EDIT: there is a youtube demonstration at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2v30EHG4x_s
So, I decided to design a solution- an electronic door-opener which pulls down the door-handle of my door, allowing me to enter without my key.
If you have a similar situation, you might want to do something like this, but this was more of a fun weekend hack than a real attempt at an implementation, hence the huge quantities of duct tape.
Step 1: Parts list
- A 5V regulator (I used L7805)
- 100uF and 50uF capacitors (I used random ones lying around, use whatever you have)
- A 12V 1A wall-wart power supply (don't use less than a 1A supply, the motor needs a lot of current!)
I used a PIC16F506, any reasonable microcontroller will work.
- 8 resistors (used for pull-down, I used 10K, anything around that area or less should work great)
- 16-key keypad (any normal matrix-style keypad will work)
- A $4 12VDC motor with a gear on the end
- A 5V relay
- A PC speaker (any speaker capable of beeping is fine)
- A prototyping board of some kind, or breadboard
- Duct tape (you know it!)
- Soldering iron, solder, flux, and the like