This Instructable will show you how to create your own garage laser parking system (the modern day version of the tennis ball on a string.)  Stop now if you don't have a basic understanding of electronics or how to safely use a multimeter.  I take no responsibility for any damage done to you, others, your property, or the property of others!

Items Needed:

- Garage door opener with a light that automatically turns on when the door opens

- Cheap laser pointer

- Voltmeter / multimeter

- Soldering iron & solder

- Needle nose pliers

- Wire cutters and strippers

- Rotary tool (Dremel, etc.)

- Small zip ties

- Sacrificial AC adapter (wall wart)

- Heat shrink tubing

- Light bulb socket outlet adapter

- "Short" light bulbs

One small side note here:  LASER is actually an acronym, standing for "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation."  I will not be spelling it using all caps in this Instructable, however.

Step 1: Determining the Operating Voltage and Polarity

The first step is to determine the polarity of the battery contacts and the voltage needed for your laser pointer to operate.

Remove the laser's battery cover - usually just a screw-on back.  Before removing the button cell batteries, take a look at how they are oriented.  Button cell batteries typically have their positive terminal on the flat side with all of the writing, leaving the other side with the negative terminal.  The writing on the flat side should have a plus or a minus indicating this.  If the flat (positive) side is facing the rear of the laser, that means the chassis acts at the positive contact.  There should be a spring or something similar acting as the negative contact on the back of the laser's circuit board underneath the batteries.

Take the button cell batteries out, count them, and multiply that number times 1.5 (button cell batteries are typically 1.5V each.)  The resulting number is the total voltage needed for your laser to work.  For example, if your laser pointer uses two button cell batteries, it will require ~3V to operate.

<p>I just made this. I used a SmartyKat Loco Laser cat toy from Target ($4.00) because it was cheap but after I opened it, I realized its also a good choice. The part of the button on the inside that actually depresses the button on the laser's board has a hole. I screwed a very small screw with a flat head into that hole. The head was about the width of the button's travel when the laser is manually activated. This way, when I reassembled it the button stayed pressed down. The + and - battery terminals extend into the inside where the wires from the laser's board are soldered. I drilled a small hole in the side to feed my wires through and soldered my wires to the same terminals. I used a double outlet cell phone charger for power as I was installing one on each side of the garage. Since I have no shortage of no longer being used mini-USB cables, I use a couple of those (any cable with a standard USB end will work.) Red should be positive and black negative but check with a multimeter. White and green are for data and can be clipped back as far back as possible. Mount a 90 degree angle bracket on the batter door then reinstall the battery door and it is ready to be mounted. I think getting it mounted and getting it dialed in was more work than making it. Now I have two little mice in the rafters to help me park.</p><p>Thanks for the inspiration!</p>
That's great!!!
<p>You can get cheaper (used) AC adapters for this project at <a href="http://www.pluginreplacements.com" rel="nofollow">www.pluginreplacements.com</a></p>
Great idea. I built this for the wife. if I ever clear out my half of the garage I'll build 1 for myself.
Hey Fixxxer <br>This is one of these things that is so simple why didn't think of it myself. Great job. You got my vote. Good luck. I need to build one for the wife. LOL
Thanks for the positive comments, everyone!&nbsp; Please vote for me in the <a href="http://www.instructables.com/contest/hurricanelasers/?show=ENTRIES" rel="nofollow">Hurricane Lasers Contest</a>! &nbsp;If I win, I promise to make you something with the laser cutter that I'd get! &nbsp;:)
Hi fixxxer, <br>You got my vote ! :) <br> <br>Pedro
By wikipedia; &quot;A laser is a device that emits light (electromagnetic radiation) through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of photons.&quot; <br> Paulino Alves, Aveiro - Portugal
Great idea
A simple concept, inexpensive and much better than the &quot;tennis ball on a string&quot; I've been using for years. Way Cool!!!

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