The Garage Door Alert!




Introduction: The Garage Door Alert!

About: Tinkerer, hackster and prankster. Hit me up on Facebook: Thanks for checking out my Instructables!

Have you ever left your garage door open and have forgotten to close it? I have! In fact, once I left it open all night but fortunately nothing was stolen. So, I decided to make a gadget that would let you know that it was left open.

Step 1: What You Need...

1. An old R/C car, plane or boat.
2. A magnetic reed switch.
3. A strong magnet, preferably a neodymium.
4. A bracket to attach the magnet to the garage door.
5. A metal tin or project box.
6. An LED.
7. Wire.

Step 2: Tools You Will Need...

Just so you know, I received a Tech Box from the folks at Ford that included all kinds of stuff. From my Tech Box I used:

1. The Leatherman PS
2. GoPro 3+ Black Edition for the wide angle shots and close quarter shots
3. The GoPro Clamp to attach the GoPro to in the tight spaces of my garage door area.

You will also need:
1. A soldering iron and solder
2. A drill and small bits
3. Zip ties
4. Small pliers
5. A multimeter
6. Hot glue

Step 3: Let's Build It...

You will need to disassemble your R/C vehicle and salvage the Transmitter circuit board from the controller and the Receiver circuit board from the vehicle.

Once you have the transmitter circuit board, you will need to identify one of the switch locations. Just about all Transmitter circuits will have at least 4 buttons that are used for Up, Down, Left and Right or similar controls.
Pick any of the switches and remove the small surface mount switch. Then, solder one wire to each of the two switch contacts. You should now have two bare leads. This is where you will attach the magnetic reed switch. Polarity does not matter. Just solder one end of the reed switch to one wire and the other end to the other wire.

You will also need to un-solder the wires that go to the battery pack or batteries in the Transmitter. Solder two wires to those contacts as we will be adding our own power source.

Now over to the Receiver. There should be two connectors on the Receiver that control the signal sent from the Transmitter and tell the vehicle what to do. You will need to power the Transmitter and Receiver at this point, use the magnet to close the reed switch and locate the proper connector using your multimeter.

On my Receiver, I clipped the wires coming from the connector and just kept the connector plugged into the Receiver. Here is where I soldered the LED.

Test the circuit by closing the reed switch with the magnet. The LED should light up.

Step 4: Install It...

It's time to install your Garage Door Alert. Each situation will vary here because of all of the different garage doors. You will want to find a spot at the top of the garage door run, in other words, when the garage door is fully open. Open you garage door and locate a good place to mount the Transmitter. This will need to be where you can mount the magnet on a bracket, piece of wood or other way to hold the magnet 1/2 inch or so from the reed switch. I bent a piece of metal bracket, stuck the magnet to it and then mounted it on the bottom of the garage door. Then I zip tied the Transmitter to the garage door wheel bracket. Make sure the Transmitter does not come in contact with any part of the garage door, wheels or other part of the garage door assembly.

Step 5: Finish It...

I added the entire Receiver circuit with the 9V battery to a metal tin. Drilled a hole for the antennae and a hole for the LED. Stuck a magnet on the back and attached it to my refrigerator.

It works like a charm and now I don't have to worry about leaving my garage door open!

you can check out the video here:

I hope you enjoyed this Instructable!

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    5 years ago

    Nice solution. I opted for one of these automatic door closers instead (cost effective and easy to install):


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I would make it alarm as soon as the door was open 3/4"...

    By using inverted logic. When door is properly closed the reed is closed driving an N-FET and that way, slightly open is the detect level.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    An Arduino Instructable for making an auto-closer would be just the ticket here...


    6 years ago

    That's cool and all but a little l.e.d. Is gonna remind you, how about that a 7' x 20' door is open right behind you!?!?


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Looks like the intent was to put the receiver on the fridge in the kitchen, which is inside. So no big breezeway to remind you the door is open, but a nice little red light on the fridge inside the house. Because we'll all be going back after another beer or soda or snack eventually, right?
    Nice work KipKay!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I forget too! Its because sometimes we are in the middle of making something and/or walking in and out of the garage and house!

    Thanks for this!