Author Topic: Garage Door Opener Inverter Asleep.  (Read 1033 times)

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armadillo

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Garage Door Opener Inverter Asleep.
« on: October 07, 2017, 01:06:32 PM »
Has anyone here figured out a way to run a remote controlled garage door opener without having to have the inverter awake all the time?  I'm told that getting the sensor to recognize the remote signal is an issue when the inverter is in sleep mode.
 I know some of the new garage door openers have a battery backup that works off a small motorcycle battery so apparently DC operation is possible, but I did some research and found that it's an emergency mode that takes 20 seconds to get the door open, which I guess is a fourth as long as it normally takes.

I could run a 24 VDC wire to the opener and/or remote sensor with a step down to 12VDC easily.
Could I get the remote sensor to work on DC and close the relay, thus waking up the inverter?
I'm not competent with electronics so I need to keep it simple.

dnix71

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Re: Garage Door Opener Inverter Asleep.
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2017, 06:43:23 PM »
Buy an inverter with a remote control. I bought a sine wave inverter from Home Depot and after buying it discovered it has a remote control. There is a box that plugs in to the front and a coin cell battery key chain control. On and Off at the push of a button. The remote control box must pull some power but I've never noticed a drain on my car battery.

The inverter is hard wired to my car with a supercapacitor boost module for starting hard loads. The inverter is powered off unless I need it, but the wireless box and the boost cap array are always connected. I have never had a problem with the arrangement draining the battery.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Sunforce-1000-Watt-Pure-Sine-Wave-Inverter-11240/100660092

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SparWeb

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Re: Garage Door Opener Inverter Asleep.
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2017, 10:34:24 PM »
Depends on which switch you're talking about, and how your GD works.
My GD has two controls:  a battery powered remote that I keep in the car and a button on the wall beside the door to the house.
The remote in the car has to talk to a receiver in the GD opener.  That's not going to be on if the inverter is in sleep mode. 
I assume this is the remote you're talking about, but in the same breath, the other button on the wall isn't going to work either, for the same reason.

I would try thinking about devices like the "clapper".  Unfortunately the clapper needs the AC already to be on, but the trick is that a device like it, that you could turn on remotely somehow, is able to switch on a big AC electrical load, knocking the inverter out of sleep mode.   So what you really need is the clapper that switches on an AC load (like a lamp) but is controlled by DC.
That exists.
It's called an Arduino (30 USD)  https://solarbotics.com/product/50450/
Add a RF receiver shield (7 USD)  https://www.dfrobot.com/product-1089.html

I just re-read your OP and see you don't have much experience with electronics.  I suppose I could say this would be a great way to learn - the Arduino's are popular partly because they're easy to use, as far as electronic gadgets go.

Another way to skin the cat is to set up a "tripwire" in front of the garage door, basically using a second pair of the same infrared sensors that are used on the garage door already.  These sensors work on 12vDC (mine do, so maybe you have the same type).  Set them up so that the circuit is broken when your car is close enough.  That controls a relay, and that relay switches on that AC light that wakes up the inverter and now the GD responds to your remote.
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

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armadillo

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Re: Garage Door Opener Inverter Asleep.
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2017, 06:55:19 AM »
Depends on which switch you're talking about, and how your GD works.
My GD has two controls:  a battery powered remote that I keep in the car and a button on the wall beside the door to the house.
The remote in the car has to talk to a receiver in the GD opener.  That's not going to be on if the inverter is in sleep mode. 
I assume this is the remote you're talking about, but in the same breath, the other button on the wall isn't going to work either, for the same reason.

I would try thinking about devices like the "clapper".  Unfortunately the clapper needs the AC already to be on, but the trick is that a device like it, that you could turn on remotely somehow, is able to switch on a big AC electrical load, knocking the inverter out of sleep mode.   So what you really need is the clapper that switches on an AC load (like a lamp) but is controlled by DC.
That exists.
It's called an Arduino (30 USD)  https://solarbotics.com/product/50450/
Add a RF receiver shield (7 USD)  https://www.dfrobot.com/product-1089.html

I just re-read your OP and see you don't have much experience with electronics.  I suppose I could say this would be a great way to learn - the Arduino's are popular partly because they're easy to use, as far as electronic gadgets go.

Another way to skin the cat is to set up a "tripwire" in front of the garage door, basically using a second pair of the same infrared sensors that are used on the garage door already.  These sensors work on 12vDC (mine do, so maybe you have the same type).  Set them up so that the circuit is broken when your car is close enough.  That controls a relay, and that relay switches on that AC light that wakes up the inverter and now the GD responds to your remote.
The garage door is on the eave side of the roof which means any trip wire sensors would get covered by snow.  Getting my head wrapped around the concept that the objective is to wake up the main house inverter from inside my truck, no need to even tie in to the GDO circuitry or even understand it. Once that's accomplished, the garage door opener, no matter how it's designed, should work fine. I wonder if there is some kind of security motion sensor made for lights that I could power off my 24 VDC that has a relay that turns on an incandescent bulb on a 120 VAC circuit, thus waking the inverter? A variation of this idea, maybe a 24 VDC remote control unit with a 120 VAC relay? That way I wouldn't have to mess with 12 VDC at all, nor any confusing devices/circuitry I don't understand. The Arduino is way over my head.

Buy an inverter with a remote control. I bought a sine wave inverter from Home Depot and after buying it discovered it has a remote control. There is a box that plugs in to the front and a coin cell battery key chain control. On and Off at the push of a button. The remote control box must pull some power but I've never noticed a drain on my car battery.

The inverter is hard wired to my car with a supercapacitor boost module for starting hard loads. The inverter is powered off unless I need it, but the wireless box and the boost cap array are always connected. I have never had a problem with the arrangement draining the battery.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Sunforce-1000-Watt-Pure-Sine-Wave-Inverter-11240/100660092

(Attachment Link)
Seems like it would work, if I understand your suggestion. I would have to buy a step down from 24 VDC to 12 VDC to charge a 12 VDC battery, buy the battery and the inverter. The inverter only has outputs of 500 watts each so the GDO would have to draw less than that. I couldn't find info on how far the remote would work.
Maybe just buy a pure sine wave inverter with 24 VDC input and 700-800 watts  120 VAC output, no battery, no step-down? My 24 VDC is on a 25' run of 10-2 romex so it might not have enough ampacity.

armadillo

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Re: Garage Door Opener Inverter Asleep.
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2017, 07:10:26 AM »
Would something like this work to power a 120 VAC light bulb from my truck? Of course I would have to click 2 different remotes every time I need to open the door. I assume once the inverter is awake, it would stay on long enough for me to fumble for the GDO remote and get it started.

https://www.amazon.com/Solidremote-12V-Universal-2-Channel-Transmitters/dp/B01JGDV8UM/ref=sr_1_1_sspa/134-7023793-3778753?ie=UTF8&qid=1507467638&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=12v+remote+control+relay&psc=1
« Last Edit: October 08, 2017, 07:15:15 AM by armadillo »

dnix71

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Re: Garage Door Opener Inverter Asleep.
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2017, 01:18:28 PM »
If you use 24v then the price for everything goes up. Samlex has a PST series with 24v inputs, but as with all Samlex inverters that have the option, the remote control is a separate purchase. There are many 12v inverters that come with remote controls.

A garage door is intermittent, so a Chinese inverter of uncertain quality might work. My inverter from Home Depot was made in China for a German company that had people there watching the manufacturing process.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-24V-to-120V-220V-2000W-Pure-Sine-Wave-Power-Inverter-with-Remote-Control-/112127769177

This one has a 24v option and pictures purporting to show how well it is made.

frackers

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Re: Garage Door Opener Inverter Asleep.
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2017, 05:54:57 PM »
All the garage door openers I've seen here in NZ (i.e. Dominator) use 24v internally so just use a couple of isolation diodes and run it off a couple of batteries. Nothing is going to be drawing much current until the motor starts up. Some models have battery backup built in.

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armadillo

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Re: Garage Door Opener Inverter Asleep.
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2017, 06:19:44 PM »
All the garage door openers I've seen here in NZ (i.e. Dominator) use 24v internally so just use a couple of isolation diodes and run it off a couple of batteries. Nothing is going to be drawing much current until the motor starts up. Some models have battery backup built in.
...
If you use 24v then the price for everything goes up. Samlex has a PST series with 24v inputs, but as with all Samlex inverters that have the option, the remote control is a separate purchase. There are many 12v inverters that come with remote controls.

A garage door is intermittent, so a Chinese inverter of uncertain quality might work. My inverter from Home Depot was made in China for a German company that had people there watching the manufacturing process.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-24V-to-120V-220V-2000W-Pure-Sine-Wave-Power-Inverter-with-Remote-Control-/112127769177

This one has a 24v option and pictures purporting to show how well it is made.
  Thanks for the replies, guys! I'm still hopeful that I can energize the house inverter some inexpensive way with a motion sensor or something. 
Installing isolation diodes would stop me in my tracks because I'm an electronically challenged individual.   
If I was certain that some specific GDO was all 24 VDC internally I would buy that, but I would have to be certain of that first. I suspect many use 24 volts for control circuitry, but I think the motors are 120 VAC. The ones with 12 volt backup operate at 1/4 speed in that mode.

SparWeb

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Re: Garage Door Opener Inverter Asleep.
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2017, 09:45:27 AM »
Maybe a second, smaller inverter would help.

The small inverter would be on all the time, but all it would do is power the motion-sensors, say on the garage lights.  The motion sensor is AC powered, but nothing more than the coil side of a relay.  The little inverter can run just the coil side.  The lights AC would be run ON SEPARATE WIRES to the main circuit (in fact they already are).  Nobody would ever know that when the garage lights turn on, the inverter system in the house turns on.

Make sure the small inverter's AC cannot possibly come into contact with the main inverter's AC. 
Try to pick a small inverter that doesn't suck too much power when it's idle.

When the bulbs in the garage lights burn out, the system stops opening the garage door.  Imagine trying to explain that to your family members!
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

armadillo

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Re: Garage Door Opener Inverter Asleep.
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2017, 08:26:31 AM »
Maybe a second, smaller inverter would help.

The small inverter would be on all the time, but all it would do is power the motion-sensors, say on the garage lights.  The motion sensor is AC powered, but nothing more than the coil side of a relay.  The little inverter can run just the coil side.  The lights AC would be run ON SEPARATE WIRES to the main circuit (in fact they already are).  Nobody would ever know that when the garage lights turn on, the inverter system in the house turns on.

Make sure the small inverter's AC cannot possibly come into contact with the main inverter's AC. 
Try to pick a small inverter that doesn't suck too much power when it's idle.

When the bulbs in the garage lights burn out, the system stops opening the garage door.  Imagine trying to explain that to your family members!
Thanks for your reply.
That sounds workable , but the devil is in the details. If the entire operation could be accomplished with 3 or 4 watts, it would be worth it.
The whole reason I'm setting my system up with most loads on DC is to keep the main inverter in sleep mode, saving 30 watts or so continuous. In the winter, the GDO will only be cycled twice a week. I could also operate the GDO manually, but I'm getting up in the years and trying to anticipate the inevitable. Sliding in the ice and busting my hip would be a drag.

SparWeb

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Re: Garage Door Opener Inverter Asleep.
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2017, 09:06:40 PM »
Okay....
Put a very big pushbutton on your garage wall beside the door.  Something like the buttons for wheelchair access doors.  Bigger is better.  Set the switch up to turn on a light that knocks the inverter out of sleep mode.

...

Keep some baseballs in the car with you.
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024


armadillo

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Re: Garage Door Opener Inverter Asleep.
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2017, 06:43:04 AM »
12 volt remote control switch http://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-4CH-100M-Wireless-Remote-Control-315MHz-Relay-Switch-2-Transceiver-Receiver-/202078907834?hash=item2f0cd76dba:g:eBkAAOSwU9xZ3lPW
Thanks for the reply.  I have been looking on ebay and amazon to see if they have any remotes designed for 24 volt systems that are capable of switching ac loads. I've found some that are "12-24 VDC", but having dealt with lights in that range found that they self destruct during equalization of my batteries. Maybe there is a device I can use inline on the 24 VDC supply that will prevent higher voltages?
If I go this route I will have to use 2 remotes every time I open the door, but there is a possibility that the same remote could be used in the GDO circuitry somehow.

armadillo

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Re: Garage Door Opener Inverter Asleep.
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2017, 12:38:42 PM »
When the GDO is not in use, will the receiver and electric eye draw any watts? Will they keep the inverter awake?
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 01:03:15 PM by armadillo »

OperaHouse

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Re: Garage Door Opener Inverter Asleep.
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2017, 01:38:20 PM »
Would be a nice little project for a NANO.  Been a while since I opened a garage door opener but I'm sure it is now so integrated that you can't break out functions and delaying the motor would just cause a fault.

The solution I see is buying a garage door opener transmitter and receiver.  Any garage door has a switch input for a push button for inside the garage.  Just dump the one that came with the opener.  Add a little programming of a NANO.

When transmitter is pressed, the receiver goes into the NANO.  If it detects inverter off then it turns inverter on for 10 minutes. It also turns on a light as an indicator that the inverter is running.  A second press opens the door.  If power is on, that first press opens the door and the NANO will not shut off the inverter.

armadillo

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Re: Garage Door Opener Inverter Asleep.
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2017, 10:17:01 AM »
Would be a nice little project for a NANO.  Been a while since I opened a garage door opener but I'm sure it is now so integrated that you can't break out functions and delaying the motor would just cause a fault.

The solution I see is buying a garage door opener transmitter and receiver.  Any garage door has a switch input for a push button for inside the garage.  Just dump the one that came with the opener.  Add a little programming of a NANO.

When transmitter is pressed, the receiver goes into the NANO.  If it detects inverter off then it turns inverter on for 10 minutes. It also turns on a light as an indicator that the inverter is running.  A second press opens the door.  If power is on, that first press opens the door and the NANO will not shut off the inverter.
Thanks but you're way over my head. Had to look up NANO, but without any electronic background, couldn't make out what you're saying.

How about this;   I get a 24 VDC motion sensor http://www.readywholesaleelectric.com/watew20524.html and a relay with a 24 VDC coil and switch capable of 120 VAC 10 amps or so, when the motion sensor activates the relay, it powers the GDO and a 120 VAC incandescent bulb(which otherwise are not powered) thru a timer than opens after a couple minutes. Would that work?  Will the GDO operate the instant it's got power or is there some kind of internal delay?

kitestrings

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Re: Garage Door Opener Inverter Asleep.
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2017, 12:35:56 PM »
We use a 12V Stealth occupancy sensor in the yard to a solid state relay to energize the outlets for the OH doors.  We added a crank timer in case you're inside and wan to activate them.  Works great.
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armadillo

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Re: Garage Door Opener Inverter Asleep.
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2017, 01:09:29 PM »
We use a 12V Stealth occupancy sensor in the yard to a solid state relay to energize the outlets for the OH doors.  We added a crank timer in case you're inside and wan to activate them.  Works great.
(Attachment Link)
Thanks Kitestrings! That seems like a simple enough system that even I could install.   ;D  One question, when the sensor closes the SPST relay, how does it hold the relay closed so you have enough time to get the door closed after you drive inside?

Mary B

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Re: Garage Door Opener Inverter Asleep.
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2017, 03:58:13 PM »
Use a simple voltage regulator https://www.pololu.com/product/2577 up to 30v in 12 volt out

12 volt remote control switch http://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-4CH-100M-Wireless-Remote-Control-315MHz-Relay-Switch-2-Transceiver-Receiver-/202078907834?hash=item2f0cd76dba:g:eBkAAOSwU9xZ3lPW
Thanks for the reply.  I have been looking on ebay and amazon to see if they have any remotes designed for 24 volt systems that are capable of switching ac loads. I've found some that are "12-24 VDC", but having dealt with lights in that range found that they self destruct during equalization of my batteries. Maybe there is a device I can use inline on the 24 VDC supply that will prevent higher voltages?
If I go this route I will have to use 2 remotes every time I open the door, but there is a possibility that the same remote could be used in the GDO circuitry somehow.

kitestrings

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Re: Garage Door Opener Inverter Asleep.
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2017, 08:22:48 AM »
Quote
One question, when the sensor closes the SPST relay, how does it hold the relay closed so you have enough time to get the door closed after you drive inside?

The motion sensor has an adjustable delay.  We have ours set for several minutes, so you pull in or walk in front of the garage and the door operators become active, along with the yard lights if it is dark.  They stay on well after we've gone to the house.  If I'm inside the garage, or shop, I use the crank timer which similarly energizes the circuit.

armadillo

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Re: Garage Door Opener Inverter Asleep.
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2017, 01:43:12 PM »
Thanks for the reply Kitestrings.  I just ordered a 24 volt DC motion sensor and it also has an internal time delay. It's made by Legrand. They did not provide a voltage range so I called Legrand and they said plus or minus 10%, so mine may be toast the first time my system voltage reaches 29 VDC.
That seems to be the problem with many 24 VDC components on the market, they are not suitable for the normal variations of off grid homes or RV's.
Maybe I can find a device that will protect it from overvoltage.