#Idea: Industrial Garage Door Opener via Cell Phone.
Hello All, I am an auto mechanic in a small business in a small town. I have been working here for many years. Every winter here in Illinois it gets rather cold. When I go bring a vehicle into the shop to work on the process is like this:
*Go get in car and pull up to garage door.
*Get out of car and go inside to open door.
*Open door, get back in car, and pull inside shop.
*Get back out of car, Close door, get back in car and pull onto hoist.
This gets to be very tedious and painful to my back. Not to mention we also loose more heat through the door than necessary.
For years I have wanted an garage door opener to alleviate these issues but all openers I was able to find online were too expensive and the Boss's would not want to pay for them. On top of that I would have to grab the door opener remote every time and my memory isn't that great.
SOLUTION: Find a way to open the garage door using my phone which is almost always in my pocket anyways. Then I stumbled across the Wio Link on Kickstarter. After backing the crowd funding project on Kickstarter and waiting for several months I finally received my Wio in the mail. Then I went on the Seeed website and found the relays that I believed would work for my project. I took some Ethernet cable and ran from the door switch into the office(a slightly cleaner environment) and wired it up to mimic the wiring of the door switch which was a power wire(I assume) going to each of the three buttons and a common ground(I assume) shared by all three buttons. This however did not work because the "Stop" button was not Functioning as a circuit completer it was working as a circuit disconnect. My Boss Decided that we needed an additional relay(powered by a 9V battery) to control the stop circuit so that we did not have to have the "Stop" relay on the wio link powered on all the time only powering off to interrupt the door while in open or close mode(which might cause the relay to overheat and/or fail prematurely.)
After completing the wiring and hooking up the Wio Link and Grove Relays, the door switch did function as I intended! What a COOL FEELING! But at this point in time it still seemed somewhat more time consuming than I was hoping to open and close the garage door. In the API section of the WIO LINK app you had to go to the first box and type in "1" post, delete the 1 then type "0", post, to power and unpower the relay controlling the open button and then repeat that step in the next box to stop the door and repeat again in the third box to close the door.
In looking at other peoples projects using the Wio Link I came across a fellow on YouTube.com that used his Wio Link to controll a LED strip by using an app on his phone. He also mentioned in the video that he built the app on a website called MIT App Inventor 2. So naturally I went to the website to check it out! What a cool website!!!
After watching some tutorial videos and learning the process of building an app with very basic and simple coding, I was able to get started on making an app for my phone that had OPEN CLOSE and STOP Buttons on it and code it to control the wio link over the internet.
That being said this was probably one of the more time consuming parts for me given that there was a HUGE learning curve in there as this was something that I have never done before. But the MIT App Inventor 2 makes the learning process super easy and simple to understand.
So with a little help of a friend we were able to put together an app that had the same three buttons as the door switch on the wall and functioned almost identically. We finalized the app and downloaded it to our phones and WHAMMO!! I am now able to control the garage door with my cell phone just by the touch of a button!!!
I did however encounter some problems. Occasionally after opening the door it would close again without being prompted or vise versa. And also occasionally it would not respond to a open or close command. I found out that the problem is that sometimes for some reason the relays are "sticking" on or just not getting the message to de-energize the circuit. These relays remaining energized was somehow causing the problems stated above. The way we wrote the code in the MIT AI2 App was that it would send the signal to energize the circuit("1") and then send the signal to de-energize the circuit("0") when the specified button was clicked. My theory is that the signals are being sent to the wio link too close together(in too small of a time window) and that the De-energize signal is not making it into the Wio Link processor therefore causing the relay to remain on. I do not know if this is the problem for sure but it is just my theory. IF anyone reading this has a solution or understands why I am having this problem and could tell me how to fix it, that would be AWESOME!!(TIA).
Thank you for reading this and I hope it has helped to inspire you in your own creation or help you complete one you have already started!