Bluetooth garage door opener

Today I made a Bluetooth garage door opener. Now I can open my garage from my Android phone. There’s a short how-to YouTube video from Lou Prado. Lou also made a website btmate.com that has more information, and you can watch an earlier howto video as well.

The project itself was pretty simple:
– Acquire a Samsung HM1100 bluetooth headset (the Samsung HM1800 also works). You can buy these cheap from Fry’s or eBay. I got mine on eBay for $10-$15.
– Crack open the earpiece on the Bluetooth headset and solder one of the earpiece wires to the base pin of a transistor. Solder red and black wires to the other pins of the transistor.
– Connect the red and black wires to the garage door opener. It turns out that most garage door openers are built to allow easy insertion of wires, which is nice.

That’s more or less it. My soldering was ugly as sin–too ugly for me to even post a picture. And rather than leave the house for some heat shrink tubing, I just left bare wires on the transistor, but everything works fine.

Lou wrote a nice Android app that’s free to install and then pay-what-you-want for a license. Then it’s just a single button to open or close the garage door. In theory, I could use Tasker to open the garage door automatically when I get home.

It’s not quite as sexy as Brad Fitzpatrick’s Android garage door opener, but it was a fun little project for a day.

Update, February 12, 2015: I continue to use the GarageMate app to open my garage door, especially when I want to go biking without my keys. Here’s an extra tip so that you can open the garage door with different phones. All you have to do is pair the HM1100 headset with the phones you’d like to use, and install the GarageMate/GDMate app on each phone. Here were the steps I followed to add another phone:
– Get a ladder and climb up to the HM1100 headset in your garage.
– Turn the Bluetooth headset off and then on–this step might not be necessary.
– Press and hold long/middle button (opposite from the ear) for 3-4 seconds to enter pairing mode.
– Press the volume up button (it’s the volume button closest to USB power cord) and see two blinks of the blue led. This step enables pairing with multiple devices.
– Go into the new phone’s Bluetooth menu and pair with HM1100.
– Now go into BTMate/GarageMate app. You can reuse the license key from your old phone. On the new phone, choose the HM1100 as the currently selected receiver. I like to enable the following options: 1) starting the app automatically clicks to open the garage door, and 2) exit the app after it’s been idle for 10 seconds.

That’s it! Now you can open your garage door with multiple phones!

20 Responses to Bluetooth garage door opener (Leave a comment)

  1. Good one Matt, over here in Oz if you’re caught with your phone in your hand while driving it’s a $450 fine and 4 demerit points so people are a bit cautious.

    Cheers,
    Glenn

    • Ouch! For me, it’s more about being able to open my garage door after biking home without needing to stuff an extra garage door opener in my backpack. And it makes it less likely to be locked out by accident. :)

  2. Ahhh ok that’s a great idea.

    Sometimes while out the front of the house say mowing or something like that it would be handy to be able to open the garage without running inside to get the remote.

    You may want to access the garage for any number of reasons, so it’s a great idea and makes a lot of sense.

    But I use Apple so don’t know about that…..my 2 year contract is up in a couple of weeks, time for a change ?

  3. I saw the video of Brad Fitzpatrick like 2 hours ago. I can say that I’m impressed by the bluetooth range of his mobile phone. He looks to be very far from his home. I thought it has a range of few meters only…

  4. That is awesome. I never thought of it. I would like to achieve a similar thing for my wife’s iPhone since we have only one remote.

    Best,

    Stéphane

  5. russ jones

    Very cool. Hopefully you keep that phone locked so if you lose it you havent handed over keys to your home :-)

  6. Peter

    Just out of curiosity,… How easy is it for someone else to open your garage door?

    I assume that the app is secure enough, but how secure is the receiver earpiece?

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  8. Come on, we are talking about a Bluetooth garage door opener…

  9. 2014 challenge for Matt Cutts: Learn how to solder like a pro! 😉

  10. Same here in Scotland if you even touch your phone whilst driving, it’s a £100 fine and a 3 points points on your license.

    Happy New Year.
    George

  11. Want to get your solder on come to DefCon :) You can solder all weekend. *wink

  12. This is a great idea! Not only is it good after a bike ride but when I’m mowing the yard or working on the lawn and I need a tool out of the garage, this would be a convenient way to open the door. (Plus its just damn cool!)

  13. This would be ideal for me here in Poland, a device which has multiple functions like my android phone contributes to reducing the amount of things I have to carry in my pocket after my daily bike ride.

  14. Very clever. There are also devices, like a Zavio cctv camera, who can turn a device on and off with an app. More safer with a decent security code.

  15. Im not surprised to see this application of bluetooth, there are so many other things that can be done using bluetooth and wifi capabilities of android phones, wish there was a make it yourself kit…

  16. Gian

    Thank you so much for this video Lou. I greatly appriciate your demostration and I will be doing this project this week.
    I was curious if you knew how or where I can find information on making a bluetooth/wifi android phone in to bluetooth/wifi receiver for oppening a garage. Thank you again for all your help and I look forward to hear from you.

    Gian

  17. samir

    Does it has to be samsung HM1800 or any other brand also works?

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