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Mario's Garage Door Monitor (Flash) Icon

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
Mario Creates the Ultimate (MainLobby) Garage Door Flash Icon for the Ultimate Garage Door Monitor

by BraveSirRobbin

Mario Cascio of Cinemar visited our chat room this past Friday and we started discussing my Ultimate Garage Door Monitor How-To. Since I use MainLobby, I was curious if he could develop a "library" flash icon which showed the garage door in its actual state (i.e. its actual percentage opened). Since I went through all the trouble of knowing the garage door's position to within a couple of inches, I wanted a "dynamic" representation of that position with a MainLobby scene.

I had some still screen shots that my friend Fungun developed for me, but they were only in ten percent increments. Therefore I had to develop code that would "best" represent the garage door's position. His pics were very much appreciated, but it did have inaccuracies due to their limited span.

Mario said he could develop a garage door (MainLobby) flash icon and have the door's position dynamically represented by the (HomeSeer) analog to digital converter's device which showed a true door "percent opened". (This would work much the same way as a MainLobby “slider’s†value based on a HomeSeer variable). He actually worked on a prototype during our chat session.

He was gracious enough to Email me this result and I promptly developed a MainLobby scene with it. I was amazed as to how accurate this represented the garage door's actual position. As a matter of fact I was so impressed that I set up a video camera to look at my garage door and had our chat participants compare that live image to screen shots of my MainLobby scene (you just never know what will happen during our Friday chat sessions).

Another feature that Mario employed was the ability to place an image "behind" this garage door. I took a picture of my actual garage and scaled/cropped it so it fit behind that garage door flash icon. He also refined the prototype icon a few times to get it "just right".

I then took screen shots of my MainLobby scene and at the same time took some actual pictures of the garage door (so you can compare the two).

The results are shown below. Take a close look at each garage door’s image and compare it to its corresponding MainLobby scene. (Click on one picture, leave it displayed on your desktop, then go back to this article and click on the next one so you can compare the two). Pay very close attention to the details of where the door is in relation to the vehicles and while doing so you will see how accurate this system is.

Also, you can dynamically place an image behind the garage door based on a (HomeSeer/MLServer) variable's value. So in other words, if you have a way to "track" your vehicles status in the garage, you could load the appropriate image behind the garage door. For instance if only one vehicle is home, load a picture showing just that one vehicle!

There are many ways to track a car's status. RFID is one, my Palm Pad Hack for Car Status is another, and using a motion to Detect Car Status is yet another.

I think this is very cool and really represents the "status" of the garage door (and the vehicles inside the garage. I deliberately did not tint the MainLobby garage door icon just so you can see that this was an actual dynamic value/position based on the analog to digital converter's HomeSeer variable which showed the actual percentage of the garage door (if I tinted it like Mario said I can do, people would think I just imposed a screen shot from my digital camera on my MainLobby scene!).

Look at the screen shots below and you will see why this is so cool, and better yet, why one would want to accurately monitor their garage door's position. Also note that you could use this technique for other important monitoring needs such as a driveway entry gate or possibly a pool gate. We were also talking about monitoring salt level in our water softeners (Mario is already thinking of how to create a dynamic flash icon to represent this!).

One last thing I did was to have the icon "clickable" and assigned it a MLServer toggle command so it toggles a garage door remote that is connected to my home automation system (My Ocelot's RLY-8XA unit to be specific). Details on how to do this are described in THIS How-To! Now when I click on the garage door it opens or closes depending on it's initial state. Very cool!

I would like to thank Mario for this effort and also state that it was fun working with him on this project. I also want to note that this indeed took a few hours to develop and I now have a much better appreciation of the time involved in developing those great looking MainLobby libraries.
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Actual Garage Door at Zero Percent Open


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MainLobby Screen at Zero Percent Open
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Actual Garage Door at Nine Percent Open


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MainLobby Screen at Nine Percent Open
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Actual Garage Door at 20 Percent Open


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MainLobby Screen at 20 Percent Open
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Actual Garage Door at 40 Percent Open


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MainLobby Screen at 40 Percent Open
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Actual Garage Door at 74 Percent Open


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MainLobby Screen at 74 Percent Open
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Actual Garage Door at 85 Percent Open


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MainLobby Screen at 85 Percent Open
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Actual Garage Door at 98 Percent Open


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MainLobby Screen at 98 Percent Open
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Squintz

Senior Member
Take it a step further. Use either electrons 'motion detector in the car' trick or RFID and make the images show what cars if any are actually in the garage. That would be really cool.
 

Mark S.

Active Member
I thought your "Ultimate Garage Door Monitor" was just about the nerdiest and most extreme thing I've ever seen anyone do for home automation. But you've topped yourself here! You need help. :D

But very cool. :D

Mark
 

JohnBullard

Active Member
Mark S. - The only "help" BSR needs is more extreme ideas of things to extremely automate :D

That is just fantastic BSR and Mario !!!!!

I'm not a Main Lobby user (yet), but I did not realize there was THAT much capability in it.


Great Project.
 

WayneW

Senior Member
Next job is to replace the door opener motor with a stepper motor so you can tell it to open to exactly 73.5% and at what speed!
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
Squintz said:
Take it a step further. Use either electrons 'motion detector in the car' trick or RFID and make the images show what cars if any are actually in the garage. That would be really cool.
Squintz:

That is what this paragraph meant:

Also, you can dynamically place an image behind the garage door based on a variable's value. So in other words, if you have a way to "track" your vehicles status in the garage, you could load the appropriate image behind the garage door. For instance if only one vehicle is home, load a picture showing just that one vehicle!

There are many ways to track a car's status. RFID is one, my Palm Pad Hack for Car Status is another, and using a motion to Detect Car Status is yet another.

I didn't want to limit the original statement to just one method. :D

BSR
 

mcascio

Active Member
Hey Guys,

Yeah - it was a fun project. I don't have time to play around as much so this was a good break from the norm.

Although, explain that to everyone awaiting Cinemar software releases. :D

I've got a bit more work to make the Garage Door animation compatible with systems like Elk. I want to have two more versions, one that slides up/down based on a toggle value and one that just shows door all the way up/down.

I figure most users won't have an elaborate setup like BSR which tracks their garage door like a volume slider. :D

At that point, I can roll it into an existing library or future library. It's a fairly large file, so it won't get rolled into the core MainLobby at this point.

Here's another link that shows a slider being used to simulate what BSR is actually doing physically:
http://www.cinemaronline.com/garagesimulation.html

BSR, you should definitely post this over to the Cinemar forum. I think users would get a kick out of it.
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
One last feature I incorporated was to have the icon "clickable" and assigned it a MLServer toggle command so it toggles a garage door remote that is connected to my home automation system (My Ocelot's RLY-8XA unit to be specific). Details on how to do this are described in THIS How-To! Now when I click on the garage door it opens or closes depending on it's initial state. Very cool!

I also "tinted" the icon to match the paint color of my garage door and added it to my main directory scene. Screen shot attached below.
 

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BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
mcascio said:
BSR, you should definitely post this over to the Cinemar forum.  I think users would get a kick out of it.
Hi Mario;

I posted THIS on your forums!

I must say this was one of the more fun projects I have ever worked on! Again, thanks and it was great working with you!

So, what's our next project! :D

Regards,

BSR
 
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