I found a number of posts on here with folks looking to connect HomeLink or garage door opener remotes with SmartThings, but no real good solution other than using a garage door open/close sensor on the door itself. I don’t have a garage you can park a car in, so obviously, I have no garage door on which I could use a sensor. I wanted to be able to directly trigger a routine from the HomeLink button in my car. I used some info from here and bits from other places around the internet and put together a solution that is working well for me. It was really very simple. Details below.
In short, I used a universal garage door opener receiver and wired it to the contact terminals on a standard Z-Wave open/close sensor. I then used a universal garage door opener remote to program my HomeLink button. The sensor sits normally open. Now, when I press the HomeLink button, it triggers the receiver, which closes a relay and momentarily changes the open/close switch to closed. I use the change in state of the open/close switch to run a routine. All in, this setup cost me $55
Now for the details:
(1) Chamberlain 955D Universal Receiver ($15, including shipping on ebay)
(2) Chamberlain 953EV Universal Remote ($21 including shipping on ebay)
(3) EcoLink Z-Wave Door and Window Sensor - DWZWAVE2.5-ECO ($19 on Amazon)
(1) Remove the cover on the universal receiver (“Receiver”) to expose 2 screw terminals. Attach a separate piece of high gauge wire to each of the two screw terminals and run both wires out the bottom of the receiver using the indicated channels and notch. I used some standard bell wire (24 gauge solid wire), but any high gauge wire should work. You only need about 6"of wire.
(2) Connect the open/close sensor (“Sensor”) to your SmartThirngs hub and test it with the included magnet to confirm that it works.
(2) Remove the cover on the Sensor to expose two contact screw terminals.
(3) Feed the two wires from the receiver into the Sensor housing. There is a small, square hole on the back of the Sensor housing and a notch in the circuit board at the same location that allows you to run high gauge wire to the screw terminals. I found it was difficult to get the wire into terminals in this very tight space, so I removed the circuit board from the Sensor housing to give myself more room to work. To remove the circuit board, take out the battery. Loosen the metal tab that the positive end of the batter terminal touches by GENTLY prying / pushing it up off the plastic tab on which is rests. Then pull back on the retaining tabs that hold the board in place. Don’t remove the board completely as this will likely cause a problem with the wire / coil that runs down the side of the Sensor and touches the negative end of the battery.
(4) Connect the wires from the receiver to the screw terminals on the Sensor. I found it did not matter which wire was connect to which screw terminal. It worked either way.
(5) Close up the Sensor and plug in the Receiver. Test the Receiver / Sensor connection. Put the cover on Receiver and press it in to trigger the Receiver. When the Receiver is trigger, it should make a slight clicking sound, the LED on the Sensor should flash, and the Sensor should very briefly show as closed in the SmartThings App.
(6) Program the universal remote to the Receiver using the instructions available on Chamberlain’s website. Test to make sure the universal remote works and causes the Sensor to show as closed.
(7) Program the HomeLink buttons in your car using the universal remote
(8) Program a routine to trigger when the Sensor indicates closed.
There are some very real limits on this system.
(1) There is no two way communication.
(2) The button only works for one routine. I use mine for when I arrive home. If you want a second HomeLink button to do something different, for instance you want to run a routine as you leave home, you have to do a whole second set up (There are multi channel garage door receivers. You could buy one these and multiple Sensors to make the connection if you knew you wanted multiple HomeLink buttons.)
I suspect there are MANY variations on the the products with which this will work, but this is what worked for me.
Here are a few pictures of the final setup. Yes, I really did just use all those words to say, “Use wire to connect two sets of screws together in any manner.”