Smart Parking Spotter by Todd Wackford

Building the Hardware

This project builds on previous work that I found on the internet. There is a very good tutorial by AptPupil that will get you an operating ultrasonic spotter short of SmartThings. Here is the link to build the Parking Spotter:

The tutorial uses a home-built controller (freeduino), but I used an Arduino Uno R3. It was an easy change. It also uses a 4 pin SRF04 Ultrasonic Ranging Sensor. I used a “Parallax Ping 3 pin Ultrasonic Sensor”. So I used the hardware instructions from AptPupil and the Arduino sketch from .

Once you get the spotter working. Go to the project section “Integrating SmartThings” (page not done yet).

Here’s a pic of the finished product installed in my garage. [Photo not found]

Hello, Smarter Garage

Being a Geek means that anything that can be done, can done better with electronics and software. Being a Geek and having SmartThings, means that it will be even better if you can hook it to the cloud and use it with your Smart Phone.

In this project I show how I took an existing Arduino project I found on the internet and modified it to use SmartThings. If you do decide to implement this project, I must warn you before your start. It is inevitable that when you are near done, be ready for the snide remark “Why don’t you just use a tennis ball on a string?”. So before you start your Smart Parking Spotter project, plan your response accordingly. Be ready to fire it back. After it happens, post the dialog here as a comment.

Hope you enjoy the project and,

Happy hacking!

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The pictures all say… [photo not found]

Yeah - I am hoping @twack can add them back in :slight_smile:

I found a couple of them.

I’ve made a similar thingamajig a few years ago and it’s been working flawlessly in my garage ever since. Those PING))) devices are pretty handy!

My gizmo is Arduino-based (uses ATmega with Arduino bootloader), but it’s a custom schematic with all the unnecessary stuff removed, so it’s pretty cheap to make (except for the PING))) sensor of course). I haven’t tried it yet, but it would be pretty easy to add a ZigBee radio to it to turn it into a presence sensor. It’s all open-source/open-hardware:

I thought about making kits, actually. If there’s enough interest, I might still do it.

1 Like

If there was a way to tie it into SmartThings, I’d ask for two from you :smile:

I see two wires though, one is obviously power, but what are the wires for on the bottom of the unit?

Here’s a screen shots of the SmartThings detail screen:

I will buy 1 as well.

I’d buy one too! I started on a similar project (before I had SmartThings) and love that someone has a working version.

Would buy a couple here too, how bout a Kickstarter Campain ?

I guess I’m stating the obvious, but the best remark to why not use a tennis-ball etc. would be that the sensor is used to determine if an automatic closing of the garage door at night is safe. “No car present” or “car present AND close enought to the sensor” would lead to the ST sending a signal to close the garage door.
By the way, have anyone found an alternative solution to this? I’d like to automatically close the garage, however the cars barely fit inside the garage and I’d like a “complete” scan of the door area to ensure that it is safe to close the door.

Have seen these Z-Wave Active Infrared Sensoron ebay that might do the trick.

Might not work in US/Europe,

Hi all, would be interested to know how the SmartThings integration has been done for this. I don’t see any section explaining that part. Do you have a link to share?