In this article we will open and close our garage door using the Amazon Echo. It should be noted that this will work with an Amazon Echo, Dot, or Tap.
This is not the first time Alexa has been used to open a garage door but I believe it is one of the simplest ways to do it. I call this a Can Do project because anyone willing to walk through this article will be able to accomplish the task.
Things you Need:
- Amazon Echo, Dot, or Tap.
- IFTTT user account.
- Particle user account.
- 1 channel ControlAnything IFTTT Controller
Lets get started.
Step 1: Setup ControlAnything IFTTT Controller
First you will need to setup your relay controller which will be used to trigger the garage door opener. It needs to be connected to your WiFi network, claimed to your particle account, and connected to the internet.
- Make sure the Photon module is installed in the relay controller.
- Connect a regulated 12VDC power supply to the controller.
- Proceed through the setup instructions Particle provides here(Step 2 is the only step applicable, ignore steps 1 and 3) to connect the board to your WiFi network and claim it to your Particle account. Warning: Do not press the button to re-flash the tinker app to the board during setup through Particles app. This will cost you time and heartache getting the correct firmware into the board
- Once you have the controller connected to your WiFi network and associated with your Particle account you should see a breathing Cyan LED on the module, this indicates that it is connected to Particle's cloud and you are ready to proceed.
If you do inadvertently flash the tinker app to the controller you can follow the instructions in this video to revert to our IFTTT firmware:
Step 2: IFTTT Setup
You will need an IFTTT account. If you do not have one already the create one at https://ifttt.com
We will be using the Alexa and Particle channels on IFTTT
First connect the Alexa channel to your IFTTT account by clicking here and proceeding through the steps to hook IFTTT up to your Alexa device.
Now connect the Particle channel to your IFTTT account by clicking here.
Once both of these channels are connected to your IFTTT account we are ready to create the recipe. Click here to create a new recipe.
- Click on the blue "This" text to create the trigger.
- In the Search Channels box begin typing Alexa and the Alexa channel should pop up. Click to select it.
- For the Trigger select "Say a specific phrase".
- In the What Phrase box type in garage door
- Click on the blue "That" text.
- In the Search Channels box start typing Particle and the Particle channel will appear. Click to select it.
- For the Action choose "Call a function"
- Click the Function Name drop down box and select your photon's name plus cloudcontrol If you do not see cloudcontrol listed there then you are not running our firmware on the controller and should revert to the video linked back in step 1 to flash our firmware to the Photon module.
- For Function Input enter momentary in the text box
- Click Create Action.
- Now you can give your recipe a name and select whether or not you wish to receive a notification whenever the recipe runs, this will pop a notification on your phone whenever the recipe runs if you have the IF app installed on your phone or tablet.
Thats it for IFTTT setup. Time to wire the relay board to your garage door.
Step 3: Wire Relay Board to Garage Door
The board is all ready to go. The only thing left is to wire it to your garage door. I should note that you should never install the relay board on a garage door which does not have safety features of stopping due to obstructions like vehicles, objects, or children. Many garage doors have a beam that when tripped will stop the door. Some doors also have a feature which will stop them if they detect contact with an object.
Wire the relay board to the opener as shown in the diagram above. Most garage door openers are installed on the ceiling and are powered by an outlet above the opener. This is nice because there is usually an open outlet where the power supply for the relay board can plug in, so connect the 120VAC to 12VDC power supply for the board into that outlet to power the board. Warning: Do not connect the relay board directly to a 120VAC outlet, you must use a 120VAC to 12VDC power supply.
Step 4: Test It Out!
Now just say "Alexa trigger garage door" The door should open or close and you have won the internet.
Keep in mind you must say the phrase Alexa trigger garage door. The trigger word is required for IFTTT recipes.
Now go impress all your friends!