Garage Door Blockage Indicator System

Just to lay out the parameters of what I wanted to do, I was trying to come up with a system to indicate when you had pulled far enough into the garage to close the door. I am not using this directly to prevent door closure, nor am I automating the door in any way. This is a complete standalone system that does not interface with any of the existing garage door closer safeties.

Parts (all from Amazon):

  • Ecolink Intelligent Technology Z-Wave Garage Door Tilt Sensor, White TILT-ZWAVE2-ECO (or any sensor with external terminals)
  • Seco-Larm E-931-S35RRQ Enforcer Indoor/Outdoor Wall Mounted Photoelectric Beam Sensor
  • 12VAC, 2A power supply "wall wart" I had laying around, this beam sensor can take a variety of voltages, check the instruction manual for details.
  • Two pack of LEDPLY Zigbee GU10 Smart Bulbs
  • Two pack of LABOREDUCER Plug in Wall Lamps GU10 light fixtures
  • Various soldering supplies, wire, zip ties, and shrink tubing, depending upon how far away you are mounting all this from a 120v receptacle and so on.

Mount the sensors. You will have to be a bit creative to get these at the right height, and distance from the garage door tracks. I was able to use some L-brackets I had laying around, but a block of wood or anything like that could be used to get the spacing correct. I mounted these at bumper height for my cars, and about 2 inches (5cm) further out than the track or any part of the garage door reinforcements.

1d2
230e

From there you need a sensor to get this device into Hubitat. Notice the terminals in the upper left corner of this tilt sensor. We aren't using it as a tilt sensor. Mount this someplace securely next to the garage door, on the same end you mount the beam sensor (not the reflector end of the door) I just zip tied it to the track bracket when I was done testing.

I cut the barrel jack end off the power supply, leave extra. Strip the wires.

You will need to solder these power supply wires to the Secolarm device wire harness. Use the colors indicated in the manual. (see crude MS paint below.

I didn't really need any extra wire as I wisely thought ahead and put an outlet directly above the garage door track for a future jackshaft door opener. So all my stuff mounts within a few inches of the edge of the door. I used the wire supplied with the sensor and the power supply.

I used the Normally Open (N.O.) terminals so the tilt sensor would get a signal when the beam sensor was blocked. You could reverse the logic if desired by using the N.C. terminals so the tilt sensor would get a signal when the beam was not blocked. It will depend upon how you want to write your rule. Follow the diagram above.

From there I needed some lights. I mounted one of these on the front wall on the right side (looking into the garage from the outside) and next to the garage door on the left side (again, looking into the garage from the outside) That is because I drive in on the right, and back in on the left.

I chose these because they were dirt cheap, they plugged in, and I could easily mount them on the wall without any wall boxes. They hold a small bulb, and the head tilts. They are actually decent looking in person.

LED RGB bulbs were also dirt cheap, and they work great in Hubitat with the "Advanced Zigbee RGBW Bulb" driver.

Continued...

7 Likes

There is one more piece of equipment I forgot to mention above. I already had a garage door tilt sensor mounted to the garage door. This is needed to indicate door position in my rule below. In this case it is one of the Samsung multi-sensors. Not sure how well other sensors might work to indicate movement vs open vs closed.

For a rule. I had to put some thought into this, how I wanted to change color to indicate position, and I didn't want the light on all the time wasting power or just having weird glowing lights in the garage.

This is what I came up with. It surely isn't perfect, but it does work. The idea is that the indicator light is off until you open the door. The indicator light is yellow when the door is moving either up or down. When the door is open and beam is blocked, the indicator light is red, and when the door is open and the beam is clear, the indicator light is green.

4 Likes

That's a very good backup warning system. Only wish I'd known you were building this - I have several unused GoControl contact sensors with external terminals, and I would have been happy to send you one.

3 Likes

They were dirt cheap on Amazon. I paid less than $10 back in the Spring of this year, so I purchased a couple of them. They seem to currently be about $20, which isn't too bad.

2 Likes

Neat project.Did you not use one of the dot lasers because they're not very easy to see? There is a 2 line laser system that is easy to see and make sure you are positioned correctly.
https://www.amazon.com/GoodChief-Universal-Laser-Parking-Assist/dp/B07HHGRWS8

1 Like

I had the same issue with my small garage but came up with a different solution of using these car reverse stops

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Genubi-Industry-Refective-Stoppers-Professional/dp/B07FNFBNL4/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?crid=2OSMEFBA5GF8G&keywords=car+stops&qid=1673704322&sprefix=car+stops%2Caps%2C89&sr=8-3

Just sharing my two cents as it might be useful and I found it easier because you just reverse slowly until it gets stopped by them

2 Likes

I bet you guys have trucks. I get in trouble with my MINI.

Seriously, nice writeup.
I still haven't figured out how the photo electric eye that came with the garage door works.

I did consider that and similar devices. That would have worked on the one side of the garage. Because I back the one car in, I would have needed two of these, and the garage door would have blocked the one beam.

Also, that doesn't tell you if you are blocking the door, just that you theoretically pulled in far enough. When you have just 3-4 inches between the garage door hitting and clearing your car, you have to be fairly precise.

3 Likes

Three inches would be nice. I have that much split front to back.

1 Like

Those do work, but when you want a clear floor to work on your car, those are in the way. Try rolling a mechanics creeper over those blocks! They also are a trip hazard, if you use the garage for entertainment space or for something other than storing a car at all times, those blocks are just in the way.

I also have 6 different cars I rotate through the garage, so a fixed block wouldn't work. In addition, I have a plastic tile "Racedeck" floor, and I didn't want to cut it or screw anything through it.

Good for some situations, but was far from ideal in my case.

That looks familiar! Same situation here. Either use the toolbox as a bump stop, or scrape the rear bumper on the garage door.

2 Likes

Nope. I have 3 cars, two minivans, and a SUV. The minivans are the problem. They might have been mini when they came out in 1984, but they are very truck-like in proportions nowadays.

I found short rubber parking blocks. They are about 1/4 length of a normal parking stop. The ones by the right wheel are glued (originally as an experiment - but liquid nails appears to be good stuff). The ones on the left are taped so I can remove when needed. They are heavy enough they do not need the tape to not move. But, I trust the glued one a little better. (Sharpie marks show that neither appear to move and I check them routinely). I usually pull all cars out and just park in the middle when I need to get under the car. Plus, I can use the taped ones as wheel chocks when I pull them up.

I may be looking at the more high tech approach here.....

1 Like

4 Likes

Love this project. Thank you for documenting your parts list. I will probably do this, but replace the lights with an RGB strip light that's GREEN until you get clear of the beam and then turns RED. Thanks for this!

Download the Hubitat app