Open Your Garage Door From Anywhere Plus Security Cam!

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About: I am a Mechanical Engineer with lots of hobbies. I love electronics and have been working with electronics for decades. I love astronomy too, specially deep space.

Hello everybody, here is a simple instructable makes your old phone a security camera you can view anywhere there is internet and also controls your garage door remotely with very few components!

It makes use of a free app called Alfred security IP cam, https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com....

By adding few electronic components, this security app can open and close your garage door from anywhere.

In fact, you can use this option to do whatever you want, like, turning lights on and of, watching another device and running it remotely.

Lets go!

Step 1: The Components.

The few components required are:

1- Photocell.

2- 2 resistors.

3- An NPN transistor.

4- A diode.

5- A relay.

Step 2: Diagram and Components.

The picture shows the diagram and the components for this project.

After building the circuit, put the photocell right on the phone's flash, tape it in place and cover very well. The cover will prevent outside light from triggering the device.

Connect your relay's normally open contacts to your garage switch.

Now, on your remote control device, which is normally your personal cellphone, open Alfred app and hit the flash light icon, this will turn the flash light on on your camera, turn it back off, your garage will either open or close.

Step 3: The Garage Through the Monitoring Phone.

As you can see here, on your cellphone, open Alfred security app and connect to the camera in your garage.

Once connected, hit the flash light icon once, wait about a second and turn the flash off. The garage door will move.

Step 4: The YouTube Video

Here is the YouTube video.

As you can see on the video, the process is not difficult.

Just follow the instruction and you will get a great security cam with remote garage door opener.

This project can be modified to receive DTMF commands and this way will do more controls. I am just waiting on my components to arrive!

Please leave your comments/questions on this project and I will be more than happy to answer them.

I am planning on publishing another garage door remote control, but, with Arduino and blue tooth.

Thank you very much!

11 People Made This Project!

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57 Discussions

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SteveN148

Question 1 year ago

Hi Zarkani,

I build your circuit using 1N4007 diode, 2n3904 transistor, 1.2 K res, 68K res, gl5516 photocell, and zettler az6991 relay exactly like your diagram.

As soon as I turn the power on the relay closes right away before i turn on the flash. Please let me know how do i troubleshoot this.

Thank you

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zarkaniSteveN148

Answer 1 year ago

Hi,

I wanted the project to be as simple as possible! If you want, you can modify it as in the attached picture, the capacitor differs depends on the garage opener you have and can vary from 1 mf to say 10 mf.

For my garage, a tiny capacitor turns the light on and off, higher capacitor opens and closes the door. PLease let me know if there is anything I can help with.

garage.jpg
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SteveN148SteveN148

Answer 1 year ago

Hi Zarkani,

It's working now, I just have to completely cover the photocell so no light can penetrate.

Another question: If I did not turn the flash off within one second, my control panel froze because it has 18vdc across both wires and if I shorted it for too long so I had to unplug the circuit board to reset. Is there a way around that?

Thank you

IMG_5783.JPG
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zarkaniSteveN148

Answer 1 year ago

Hi, Just make sure the transistor pins are correct. To trouble shoot, remove the photocell and see if the relay still comes on. Also, make sure you cover the photocell to keep outside light away. You can lower the 68 k resister if necessary (10k or so).

I have made it this way myself and worked for me with the values in the instructable.

Please let me know how it goes.

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zarkaniSteveN148

Answer 1 year ago

Hi, Just make sure the transistor pins are correct. To trouble shoot, remove the photocell and see if the relay still comes on. Also, make sure you cover the photocell to keep outside light away. You can lower the 68 k resister if necessary (10k or so).

I have made it this way myself and worked for me with the values in the instructable.

Please let me know how it goes.

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SteveN148

Question 1 year ago on Introduction

Hi Zarkani,

I like to build this circuit but do not know the spec of photocell and diode, please help with part number if available.

Thank you

1 answer
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c808788

1 year ago

Hi

Any update

"This project can be modified to receive DTMF commands and this way will do more controls. I am just waiting on my components to arrive!"

1 reply
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zarkanic808788

Reply 1 year ago

Hi,
I did very little on this because I built my own app and esp8266 wifi.
If you think you can work with arduino and esp8266 I can send you my android app and and the arduino code.
Other than that I am willing to help you as much as possible.
I have limited time but will do my best even with dtmf.
Thank you!

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BobS118

3 years ago

I am a complete noob (took electronics class in high school 25 years ago). I am a little confused with the relay. There are a numerous relay options with varying number of connectors. Do you have a specific part number for the relay with how many connectors and how they are connected? Also the VCC and ground is connected to what?

Thanks,

And I apologize in advance if my questions sound clueless. I can follow instructions but just need a little more detail.

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zarkaniBobS118

Reply 3 years ago

Hi,

Any 5 v relay should work, normally the relay has at least 4 connections, two for the relay coil and two for the normally open connection on the relay, but most relays have 5 or more connections like this relay from ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Perfect-1Pc-Mini-Power-Rel...

The Vcc and the ground are the positive and negative of your power supply ( normally the 5 v supply) which can be a phone charger, you cut the wire, identify the positive and the negative. The positive will be your Vcc and the negative is the ground.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Thank you!

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Paxman5

3 years ago

Hi!

I'm thinking of building this wonderful gadget! I have one question before I start looking for an old iPhone: is Alfred able to use the "selfie"-cam as the security cam on the iPhone together with the flash? The reason I ask is that I already have an iPhone (3GS) as my garage phone and I have it in a charger so I can use the display for playing music and such. If Alfred can use the "selfie"-cam function and still trigger the flash I can trash the old phone.

5 replies
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zarkaniPaxman5

Reply 3 years ago

Hi,
I am not sure what you mean by " selfie"-cam!
If you mean the front facing cam, then with Alfred, you can remotely switch between front and back facing cams on your phone.
The flash works only when you use the back facing cam, you, however, can switch to the back camera, hit the flash and then go back to the front camera, which will turn the flash off.
From the comments here, I know that Alfred may need higher operating system than what iphone 3GS!

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Paxman5zarkani

Reply 3 years ago

Yes, you are correct! I was talking about the front facing cam. With the functions you mention all is good so I can start looking for a 4S to replace my old 3GS. Thank you!

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zarkaniPaxman5

Reply 3 years ago

Just make sure the app runs on the phone you are about to buy.
Thanks

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GRUBDUDEzarkani

Reply 3 years ago

can't you just use a flashlight app instead? Then you can use whatever camera you wanted.

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Paxman5GRUBDUDE

Reply 3 years ago

Well, simplicity is always preferred. I want to be able to operate my garage door remotely and have surveillance of the garage itself wherever I am in the world. Motion detection would be great too and I think I have read that Alfred have that. If one app have all I want, why would I want two different apps?

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zarkani

3 years ago

In fact, we can even use the microphone on the app to send any sound to the camera and that sound can trigger a relay to control something else.
Thanks,

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zarkani

3 years ago

Just make sure the app runs on the phone you are about to buy.
Thanks

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JRvZ

3 years ago

Unfortunately I am not so well off that I can afford a dedicated Android able phone to dedicated use as a garage door opener. Do you have a cheaper suggestion?