flic.io -> homeautomation -> Garage Door node

  • There are lots of Mysensors solutions for opening your garage here in this forum and here is another one šŸ˜€ . The Garage opener in itself is nothing strange (Pretty simple and naive approach to reuse a remote unit) but for me the missing piece of the puzzle was how to interact with the opener from my cars, and in the house. I then came across the flic.io buttons which I would like to share. Yes they are a bit too pricy šŸ˜• - but at least for me the biggest reason why to use mysensors is not to get the cheapest solutions (even if that is most often the case) but rather to build the exact solution I want and to have full control over it!

    The code can be found in my git repo: https://github.com/epkboan/myhome/tree/master/garage_door were also the text below is copied from

    Garage Door Opener
    Maybe you have an old motorized garage that you would like to control in a more flexible way? Or maybe you have lost one remote unit or the number of cars are more than the remotes. And after all it sort of defies the purpose of having a garage door opener if you have to leave the car to enter a code on the keylock :)...

    Here is a simple solution to pimp your system without having to hack the central control unit for the garage opener (and still be able to use the keypad if you have one of those). It requires you to strip one of your remote units for the garage door system and use a relay to emulate the button push. In my case the remote unit used a 12V battery so I added a step up from 5V to 12V to never have to bother about the battery life. But the battery could have stayed if you don't want the step up.

    I started out using my own built remote unit (a mysensors button node in low powered mode, deep sleep until button is pressed) but I then came across (flic.io) and then I just had to have some. You can then open the garage door at a longer distance from the house (think of all the seconds you don't have to wait in the car before the door is fully up. You are actually making money from the investment ;-)) as it communicates via your phone via Bluetooth and they are really small (size of a coin cell * 9mm) and nice looking.


    I use 2 magnetic door/window switches for the door state. It then shows the state in Domoticz (or whatever home automation system you have), but i also have a small web interface (html page with a button to control it and a picture of the garage depending on its state CLOSED, OPEN, OPENING, STOPPED & CLOSING). I have considered having logic to exactly control the state of the door in the mysensors node but since I still allow the keylock (directly connected to the garage door system) it might still be a bit confusing and lots of corner cases. For me this works!




    • Arduino Mini pro ~$2
    • RFM69HW ~$2
    • Step up 5v to 12v ~$3
    • Box ~$5
    • Relay module ~$3
    • 2 window/door magnetic switches ~$1

    So you should be able to build this for around $15.

    Then to get this really nice and user friendly i recommend getting something like the flic.io buttons. They will cost you at least $20 each but they are sooo worth it. Stick it to the dashboard of your car, next to the door before you leave the house and you can reuse the buttons for other automation tasks too. Works with Low power Bluetooth together with your phone(s) via an app that support all sorts of requests (hue, IFTTT, web req....)


  • @epkboan
    How is the phone accesing your homeautomation system, by http web command? how is security? is your homeautomation exposed to the internet? or if your phone connected to your home-wifi via VPN?

  • @bjacobse
    I left that part out deliberately šŸ˜‰. The Home Automation is connected to internet with nonstandard port, user, password, so that information is included in the plain webrequest and could be intercepted from anyone on the same network. But I would never hook my phone onto any Wi-Fi other than my own and the rest (most since when I leave the door the Wi-Fi drops) is going over the LTE network which Iā€™m not overly worried about. Any hardening suggestions are welcome!

  • @epkboan said in flic.io -> homeautomation -> Garage Door node:

    Any hardening suggestions are welcome!

    Have your phone send a telegram message to your home controller, telling it to open the door for you. A telegram bot (works on node-red and also other platforms) doesn't need to have all ports opened to be able to be used.

  • @epkboan
    Well I would not (as in NOT=NEVER) expose my homeautomation controller to be exposed to internet,
    I think I would either get a 433MHz, as this have some distance, maybe 50-100meter in free air, and then receiver in your garage, and connected to your homeautomation, less people to intercept signals.

    Another approach could to get an Arduino shield to receive SMS, then there is more safety, and you can check that the number that SMS is your own number for validity checks. Yes true it will cost you a SMS subscription, but hey the cost is low compared to that noone can hijack your homeautomation system, as it's not on internet šŸ™‚


  • @bjacobse @electrik
    For just opening the Garage door both those solutions would work. The flic buttons support sending SMS on press too so just an SMS receiver would be needed.

    I already tried the remote units built with mysensors in deep sleep until pressed and that worked from >100m inside the car, but it's pretty bulky with the antenna whip needed for 433MHz to get good range.

    But i 'need' to access the home automation remotely for other reasons and the garage is one of the smallest issues (there is only a car in there so nothing to steal šŸ˜‹ ). I'm thinking of adding Tor or some similar technique for some additional protection, or VPN is of course an option too

  • I'm currently using a VPN connection to get remote access.
    I did think about a reverse proxy (nginx) but I don't know enough about it to tell if it is safe enough.

  • @epkboan
    I wasn't thinking of stealing your stuff inside your garage, More that you expose your home automation controller to internet. And then a hacker can control anything in your house šŸ˜ž
    In my example my maindoor is controlled by my Domoticz server, and I would not like anyone to open the door...

  • @bjacobse I agree fully! I would not sleep well either if I had a lock connected to the current setup. I have nothing "mission critical", but that is up to everyone to do their assessment of.

  • @epkboan This is maybe an option in stead of the flic-button : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DyblwsjfU8

  • Looking for any information about these problems. I had a network failure and the garage door opener Chamberlain B970 stopped working. I already found and fixed the problem, but I really lost contact with the remote control. Your solutions are perfect for me. Thank you!

    P.S. I know it's an old topic, but I wanted to thank everyone involved. I've been looking for the right information for 2 hours and didn't expect to find it here.

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