Sensor for distance?

(Michael Janczyn) #1

Hi, I saw this awesome image on Amazon (with a z-wave RGB LED controller) and was wondering whether there are any z-wave sensors that determine distance (or I guess a laser trip sensor would work as well).

(Darryl) #2

That’s the Fibaro one?

(Michael Janczyn) #3

Yes, the fibraro RGB controller.
It just gave me the idea.
I am not sure whether I would configure it that way or just have a light turn on when the sensor is tripped.

(I want to set up my garage to automatically tell me when I’ve pulled my car in far enough. I hate the tennis ball that hangs there currently).

(Eric) #4

I love gadgets but I prefer the tennis ball. So simple, no power, always works. No door coming down on the car.

(Darryl) #5

I personally agree with you, and would love it. Just don’t see SmartThings doing this anytime soon, unless someone else builds a DeviceType for it.

(Michael Janczyn) #6

I wouldn’t have it tied to the opener (I don’t trust this stuff THAT much).
Just a visual indicator that I’ve pulled in far enough.

(Michael Janczyn) #7

Hmmm…I wonder if I could incorporate the idea in this thread to make it work.

A laser trip sensor that reads as open/closed.
When the garage opens, enable laser, turn the RGB controller on and color to Red.
When car pulls in and trips the sensor the lights turn Green indicating it is far enough in.

Idk…I need to buy some stuff and play around (and figure out how to write apps…).

(Engelwood) #8

Check this out: Smart Parking Spotter by Todd Wackford

(Darryl) #9

I remember that… Need to have my friend who took all the electronic courses whip it together… Though I’d prefer the fibraro solution :slight_smile:

(Craiginpa) #10

FWIW, I prefer this simpler method:

  1. I takes no development effort and no technical ability. Just buy it and place it.
  2. It is easy to adjust the position.
  3. It is foolproof to even an idiot (as long as you don’t bump it out of the position where you want it for whichever car you use in that parking space).
  4. It works when the power or wifi or Internet connection fail.
  5. Made with recycled materials and doesn’t require electricity so it doesn’t add to power generation burning pollution or global warming or landfills or . . . .
  6. It looks kind of cool and obvious for what it’s for.

Craig in PA

(Beckwith) #11

I agree there are more simple solutions to help maneuver garage parking. However, the @wackware solution can be used as a safety check to avoid closing the garage door on a car halfway through the door. This is important when you add unattended operation of devices that can potentially harm.

(Craiginpa) #12

I think local construction codes are increasingly requiring garage door openers to have built-in beam-sensors that stop the door from closing when there is any obstruction in the opening. They were intended to protect young children and pets, but I’d hope they’d also protect the car depending on where the sensors are. In my former community in NJ all homes had to have such protection installed or retrofit on their garage doors before they were allowed to sell the home.

(Beckwith) #13

Cars don’t break the beam except at the tires. Thus, if a car is halfway entered, the door could close on it. A couple of users had this happen. Even the latest UL garage door opener requirement of flashing light and audible alarm doesn’t necessarily catch this. Todd’s device addresses this by using a sonic sensor.

(Craiginpa) #14

A person could, of course, add a 2nd opener-connected beam sensor at a 2nd height or shift the height of the original one, but that only matters to people looking for the simplest & cheapest reliable solution.


The problem with a second or higher opener beam is placing it so that the door itself doesn’t trigger it as it travels (and a person just walking near the door doesn’t trigger it) while still catching what you want to catch. This is easier said than done.

(Craiginpa) #16

I’ve personally never found that to be a problem. Positioning a garage beam sensor does take some trial and error, but it has always worked out very well in the end for me, and I’m almost never walking near the door while it’s closing (and I could simply wait a few seconds for it to finish closing if I needed to walk the long way around the car like that). I did have a neighbor, though, who usually did walk the long way around because he had so much junk piled up at the back of the garage, but his existing beam sensor never seemed enough to motivate him to clear out his junk and take the direct route and I doubt a 2nd sensor would make him change his preference.