Inexpensive controller for existing garage doors on Kickstarter

This is my personal project that I worked on for over a year. Now available for pre-order at Kickstarter:


Comes with mobile and web interface, with Smartthings integration is on the short list.
Key features are:

  • easy to install
  • works with existing garage doors
  • inexpensive
  • open protocol - will integrate with anything

Please give it some love

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You could use a link… :smile:

I like it just because it seems much more reliable than using an external tilt sensor that can act up at times (I know mine do).

Although I don’t trust the suction thing, and it doesn’t look like it would be universal depending on the material of the opener itself.

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Oh… the editor converted the link into video embedd. Added the link to the original post.
Thanks for your feedback!

The sticky pad worked great in all field test installations so far (the device is really light). There’s also a screw hole in the base if using a sticky pad is not practical.

@garadget How will this integrate with SmartThings? It looks like it’s a wifi device only so it would need to be either cloud-to-cloud or IFTTT-based.

@zj4x4 yes, the integration has to be IP based. In fact you can already use IFTTT with the garadget’s events:

Is this certified for all applicable required Safety Codes in the region of each Backer?

This will not work with the latest garage doors using proprietary codes. Most modern doors have more integrated apps as well. Sorry.

I’m not sure how that relates.

This seems to work in the same way as all the other devices out there (Linear, etc) that just “fake” the wall button press – either at the button itself with a relay or at the opener itself. The only difference with this is that it uses a reflector instead of a tilt sensor to see if the door is not where it’s supposed to be and that it uses WiFi instead of connecting to your hub.

I think the only problem with this is that it’s a competitor to the already established GD00Z-4, which is pretty much everywhere, rebranded like 100 times and can be had for less than $100 today. Sure this is smaller and has lasers which is always cool, but the price point is very close and you can’t walk into a Home Depot today or Best Buy and pick one up… you have to wait until at least July, maybe October before you can have one.

Thanks great question, this is a valid concern.

The system as it is going to be delivered does not initiate any door movement without explicit commands from human. When it comes to safety issues, consider it a glorified internet connected garage remote control with fancy notifications. Now whatever users choose to do with the open communication protocol is up to them.

Also there’s a disclaimer in campaign about local regulations.

This is exactly the case. Garadget uses a relay that closes the contacts of whatever you connect it to while keeping the circuits isolated. In typical scenario it is hooked with the wall button wires coming into the door opener box, but in more exotic cases it can be connected to the contacts of the wireless wall button or even regular wireless remote.

Additionally to very competitive pricing (not much above what we pay for z-wave wall switches) and wide compatibility, Garadget uses non-proprietary communication protocol with over-the-air updates and lots of developer tools available. This opens it to the home automation community and you’ll see cool integrations, non-traditional applications, firmware mods etc.

PS: We had a great start yesterday. I see some backers coming from this forum. Love you guys! “How many backers?” is the first thing my kids ask when they’re back from school.

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I think you’ll find that liability laws don’t work that way, unfortunately.

Any device sold to initiate garage door movement needs to follow extensive safety regulations or it will violate consumer protection laws and/or also leave you open to serious civil lawsuits.

Homeowners who install this device can also be held personally liable, be in violation of their home insurance policies, and, in turn, those home owners or insurance companies will pursue legal remedies against you.

###You must at least meet the following (or more current) UL325 regulations:

UL 325 was revised in 2009 allowing unattended operation features. UL requirements for a residential garage door operator to be enabled for remote operation from a smart phone, tablet or other portable devices state that several key provisions be met:

The feature must be utilized only on an operator equipped with a secondary entrapment protection system such as a photoelectric sensor.
The feature must be activated only when the operator is installed on a sectional door.
The operator must be equipped with an audible and visual warning system indicating a pending motion for 5 seconds before the door starts moving.
Per UL 325, solution must be fail-safe. Any feature using the Unattended Operation (i.e., Timer to Close or Remote Closing) must, by UL requirements, end in fail safe mode. This means that the garage door operator will try TWICE to close the door using unattended operation. If something stops the door’s motion or reverses the door’s direction (i.e, door is blocked, photo eyes are blocked, etc.), the door will revert to the OPEN position.

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Thanks for the info. As far as I know UL325 compliance is not required by law except for state of Nevada.
All of the safety features required by the standard are supported by garage opener itself except for:

First version of the device will be in good company of numerous products and DIY solutions also lacking this feature while freely available for purchase at the reputable retailers. Still there’s a possibility that strobe/siren will be supplied as external module connected to the extension port.

BTW: many home owners find it quite annoying with the 5 seconds lag and the noise.

“Safety” related features (especially those required by regulations) are quite often considered to be “annoying”; but that doesn’t negate their requirements per local building codes, insurance underwriters, and civil law precedent.

@JDRoberts has chimed in regarding safety regulations in many Topics here in the Community and perhaps has more information on UL325.

Regardless, I personally recommend that it is an ethical requirement for you to update your Kickstarter Campaign with a highly visible notice informing your backers of the specific UL325 non-compliance that you are now aware of.

Other than that, best of luck with the campaign! Some nice incremental innovations in your product.

Thanks, I’ll update the campaign.

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