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[App][Project][Cool] JsChiSurf's "OpenSezMe" Android Garage Door Opener Application

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JsChiSurf

Inactive Recognized Developer
Feb 5, 2010
2,416
1,396
Hacksville
[App][Project][Cool] JsChiSurf's "OpenSezMe" Android Garage Door Opener Application

I wanted to create this post to show fellow XDA members a cool project I've been working on, and figured that like-minded XDA members (techno-geeks) would think it was pretty sweet as well, so this post is nothing more than to "show off" what I've done and perhaps inspire others to do something similar once they see how I accomplished this :D.

I set out to develop a simple android application to turn my phone into a "virtual" garage door remote, with the requirements that the application only successfully function when / if I am within a 1 block quadrant of my home, and be protected by a pin code. Both of these requirements help to prevent accidental opening / closing of my garage both at home, or in some remote location half-way around the world. You will see the end product from the application side in the youtube demo video at the end of this post.

I happen to have an old linux box running as a mail / web server in my garage that also has a serial port. So I said to myself, "self", wouldn't it be cool if I could interface the serial port on the linux box to a relay switch that would enable me to send commands out, via the serial port, to toggle the relay switch on/off, with the goal of mimicking the button press of a garage door pad on your garage wall, and control all of this via my phone?

So, I picked up a cheap serial port relay controller and connected it to my linux box's rs232 port. The controllers are available in a variety of interfaces, such as USB, ethernet, etc, but for me, serial was the way to go due to my existing setup, and ease of programming to the port, etc.

I then wrote a set of serial port communication classes in PHP for sending the necessary commands out the serial port, as outlined in the relay controller's specs, for toggling the relay on/off.

I tie it together by having the android application I wrote first look for the correct PIN code and geolocation, and when correct / within range, present a "virtual remote" on screen. When the remote is pressed, it makes an HTTP call to the webserver in my garage, that when called successfully issues the necessary serial port commands to toggle the relay switch.

The end result? A pretty bad ass virtual garage door opener app I call "OpenSezMe" that allows my phone to double as my opener. When I go on walks, jogs, etc, upon return, I can simply open my garage via my phone for entry back into the house. I know I could install a keypad, but what's the fun it that?

This application is very specific to my needs / setup, so doesn't really have any value for anyone else. I just thought it was pretty cool and figured you guys would too, and, at a minimum, could spur you to come up with something similar, unique to your environment.

 

JsChiSurf

Inactive Recognized Developer
Feb 5, 2010
2,416
1,396
Hacksville
Very cool! I would love something like this, you know, if I actually had a garage. :p But maybe something for my lights in my room, I hate getting up to turn them off :p
That's the cool thing about it, and the world of possibilities it opens.

You can get these cool controllers that have multiple (dozens) of relays to control different things. I just got a cheap single relay controller to start, but with a multiple relay controller, you can start building an app to control lights, the garage, or anything else you want.
 

Rydah

Inactive Recognized Contributor
Oct 4, 2008
5,512
2,084
Southern California
That's the cool thing about it, and the world of possibilities it opens.

You can get these cool controllers that have multiple (dozens) of relays to control different things. I just got a cheap single relay controller to start, but with a multiple relay controller, you can start building an app to control lights, the garage, or anything else you want.

Awesome but don't think my patents would let me wire **** up and I don't have a lenix box.

Sent From My HTC Evo 4G Using Tapa Talk Pro!
 

JsChiSurf

Inactive Recognized Developer
Feb 5, 2010
2,416
1,396
Hacksville
Awesome but don't think my patents would let me wire **** up and I don't have a lenix box.

Sent From My HTC Evo 4G Using Tapa Talk Pro!
This is just my specific setup, but you could have any type of environment, just depends on what you have / know how to use, etc.

At any rate, thought it was a fun project that, for no other reason, would hopefully inspire others to try it out, or do something similar, if they have the wherewithal.
 

JsChiSurf

Inactive Recognized Developer
Feb 5, 2010
2,416
1,396
Hacksville
This...is AWESOME! I don't blame you for wanting to show off - this what android and open source is all about!

Sent from my blah blah blah blah
Ha, thanks! It was fun to do, and very rewarding when it all came together, seeing the door open/close on the inaugural button press :D.
 

chas123

Senior Member
Oct 29, 2008
733
1,099
This is actually part of what I do. There are multiple home automation apps out there that interface with - say Z wave controllers to name one - that can open/unlock doors, turn on lights, adjust your thermostat, access alarm/fire panels, control hot water heaters, view surveillance cameras...etc.

Do a search for 'xanboo'. They interface with DSC panels that , in turn can interface with multiple zwave devices, i.e. many of the new door openers/locks made by Schlage.
 

Saltwater Hero

Senior Member
Nov 9, 2009
75
1
This is great! I live in a condo and never use my front door to enter my place I always use the garage! This is great.

Sent from my PC36100 using XDA App
 

JsChiSurf

Inactive Recognized Developer
Feb 5, 2010
2,416
1,396
Hacksville
Brilliant! You're like a musician with this stuff.. a very talented musician :D
Thanks Nebs. Good to hear from you!

This is actually part of what I do. There are multiple home automation apps out there that interface with - say Z wave controllers to name one - that can open/unlock doors, turn on lights, adjust your thermostat, access alarm/fire panels, control hot water heaters, view surveillance cameras...etc.

Do a search for 'xanboo'. They interface with DSC panels that , in turn can interface with multiple zwave devices, i.e. many of the new door openers/locks made by Schlage.
Cool. When I first started with the idea (centered around creating an android app to drive the whole thing), I came across the ZigBee controllers, which looked pretty slick. These and others, though, were way more than what I needed for my simple application.

What's cool about the ZigBee, and i'm sure others, is that you can get ones that have an apache server built right in, eliminating the needs for a computer to be in the mix all together. Though, as mentioned, based on price, they were way beyond what was necessary for what I was looking to do.

This is great! I live in a condo and never use my front door to enter my place I always use the garage! This is great.
Precisely. You can probably tell from the video that I live in a townhome, where the garage is attached to the house, so I typically just leave the door into the house unlocked and access through the garage, rather than the front door, which was the main reason why I wanted to do this.
 

JsChiSurf

Inactive Recognized Developer
Feb 5, 2010
2,416
1,396
Hacksville
:eek:

Haven't you seen that Brinks commercial with the guy driving around with a backpack full of garage door openers? :D
Ahh, he'd have to get into my gated complex first :p. Point taken though! Let me re-phrase. I "could" leave the door inside the garage unlocked, and then just use my phone to gain access via the garage ;).
 

jaypeezee

Senior Member
Aug 16, 2008
444
19
I love the concept/idea....

I'm one of many that is guilty of using my garage door as my main door to my residence.

An app like this has endless ideas to expand on. One that would personally benefit me would be the option to remote open the garage from anywhere barring a series of security measures to prevent a false opening.

I have family that routinely drop by and at times I'm not home. I hate having tons of keys distributed and it would be nice if they were to call or text saying they were out front. I then could go to an app like such input a series of security pins, or what have you, and then open remotely. A timer or LED indicator that stays lit while the door is opening/closing would be great also - this would tell me if an accidental key press weather the door was still opening or closing.

Gosh, i need to brush up on my programming skills !
 

JsChiSurf

Inactive Recognized Developer
Feb 5, 2010
2,416
1,396
Hacksville
One that would personally benefit me would be the option to remote open the garage from anywhere barring a series of security measures to prevent a false opening.
That's the beauty of the setup, as you can put whatever restrictions you want in place to determine when/if the door, for example, should open.

I mapped out a 1 block quadrant that, if I am within, the proper command / call will be issued to toggle the door open/close, otherwise, the commands won't get sent, but this restriction could be set to whatever level desired.

I was actually thinking about have a "super user" pin code, that I can use, instead of my default code, that when entered, causes the app to ignore the geolocation attributes, allowing me to open from China if I wanted to.

The wife was apprehensive when I decided to do this, worrying about false openings, etc, so that's why I put in both pin code and geolocation measures. Problem is, there's no way for me to remotely tell if the door is actually in an open or closed state, just that I successfully toggled the relay. So, I slapped a cheap webcam in my garage, so that if I want, I can login remotely to verify the door is open or closed.
 

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    [App][Project][Cool] JsChiSurf's "OpenSezMe" Android Garage Door Opener Application

    I wanted to create this post to show fellow XDA members a cool project I've been working on, and figured that like-minded XDA members (techno-geeks) would think it was pretty sweet as well, so this post is nothing more than to "show off" what I've done and perhaps inspire others to do something similar once they see how I accomplished this :D.

    I set out to develop a simple android application to turn my phone into a "virtual" garage door remote, with the requirements that the application only successfully function when / if I am within a 1 block quadrant of my home, and be protected by a pin code. Both of these requirements help to prevent accidental opening / closing of my garage both at home, or in some remote location half-way around the world. You will see the end product from the application side in the youtube demo video at the end of this post.

    I happen to have an old linux box running as a mail / web server in my garage that also has a serial port. So I said to myself, "self", wouldn't it be cool if I could interface the serial port on the linux box to a relay switch that would enable me to send commands out, via the serial port, to toggle the relay switch on/off, with the goal of mimicking the button press of a garage door pad on your garage wall, and control all of this via my phone?

    So, I picked up a cheap serial port relay controller and connected it to my linux box's rs232 port. The controllers are available in a variety of interfaces, such as USB, ethernet, etc, but for me, serial was the way to go due to my existing setup, and ease of programming to the port, etc.

    I then wrote a set of serial port communication classes in PHP for sending the necessary commands out the serial port, as outlined in the relay controller's specs, for toggling the relay on/off.

    I tie it together by having the android application I wrote first look for the correct PIN code and geolocation, and when correct / within range, present a "virtual remote" on screen. When the remote is pressed, it makes an HTTP call to the webserver in my garage, that when called successfully issues the necessary serial port commands to toggle the relay switch.

    The end result? A pretty bad ass virtual garage door opener app I call "OpenSezMe" that allows my phone to double as my opener. When I go on walks, jogs, etc, upon return, I can simply open my garage via my phone for entry back into the house. I know I could install a keypad, but what's the fun it that?

    This application is very specific to my needs / setup, so doesn't really have any value for anyone else. I just thought it was pretty cool and figured you guys would too, and, at a minimum, could spur you to come up with something similar, unique to your environment.