Introduction: How to Install a Garage Door Opener in a Dashboard
I had an issue... We have a Craftsman garage door opener, and two remotes. The problem is that the remotes kept getting lost because they had no clips on them. My wife's car doesn't have a built in garage door button, so I started thinking of how to make them easily accessible, and not get lost as easy.
So I started by adding velcro to an empty spot on the dash board, and the remote. This just wasn't good enough for me though. So I got to thinking, and looking. I noticed a blank button in the dashboard that was fairly small, and right next to the steering wheel. So I got to work thinking of a solution....
I came up with installing a button on the blank cover, attaching the garage remote PCB to the button. So let's see how this goes..
Step 1: The Design
Fairly simple. I took the PCB out of the remote, and soldered extensions on the main button that opens the door. Those extensions attached to the button. I then had to come with a solution to hold the battery. I happen to have a coin cell battery holder in my spare parts, they are usually no more than $.25 though. I found a way to attach the coin cell holder to the PCB, then soldered wires from the negative and positive terminals on the PCB to the coin cell leads.
Step 2: The Parts
All of these parts were recycled, or extra parts i had from past projects.
- Garage Door Opener Remote (1)
- Breadboard wires (4)
- 2016 Coin Cell Battery (1)
- Coin Cell Battery Holder (1)
- Quick Release Pushbutton (1)
- Blank Dashboard Butto
Step 3: The Tools
I needed these tools, once again nothing special.
- ½" Drill Bit
- Soldering Iron
- Bench Vice
Step 4: The Garage Opener Remote
When I was changing a battery a few weeks ago I accidentally broke the clips that hold the two halves together, so I decided to canibalize that remote for the PCB.
- Pry open the remote
- find the clip that holds the PCB in place, and use a screwdriver to pry it back so that the PCB comes out easily.. Don't force it, you may want to put the PCB back in at a later date!!
- Remove the PCB and find which button actually opens the door.
- For my remote it was SW3.
- Look on the back of the PCB and trace the lines coming from that switch.
- Locate the terminals on the PCB button that have traces coming from them.
- These are the terminals that you will have to solder the extension wires for the pushbutton.
- Locate the positive and negative terminals for the battery. The positive was a bit tricky, but it was there
Step 5: The Dashboard
Find a blank button cover, this one in the 2007 Honda CR-V works great..
- Locate a blank cover
- Pry off the cover
- Look at the internal structure of the cover. I had to remove a portion of it to fit my pushbutton in it flush. I just used a box cutter and the plastic came right off.
Step 6: The Prep
I bagan sizing up the pushbutton, and the blank cover.
- I placed the cover in a batch vice to hold it steady while I drilled.
- Drill a hold in the middle of the cover that the pushbutton can slide into. I drilled mine a bit to large, but was still able to make it work easily enough.
- Place the pushbutton into the cover and check the fitting.
- Install the cover back into the dashboard to check your clearance and fit.
Step 7: Build the Base Circuit
This was essentially just connecting the terminals and everything so that I could verify that it was functional. This allowed me to see if the correct terminals on the PCB and the pushbutton terminals were connected properly. As always I recommend testing the circuit at every step that way you don't have to undo everything if there is an issue..
Step 8: Build the Final Circuit
- Attach the Coin Cell battery Holder. DO THIS WITHOUT THE BATTERY INSTALLED!!!
- Solder the coin cell holder to the PCB and the positive and negative terminals.
- Solder the pushbutton connections.
- Check the clearance for the dashboard.
- Test the circuit to make sure it works..
Step 9: Conclusion
The video is the final product.
This all in all took about 2 hours to finish. That includes the time it took to figure out the solutions for the issues that arose. I didn't have to spend any money on this project, but assuming that you have solder, a soldering iron, and an already installed garage door opener then you could build it for about $8. The pushbutton is a standard $5 button from any hobby store, and the coin cell holder is only about a quarter. I had fun with this project, and it made life a bit easier.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and as always I welcome any thoughts or comments you may have.