I switched to a 12volt relay, added a project box and upgraded the auto relay off  recipe. Joy.

I'm a bit ashamed of this hack, since it mostly uses existing technologies, but I shall post it anyway for all of the glory and cash rewards.

My garage opener remote recently passed away with very little notice. This was frustrating because I make it clear to any electronics I adopt that they are to give me ample warning if they are on their way out. No such luck. This remote was a rebel and certainly not a gentleman.

I needed a replacement, naturally. Universal remotes are fine, but there are a few limitations which I'm not keen on:

1. Limited range. I have to be within 50 feet or so of my house to use them. What if I want to let a family member in who is locked out in the frigid 90 degree Florida weather, or open the house for the dog walker (if I had a dog walker), or make all of my belongings available to the crooks who live in my neighborhood for insurance fraud purposes? Right.

2. Remote batteries die. I don't like death. It makes me uncomfortable. iPhone can be recharged anywhere and everywhere, even in the car (imagine that!)

3. Why carry more devices around than necessary? These smart phones are pretty damn smart these days. They should be doing more for us, like massages and walking our dogs. Also, opening our garages or other entry-ways. Plus garage remotes weigh about 45 lbs. Not cool.

4. Physical buttons are a point of failure. Chances are, I'll have to replace an old-school garage remote again after a few million uses. Who needs that kind of uncertainty in their life? No sir, a capacitive (really spell check, "capacitive" is not in your dictionary in this modern age?) touch screen is superior in my book! Dare I say it has billions of touches in store before the glass wears through and liquid crystal toxins seep into my fingers!

I'll admit that point 4 was a weak one, but I like things in fours, which is why I've removed both of my thumbs (see pics).
I can type anything I want here, can't I?
Whhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Wooooooords!!!!!

Continue on to see the hows and whats, friends!

Step 1: Belkin Wemo Wifi Outlet (or, Finding Wemo)

Here's the first half of the magic, kids.

These Belkin Wifi outlets are great. They can be controlled from your phone, from anywhere. They cost about $50 at Apple, Target, etc. A bit steep for turning a light on, but I found it a justifiable cost for this use. Certainly there are many other ways to do this same thing (Raspberry Pi, Arduino, laptop, unused cellphone), but this was easy and took about a half hour once I had the supplies in hand.

Setup is really easy. The Wemo connects itself to your home Wifi router and becomes accessible from your phone via their app.

The coolest part is that IFTTT (If This Then That) now supports the Wemo! If you're not familiar with this, then I'll tell you about that .(see what I did there?)

Visit IFTTT.com.It's a free service which connects many different data sources together based on simple rules called recipes. It can even control certain hardware, like this Belkin switch or the Philips LED Hue light bulbs.

More on IFTTT later.
I've seen quite a few tutorials on doing just that online. A quick search ought bring one up :)
Hey. I have a question that I guess anyone could answer but I was thinking of using the Wemo to do this project until I saw up top you said it could be done with an old cellphone. I have a very capable android phone that I am not using. how could I go about using it to do a similar task? I've always thought about using my phone to do achieve this but can't think of a way to reach my goal... if anyone has any tips let me know. I know someone made the ihued cable. is that something we could make in a diy version?
<br> Might some day <br> Iphone will get my garage thing re-arranged and I can give a complete makeover <br> with my fingers. I will try these instruction for garage door opener and <br> see will it work with my garage door or not.
<p>Besides having the ability to open/close my garage door, I also want the ability to know if the garage door is open. I'd like to have the following feature: Check garage door state at a scheduled time (before I go to bed) and if door is in open state, send me a text or email. We have forgotten to close the garage door too many times and then wake up the next morning and find the door open. So is there any extension that would support the scheduled notification feature?</p>
<p>So does anyone know why texting is limited with ifttt?</p>
<p>Have you seen the WeMO Maker? it has a low volt relay built-in, that could make the trick without the extra circuit. </p><p>I am ordering one, and trying this idea with it, I'll let you know how it goes. </p>
<p>hey guy!!!!! on that wemo maker, did you ever make it to work with your garage????</p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>i followed your instructable for wemo garage door opener, this was really inspiring and i did it for myself, i love your writing by the way.</p><p>At this time, it works great with the wemo app but i can&acute;t make it work with ifttt because i am not able to send a message to ifttt from my country (Portugal).</p><p>Do you know any other way to accomplish that?</p><p>By the way you say at the end of your tutorial &quot;I can now call my house to open my garage&quot;, how do you do that? isn&acute;t ifttt supposed to work only when you send a message to it?</p><p>Thanks and sorry to bother you. :)</p>
<p>Your IFTTT &quot;multiple belkin wemo&quot; thingamababer is 403 Forbidden: That is what I am getting in Safari on OS X Lion.</p>
Good question!<br>IFTTT supplies a specific number for me to text. The recipe only triggers if the text originates from my phone, so only a villain with my phone can gain access to my home... Or if they can kick the door open... That would work too. ;)
<p>it's super easy to hack the Caller ID of your cell phone, so this isn't as secure as you might imagine.</p>
<p>Nice work! In theory, could anyone text your house to open your garage door? Does IFTTT provide some security for that?</p><p>Thanks</p>
<p>Dude, really enjoy your writing style...</p><p>Gotta try this, my POS Sears remote just died...</p><p>It only lasted 37 years, sigh, guess they don't make stuff like they used to.</p>
<p>I did it! Kind of...I've run into a bit of a snag. My gate opener has the &quot;feature&quot; of automatically closing if I leave the remote button pressed, and it looks like IFTT is taking too long to send the Off command after I've sent the On command. So I send a text to IFTTT, and a few seconds later my gate starts opening, but then it closes again. I'm thinking it *might* have to do with the fact that the WeMo is at the edge of my network and receives commands too slowly. This is also the case if I try to On/Off it through the app on a 3g connection.</p>
<p>I think I may have found the component I need to get over that problem..I've been reading up on a time-delay relay, which basically only powers up after the coil is energized, and immediately closes when de-energized. I'm thinking if the IFTTT delay is long enough to trigger the relay, I'd be golden. The risk would be that it isn't long enough, then I'd be in the same boat :P</p>
<p>How about one of these <a href="http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=AA0364" rel="nofollow">http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=AA0364</a></p>
<p>Great wemo hack. I use wemo's for everything and this was just great to be able to open/close my garage remotely. As I have a CCTV system I can also see the status of my garage door (up/down) on my iphone anywhere in the world. Using IFTTT I use Siri to send a sms to run a recipe to turn on/off the wemo - perfect. I used an old power adapter, a new relay and relay house and the wemo with a total cost of just under $70 AUD. I have plugged the wemo into a surge protector just in case but not necessary. Thanks again. </p>
Correct. I've not setup anything which indicates open or close if you are using it remotely. I'm always in eyesight of the door in practice so I have no need to know if its open or closed. On the rare occasions when I have used it from another location (to let someone in the house), I have them on the phone to verify while I do it.
<p>So let's say someone closed the garage with another old remote, how would the WeMo know it was already closed wouldn't it just reopen it? It's just works as a trigger, it will not know the difference between open and closed right?</p><p>Or am I missing something here.. hope you can help me out a bit. </p><p>Thanks!</p>
Great question/concern! Having two kids myself, safety is always of concern. I definitely have the required optical sensor installed and functional. I also removed those auto off recipes from IFTTT in favor of simply sending one Wemo off signal from IFTTT any time it is turned on. Either way it doesn't actually trigger the relay and close on those events. They are not toggle events, they are actual on and off events. Sending an off to Wemo just disables the garage relay, it never makes it close due to how the setup works. Thanks for bringing it up! :)
<p>So what happens if you get home 10 seconds before 3am, 6am, 3pm, or 6pm and open the garage? I assume you have the optical sensor that will prevent closing if there's a vehicle/little baby passing through at those times.</p><p>I only ask because we have a driveway with an automatic gate that functions the same way, but for whatever reason, the previous owners didn't install an optical sensor. Scary thought to have the gate close on me or wifey's car!</p>
<p>Regardless, awesome instructable, and I hope to be implementing it soon :D</p>
I wonder how the new wifi relay that belkin is releasing on the WEMO line can improve on this? THoughts?
tall-drinks, <br> <br>great instructable. I went to radio shack and purchased the exact same model of 12V relay. however, I came back home to notice that my garage motor is 24v. http://www.liftmaster.com/CatalogResourcesV3/en-us/shared/files/tucmanuals/114A3072.pdf <br> <br>can you please suggest a relay for 24v and wiring instructions for the same ? i.e which pins to connect where. <br> <br>thanks, <br>austinrocks
The Wemo simply supplies power to the relay when it gets the signal to turn on. By powering the relay, some of its contacts are closed, which is how I close the door opener loop (same as touching the two wires together on the opener)
I'm missing something, how is the relay activated by the wemo? <br>I understand the principles of the relay and how it triggers the switch.
So why use a switch at all? Since you have recipe that turns the Wemo on and then immediately off? Also, the 12V switch you used originally, will that activiate off a 6V wall wart?
The switch is how the garage door opener wires are closed and triggered. The Wemo alone only outputs 120 volts like an outlet. You can't attach that in any useful or safe way to the garage door circuit.<br><br>Unless you dissect the Wemo and make use of its internal relay, but that'll void its warranty and I'm not sure I trust them to last a year. ;)
Right, cuz the GD opener can only handle 12 V not 110 V. Thank you. Got my switch built and tested today - good to go. Working on the Recipe and the WEMO plug tonight.
Please don't confuse the application of voltage with the closing of the opener switch. The two wires attached to the opener itself have their own voltage which passes through when the button or remote is pressed. We are NOT feeding any voltage into the gd opener at all. We are only applying voltage to the relay which then does the exact same thing as the wall button, it makes two metal contacts touch and allows the garage doors own voltage to flow. <br><br>If you are directing any of the 12 or 120 Volts from the wall wort or the Wemo into the GD opener, you will likely fry it or worse, start a fire... Or worse...<br><br>Please ask me if this is at all unclear. I'm happy to help further. :)
Looks like some clarification on which pins on the switch go to which wires. Didn't see a response to these questions. Please advise.
Apologies for the muddiness friends. It looks like I made image comments for this, but didn't actually write the instructions in the main text. Sorry. https://www.instructables.com/id/iPhone-Garage-Door-Opener/step3/Switch-It-Up/ In short, if you use the same 120 volt relay in my picture, then 7 &amp; 8 should be connected to the 120 volt wires coming from the Wemo (order doesn't matter). These will power the coil in the relay. Then, On this relay, pins 3 &amp; 5 will be connected to the garage opener trigger wires (the same two screws that have wires connected coming from the openers wall switch. These will connect when the Wemo applies power and trigger the opener. If you use any other relay type or brand, PLEASE consult the packaging or someone qualified before connecting if you're unsure. As you may have read, I've since switched my relay to a safer 5 volt model and instead of a direct power cable from the Wemo as pictured, I have a 5 volt wall wart transformer plugged into the Wemo and pins 7 &amp; 8. I still need to get a picture of that up. Embarrassing.
Where did my line breaks go? This is messy.
Great post the transformer you used what is the amps ?
I believe I used a 1A transformer, but just use anything with amperage rating higher than the relay you choose. Mine is overkill since this relay only draws 100mA I believe, so a much tinier transformer would be fine. I'd actually like to find a 5V relay and use a 1amp Apple charger transformer for size reduction.
Maybe I'm missing something, but aren't both the WeMo and iPhone connected to the same WiFi router? Still you don't mention the most obvious way to control the WeMo / garage door opener: via the WeMo iPhone app. Right?
True-ish. :)<br><br>I mentioned it on the first page indirectly: &quot;The Wemo connects itself to your home Wifi router and becomes accessible from your phone via their app&quot; <br><br>But honestly, I don't care for their app, mostly because it takes it 10-15 seconds to find the Wemos on your network EVERY TIME you open it. IFTTT pings them within 5 seconds every time. I prefer to just text my house as I enter the neighborhood. <br><br>Good question though.
Absolutely Awesome
Hahahaha!! <br>I loved your freak'n instructable!! <br>You ARE my number one favorite.......instrubable-er(?) <br>Do you write anywhere else? (blog, Op-ed, bathroom wall) Cuz, I'll go read it!
I tend to write on my hands. And thanks!
use a relay socket
Funniest ible that I've read all week! :-)
You are my new favourite person.
Great work, great jokes! Lol
This instructable is worth it just for the commentary. <br>
And another! Probably should have searched first, but always good to have options eh? :)<br><br>https://m.instructables.com/id/Z-Wave-Garage-Door-Opener-Switch/
230V in the UK!!! Even we're not that sensible!!!;)
Heh. Thanks. <br>I couldn't find my bookmark for Google, so I just guessed. ;)
Hey-ooohhhh! <br> <br>Just found this Instructable too, which is probably more robust and gives open/close feedback. I'd follow his instead. :) <br> <br>https://www.instructables.com/id/Garage-Door-Opener-with-iphone-Arduino-project/ <br>

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