My 3rd DTH - Control my car with SmartThings and Particle Electron!

(Jeff) #1

Still not a programer! still bad code!

The last project I finished today was inspired by a very cold walk 5 blocks back to my car because I couldn’t remember if I had locked it or not.
I got a Particle Electron (cellular development board) from Kickstarter and had no idea what I would do with it until I realized I HATE walking in the cold for no reason.
So I picked up a spare keyfob on ebay programmed it removed the key and soldered wires to all the buttons.
the keyfob is powered by the Electron and I am currently using relays to “press” the buttons. I will add a temperature sensor, feedback as to lock state, feedback as to running state, and just for the hell of it and because I have the asset tracker board I will add gps tracking as well. but for now it is just a 1 way remote.

the project will be put in a project box and hidden inside the dash or centre console.
My wife already thinks I should do this with the other car as well, and it’s not even installed yet!


Particle Electron code:

(Stuart Buchanan) #2

I was wondering for a moment what the point was as. Thought it would only work when in wireless range of your home until I realised it was an electron board. Very well done :slight_smile:

(Jeff) #3

yeah, even with paying for data its a fun project and data is cheap… and I couldn’t think of any other project to use the electron for.

(Greg) #4

This is very cool! One of my dreams is to say, “Alexa, Turn on the Car.” I don’t even need to go as far as you did. I would just keep something like this in my home, within range of the car so it could be started and locked/unlocked.

Man I wish I had any sort of relevant skills!

(Jeff) #5

The hardest part by far is the soldering they are very small pins but if you (or a friend) can do that the rest is super easy! if you (or anyone else) decides to give it a try and wants more info I’m happy to post a lot more detail and help out anywhere you get stuck!

I do plan on replacing the relays with transistors before it goes in the car just to reduce the size a bit. but relays would be easy (and cheap from ebay) for leaving in the house! the most expensive part is the sacrificial key. I got it refurbished off ebay for $19 but it cost me $60 to cut it in order to program it to the car. if you just want wifi (in the home) then a $19 Particle Photon would do the job and run fine off the same code.

(Greg) #6

what do you mean? how do you do that?

(Jeff) #7

The key I bought was of course blank so I had to take it to a locksmith to get it cut and because its a laser key it cost $60 to cut. luckily my car (gmc terrain) allows the keys to be user programmed to the car after they are cut.

(Andreas A.) #8

Or you could use an ESP8266 for less than $5!

(Adam) #9

Never new about the ESP8266…very intriguing. I see there are some hits on the forums here on the device…does anyone know of a compilation of smartthings-compatible projects using the board?

(Jeff) #10

i think my ESP8266’s cost me about $3 each shipped but they are not as simple to program as the Particle products

(Adam) #11

For $3, and the fun of learning to program a new platform, this seems like a great deal all around!


Very cool. Did you happen to get to the point of having your app report what the state of the alarm is (i.e., armed or disarmed)? I am curious to see how one can pull that off. I was thinking of maybe tapping into the LED of the car’s alarm to get the state.

(Jeff) #13

Sadly I have never got any info to get “pushed” from a particle device to smart things due to a lack of https built into the devices. It wouldnt be hard to do if you used poolster to update the device though