Instructables
This instructable will show you how to build a remote-controlled door lock out of any number of 110V solenoids, solid steel dowel, some various odds and ends and an X10 remote appliance control. I built this for my garage door for less than $30.00, but your results may vary as I was able to score a couple of solenoids free from work.


 
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Step 1: Shopping List

Here is what you'll need to build your own remote control deadbolt:

Solenoid
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.

X10 Controller
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.

Hardware
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.
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Zamaan2 months ago

how can I connect solenoid and other remote control circuit?

termark10 months ago
Could you please send me your email? I have a lot of questions :)
Dric.s1 year ago
Hi, can I email you or something? I am interested in your ideals, I need help in my major project regarding the locking system. I really hoped you could teach me a few pointers.
EET19822 years ago
Dumb question. If you have a push pull selinoid, what are the purpose of the springs. It looks like they would have an opposite effect on it. Thanks in advance for anyone who answers my question!
Ricochet842 years ago
Peter Parker! Hell yeah!
jmmgmm3 years ago
It might be possible to use a simple garage door remote. For example, I used the extra button on my garage door remote to power on my interior lights to my house. I was thinking that it just might be possible to activate a solenoid as well. This picture below is the model that I was referring to. I found one with the cover removed that might provide a better idea to what I'm talking about. Notice how the female connectors provide a good attachment to a solenoid. It would be much more secure than X10 and I only needed to order the control since I already had a remote that worked with it. You can buy it at Garage Door Remotes . It can be turned on or off with a key chain remote, regular car remote, or even a biometric fingerprint keypad if you felt like it.
txoutback3 years ago
In my scenario, I have a large gate for my driveway. Currently it has a manual latch that must be used each time I drive in or out. It's mainly there to keep my dog in the yard, and other dogs out of my yard.

There is AC 110 power out there, and I happen to have an old icemaker that is unused. What I'd like to do is make a gate latch "popper" so I can remotely pop the gate latch, and allow a spring and gravity to pull the gate open.

This would save me one stop/trip each time I go through the gate in a vehicle, and the hundreds of dollars I would spend on a Mighty-Mule that would probably only last a few years at the most.

Where to start? Should I take apart the ice maker to find the solenoid?
hilldweller3 years ago
Could you please provide information on the solenoid please, such as the manufacturer, model number, and where they are available?
I've tried googling it but most all are valves and pool supply stuff.
Thanks in advance.
eemanuel5 years ago
x10 is awesome, but I live in Europe, so I have 220-230V on my socket, which means I can't use it :(
Couldn't you use a travel adapter of some sort? I'm sure that could work.
no, would need a transformer.
you could always look at car lock solenoids, and just use a 12 volt system?
CodeKid10014 years ago
Quick Question: If I wanted to use this on my bedroom door to keep out pesky siblings, could I use servo motors instead to "push" or "pull" the dowel?
I would like to know this as well for the same application. I'm trying to make a lock for my lab and i am going to put a keypad on the other side. My only dilemma is, how do you reinforce the servo so it can move the bolt but doesn't have to be linked to it (making it a weak point).

My thought right now is something along the lines of this:
(\/) (Servo with gear w/ teeth)
[^^^^^^^^^] (Bolt)
and then the servo just spins the bolt... However, I doubt this is the best way.. Any other thoughts?
eemanuel5 years ago
just take it out, they are in parallel so if you take out one solenoid just ignore the wires that were going to it.
here's how the "diagram" will look with only one
FHR8X60F7AVCD5M.MEDIUM.jpg
that doesnt work parallel means that it will draw more amps but not volts i prettey sure u would hook the solenoids on series to draw 220V but only a few amp hope that helps ;)
Crucio4 years ago
This is a very nice project and very nicely done.

However, be aware that using X10 (especially wireless) for security this way is a bad idea.  X10 signals are simple, well-known, and published.  Someone would need to know only that you are using X10 to be able to quickly gain entry.  A brute force search of all 16 housecodes and the TM751's fixed unit code (1) can be completed in seconds.

stuffman (author)  Crucio4 years ago
Absolutely, I agree that this is an easy system to defeat if you know what's behind the door running the whole thing.  Think of it as security through obscurity.  Who would think that X10 is being used to secure a structure?  We've since moved and this setup hasn't been replicated at our new house, but when it was in place it was never the only thing keeping people out.  This was used to supplement a hasp/padlock setup that was already in place.
Ianmck125 years ago
im not buliding it but im doing a report on it but thanks for your help
Ianmck125 years ago
 im not much of a techy but i hope i do what i can do

stuffman (author)  Ianmck125 years ago
Okay, here's a very basic diagram of a single solenoid to X10 module setup.  If you need further explanation I recommend picking up a book at your local hardware store on 110V circuits.  I bought one at Lowe's published by Black & Decker that does a really good job explaining how everything works with high voltage current, switching , resistive vs inductive loads etc.  Without this knowledge I would strongly advise against starting this project.  Maybe I'm being overly cautious, but I'd hate to be the reason that you fried yourself. 
Untitled.png
Ianmck125 years ago
 how should it look if i only use one solenoid.
reaver265 years ago
hello.. your guide is very helpful but the only problem is the "solenoid" its really hard to acquire one here in the philippines. but anyway thanks
Sn0wl3all5 years ago

I'm thinking of doing something like this for my school's Engineering Fair (if you don't mind, I can still cancel the topic)

Can anyone tell me exactly what type of solenoid is used here? Because I can't seem to find anything like it anywhere, including home depot and ebay.

stuffman (author)  Sn0wl3all5 years ago
You wont find what you need at Home Depot or Radio Shack, these components are used in industrial equipment and can really only be found through a specialty outlet.  I found what may be the exact solenoid I used through Grainger <link>.  I got mine used, but there should be something there that you can use.  Also, you may want to think about adapting this to DC instead of AC.  For practical purposes it's much better (much easier to supply power to the system in the event of a power outage, for example), and it's much safer to work with. 

If you decide to use high voltage in your project, be careful and make sure you understand what you're doing.  In the time since I made this instructable I've done a lot of stuff with 110/220V AC, mostly rewiring the house we bought.  I now know that it was through sheer luck that I didn't wire this wrong and cause some damage.  Just make sure you understand what you're working with before you even start the project.  If I could make a suggestion, find a cheapo car alarm with a keychain remote and use that to trigger as many DC solenoids as you need to.  You can also integrate a solar charging circuit and really impress some people.  If you do that, make sure you post it on this site so we can all see, and so I can copy your design. :0P Good luck, and let me know if I can help out.

Shawn
stuffman (author)  stuffman5 years ago
For some reason my links aren't working.  go to www.grainger.com and search for solenoids.  That should get you on the right track.
Ianmck125 years ago
 and are you sure its 110v becuz the sticker says 120 v
stuffman (author)  Ianmck125 years ago
110V is a loose rating, the actual voltage can fluctuate between 110 and 120 volts AC.  It's confusing, but 110V circuits and 120V circuits are actually the same thing, as long as you're talking about United States (or maybe North American) AC voltage standards.  You may want to think about adapting this instructable to DC if you're asking for a project that you will actually build.  Good Luck,

Shawn
Ianmck125 years ago
 sizes and mabey the dimentions of the door the wood and springs
stuffman (author)  Ianmck125 years ago
I'm not exactly sure of the dimensions of everything, but if you compare the items to the wood they're mounted to you should be able to infer some scale.  For example, the block that the solenoid and springs are mounted to is a 2x4, which is 1.5"X3.5".  Hopefully this helps, I'm not sure of the exact dimensions.  Anyway, this instructable should be used as a loose guide to your project, no two could really be the same.  Good Luck!
Ianmck125 years ago
 can you be a little more specific im doing a report on this
stuffman (author)  Ianmck125 years ago
I'm not sure what needs clarification.  Please let me know what part you're having problems with and I'll be happy to explain it for you.

Shawn
The key switch is just that, radio shack should have them same goes for the magnetic reed switch, connect the + & - lines to some metallic things that are accessible from both sides of the building and electrically insulated from each other, personally I like the upper hinge has positive and the lower as negative, nice and easy to remember. The idea is that in the event of power or x10 failure you put a magnet over some small mark on the door indicating the location of your reed switch on the other side, turn your keyed switch and then jump start the hinges of your door with some handy 12v power source, car, lawnmower, jump box, spare robot battery, or worst case a 12V wallwart on a extension cord(if you have power). The last thing is that if your not terribly worried about security you could omit the keyed switch and reed switch and just operate on the assumption that applying 12V across the hinges of a door is not a standard method of unlocking doors, or add more normally open switches("broken" light switch, lose 12V light bulb that you need to screw in, light sensor under a brick, 2 metal tool hooks you need to short together, you get the idea) in series to increase security. and in hindsight it would probably be a good idea to throw some sort of current limiting resistor in series with the relay as well just as a safety factor.
door.PNG
stuffman (author)  cokebottle tuque5 years ago
Excellent, thanks! We'll be moving soon if we get the house we're hoping to get, then I'll be updating this to include the garage sale car alarm (keyless entry) and a 12V battery charged by either a solar cell or a wall-wart battery minder. I'll have to switch to DC solenoids or worm drive system, but I'll probably integrate some sort of failsafe once we're dealing with low voltage DC instead of AC. Thanks for the ideas, and for all the time invested in the diagram! I love instructables, Shawn
Oh no problem diagrams like that take less time to make in muftisim than multisim takes to start up so really minimal effort, and I have been toying with a similar idea for an apartment/dorm lock and all the fail safes I would need to build in just in case. If you hit a road block let me know I may have some different prospective on it.
I'm planning to try and build one of these into a standard deadbolt, so that I can still use the key if necessary. Any idea what the security is like on those wireless keyfobs? I'd like to combine that, and a wireless video intercom/door chime, so that when I'm not home and my wife's in bed, she can admit friends or our home-maker from bed. ~adamvan2000
jammmie9995 years ago
Wouldest it be easier to use elector magnet both sides press switch electromagnet activated locked or vice versa
stusatwork5 years ago
I keep coming back to this one looking for a reason to do it and I came up with what I think is a great backup.... Setup up 2 keyed backups on the door with pivot bars attached to the lock that will manually slide the pins out when you turn the lock. I would use round locks just to be obscure. Now juice the locks with current from any # of sources. That way if someone goes around randomly probing in the lock while there is power then they get a nice jolt. Just insulate your set of keys and if the power is out it won't matter anyway. If you get a marine type lock they are usually pretty well insulated already so that casual brushes against it shouldn't be an issue. If all else fails dip the face of it in liquid rubber. May even be possible to stick the electrodes in the lock in such a way that only something that isn't the key would set it off... take out a pin on the lock??use that area?
stuffman (author) 6 years ago
probably not. For one thing, it moves the wrong direction, though you can get solenoids which act as rams when voltage is applied. The one I've chosen however retracts and therefore would be unsuitable. Good luck, Shawn
Coffee bean6 years ago
do u think this moves enough to shoot a bb
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