Hidden Garage Door Opener (UPDATED)





Introduction: Hidden Garage Door Opener (UPDATED)

I wanted a garage door opener that wouldn't need to change batteries and could stay hidden, not making rattle noise while driving.

While searching for an idea, I found a capacitive sensor on ebay that could work pretty nice behind the car dash. This instructable needs basic knowledge in electronics, if you need any help feel free to ask, or you can use www.google.com.

Bill of Materials

1 - Garage door opener remote (Already programed)
2 - Capacitive sensor, that you can hide wherever you want and it has the sensitivity necessary. I had luck finding an Omron E2K-F10MC2 on ebay for $17.
3 - Perfboard or similar
4 - Eletronic components

  • 1x L7812C - Positive voltage regulator
  • 1x CMOS 4011 - Quad 2-input NAND gate
  • 2x 1uF 50v capacitor
  • 1x 10K ohm resistor (Observation at schematic)
  • 1x 0.5A fuse
  • Optional - 2x2 male Header Pin, 1x Jumper
  • Connectors, fuse holder and wires

5 - Electrical tape and double sided tape

Step 1: Schematics

The circuit is very simple, it uses the car battery as input power (you can use the 12v line from cigarette lighter). The energy goes through a fuse just in case of something wrong, then I used a voltage regulator to hold the energy spikes from engine start (If you ignore this part you will burn the remote control).

The sensor and remote control are connected to the filtered 12v line, the signal from sensor goes by CMOS inverter, it can be cascaded depends on NO/NC sensor, the CMOS output should be able to drive almost any remote control that uses 12v battery. For a remote control that uses lower voltage, you can use an voltage drop circuit.

Step 2: The Mess Is Made - Soldering the Components

Plan the schematic on perfboard and connect everything with solder, another technique is to use "Wire wrap".

The remote that I used is very simple, it has a push button that closes with +V from the circuit, the purple line on pin 2 of the CI is the same line from the output of the switch (When pressed, the switch drops the voltage to 0v at pin 2 of the CI).

Step 3: Hooking Up Everything

I chose to instal the sensor next to the sound. Next step is to apply double tape to the sensor head and hook the wires.

Step 4: Connect to the 12v and Isolate the Electrical Parts

It's good to use duct tape on everything to avoid noises and short circuit.

Better to do this step with the key off, you could easily burn a fuse here.

Step 5: Test Time!

Video of the hidden remote control working.

I hope you enjoy the instructable and feel free to comment or ask questions!



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    31 Discussions

    Duct tape will not help you with "noises". It will provide insulation between your electronics and any framing or metal parts, and provide strain relief for your components, so still a good idea. Car electrical is a harsh environment (the 12V can drop to 8V cranking, and have spikes up to 40V on it). For protection, add a 15V TVS diode such as a Fairchild 1V5KE15CA after the fuse, in parallel with the 1uF capacitor.

    Puedes conectarlo directamente al control? Sin usar la bateria de 12v del auto sino la de 3v del control remoto? Para evitar usar los circuitos

    1 reply

    Sí, sólo se necesita un relé entre el sensor y el control para proteger el control

    Relay instructable.png

    I had this door opener where the bendy metal thing in it was loose. Just slamming the car door would cause it to rattle and the garage door would open or close. Took me a few weeks to figure out what the heck was going on. I took it apart and replaced the switch with a couple wire leads, a computer fan connector (for quick disconnect) and a momentary switch mounted on the glove box. Its very discrete and works awesome.


    Is it just me or does anyone else see the face? When you're done with the car you could build a robot!

    This gives me idead for hidden unlock for a house or garage door. Love it!

    1 reply

    You can use an inductive sensor too, cheaper and you could hide like the capacitive, just need a metal to activate it.

    Great ible! Been looking for something like this for years, only problem is the cost of the sensor, yow!!! ebay here I come.

    1 reply


    You can use cheap models of sensors, the important part is the sensitivity, you could have false positive with a too sensible sensor, that could result on a big problem.

    Try to make a lot of testing before getting it on regular use.

    The opto-coupoler in this design is redundant, it isolates nothing and can be replaced with PNP transistor or N-Channel fet. Also the Capicators for the voltage regulator could be higher, 100uF on each side is good values.

    3 replies

    I have just finished another version, I'm going to update the instructables tomorrow morning.

    This one you can choose between NPN-PNP and NC-NO sensors.

    Part 3 updated.png

    I'm not skilled in electronics! By the circuit you can tell easily
    The 4N25 was some kind of test to invert the signal from the sensor, worked but did not activate the remote, on a hurry I used a transistor and got it working.

    I will change the schematics on weekend, just want to make a little test before.

    It's funny, I clicked on your instructable because your dashboard looks like a sleeping face... this is super awesome though! I love how there's no actual "button". Fun trick if you have friends in the car.

    2 replies