I love Tech Toys

I love tech toys and I saw a cheap remote controller which I could use for many tasks. It has a 1″ by 1″ cox, the relay board and a 4-button remote control. It works off 12 VDC and has normally-open and normally-closed terminals. It also allows for intermittent, while button is pressed, and delayed operations.

Recently a neighbor called with a problem. His garage door opener was broken and the remotes didn’t work. The repair guy brought a new remote but it would not link up. A new board for the system was over $100 and then there was some installation cost. It would almost pay to buy a whole new unit.

I asked the most important question and got the right answer. “Does the button on the wall work as it should?” and the answer was yes.

When you push the button on the wall, usually a press to open and a press to close, it shorts two terminals at the door control board. If you can simulate a short across those two terminals, the door will operate. Instead of a new board replacement, my relay came to the rescue and it was only about $12-$15 for everything.

I verified the button worked and then got the step ladder. I traced the wires from the switch to the opener and connected the normally-open and the common relay output across the terminals. I cut the end off a 12 VDC little adapter I had and powered up the unit. After setting the left-hand button to have an intermittent function I tested things out.

When I pressed the button the door opened. When I pressed it again, the door closed. PROBLEM SOLVED!

To avoid any issues, I also configured the other big button to the same code so both of them do the same thing. That is just in case one button gets broken, I don’t get a call back.

This particular unit can store up to 20 similar fob codes so could be used by employees. The company also makes multiple relay units that can control 4 or was it 5 different things like lights and doors and so on. Each device would need to have a wire brought to the relay board, and it does appear the contacts can handle 120 volts AC.

This is a photo of one of the single relay boards. The coiled thing is a wire used an an antenna which can be extended outside the box for more distance. The range of the unit is 30 to 100 feet in open terrain.

That black V-shaped plastic thing is a cover which slides up and down to protect against accidental pushing of the buttons. The remote also has small screws which can be used to probably remove the back to replace a battery.

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