Picture of Z-Wave Garage Door Opener Switch
Welcome to my first Instructable!

I've been learning more and more about home automation and have opted to use z-wave devices for most of my system.  With the addition of the SQ Blaster and SQ Remote iPad app I've been able to make a wonderful remote control system for my home.

The garage door opener became a bit more of an urgent issue recently when a neighbor called and told me that my garage door had been left open all day.  With this project in combination with a door/window sensor I'll be able to keep myself apprised of such oversights in the future and be able to take care of it from anywhere in the world!

Giving credit where credit's due:
Please note that this concept was not my original idea.  I Googled "z-wave garage door opener" and came across a video of someone else's very similar concoction.  My only contribution is making this instructalbe and using my electromechanical experience to streamline the final device.

I accept no responsibility for any damages to persons or property caused by following this Instructable.  Please use caution any time you handle soldering irons, interact with high voltages and climb ladders!  ;-)

Required materials:
Z-wave plug-in appliance switch (I used an Intermatic HA02C, $27 on eBay)
120v relay (I used Radio Shack model #275-217, $9)
Project Enclosure (I used Radio Shack model 270-1801, $3)
Power cord (Mine was cut off a dead fan)
Approx. 3' of 2-conductor wire (any small guage, 20-26AWG, will do)
Double-sided foam tape

Recommended materials:
Z-wave door/window sensor to indicate DOOR CLOSED state (not shown in this instructable).

I've purchased a few "Aeon Labs Z-Wave Magnetic Door / Window Sensors" from eBay (not yet received).

As most garage doors are metallic and I've read that the metals often interfere with the reliability of the magnetic properties of the sensor, I'll be mounting my sensor and it's triggering magnet to plexiglas brackets mounted to the door and rails to lift it away from the ferrous metals.  I just wanted to pass on this tip to save you some troubleshooting time in case you come across this problem in your own implementation.

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
crawrj11 months ago

Also for anyone that is having trouble getting it to work this might be happening to you. I am not good with electrical equipment so I don't know all of the terminology. But when I was hooking up the box to my opener I ran into something. I have three terminals that you can hook to. Mine had one existing wire going to each terminal and several other wires connecting to those via a plastic wire connector, the ones that screw on. So the first time I tried it I put them into the wire connector since it was easier to do. But it would never open the door. I tried all possible combinations and it would not work. So I thought I had messed up. But I decided to go ahead and connect it straight to the terminals and it worked first try. So I am not really sure why it wouldn't work in the connector but it wouldn't.

If you know you have everything setup correctly and you did the same thing try connecting directly to the terminals to see if that fixes you problem.

crawrj11 months ago

Thank you very much for the instructions. Everything worked out great. I did want to share my experience as a Vivint User.First for the supplies I used the same relay and project box. I have never taken the time to learn how to solder so I used 3/16 female quick connect ends instead, also from radio shack. They had blue and red so I used those to separate the wires. Not really necessary I am just anal about that. I did turn my relay on the side instead of flat. This allowed me to close the box snug onto the relay without needing to tape it. And there is no rattle or wiggle room. The box doesn't close completely but it closes enough to where it looks natural with a little edge going around the side.

Being on Vivint is where I had to get a little creative. I checked into the scenes but unfortunately the Vivint controller is VERY limited on what you can do. You can only set a single unit to turn on or off. You can't set it to turn on, wait some time and turn off. So I was poking around the web setup for Vivint and ran across the rules section under emPower. Here is where I found the solution but you will need a sensor on the garage door. I already had a window/door sensor installed on the garage door from a spare one that I had for a while. In rules I setup two rules. They are as follows.

Light Rule 1Garage Door
OpenedAlwaysTurn OFFDevice 2: Garage Door
Light Rule 2Garage Door
ClosedAlwaysTurn OFFDevice 2: Garage Door

I put everything together and it worked perfectly. Thanks again for the instructions. I saw the video also but this was a good reinforcement.

aamsid1 year ago
First of all I would like to thank SalbaheJim for such a nice tutorial in so much detail. I have the gadget working and installed. I am an amateur when it comes to electronics so it took me some time to understand the system especially the relay switch and would like to add information for others. I also changed the appliance module to :GE 45603 Z-Wave Technology Wireless Lighting Control Fluorescent Light & Appliance Module. Understand that this has two outlets each three prongs, but only one is controlled by the Z switch. The wiring to the relay is :Electrical wires go to the terminals which have no numbers and the garage door control wires go to terminals 3 and 5 OR Terminals 4 and 6. See the attached image to understand the terminals. I hope it helps others.

Also I have attached a Foscam IP camera inside to monitor the doors.
DPDT Diagram.jpg
aboyz1 year ago
i did some research and connected it to 3 and 5 on the swith and 7 and 8 to the power.
3 and 5 goes to my garage opening 1 and 2. But for some reason it is not opening or closing the door. Any reason for this? Any testing I should try? I thought I got a bad relay switch so I went to radio shack and got a new one. Same thing. I'm running out of ideas as what can be wrong. Is it my garage door? I have a marantec 4500 garage door opener. I do notice that on the opener, it does use terminal 1 and 2 for open and close, but it also use terminal 3 and 4 for power.

I mean it should work, I use terminal 1 and 2 and for power I'm not using terminal 3 and 4 I'm using the power outlet which is 7 and 8 on the relay switch. Anything else i'm missing here? please advise. thanks.
wsyaeger aboyz1 year ago
Did you ever get the connections figured out? I just got all the parts and want to set this up, but I have no idea what terminals to use for each part of the wiring. Thanks!
aboyz1 year ago
nice post!!! i follow your instruction and I cannot get it to work. I brought the same switch as you radio relay switch. In your instruction you did not specific which one to use. So I use 3 and 4. and 3 and 4 go to the garage door opener. 7 and 8 go to the power outlet. I cut off a plug and attached that into 7 and 8. So I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I tested it and it doesn't open or close. Hope you can tell me why.

MikeD-FL1 year ago
Wow, cool write Up! I am having wih my garage door opener and really want to try this, but it will be first attempt at any home automation...was hoping I could ask a couple questions...apoligize for the complete newbie questions...:(
1) I dont have any zwave yet, i guess i need a controller in addition to the zwave plug in appliance ? Any suggestions on an affordable one?
2) Any suggestions on a good iphone app for zwave control?
SalbaheJim (author)  MikeD-FL1 year ago
Hi, Mike,
Glad you liked it! Everyone starts out as a newbie at one point so no problem.
1) I bought a Vera Lite Z-Wave controller. It retails for about $200. The main difference between that and the Vera is that the Lite does not have it's own wifi router built in. If you have wifi in your home already then the Vera Lite will work just fine. Z-Wave controllers don't need or use wifi to control other Z-Wave devices but they do use wifi to interface with IP cameras and other devices. If you already have a wifi router then you already have this covered.
2) I have an Android phone and use two different apps: ImperiHome and Home Buddy. ImperiHome does no yet suppory Z-Wave door locks so I haven't committed to it yet. I do have a couple iPads and on that I use SQ Remote which works for iPad and iPhone. There may be better apps out there for Z-Wave control, and SQ Remote was designed to work with the SQ Blaster (I have one -- look it up!) and is also set up to interface with Z-Wave controllers! If you buy their PC Desktop design software to design your control panels for the SQ Remote app you can do amazing things! I have on my ipad a floor plan panel that has light, fan and lock images located appropriately on the floor plan image and I can turn everything on and off with a touch, including sliders for dimmers. It's very impressive but you have to hack the XML and make your own custom graphics to do it that way. It's work the effort to make a world-class interface, but not necessary to work just fine.
I would recommend you look for light switches and other Z-Wave devices on eBay. Light switches retail for about $100 each and I have 32 (if I'm remembering correctly) light switches in my house. On eBay I got them in lots of 6 for $100 (less than $20 each!). Where you have 3-way switches you can use a much cheaper remote that looks like a switch. Just link it to a scene that turns on and off the lights as you like. I have one by my kitchen for example that turns on the kitchen light but when you turn it off it turns off all the lights in the house, locks the front door, then turns the garage light on for 2 minutes.
Read and research all you can before you buy. And best of luck!
vfrdirk2 years ago
Thanks for this! With the exception of the relay and project box, I completed this with stuff I had around the house. I used an old outdoor z-wave switch to wire it up. Learned about relays, which I had never used before, and wound up soldering the bell wire to one terminal on each throw, rather than completing the circuit on one side, but that's how I learn. I'm tweaking the LuuP to make it reliable (I'm still getting the occasional 'short push' resulting in the door stopping a few inches up or down. Ultimately, will get a door sensor in place and make a scene which activates at a certain time, and uses the door switch as a trigger to make sure I don't leave the garage door open all night. I may add a check of the door locks at the same time and, if any are found unlocked, flash a light somewhere to remind me.
nice instructable, you said you've been using z wave devices to automate other parts of your home, what else have you been working on?
SalbaheJim (author)  amandaghassaei2 years ago
I'm really only just getting started. I've installed a couple of z-wave light switches, dimmers and remotes but still have about 30 more to go. I have a z-wave deadbolt on my front door and am going to install one on the kitchen door to the garage. I bought a z-wave thermostat but haven't installed it yet. I also have tentative plans to add servo motors and potentiometers to my blinds to change and monitor their angles.

The only trouble I have with this last is interfacing with my Vera Lite. For the hardware I'm planning on ganging the servos through one multi-conductor cable tucked under my siding. At each window I'll drill a hole to the outside and run in the four wires to control the servo and read the positioning potentiometer (common source, common return, PWM signal for the servo and return line for the pot.) The arduino will be in the garage and supply power to all the servos when I want to angle the blinds, then toggle relays to select which will get the PWM signal to move. That way I have just one arduino to control all of the blinds on a floor so it'll only cost me about $10 per blinds plus the arduino and wiring. I'll just need to figure out how to interface with the Vera Lite and I'm golden! It would be cool if I could figure out how to make it act like a z-wave device but searches so far just reveal lots of people who want to do the same thing.

If I do figure it out you can bet I'll be posting an Instructable on making a z-wave arduino!!! ... and of course I'll post one on automating the blinds angle as a separate Instructable.

I haven't though much past that. I have a couple IP cameras but not ones my Vera likes so that's on hold as well.

What have you done, or what are you considering doing? I'm always seeking ideas myself!
I haven't done any home automation other than my twitter-controlled pet feeder.  The blinds project sounds awesome, I can't wait to see it!
SalbaheJim (author)  amandaghassaei2 years ago
Twitter-controlled bird feeder? That sounds fun! Have you written up an Instructable for that yet, or did you follow an Instructable for it? Does it just drop in a small treat so you can do it repeatedly without over-stuffing the bird? I wonder if am automated cat feeder would be feasible? I would want it to keep the food in the hopper fresh and it would have to be able to send a "low-volume" alert. I already have plans to make an automatic Christmas tree waterer using a 5-gallon water jug, a small pump and some moisture sensors to toggle the pump and warn of low water and accidental overflow conditions. (The overflow would be set to cut power from the pump and the tree lights, just in case, and require a manual reset.) I think I feel another Instructable coming on! ;-)
it's a pet feeder for a dog or cat, click on the link I posted in my last comment.
SalbaheJim (author) 2 years ago
Forgot to mention: In my instructable I noted that I've ordered some door/window sensors. I've received them and installed one on my garage door already. Now I not only have a scene that toggles my z-wave garage door opener switch, but a sensor that tells me if it's closed or not! :-)