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Control garage door opener with Elk M1 with a "Smart Control Panel"


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#16 Kazibole

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 11:33 PM

You can't hurt anything doing this so I would give it a try. Put a resistor on one of the terminals of the Elk relay, then hook your one lead from the garage door up to it and the second lead directly to the other terminal of the Elk relay. So now, when the Elk closes the relay, it will close the circuit with current flowing through the resistor. The resistor will put enough "back pressure" on the current so that some current will still flow through your smart button keeping it from rebooting.

The question is, how much resistance? If the resistance is too much, the garage door won't recognize the closing of the circuit and won't activate the door. Too little resistance and the smart button looses too much juice and resets.

I assume you have resistors sitting around that came with the Elk for use as end of line resistors. It won't harm anything to try one of those. If closing the circuit without a resistor didn't damage anything, closing the circuit with a resistor certainly won't.


Thanks for the tip Lou Apo and everyone else. I have decided to give BSR's suggestion of hacking a wireless remote a try and I was up and running within 15 minutes. I will definitely revisit the resistor thing in the spring time when it is not -30 Celsius (-22 Fahrenheit) out as I would prefer a 100% hard wired solution, but this will get me going for now.

#17 Work2Play

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 12:37 AM

This may sound like total defeat, but I've been shorting the terminals on my garage doors for the last 11 years in 5 different houses (I have the modules that let my car alarm remotes open my garage doors) - and only with the newest openers did I start seeing weirdness like you describe above - but, it's not uncommon at all.

My overly-simple solution... I replaced the fancy control pads with standard GDO buttons (like a doorbell button), and I use the Elk and contact and motion sensors to turn on the main garage lights; I took the light bulbs completely out of the openers since they weren't needed. It's nice pulling in and having the whole garage lit up rather than just the two little light bulbs above your bay.

I know I'll be replacing my garage doors here in the next year or so with the latest and greatest and will be faced with this dilemma once again... I'd be tempted to use a potentiometer with a good range on it to do the testing to find just the right resistance. It's gotta be easier than experimenting with different combinations of resistors, right?

#18 Lou Apo

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 05:27 AM

Thanks for the tip Lou Apo and everyone else. I have decided to give BSR's suggestion of hacking a wireless remote a try and I was up and running within 15 minutes. I will definitely revisit the resistor thing in the spring time when it is not -30 Celsius (-22 Fahrenheit) out as I would prefer a 100% hard wired solution, but this will get me going for now.



That is what I have at my house. I think you will find that there is no reason to mess with it anymore.

#19 signal15

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 07:48 PM

In another thread a year or two ago on here, I had the same problem with the same panel.

My solution (suggested by someone else) was to take it apart and solder wires to the solder points on the board where the button is. There are actually two buttons behind that big thing on the top, you just need to do one of them, it doesn't matter which. Then, when the relay closes, it emulates a button press. No more lost power to the panel.

When I just redid a bunch of stuff in my garage, I had everything out there disconnected, and I modified a remote to operate the door. I will probably get rid of that at some point and hardwire it again. The remote is down in my basement near the main panel, and signal is sketchy making it out to the garage because of all of the concrete.

#20 Kazibole

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 08:22 PM

In another thread a year or two ago on here, I had the same problem with the same panel.

My solution (suggested by someone else) was to take it apart and solder wires to the solder points on the board where the button is. There are actually two buttons behind that big thing on the top, you just need to do one of them, it doesn't matter which. Then, when the relay closes, it emulates a button press. No more lost power to the panel.

When I just redid a bunch of stuff in my garage, I had everything out there disconnected, and I modified a remote to operate the door. I will probably get rid of that at some point and hardwire it again. The remote is down in my basement near the main panel, and signal is sketchy making it out to the garage because of all of the concrete.


Once I saw how easy it was to hack a wireless remote I thought about doing this, but I don't think I will be having any reception problems with my wireless remote as it is just on the other side of the concrete to my garage. So far it has been working flawlessly. I'd rather wreck a $30 remote than a control panel that is much more expensive. The only advantage I would have by wiring the button on the control panel is that then I don't have to deal with the 3V battery on the wireless remote.

#21 signal15

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 09:36 PM

Once I saw how easy it was to hack a wireless remote I thought about doing this, but I don't think I will be having any reception problems with my wireless remote as it is just on the other side of the concrete to my garage. So far it has been working flawlessly. I'd rather wreck a $30 remote than a control panel that is much more expensive. The only advantage I would have by wiring the button on the control panel is that then I don't have to deal with the 3V battery on the wireless remote.


You can pick up 50 of those batteries on ebay for like $8. I have a big tacklebox to organize all of my batteries. Sure, they expire after a while, but I usually end up using most of them before that happens. And the big 2450 battery in the remote is NOT needed, it's only used for the proximity sensing so the lights turn on when your hand gets near it. You only need the smaller 3216 or whatever it is.

#22 Spanky

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 10:43 PM

Probably a dead short across the two wires is killing the voltage at the push button and causing its circuitry to reset.

Try doing some investigation by measuring the voltage on the two wires before and after you push the button. More than likely the push button has a resistor in series with it and the voltage across the wires drops down when the button is pressed but does not go to zero volts.

A second garage door button on the push button panel probably drops the voltage to a different level.

With some resistance measurements you can figure out the resistors required to control the door(s) without killing the remote.
Try disconnecting the push button panel and measure the resistance across the terminals on the back of the push button panel before and after pushing the buttons. Subtract the difference in resistance and you should have a close resistor value to put in series with the M1 relay contacts that will open/close the garage door.

#23 Photon

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 07:48 AM

An advantage of doing this with the remote is that you can still use the lockout button on the push button panel to prevent remote operation. Some might consider this a disadvantage, but I like to disable the GDO when I have one of the cars parked part way out while I work on it in the shade.

#24 gatchel

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 09:05 PM

It may also be due to the fact that the duration of the pulse of the ELk output is too long, even at one second. Maybe an external timed relay that can adjust down to milliseconds will do the trick. Have the elk output fire the external timed relay and set the relay to 500 mS or so. You may only need a very short duration pulse to trip the opener. One second may be too long.

I also like the resistance measurement solution...

Edited by gatchel, 03 February 2011 - 09:14 PM.


#25 signal15

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 12:44 AM

Probably a dead short across the two wires is killing the voltage at the push button and causing its circuitry to reset.

Try doing some investigation by measuring the voltage on the two wires before and after you push the button. More than likely the push button has a resistor in series with it and the voltage across the wires drops down when the button is pressed but does not go to zero volts.

A second garage door button on the push button panel probably drops the voltage to a different level.

With some resistance measurements you can figure out the resistors required to control the door(s) without killing the remote.
Try disconnecting the push button panel and measure the resistance across the terminals on the back of the push button panel before and after pushing the buttons. Subtract the difference in resistance and you should have a close resistor value to put in series with the M1 relay contacts that will open/close the garage door.


I went through this with mine. The voltage doesn't change when you press the button. It actually sends a signal over the wire. I just mounted a 2 contact terminal block on the side of the panel, and then soldered connections to the button on the board. Works great.

#26 Steve

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 06:43 PM

Just wondering if anyone has experimented with this any further? I just replaced my door and opener with a Liftmaster 3800 with the same smart panel. have a double whammy as I want to connect both my OP2 and my Flash2Pass system. To use the Flash2Pass with a spare hacked transmitter I would also have to add a separate power supply and then ultimately I would have 2 hacked remotes. I also have all my wiring at the motor and not the control panel so that would be a PITA to redo. So I was curious if anyone has played around with the resistor trick and found that to work where I can wire one in at the motor. I guess my other options are to live with panel resetting which I guess is no biggie as my Nuvo panel is right above the GDO button and has the right time (but the flashing time would get annoying) or I guess I could probably just use a basic GDO panel as long as it at least had the lock feature.

Edited by Steve, 19 April 2012 - 06:45 PM.


#27 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 12:21 PM

Could you go ahead and get the extra power supply for the flash2pass (sounds like they will give it to you with free shipping!), then just buy an extra remote for the GDO. Hook up the flash2pass with power supply in your I/O closet, then connect to the hacked GDO remote (via my How-To) to it. Then you would also parallel connect a relay output from your OP2 to this remote and thus both will be able to activate the remote.

Edited by BraveSirRobbin, 20 April 2012 - 12:22 PM.


#28 gatchel

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 04:17 PM

Just wondering if anyone has experimented with this any further? I just replaced my door and opener with a Liftmaster 3800 with the same smart panel. have a double whammy as I want to connect both my OP2 and my Flash2Pass system. To use the Flash2Pass with a spare hacked transmitter I would also have to add a separate power supply and then ultimately I would have 2 hacked remotes. I also have all my wiring at the motor and not the control panel so that would be a PITA to redo. So I was curious if anyone has played around with the resistor trick and found that to work where I can wire one in at the motor. I guess my other options are to live with panel resetting which I guess is no biggie as my Nuvo panel is right above the GDO button and has the right time (but the flashing time would get annoying) or I guess I could probably just use a basic GDO panel as long as it at least had the lock feature.


I have the exact opener and ran a 6 conductor to the control panel and soldered to the tact switches. Using 3 Elk relays I now have total control of the opener, the light and the lock. It hasn't failed me since.

I thought about the flash to pass system but decided that If I want better security I can remove the standard opener from any vehicles or have the ELk lock the opener.

Sorry...I know you didn't want to run a wire but you are limited to only a few options.

#29 Steve

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 06:45 PM

The Flash2Pass is really about convenience and security. It is convenient because you don't have to have the rf xmitter in the car so no fumbling around for it, or if you just leave it on the visor or something normally then you add to your security by not having that invitation to break into the car. I spoke to F2P Tech since I figured they would be aware of this from 'less technical' customers and in fact they have a different receiver that works with the smart panels. That tells me that it is in fact possible to do what we want likely with a resistor or something like was mentioned. I mean if they solved the problem it should apply to a relay in the panel as well.

Anyway, I am going to probably just do the BSR hack for now. Since I am using F2P I don't need my RF remotes. Each remote has 3 buttons so I am going to hook panel to one button and F2P to a second. I had to install an outlet up there anyway for the GDO so I have a free outlet and I have wall warts I can use to power the F2P. I think I can do it all right there and make it nice and neat and the rf remote will literally be 6" away from the opener so no range issues there. The biggest negative is the batteries in the rf remote. It appears to be either 3 or 6v but i will be using 9 or 12v for F2P. I would power the rf remote from the wall wart but it looks like I will need 2 different ones due to different voltages and I'm not sure I want to start putting triple taps and stuff in the outlet.

Anyway, thats the project for this weekend, I'll update when done.

#30 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 09:44 AM

Steve;

Just get a three terminal voltage regulator for the GDO remote. If you let me know what voltage the flash2pass is using and the battery voltage of the remote, I can hopefully find the one you need.

If not, there are adjustable regulators and you will only need two additional resistors (and probably a cap) plus the regulator.

Edited by BraveSirRobbin, 21 April 2012 - 09:45 AM.





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