Stealth Garage Door Opener

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by CDesperado, Dec 22, 2019.

  1. CDesperado

    CDesperado Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I thought I'd post this in case anyone else is interested. I've included lots of pics. I've never seen a stealth build for this particular type of door opener, so I hope this helps someone!

    My motivation here was simple: I dont like leaving a garage door opener clipped to my sunvisor in plain view. Although my opener is a key fob, who wants that big old thing dangling on their key chain? And I don't like fumbling around in the center console trying to find it either, so I decided to make a stealth garage door opener.

    Stuff You Will Need
    1. Garage Door Opener
    2. Two pieces of wire (About 12-18 inches long; I used 20 gauge because that’s what I happened to have laying around.)
    3. A couple small pieces of Velcro with sticky backing (rough 1" by 2" is plenty)
    4. A Momentary switch
      1. I prefer a button style, rather than a flush-mount. (If you are hiding it under the dash like I did, use a button style. If you are mounting it on the center console, a flush mount would be better.)
      2. Radio Shack (Part #: 2750644 | 275-0644 | 275-644)
    5. Various Tools
      1. Wire Cutters
      2. Soldering iron and solder
      3. Dremel
      4. Drill with the following bits: 1/8” and 1/2” bit
      5. Silicone
      6. 2-part Epoxy (or other kind of Glue)
      7. Two small scraps of plastic or sheet metal that will be used for mounting plates
      8. Optional – Male and Female quick release connectors and a Crimper
    This is the opener for my garage door. It's a little different than some of the older styles, which have a simple positive and negative terminal (which makes things a lot easier). In this particular style, each half of the circular portion is a positive and negative. Think of a Yin-Yang, as shown in this diagram.

    Step 1. Crack that garage door opener and let’s have a look inside. For this particular style of opener, you can attach wires in several different ways. It's a little weird to explain, but basically you can attach two wires to either the positive and negative on either the left or right sides, and it will activate the opener. In my case, I opted to run one wire to each side, simply because it was easier for me.
    [​IMG]

    Step 2. Remove the rubber door opener buttons and circuit board. Mark two spots on the opener, which will be used to route the wires. I used a 1/8” bit, but could have used something smaller.

    Be sure you remove the circuit board before you start drilling.
    [​IMG]

    Step 3. Put the circuit board back into the opener and clamp it to your workbench. I found it easier to also clamp the wires down. (If you look closely at the red wire, you can see where I accidentally ripped the upper half of the circle off the circuit board when the wire moved. Oops, but it’s no big deal.)
    [​IMG]

    Step 4. Make your wiring harness. How you approach this depends largely on where you plan to mount your opener. In my case, I am mounting the button under the ash tray, but I am running the circuit board across the lower portion of the dash, just under the AC controls. (I am doing this so that when the battery dies in a few years, it will be easier to reach the circuit board so I can swap out the battery.)

    What you do here largely depends on how fancy you want to be. In my case, I wanted to include some disconnects in case I ever need to remove the buttons for some reason. I also wrapped the wires in loom to ensure they don’t rattle when I am driving. You could also use some foam rubber or just cut up an old t-shirt and wrap them up in that.

    So in my case, this is what I ended up with....
    [​IMG]

    The final thing to note here is that before I re-attached the two halves of the garage door opener, I squirted some silicone into the wire holes to ensure the wires don’t move around at all.
    [​IMG]


    Step 5. Make a plate for your opener button (or if you are using a different mounting location, just drill a 1/2” hole in your dash or center console).

    In my case, the plate for my opener actually has two ½” holes (which are the larger holes you see here ) because I am using two Door Opener buttons. The smaller hole (which is created in the next step) is used to attach the plate to the lower dash, as noted below. The curved notch in the corner of the plate is to ensure the plate will sit flush into the lower dash, just the way I want it to. (I used a dremel to cut this piece of plastic and shape it the way I needed to.)

    This plate is about 1.25” wide and about 1.5” deep (roughly).
    [​IMG]

    Step 6. I carefully clamped the plate to my lower dash, and drilled a small pilot hole for a #8 screw, which will be used to hold the buttons in place. (Velcro won’t work – the plate will get dislodged when you press the buttons.)

    This is what the wiring side of the button looks like when it’s installed. There is about 1/3” inch of clearance from the prongs to the bottom of the ash tray, which is plenty of room. To wire this up, you will simply attach the positive wire to one prong and the negative wire to the other prong. Easy-peasy.
    [​IMG]

    And this is what the button looks like, if you look up under the dash. From the perspective of the driver, you really can’t see the button at all. From the passenger perspective, you can’t see it either. I liked this approach because you can quickly run your finger under the dashboard and then easily feel the button to press it.
    [​IMG]

    Step 7. This last bit is optional, but I think it will make mounting the circuit board portion easier. First, I used a dremel to remove the slot that is normally used by the metal sunvisor clip. You need to use a clamp to secure the piece to your work bench – if you don’t, the dremel will send it into orbit around Saturn.

    The goal is to create a relatively flat area that can be used to make a second mounting plate.
    [​IMG]

    Next, you make a small plate, roughly the shape of the opener itself. Once you finish, simply glue the second plate to the garage door opener. This will make it much easier to use Velcro to attach the garage door opener under your dash. (I exposed the rough side of this plastic so the Velcro can adhere to it, but it probably doesnt matter much.)
    [​IMG]

    I ran out of daylight today, but I will edit this and post some more pictures tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2019
    younda, Green hornet and rburrow87 like this.
  2. djorgensen3

    djorgensen3 Veteran Member

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    That's a pretty cool idea. I've read where some people connect it into the high beam switch so all you have to do is flash high beams to get it to open or close. I thought about doing that on my Busa.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
  3. CDesperado

    CDesperado Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    That's a cool idea - never heard of that. I'd have to think about how to wire that up, but I think I like keeping the door opener independent of the rest of the wiring.

    It would definitely make sense on a bike though!
     
  4. Fbird

    Fbird Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    you sir have tooo much free time....
    i just want a garage.....then i will work on an opener.. :(
     
  5. Green hornet

    Green hornet Veteran Member

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    Cool idea. Any thought on how to do this with the larger older three button opener. You know the one that is about 1 1/2x3 inches?
     
  6. CaliCamaro75

    CaliCamaro75 Veteran Member

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    If your talking the old liftmaster style. I have a 2 button version I'm possibly gonna modify to make work on my motorcycle. :) I'll post my findings
     
  7. younda

    younda Veteran Member

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    This is awesome. I've been leaving my door openers in cars in the driveway for decades (knowing I shouldn't) but recently neighbors have been notifying us that theirs are missing so I started carrying one with me instead. PITA. Thanks for taking the time to share your ideas. I will do something like this myself.
     
  8. Green hornet

    Green hornet Veteran Member

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    Correct the Lift master model openers. I believe mine is a three button. I’ll have to look tomorrow. If you do it post some picks.
     
  9. CaliCamaro75

    CaliCamaro75 Veteran Member

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    Yea I will for sure might be this weekend. Possibly post here to keep common thread together.
     
  10. Jim Streib

    Jim Streib https://www.flickr.com/photos/121766713@N04/albums

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    I thought about what you are doing when I had a customer that wanted to control his one brand alarm on the car to another system that would also control other things on the vehicle and what you have done will work and it's nice seeing what you have done as a workable solution.
    I do know years ago they had RF receivers that you could wire to an existing garage door opener as well as having the same remote on a different transmitting button control other things on a vehicle like the alarm system or things like unlocking or locking the doors and opening the trunk, and it was all on a remote connected to your set of keys for the car. You never left the remote for the garage door opener in the car but was kept with the remote for the car and it's keys.
    Maybe this flexibility has gone south and is not readily available and what you are doing is a work around.

    Jim
     

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