Secret Door Setup

I’ve got a secret door I’m trying to wire up to my smart things. Here’s the vision:

I punch in a code on the payphone I have mounted on the wall, and the bookcase swings open.

Here’s what I’ve got so far:

  • The bookcase door is being held close by a pretty strong electromagnetic latch (running on 12V power), connected to a regular Z-Wave outlet that I can turn on and off from my phone.
  • I used IFTTT to make sure the switch always stays on, which basically makes it act like a momentary switch so I can toggle it, and then shut the door and have it latch.
  • The payphone is mounted on the wall. It does nothing (but look awesome) so far.

Here’s the parts I’m looking for input on:

  • I need to connect the latch to a UPS, so if the power cuts out the door doesn’t swing open. I have a UPS for 12V devices, and I thought that it along with an LFM-20 wired up instead of the SmartPower module would do it, but after getting the LFM-20, I realized it needs 120V to power it. So I think I need a more substantial UPS, right?

  • The main mystery is how I’m going to get the keypad of the payphone to talk to the zwave switch. I was thinking of getting a Raspberry Pi along with a ZWave module, but past that I’m out of my league knowledge wise, here. Can anyone offer any guidance on this childhood dream being realized?

So awesome. I made one too (

Have you played with Arduino at all? We sell an Arduino SmartThings Shield that adds any Arduino project as a smart thing.

I had help with the wiring of mine (which just used the SmartSense Multi as a trigger and then fired a solenoid to open the latch(es).

Oh man, Ben—your secret door is super cool. In hindsight I wish I would’ve gone with the solenoid and physical latches like you did instead of the electromagnet, because the needing power to keep the door shut is a little janky. But whatever. I’m so close to having this thing fully functional, I’ll save that knowledge for my next secret door.

I’ll have to look into Arduino projects that can interface with a payphone like that, doing some more googling it looks like I just need a DTMF shield and a z-wave shield… and a lot of a patience. How did you hook up your trigger from the globe to the door?

I took the globe apart and taped the big part of the Multi to the inside and the small part (magnet removed from casing) under the frame that held the globe. Then turning it to a specific point (and staying there for a second or so) would trigger a “closed” event that we used for triggering the door.

Oh very cool! That is badass.

The cool thing is that once you have door set to fire and connected to SmartThings it is trivial to add all sorts of triggers. Put a Multi Sensor in a book or sconce and then tip it back like in the movies. Just move or jiggle any number of objects. Could do something with luminance, temperature, heck moisture :slight_smile:

Very cool!

I too have a secret door and would love to integrate ST for a ‘movie like’ trigger to unlock or open it.

Right now it’s a hidden manual latch, but I of course still go through the motions of moving a combination of miscellaneous items on the door (also a bookcase door) to act like its unlocking the door. :slight_smile: The upside to this, however, is getting a kick watching the kids/guest trying to repeat my motions and not figuring out how to open the door!

Where/what solenoid was used? Not sure I can tackle a smartshield project (I’m an ME, not EE), not without good how-to instructions.

@jeff_keen dont forget our shield!