Introduction: Build a Remote Control Deadbolt
Step 1: Shopping List
Here is what you'll need to build your own remote control deadbolt:
I used two 110V solenoids out of an icemaker, but you may want to build your lock using DC solenoids. Some of them are very strong, and your options for powering the lock in the event of a power outage are greater. Just something to think about. IMPORTANT! -- Make sure you get a continuous duty solenoid, some solenoids are only meant to be energized momentarily, which will cause a problem if you leave them energized and walk away. Read up on the various types of solenoids here.
I got my X10 controller (Keychain Remote type) on eBay for about $15.00 shipped. This is a simple kit that includes the receiver/appliance module and one remote. Search for "X10 Keychain Kit" or "RC6500" on eBay to find the one I bought.
In addition to the above, you'll need 2 return springs per solenoid used, 1/2" steel dowel rod (about $6.00 for 3'), an extension cable long enough to reach your outlet with enough to spare for some additional wiring, and possibly some bits of steel for reinforcement. Depending on what kind of connections your solenoids have, you'll probably want to get some crimp-on connectors. Solder and shrink tubing work better, but are harder to get apart if you should need to.
Optionally, you can buy a couple of magnets to mount inside the recessed mounting hole. This will help the bolt to stay extended, and make a great noise as the bolt closes.
Another improvement on my design would be to use a small hobby box as an enclosure for each solenoid. This would look a lot cleaner and keep the electrical contacts under wraps.
Step 2: Assess Your Situation
Figure out the best way to mount the lock on your door, it may end up looking drastically different from mine, as I have a funky 1/2 garage that barely fits my motorcycle. I'll use my end result as the example from here out, but use this guide as a loose how-to while building yours. I see great potential for a standard roll-up garage door with the solenoid mounted to the door frame, and the bolt going through the track and into the door itself.
For my door, I had to add a vertical support for the bolt to pass through. I used the left-over wood to make the horizontal mounting surface that the solenoids attach to. I reinforced the vertical pass-through with some framing hardware I found at Home Depot. The strike plates (the metal plates mounted to the door frame) are scrap steel I had laying around. Holes were drilled through the strike plates, steel reinforcements, and wood to accommodate the steel dowel.
IMPORTANT! --Make sure that you line up the holes well before drilling, and check your work after every step to make sure everything still lines up.
Step 3: Assembly
You'll need to drill a hole through the steel dowel big enough to fit the pivot pin. This is one of those steps that may be completely different for you, but the way my solenoids are built, I had to drill it as close to the end of the rod as possible. Once the hole is drilled, situate the dowel where it needs to be and insert the pivot pin.
Refer to the picture to see how I attached the return springs to the solenoid. You need to separate the legs of the retainer clip and thread the spring end through before inserting into the pivot pin, bending and clipping the ends off. The other end of the spring will be secured to the mounting surface, but wait until the very end to attach the other end. You may need to make adjustments, and the springs will get in your way.
With the pivot pin, dowel, spring and solenoid all attached now, you'll start to get a better idea how best to mount this up. Take your measurements and figure out the distance of throw on your solenoid. With this information you should now have an idea of how far away to mount the solenoid, and how long you need the steel dowel to be. Now would be a good time to measure, and cut your dowel. If you're planning to use more than one solenoid, you'll need to repeat the above process over again.
Step 4: Mount the Solenoids
Now that everything is fitted, you should be able to mount the solenoids to your surface. Test the action and make sure that there isn't too much resistance on the dowel to easily move it. At this point your springs should still be hanging freely. Extend the springs to test the return action on the dowel. If the springs have too much tension on them, they will bend and lose their 'springyness', so make sure they're not working too hard.
Step 5: Wiring
DISCLAIMER! -- I am not an electrician. I may be breaking some golden rule of electricity here, but this works for me. If anyone out there who is more qualified than me spots anything wrong with my wiring advice, please post a comment and I'll change the instructions (As soon as I change the wiring on my lock).
I used a very long PC Power cord for my lock. Any extension cord long enough to get you to your wall outlet should work great. It may be a good idea to route the cord, maybe even secure it along its route before beginning to wire the solenoids. My wiring is depicted (poorly) below. I went with a grounded 3-prong power cord, but haven't yet connected the ground to anything. Once everything is wired, plug the end into a spare power strip (turned off) and turn the strip on to test your wiring.
The image below looks like the white (gray) and black wires cross. They do not in real life. I apologize for the crappy MS-Paint picture, but follow the colors and not the wire paths and you should be good.
Step 6: Connect the X10 Module
Now that the wiring is done, make sure that there are no exposed high-voltage connectors. If everything looks good, plug your contraption into your X10 module and test it a few times. A very satisfying 'chunk' sound should result when you hit the button on the remote. Once everything looks good, move on to the final step.
Step 7: Connect the Springs!
If everything else is in place, it's time to connect the springs. By now, you probably know the correct distance to put them away from the solenoid so go for it. I used common drywall screws to secure the springs to the wood.
Since this is controlled by X10, you could easily integrate this into a home automation setup, and unlock your door using a remote, computer, or via a Windows Media or LinuxMCE home theater PC on your television!
Hopefully you're still with me, and this instructable works well for you. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave me a comment, and digg it if you dugg it!
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