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Pre-Wire for Garage Door Openers


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#1 hagak

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 07:44 AM

So I have installed a good bit of my security system. In the process I have had to open a few holes in the wall of our Garage. I am not ready yet to purchase the needed items to sense and control the GDO however I would like to pre-wire it so that I can close up the holes in the wall. I have to GDOs and will connect everything to an ELK M1G. What wiring should I run? 22/2 wire to each door where I plan to install the sensors? and 22/2 to each opener?

I was actually thinking about running CAT6 to each opener. Then run 22/2 from the door sensors to the opener. The CAT6 could then carry the sensor wire and the output wire, this way I only have to run 2 wires up from the basement into the garage ceiling instead of 4. Plus I do not have 22/2 wire right now but have a bunch of CAT6.

Does this sound like a decent plan? Do you guys have anything else to suggest?

Thanks

#2 JimS

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 11:05 AM

You need 22/2 for the opener control and 22/2 for the door sensor for each door. The attic above my garage is unfinished so I just poked small holes in the drywall ceiling and put the wiring in after the drywall was up. Most people don't use Catx cable for this because it is much smaller gauge but it would probably work fine.

22/4 is pretty common wire. I would use that. You would still have only two runs to the garage and could handle both the opener and sensor. But while you are at it you might want to throw in a Cat cable or an extra 22/4. Depends on if you think you might find a future use for it.

#3 hagak

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 01:25 PM

You need 22/2 for the opener control and 22/2 for the door sensor for each door. The attic above my garage is unfinished so I just poked small holes in the drywall ceiling and put the wiring in after the drywall was up. Most people don't use Catx cable for this because it is much smaller gauge but it would probably work fine.

22/4 is pretty common wire. I would use that. You would still have only two runs to the garage and could handle both the opener and sensor. But while you are at it you might want to throw in a Cat cable or an extra 22/4. Depends on if you think you might find a future use for it.


Cat6 is 24 gauge wire normally, the stuff I have is 23 gauge. However now that I think about it I do have a good bit of leftover 18/4 fire wire. Might use that instead since I have more of it left over than I do cat6. Might consider running a cat6 along each 18/4 as you suggest for future use.

#4 pete_c

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 03:49 PM

In addition to your sensor wires you have the wiring going to the saftey light beam sensors near the bottom of the tracks. I used pairs of sensors on the doors for my use; kind of to double check the position of the door at any given time (and a near garage door accident with automation years ago - WAF - my wife's logic versus my logic thing).

#5 gatchel

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 03:51 PM

I wouldn't use any solid conductor wiring for that application. I would run a 22-4 or 22-6 minimum from each point to point to be able to do some future work if needed.

#6 hagak

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 04:03 PM

I wouldn't use any solid conductor wiring for that application. I would run a 22-4 or 22-6 minimum from each point to point to be able to do some future work if needed.

Isn't most of the wire at the 22 and smaller gauge going to be solid conductor? What is the issue with solid conductor if it is going to be securely mounted in wall?

#7 DELInstallations

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 06:48 PM

You can get stranded all the way down below a 30AWG.

My thoughts for stranded/solid are this:

Permanent building wiring for alarm: solid.
Fire alarm: Always solid
Items that need to remain flexible, line cords, etc: stranded.
Audio and various patch cables/computer cables made in field IE: DB-9: Stranded
Any proprietary format cable is an exception, such as an Eschelon network cable, etc.
Any conductor that is going to end up soldered: stranded
Any ethernet: solid

The biggest problem people have with solid is they don't know how to work with it, nick conductors, over flex the cable and the big one I see with alarms especially is they crank down screw terminals and "crimp" the wire under the terminal, leading many times to a connection failure or intermittents.

Solid is generally preferable for a safety sensor because it eliminates the possiblity of a cable having marginal connections or field wiring issues, as solid is typically an all or none connection, it's not like a stranded cable where only a couple of strands may still allow something to "appear" connected, however not allow full current rating of the conductor.

Edited by DELInstallations, 01 August 2011 - 06:50 PM.


#8 hagak

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 09:30 PM

^^^^What he said^^^^

But he kinda contradicts your early suggestion to NOT use a solid conductor for this application? NOTE this question is meant as a true question and not as a smartass comment. I want to make sure everyone agrees on the same thing. My application is to run wire inside the wall that will be permanent.

#9 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 10:20 AM

Think about the future as the garage is one of the most heavily automated scenarios for a lot of members here! ;)

For instance, will you have a water softener in the garage? Want future motion detection? Car/Vehicle monitors? Lighting control? Sprinkler control (garage is a great location for this in some homes)? How about a security camera?

You might even want to implement the ULTIMATE garage door monitor in the future (after you earn your automation stripes :rockon: )! B)

#10 Lou Apo

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 01:44 PM

Think about the future as the garage is one of the most heavily automated scenarios for a lot of members here! ;)

For instance, will you have a water softener in the garage? Want future motion detection? Car/Vehicle monitors? Lighting control? Sprinkler control (garage is a great location for this in some homes)? How about a security camera?

You might even want to implement the ULTIMATE garage door monitor in the future (after you earn your automation stripes :rockon: )! B)


I so wish I had run the extra wire to do that. I may still pull another wire in the future.

Couldn't you use an Elk zone connected to the potentiometer and set the Elk to monitor it as an anolog zone? If so, what would be the best resistance to buy? You can get that same unit anywhere from 100ohm to 100k ohms. I'm thinking something in the neighborhood of 2000 ohms but don't fully understand how elk powers zones, they obviously have some internal current limiter since shorting a zone doesn't fry anything.

Edit: After thinking about, a 2000 ohm pot will give you a 0 to 6'ish volt range. You probably would want more like a 10,000 ohm model to get a 0 to 11ish range. That is if I have guessed correctly on how Elk limits current.

Edited by Lou Apo, 02 August 2011 - 04:52 PM.


#11 Work2Play

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 05:16 PM

In my garage, I have an Elk 14" can (the one that comes with the systems) mounted and the databus extended out there with an M1XIN input expander and M1RB/M1XOVR outputs/relay boards along with a 12V power distribution panel to run the accessories, open/close the garage doors, sense open/closed, etc; and will likely run off that one day for a water shutoff valve;

When I bought the house they had used Cat5 to connect the buttons to the openers and the sensor eyes to the openers (very common out here) - I just stole the unused pairs to use for the contact sensors to get everything up to the ceiling inside the walls; then ran a single Cat5 across both garage door heads down to my 14" can - that left a pair for each sensor, and a pair for each opener.

Either way - if you have Cat6 and want to use it, it'll be just fine... Cat5/6 is what they do in all new home construction around here for both the sensor eyes and the buttons; and it works just fine for the contact sensors as well.

Lou - I believe you can only do the analog thing on the 16 onboard zones unless you remove the pull-up resistor - I believe BSR might know a little more about this? In my case that's how I'd hook in the ultimate opener to the expansion input board - something on my wish-list still.

#12 hagak

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 06:44 PM

Well what I think I will do is run 2 Cat6 cables from the basement (where the panel is) up to to each garage door opener (so 4 cables in total). Then later I can run cables from the openers to the actual doors. Right now I just need to get the wire from the basement to the openers since that is the wall that is currently cut up.

Running 2 cables to each opener just for overkill in case like you guys said I have a need for something else.

P.S. Note I am already decided to run some fire wire also just in front of the openers so that I can install a heat detector over each car.

Edited by hagak, 02 August 2011 - 06:45 PM.


#13 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 11:51 PM

You have to have enough drive to overcome the pull up resistor in the Elk's analog input modules. The excitation voltage applied to the pot will determine the max voltage (that and of course 'where' you initially set the pot for it's starting/stopping positions).

The only problem when using the Elk inputs for analog mode is the way it updates, especially on expansion units (I believe it's only every 30 seconds or so). There are some posts (by myself and others) on the limitations when using the Elk inputs for analog measurement purposes. I would rather have the ten bit resolution of a lot of cheap analog to digital converters for my purposes.

You could always just use an external voltage source (DC wall wart) and a multiple turn potentiometer and just bench test it with your Elk and see if you can resolve different voltages with it (via the 'panel' status voltage display).

Just watch your current capability of the voltage source and power rating of the potentiometer.

#14 Lou Apo

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 08:08 AM

I was actually thinking of just using two of the contacts of a pot so that it functions as a rheostat. Just like when you use a 2200 ohm eol resistor it cuts the voltage in half, if you had a variable "eol resistor" you should be able to return a range of voltages. If I used a 2000 ohm pot I should be able to have voltages from 0 to roughly 7 at the panel.

The elk's analog mode may not be the worlds most accurate device (as I hear you guys saying, I think), but I really only want to know the answer to two questions.

1) Is the door closed
2) Is the door moving, and if so, which way.

I don't really care to know if the door is 20 inches open or 45 inches open or whatever. For security purposes, it is either closed or it is not. For safety and for logic purposes, it is either stationary, opening, or closing.

So, I hear you saying that Elk's resolution is not good on the aux zone boards. And of course, my doors are currently not on the main panel. It wouldn't be the end of the world to rearrange some zones and move it to the main board.

If I did that, would Elk be able to determine if the voltage is static, rising, or falling? I see that Elk only has options for greater than, less than, or equal to, and it only lets you use analog values as secondary conditions (non-trigger conditions).

I was looking at perhaps setting the garage door pot (rheostat) zone as a temp zone. Then setting two variables in quick succession (like 1 sec apart) to the "temperatures" of the garage door rheostat and then comparing the two variables.

The main question I have here, is how does Elk measure temp on a zone? I assume it is reading a voltage which equates to some temp. Does it use the full range of 0 to 13 or something else?

It might be easier to look inside the garage door opener and see how the motor works. If I used relays that close when the door motor is energized and if the direction of motion is based on polarity of dc current, that might be an easier solution.

Edited by Lou Apo, 03 August 2011 - 08:55 AM.


#15 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 09:31 AM

Hi Lou;

You could do something like that. I'm guessing you would have to poll the zone with some sort of timer and do a value compare to see if the door is rising or falling. The problem is the door opens pretty fast so the poll would have to be at least every second. I guess you could activate this poll to take place only when a command is given to control the garage door (I'm just not sure).

I may have been misleading on my resolution needs in the above post. The Elk has eight bit resolution so it will divide the voltage span into 256 'units' vs say a ten bit which divides the voltage span into 1024 'units'. BUT, when concerning the resolution needed for a garage door's location, eight bits should be more than adequate (unless you are really hard core). I just didn't like the pull up resistor influence and polling/updating using the Elk as an analog input, plus I had other sensors here that needed the ten bit resolution (temp, humidity, salt level in softener, etc...).

I use HomeSeer to read the analog to digital converter via a serial port and place those inputs as devices so it all works out great for me here.

Another thing I'm thinking about is the Elk's abitility to use a four sensor state (forget what it is called) that you might be able to use as well for at least four quadrants of your garage door's location. Best to just get a pot and play around with it a bit.

I do have a Guide to Analog to Digital Converters which might be of some use here as well. B)




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