signal to the garage door opener to cycle up or down.

    I do have a spare remote, and that is a great idea! It is a Clicker model Klik1; I tried to upload pictures but apparently it doesn't like the Flickr links.

    I'm not sure of the settings on the dip switches for this remote but I'll try to find it through a Google search.
     
  5. RHelton10

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 29, 2013
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    Yes, I am in the USA, and you're right about the 120 VAC. I just checked the wall switch and I was way off; it's actually supplying 18.6 VDC constantly, and drops down to 0V when the button is pressed. So basically the wall button is acting as a momentary break in the circuit. This changes things completely.

    It seems that using the wireless remote might be the easier approach? In theory, I could wire the 120 VAC outlet to switch on a relay that would complete the circuit on the remote's control board that is currently being completed via a momentary push button?

    Wow, this may be more complicated than I originally imagined. What would be easier - momentarily breaking a circuit (wall button) or momentarily completing a circuit (wireless remote) by turning on / off a 120 VAC outlet?
     
  6. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
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    If you're away from home how will you know whether the garage door is open or closed? Do you have a sensor on the door?
     
  7. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Yeah, I think that will greatly simplify things and give you a lot more flexibility.

    So what you need now is a circuit that, when powered on via the mains switching "smart outlet", applies power to your remote for roughly 1 second. I'm pretty sure this has been solved many times in this forum, so it's definitely worth searching for. I speculate that a 555 timer IC circuit called a monostable multivibrator or "one shot) is what you need. And then you need to address the behavior of the circuit at power on and off. As I said, I know this has come up before.
     
  8. RHelton10

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 29, 2013
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    Yes, I have doors sensors mounted so that I can tell if it's open / closed, as well as cameras inside the garage and outside the home where I can see the door.
     
  9. RHelton10

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 29, 2013
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    Ok, I'll try and search the forum for that previously discussed scenario. Thanks for the tip!
     
  10. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I doubt it. Consider the idea that 18.6 VDC is being supplied to the wall switch through a resistor. If the wall switch grounds out that voltage, that is all the signal the garage door opener needs to start up (or start down).

    Measure to see if the wall switch is becoming, "closed" when you press it. I think it is just grounding out the 18 volts DC. You can fake that with a relay that closes for just half a second.

    This is what I am imagining as what's inside the brain box.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  11. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
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    Here's a possible approach. Have the smart plug power up a small 12V DC power supply (such as a wall-wort). This will power a MOSFET transistor through an RC circuit to short across the remote control switch for a few seconds. Since the timing is not critical you don't need to use a 555 to generate the pulse.

    Below is an example schematic.

    The transistor can be just about any N-MOSFET.

    The remote control switch terminals will be connected to the MOSFET as shown (observe the polarity by measuring the voltage across the open switch).

    The resistor R_Test is just there for simulation purposes. It would not be in the actual circuit. Note that a low output means the Switch is ON.

    Switch Pulse.gif
     
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