Garage Monitor 3001




About: I like to tinker with just about anything, sometimes it works out in the end. Have fun looking at the projects, try tearing something open and let me know how it goes. cheers, -Joe

Problem: My garage is detached from my house, difficult to see if the doors are open from the house. Or maybe I am in a hurry to ride to work and forgot to close the door.

Solution: Parallax BS2 based monitor. I can check the status of my garage doors form the web, and with a plugin to Nagios I get paged if it open more than 15 minutes.

This is an update to an earlier garage monitor I made, just tailored to this use.

Step 1: Parts

Parallax Basic Stamp 2
Parallax Board of Education
Parallax PINK
Parallax 4x20 Backlit LCD
Radioshack Project Box
Piece of Plexi Glass
4 pole terminal block
SPST Toggle Switch
DC Power Jack
DC Power supply for BS2

18 AWG Speaker Wire
12" Cat 5 Ethernet cable
2 x RJ45 Plugs
Magnetic NO Switches for doors

** Cat optional.

Step 2: Tools

Screw Driver
RJ 45 Crimper
Wire Stripper
PC with serial port/or adapter.

Step 3: Put Everything in the Case

I find it easier to start on a project if I can at least get everything in a case and then begin programming it.

I cut a piece of plexi glass with a dremel stylus for the top so you could see the 4 line lcd.

I chose not to put an RJ45 jack in the box as I couldn't make a neat enough cut with a dremel. So I ran the cat 5 cable through the box and then crimped the plugs after I was done.

I wired the LCD display to pins 0 1 2
The Reed switches to pins 3 4
The pink to pins 13 14

Step 4: Program the Code

Now as I said before I find it easier to work on a project when it is more than a pile of wires.

Only problem, I don't have a lot of room to attach a serial cable. So I made a little extension cord for the programming sessions.

The code is attached for the bs2.

Step 5: Upload Web Page to Pink

The pink needs a corresponding html page to display the status. Upload it to the pink via ftp.

Step 6: Installation

Wire it up in the garage. I used 18AWG speaker wire to run from the box to the sensors, its cheap...

I don't have wired internet in the garage, so I used an old linksys wireless bridge WET11 is the model I believe.

Step 7: Proxy the Pink

I don't have any idea if the pink was made to be secure, nor do I want to find out.

So I use a php script to grab the script from my web server using curl, which doesn't allow anyone to put in any post variables.

Script is attached.

Step 8: Its Done

Now you can check the status of your garage from anywhere.

If anyone wants it, I can make the nagios plugin available for paging.



    • Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

      Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest
    • DIY Summer Camp Contest

      DIY Summer Camp Contest
    • Stone Concrete and Cement Contest

      Stone Concrete and Cement Contest

    18 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Very cool.  I made a relay logic door monitor for a very similar purpose, and I can see some definite advantages to using your more software based approach. (  The ability to remote monitor is sweet!

    The only improvement I can think of would be a setting that sends you an email or text message if either of the doors are opened.  If you are going to be out of town for an extended period of time - set it - and it will contact you if someone breaks in (unless they cut your web or power prior to entry).  You could also get it to send you a report at the end of day with details on the intervals the doors were open. 

    Thanks for taking the time to post it.

    jam BD

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome =D

    Nicely done. I like the use of I-phone / I-pod touch to monitor.

    base it on the adruino and use extra  io ports to add opening and closing functionality to the grage door opener that would be cool 


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Great job! I wonder if it would be possible to do this project, but wire it to my house's security pad. Then I could see every single door's status in my house, from my phone! 5 stars!

    3 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    My grandparents had a security system installed in like the 70's that is just a big circuit and when one of the doors (including the garage doors) are open, a red light comes on to tell you that something isn't closed. If you arm the system while it's red it goes off and this big cold-war era tape reel computer thing boots up and automatically calls the police. lol. It's so cool.


    9 years ago on Step 1

     where can i buy this "cat".Radioshack maybe?


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Cool idea! How much did this cost? I haven't seen these bs2 things before. Can you extend it to cover 4 doors?


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Good instructable,and good intro to using a simple ethernet interface. I think I'll follow through on this for the learning experience, and because I don't want to walk downstairs after I've been in bed just to check on the garage doors that I forgot to check on earlier. I can see a similar application to let me know if the washer and/or drier are done.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    What a cool idea! I've used Basic Stamps in my own projects in the past and they are a lot of fun to experiment with. In fact, I think I still have a spare BS2 sitting around my house...somewhere. I also have a detached garage but I use a wireless camera to monitor it with via software based motion detection; primarily in case someone breaks into it. Software based motion can lead to false positives so a device like the "Garage Monitor" could be used as a more reliable means of telling the camera when to record as well as sound off a buzzer. I just might have to dust off my soldering iron :)

    Mr. Rig It

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Ummm... that is straight up cool! I need this to keep reminding my kids to close the garage door.

    1 reply