Introduction: Garage Monitor 3k

Picture of Garage Monitor 3k

Need to know if the garage door is open? Need to know if you pulled in far enough for the door to close without hitting your bike? Need to know all this with web access... I present the garage monitor 3000.

When the car reaches the right spot, the LED turns from green to red.

This is a work in progress, this is just version 1.0, I think it will go through a few changes to make it even better.

Step 1: Parts

Picture of Parts

1 Mercury switch
1 220 ohm Resistor
1 10k ohm resistor
2 x 1k ohm resistor
1 Red LED
1 Green LED
1 Parallax Internet Kit (PINK from parallax
1 BS2 Micro Controller (from parallax
1 PIR Motion Detectorr (from parallax
1 ds1620 temperature chip.
1 5v power supply
1 cardboard poster tube

I had no network drops in my garage, which I obviously had to fix, so I bought a linksys WET11 off of ebay for $20.

Step 2: Bread Board It Out.

Picture of Bread Board It Out.

So I obviously need too make a wiring diagram...

But you can't go wrong if you follow the examples in the PDFs that come with all of the parallax parts.

The wiring for the switch comes from the PDF Whats a micro controller
The wiring for the PIR comes from the PIR Documentation PDF
The Wiring for the DS1620 comes from the PDF Applied Sensors.
The wiring for the PINK from the PINK PDF

P0 - for the pir
P1 - Mercury switch
P5 - 1620
P6 - 1620
P7- 1620
p12 - For PINK
P13 - For PINK
P14 - Green LED
P15 - Red LED

Step 3: Now That It Works on Your Breadboard...

You should probably program the bs2, here is the code. Most of this code is closely based on examples in the various PDF available on the parallax site. You pay more for the BS2, but the documentation is great.

' {$STAMP BS2}
' {$PBASIC 2.5}

' -----( I/O Definitions )-------------------------------------------------

PIR PIN 0 ' I/O Pin For PIR Sensor
LEDONE PIN 15 ' I/O Pin For Green LED
LEDTWO PIN 14 ' I/O Pin For Red LED

' -----( Variables )-------------------------------------------------------

counter VAR Byte ' Trip Counter
x VAR Word ' define a general purpose variable
sign VAR x.BIT15 ' sign bit of x
degC VAR Word ' define a variable to hold degrees Celsius
degF VAR Word ' to hold degrees Fahrenheit

' -----( Initialization )--------------------------------------------------

DEBUG CLS ' Clear DEBUG Screen
SEROUT 12,396,("!NB0W07:", "Warming Up",CLS) 'Tell the PINK whats up
FOR counter = 10 TO 0
LOW LEDTWO ' Wait 20 Seconds For PIR Warm-Up
DEBUG HOME, "Warming up:", DEC2 counter
SEROUT 12,396,("!NB0W07:Warming up:", CLS)
PAUSE 1000
PAUSE 1000 ' Display Counter Every Second

counter = 0 ' Clear Counter Variable

DEBUG HOME, "Waiting"
SEROUT 12,396,("!NB0W07:Waiting...", CLS)

HIGH 5 ' select the DS1620
SHIFTOUT 7,6,LSBFIRST,(238) ' "start convertions" command
LOW 5 ' do the command

' -----( Program Code )----------------------------------------------------

'Motion detector
IF PIR = 1 THEN ' Motion Detected?
counter = counter + 1 ' Update Trip Counter
DEBUG HOME, "TRIPPED...", DEC3 counter
SEROUT 12,396,("!NB0W07:", "Tripped...",CLS)
DO : LOOP UNTIL PIR = 0 ' Wait For PIR To Clear
DEBUG HOME, "CLEARED...", DEC3 counter
SEROUT 12,396,("!NB0W07:", "Cleared...",CLS)

HIGH 5 ' select the DS1620

SHIFTOUT 7,6,LSBFIRST,(170) ' send the "get data" command
SHIFTIN 7,6,LSBPRE,(x\9) ' get the data, including sign
LOW 5 ' end the command
x.BYTE1 = -x.BIT8 ' extend the sign to 16 bits
degC=x*5 ' convert to 'C*10 (resolution 0.5 'C)
degF= degC+2732*9/50-459 ' conver to F
DEBUG ? degF, CR, CR ' Show on debug
SEROUT 12,396,("!NB0W06:", DEC degF ,CLS)

'Garage Door detector.
SEROUT 12,396,("!NB0W08:", "Open" ,CLS)
SEROUT 12,396,("!NB0W08:", "Closed" ,CLS)

PAUSE 1000


Step 4: Upload the File to the Pink

Picture of Upload the File to the Pink

I used this for my web page. You can upload to the pink via FTP

<title> Garage Monitor 3000. </title>

<body bgcolor=white link = black vlink=black alink=#000000
onLoad="if (self != top) top.location = self.location">
A:hover { text-decoration:underline; color:#336633; }
<h3> Garage Monitor </h3>

The temperature in the Garage is: <Nb_var06>

Car Parking alingment thing: <Nb_var07>

The Garage Door is: <Nb_var08>

[http://pink refresh]


Step 5: Close the Field of View for the PIR

Picture of Close the Field of View for the PIR

So the PIR has a crazy wide field of view, I closed that down by using a 5" piece of poster tube, I got this idea from a post on the parallax forums, they used a wider tube, but it was still a really slick Idea.

I secured the PIR to the tube by putting a hole in the cap of the tube and hot glueing it.

I connected this pack to the breadboard by using phone cord, I had tons of it laying around. I found a 3 prong connector on an old CPU fan that I used as a plug for the PIR.

Step 6: Secure to the Wall

Picture of Secure to the Wall

I secured this to the wall right where my car needs to stop to clear the door. I used a zip tie and a staple gun.

Step 7: Freddie Mercury

Picture of Freddie Mercury

I attached a mercury switch to the bottom of my garage door, using phone cord again because I had so much of it...

Step 8: Put It All Together

Picture of Put It All Together

I attached all of this to a piece of sintra just to keep it clean. I need to cut a shorter ethernet cable but I don't have a crimper at home.

Next steps...

Does it really need to be on all the time? Maybe I should have it power on when the garage door opens and the light turns on. That way I could have it update a table in a database with the last status? I guess having it run all the time is just kind of wasting electricity...

Maybe I should put it in a project box!


Callum Snowden (author)2009-01-03

Well, it could be acting as a burglar alarm because the PIR will detect body heat

Derin (author)Callum Snowden2009-01-17

No,it won't.

evanwehrer (author)Derin2009-09-21

Yes it will

I thought it would.

raykholo (author)Derin2009-07-16

thermal imaging camera will though just dont ask how much it costs

Derin (author)2008-07-02

hehe did anyone see the word halo on the ethernet

macwhiz (author)Derin2008-07-08


Derin (author)macwhiz2008-07-08


evilgeek (author)2008-04-03

This instructable is awesome. My husband is terrible, he can watch the door close, drive away then wonder if he closed the door. Ignore all these people that tell you that its too much work to tell you if you are pulled in all the way. I love that you can remotely tell if the door is closed!

thermoelectric (author)evilgeek2009-06-26

That's pretty much exactly what I do too, Except instead of the door, it's a locker at school...

Callum Snowden (author)2009-01-17

Could I do this on a smaller scale using an arduino with the ethernet shield??

Derin (author)Callum Snowden2009-06-16

I think it should be possible,however you will need your own code.

ax89 (author)2008-11-27

Neat project. I don't care about the parking location thing, but would be nice to be able to check on both garage doors - this works with one only,. I guess you could use the PIR to check if there is motion in the garage though.

sboger (author)2006-05-22

Neat start. You beat me to the line. I am working on a similar concept, but putting all into a wrt54g. The wrt54g has 1-wire capability, along with serial ports. You could basically reduce all this to the single wrt54g Wifi component and program in linux using perl/ruby/python/sh instead, even having it serve the page itself.

hypercube33 (author)sboger2008-05-24

This should reduce the whole cost down to about maybe $75 or so, including the router, a board, and some parts (like led's) the rest is software baby!

hypercube33 (author)2008-01-22

Bah! I wish the parts to get a basic stamp on ethernet would be cheaper! Any suggestions? At the price of the Netburner alone I could buy a junk minipc and use it in the pace - and put a wireless or wired nic inside :-\

I stumbled across this that certainly looks cheaper, but I don't know if it would work any better.

Oh my god that looks like my savior!

Ian01 (author)hypercube332008-05-07

The Make Controller has Ethernet.

Kevin Krogue (author)2007-10-29

I have a traffic signal light, is there a way to hook that up instead of the red and green Diodes to tell where to park or would i be screwing with the power supplied and needed to much???

bortojo (author)2007-03-06

I have been toying with the idea of a garage door monitor when I came upon this one. I was a little less ambitious but still need some help. I was considering using magnetic switches like those used by home alarm systems. I have 2 garage doors, my design was to fish the wire into the house and mount a pair of LEDs on a switch plate in the hallway. Any suggestions on the power source or other considerations I should know. I am a low voltage newbie.

terry9g (author)bortojo2007-03-07

Bortojo … I’ve been fooling with the same idea after our garage door was left open all night a couple of times. Here’s what I am doing … My goal is to keep it simple and the voltage as low as possible. I found a 3 volt DC wall transformer in my junk box ( I’ve been a ham for 30 years so I have a lot of junk) and a double pole double through switch. After a trip to Radio Shack I got a package of 20 assorted LED’s and a package of 100 ohm ½ watt resistors. The resistor on the plus side of the power supply will give you 2 volts at the LED. My idea was to drop a red LED for OPEN and a green LED for Closed into a ceiling light in the hallway, but the wife thought that was a little tacky so I’ll run the wires down inside the wall and use a phone wall plug to plug into and put a small box with the two LED’s above my computer desk. You could do the same but you would have to run more wires for the two doors. Magnetic switches should work just fine. Hope this helps … Terry …

terry9g (author)2007-02-25

Looks interesting but for just parking your car look into PARK ZONE .. a great product for locating car in same place every time ... about $23 I'v been using them for several years

Articfreak (author)2007-01-11

I love it!! I built my own after I seen your post on!! Very Cool!!!

Azzazal (author)2006-11-09

Very nice Joe :0)

fkeese (author)2006-10-07

I would like to make from recycled materials a led light indicator lit only when garage door is up. Needs to be viewed from the adjoining room. No car ever stored in garage., garage door opener in use, battery powered preferably. Simplicity of design important, elegance of design would be very nice too. The switch I don't know, maybe mechanical operated by lthe moving door, maybe electronic, I don't know. The indicator light to be unobtrusive, maybe even a bundle of light carrying fibers extending right through the door. Ideas anyone?

compassman (author)2006-06-02

I went to and found PINK but the other two parts I couldn't find. Do you have the part numbers?

Kactapuss (author)2006-08-25

naikrovek, have you ever had a positive comment? i read through the commments you have left people, and all you do is leave negative ones.

JustListenToMe (author)2006-08-06

this is awesome, i can modify the cuircut and use it fow loads of stuff, awesome

Christopher418 (author)2006-06-08

This is my first time on this forum and I really like this project. How can you IM, PM or whatever you call it to certain members? I'd like to ask Joe more questions about this project.

joe (author)Christopher4182006-06-08

Hey Chris - You can email me joe at in0ti0n dot c0m replace the zero's with o's. -Joe

descarte (author)2006-05-30

Another good/positive reason for these sites/projects is that they are often proving grounds for ideas/concepts, I generally learn more from the way others are applying code/hardware and in particular good shortcuts than I will from maybe the reference texts. Keep up the good work (everybody) and while we can all think of easier ways to monitor the garage door, this project as others have noted has many other potential uses. Well done - good idea

Prometheus (author)2006-05-29

I also agree about negative posts, the point is not to make the best project for the need, but something that works in general. A project like this might be overkill for the particular application, but it can inspire others to use similar ideas for similar applications where this is not overkill...This is basically an idea-sharing forum, not a competition, so admire the creativity before you criticize the practicality of it. The point of this site is inspiration, not criticism, however it is still good to give CONSTRUCTIVE criticism on a particular work. Constructive criticism fine-tunes a project, negative criticism does nothing. Someone could make a burglar alarm from this, whch has little to do with garage doors, really... Sure some ghetto applications might work, but half the fun is showing everyone else your 1337 kit as opposed to a considerably-unexciting tennis-ball-on-a-string method. Take part in the joy of invention, not the semantics of simplicity. If you can't do that, you don't belong here. That's why we call it ingenuity, and if we are to advance technologically as a species, we need to stop crucifying ideas that actually work, and find the better application for them if there is one.

_soapy_ (author)2006-05-22

It's class, but it's overkill. The easiest way has got to be: Pull your car forward to where it needs to be. Turn on the car lights. Take a marker or whatever, and mark the outside of the throw of the lights on the wall. You pull in, flick your ights on, and drive forward until the light from the headlamps is smaller than your two marks. Perfect, every time. Of course, you can't mod that trick to tell you if there is coffee in the pot from the next room, or it the door is open. So, each to their own.

joe (author)2006-05-22

Thanks for looking guys. If this project is overkill for you, that is acutally cool, What is great about a site like this is that you can just use the part of this project that meets your needs i.e. the car LED lights and leave the rest out. For instance if you needed to make a datacenter monitor, you could use most of this project for that, and if you use the PINK web server, you could monitor it with CACTI and get alerts if the data center gets too hot, or if the door is open more than 20 minutes. Anyhow have making stuff! -Joe

naikrovek (author)2006-05-21

i just tie a string from the ceiling with a tennis ball at the end. when my windshield hits the tennis ball i know i'm in far enough. another way would be to put a switch on the ground, when your tire runs over it, light turns green, and you're good. this project seems like overkill.

kinetic_elite (author)naikrovek2006-05-21

Having worked for a overhead door company, I think this is a great idea! Make your improvements and mass-market this thing! A tennis ball can't tell me if the door is shut, from my cell phone/laptop. (Sometimes, I think this site is turning into a big flame war.) Great job!

I completely agree about the negative posts. You'll note that they're primarily from people who dont make their own stuff.

dfault312 (author)2006-05-21

cool! (although it seems like a lot of work for some relatively useless remote information) the most practical part is the led that changes from red to green.

radiorental (author)dfault3122006-05-21

great instructable, dfault you should think a little outside the box. This would be very useful for a birds nest webcam or other remote montoring application

About This Instructable




Bio: I like to tinker with just about anything, sometimes it works out in the end. Have fun looking at the projects, try tearing something open ... More »
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