The garage door monitor - #EverydayEngineers

A suburban house and garage.

Garage Doors Flushline Stone Grey Finish" by Cary Peterson is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

25 February 2016


Hacking is all about using technology to find innovative solutions to everyday problems. When Alex Mourer found he kept accidentally leaving his garage door open overnight, he began experimenting with a Raspberry Pi to try to solve the problem.

Why did you decide to make a garage door monitor?

There have been a few times where I would walk outside in the morning to notice that my wife or I had left our garage door open all night. After looking at possible solutions to purchase, the tinkerer in me came out and I decided to just make something instead.

How does it help you?

I have two garage bay doors and one standard entry door in my garage. If either of the garage bay doors have been open for 15 minutes, I will get a text message alerting me that the door is open. As soon as the entryway door has been opened I will be alerted that the door is open. Forgetting to close my garage door is no longer an issue.

How did you learn how to use your Raspberry Pi?

A lot of trial and error. My initial purpose for buying a Raspberry Pi was for an XBMC media centre. Four Raspberry Pis later I have a media centre, a Christmas light show system, the beginning of a Pi Copter and a garage monitoring system.

How much did all the parts cost?

I had most of the parts already laying around so it's hard to say. I would think that I could recreate this for $60 or so.

What tips would you give to someone who is interested in making something with a Raspberry Pi?

Don't be limited by what other people have done. The Pi is such a neat piece of tech and can really do so many things. Just think of something and start working.

If you have a creative hack you'd like to show us, tweet a photo @QEPrize and tag #EverydayEngineers!

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