Have you ever wished you had a more stylish way to open your garage doors? My dad bought a new pickup, but it did not have the built in Homelink button like our other cars. His original plan was to take off part of the front console and install some custom buttons there for the garages. I saw an empty Altoid tin, and poof, I had an Instructable.
This Instructable is a guide to how to mod your remote garage door opener to fit inside an Original Altoids tin. The remote I used was a Craftsman, but I'm pretty sure you could adapt this to work for almost any remote. You may want to unplug your actual openers, as you will be pushing the buttons a lot.
Also, this is my first Instructable, so some constructive criticism would be nice.
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Step 1: Recipe
Your ingredients are...
1) An Original Altoids or similar tin
2) A garage door opener you can take apart
3) Some rigid plastic packaging (From the really hard-to-open plastic packaging)
4) Duct tape
5) About an inch or so of wire for each contact
- Drill and drill bit to drill holes in tin
- Scissors you can cut rigid plastic with
- Soldering Iron and Solder
- Elmer's Glue or super glue
- A little bit of extra plastic for a button spacer if needed
- Tin snips (optional)
Step 2: Remote Prep
The first step is to gut your garage door opener. To get the thing open you may have to pry it open with something, I just used the little clippie thing on the opener to hold it on the visor. The inside should look sort of like the second and third pictures, with the chip on one side and the battery on the other. Mine had a little catch on it to stop the chip from falling out, so you may have to push something like that back so you can remove it, like in the fourth picture.
If your chip does not hold the battery in place, you must solder a wire on the the contacts that the battery touches. Strip the wire 1/8 inch on one side and 1/4 inch on the other. Solder the 1/8 inch ends to the contacts. Then you can tape the other side of the wires to the correct sides of the battery with duct tape or electrical tape. This is when you want to test the remote and see if it still works.
Step 3: Tin Prep
To get the tin ready for chip installation, you need to cut a piece of the plastic to fit around the chip. I had a nice little bowl shaped piece of the plastic. If you are not so fortunate, just cut out different pieces for the sides and bottom and top if needed and glue them on with the Elmer's or super glue.
Hold the opener up to the inside of the lid of the tin and mark a circle slightly larger than the button. Then drill a hole a little smaller than the circle. Now align the button(s) with the hole(s) and check if you can see the whole button from the outside when you're holding the chip.
Step 4: Installation
Duct tape the chip onto the inside of the lid as shown. Check again to see if it still works.
Step 5: Final Installations
Cut the button(s) you are going to use on the outside of the opener off the casing. (The metal you drilled out of the tin cannot be used for a button, but if you want to try, go ahead.)Cut a little tiny piece of the plastic off the casing to use as a spacer. Use some Elmer's or super glue to attach the spacer to the bottom of the button.
Once the glue is dry, dab the teensiest bit of glue onto the top of the button and press the spacer down onto it. Make sure you test that the spacer will push the button before you glue it down.
As far as clipping the tin onto the visor, you need to cut a two little slits in the bottom of the tin with the tin snips. You could also just superglue, Elmer's glue or duct tape the clip on.
In the end, I decided to not put the buttons on top. I can just push on it without them. The very last picture shows what it would have looked like.
Step 6: (Really) Last Step
Now that you have a nice minty remote, go try it out in your car and see if you need to make any adjustments.
Thank you for checking out my Instructable and HAVE FUN!