Part 1 of the project is nearly finished and working perfectly as intended. The 6 beam barriers I installed vertically will stop the garage door from closing by breaking the safety sensor circuit thus causing the garage door opener to blink its lights on/off to indicate there is an issue with the sensors and the door does not move or goes back up if it was. This is the same thing that happens if the standard security sensor is tripped. A very short delay after the 6 IR beams are restored, the garage door opener is ready again to close the door.
Having access to the attic above the garage, I was able to run Cat5e from one side to the other of the garage door. The cat5e cable is used to connect together the barriers on both side of the door. The side shown in the picture above is the one that has a relay in it. The other side (shown below) just requires 3 wires for power and a return signal to improve detection. In the picture below the bottom of the barrier bar is not secured to the rail and assembly is not completed so it looks messy and not quite straight.
The “control box”:
Behind this wall mounted 2 gang metal box is a one gang opening in the wall where the standard garage opener sensor wires are. The box screws nicely into the low voltage bracket’s holes so it will be very easy to restore the original condition as I did not make any modifications to the wall. On the left of the box you can see the Aeon Dry Contact Sensor that will tell me via ST if the barrier beams have been tripped. It is not necessary for the system to work but I like to have complete visibility of what is going on in the house via ST plus I can use it as an intrusion detection system as well.
The little black cable under the Dry Contact sensor is power from the 12V power adapter above. This power supply powers the barrier bars but also a dual relay board inside the box (behind the blank plate). The relays were necessary to 1) ensure that if power was lost to the barriers, that the garage door opener’s security sensors would be functional (circuit would be closed by default) and to 2) provide a clean “dry” contact for the Aeon Dry Contact device.
The IR barrier bars I am using were designed for intrusion detection therefore no matter whether you set it to NO or NC, if power is lost, the circuit will always be open. This means that if the house loses power, or the power supply it unplugged, the sensor circuit would be open preventing me from shutting the garage door opener. Given my garage door opener has a battery backup, this is undesirable. In order to ensure a working sensor circuit, I used a dual relay board that will close the sensor circuit if it loses power. Doing so defeats the barrier bars intentional design of causing an alarm to sound if someone cut power to the barriers but it doesn’t matter to me as that is NOT the main purpose of these bars, plus I am guessing that by the time an intruder even realizes what they are, the IR beams would have likely already been tripped (I doubt what I am doing is very common in an average home). I also wanted an easy way to disable the IR barrier in case of issues. I’ve had cases where bright sunlight in the morning prevented me from closing my garage door as it was hitting one of the standard sensors and I have no idea what will happen when the same will happen now that I have these IR barriers installed. Given I am always in a rush in the morning, if this issue were to happen, or any other for that matter, all I will need to do is unplug the power to restore normal functionality.
My choice of connectors was for convenience. I am sure there are better options. Ethernet connectors were an obvious choice given I used Cat5e for the wiring between barriers. The spring loaded speaker connector works well to connect the security sensors and if the wire ever gets ripped out (ie storing stuff in that corner), it is easy to restore connection with no special tools. For the wiring between the wall and the barrier I used a molded Cat5e cable cutting off one end. I might have to revise connections if they oxidize causing issues but this way anyone can make quick repairs as there are no exotic connectors used. I could also just use some of the anti-oxidizing compound found at electrical supply stores.
Part 2 will be installing another set of 2 barriers where I drew the red line in the picture below, one on each side. This will detect if the lift gate is open and stop the door from closing and damaging the car’s lift gate. We’ve had the new car for a couple months and I’ve done it twice already with a 3rd close call. Having the ability to close the garage door remotely increases the odds of this happening as you may not remember having left the lift gate open while unloading the car. I will likely use webCore to add some intelligence where the system can tell me there is an obstruction when I try to close the garage door.
Adding the second set of barriers will not require much wiring. Power can be the same for the vertical barriers and I will only need one additional wire (I have plenty of unused wires in the Cat5e cable) between the barriers (return signal as they call it). The relays will be wired in series so that any one of the two will open the circuit. The aluminum beams shown in one of the images will be what is mounted between the rails and the barriers will be secured to the aluminum bars.
EDIT: Edited to improve my description as the prior one was written in a hurry (kids needed attention)… sorry! It was a torture for me to read it again at a later time.