Genie garage door hack

Dec 19 2014

My Genie model 1000 has a wall console that has three functions ( light control, door control, and door lock) but only uses two wires. So simply shorting the two wires does NOT open the garage door. And I wanted to control the garage door from my SmartThings app.

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I found out that you can have two wall consoles connect to the same opener. So I bought a second wall console and took it apart.

All you need to do is remove the two terminal screws on the back and then pry out the circuit board. On the front side of the board (side facing the buttons). There is a white membrane that create the three buttons. Pull the plastic off. It will expose the foil areas that are the button contacts.

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The main contacts, in the middle, are used to open and close the door. You have a center foil pad and a donut foil ring around the center contact. You will need to solder a wire on to both the center pad and the donut pad.

The easy way to do this it to tint both the foil pads and the wire before you solder the wire to the circuit board. This way you will use as little time and heat as need to make the connection. The wire should be small that 20 or 22 gage wire. Be careful not to create a solder bridge between the center pad and the donut. keeping the exposed wire very short will help.

Hacked Genie wall console circuit board

Hacked Genie wall console circuit board

 

Now you have a pair of wire that can be connected to the LFM-20 blue relay wires. So the garage door is now automated using SmartThings. Connect the hacked wall console in parallel with the original wall console. you should get a red LED on both consoles. I used a terminal strip to secure all the wires.

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Now you have the original wall console for the normal wall button and the hacked wall console for the SmartThing controller.

Yes you could make this all work with ONE wall controller but this was a safer and more of a modular approach. Plus if things go wrong It is very easy to disconnect and remove.

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Drunks KILL, cars don’t

Dec 23 2012

Drunk

Lets apply the same gun control logic to automobiles:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates at least 10,000 automobile death, each year, due to drunk drivers.  So lets ban the automobile, as it is killing 10,000 plus people each year and that’s just drunk driving deaths. There are over 30,000 deaths each year related to automobiles yearly.

Looks like the automobile is more dangerous then firearms. Firearms kill around 7,000 (per the CDC) people per year, far less then the 30,00 killed by cars.

But then again it is not the car or the firearms that are doing the killing, PEOPLE kill PEOPLE. Whether it is an automobile or a gun, it all comes down to PEOPLE.

 

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PHP too the Rescue

May 08 2012

I have just crawled out form under a ROCK.  And PHP is shining like a brand new day. Years ago I did some programming for some websites. But for the last four or five years I have just fixed things here and there. All this old programming was done in Microsoft’s Active Server Pages, aka ASP.  This was the pre Microsoft .NET revamp of the ASP environmental. Most people refer to it as Classic ASP.

Years and years ago when I started diving into the web world,  with ASP programing it was easy, as early in my life I studied the BASIC programming language.  BASIC  was one of  the programing languages  I used  in collage, along with FORTRAN and COBOL. The BASIC was called BASIC+ and was running on a DEC PDP 11/45. IF you know  what all this is you are older then me.

ASP classic scripting could use ether VBScript or  can use JavaScript as a programing language. Since VBScript  was based on BASIC it was like being back at school.  I felt right at home.

Since I have been out of the programming universe the last several years I missed the transition from Classic ASP to  ASP.NET. That is where PHP comes to the rescue.  As PHP is more like ASP Classic. ASP.NET is a complete paradigm shift away from ASP Classic.

In my initial  investigation in to the PHP world I  found a vast complex labyrinth of support. There are all kinds of support for accessing web services such as Google, yahoo, Flicker and more.  Then there are coding frame works like Zend and codeigniter that can get a web appliation up and running quickly. And by using some of the Zend provided coding modules, you can grab photos form Picasa and other web services with out breaking a sweat.

The first problem is learning the difference in the programming languages. PHP is based on C++ which is like BASIC but has a different syntax.  So on with the adventure, lets explore the world of PHP.

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Social Security for Congress

Jan 27 2012

 

Here is a quote from president Obama’s 2012 State of the Union Speech…

“We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well while a growing number of Americans barely get by, or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same set of rules,”

Lets concentrate on the “everyone plays by the same set of rules” part of the quote.

If we are all playing by the same rules, lets get the Federal Government (Congress and the President) on the same Social Security plan as the rest of the United states citizens are on. Congress should be requires to be on the Same Social Security Plan, so that any decision/law they make, regarding Social Security, effects them too.

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Huge So-Cal EV Charging station

Dec 20 2011

 

Above is a photo of the Southern California Edison demonstration electric vehicle charging station in Irwindale California . This is a huge charging station with eight SAE J1772 EVSE and four old style inductive paddle chargers.  That is twelve charging stations, each with it’s own dedicated parking space.

The twelve parking spaces are covered by very large PV solar (300 panels) array that can produce 35,000 kWh per year. Or enough electricity to drive 10,000 miles a year.

Her is a photo look up at the PV solar array.

Could not believe that all eight SAE J1772 EVSE station were unused.

 

This is all the support equipment for the L2 and L1 stations.  When I first saw all these electrical cabinets and the ladder with supplies I though they might be installing a L3 charging station, but no such luck.

The EVSe are all part of the Charge Point network so you can check the status and avaiable on-line using the Charge Point website.

Just an interesting note:

I did not realize that this Southern California Edison location, in Irwindale California, was the same location of a employee shooting were four people were injured or killed. And I’am this dumb bozo taking pictures of the Edison building, walking around like nothing happens. I was wondering why there were so many security guards around.  But no one approached me are stopped me from taking the photos. It was not until later, on the freeway going home, that I heard a news story about the shooting and they said it was the Irwindale location, where I was.

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GM buying back Volts

Dec 02 2011

So GM is offering to loan all 5000 Volt owners a non-Volt auto while the Volt battery problem is researched. OR GM will by back your Volt.  Plus GM will recall and fix all 5000 Volts when the problem is found and a fix is determined.  Sounds like GM is taking no chance on screwing up customer relations for the Volt.

Why is GM doing all this…read on.

It is amazing that people are concerned about the volt catching file SEVEN DAYS  after side impact crash testing.  The Vold is not starting to burn during the crash, or seven seconds after the crash or even seven minutes  after the crash. The fire starts seven days after the crash.

Mind you that when a normal gas engine car is tested all the gas is removed form the test car. The all electric battery cars are tested with fully charges battery packs and there are NO fires during the actual crash test.  To date there has also been on Volts catching fire in real file auto crashes.  GM is notified, by the On-Star computer whne a Volt is envolved in a crash. As a precaution GM is sending out team to drain the Volts battery with in 48 hours of  being notified by On-Star of a crash.

So the big question is why all the concern. A Gasoline powered car can explode and burn on crash impact. In fact there are over 200,000 fiery crashes every year.  Where is the out cry of who dangerous a car is caring around 10 to 50 gallons of flammable liquid?

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Want FREE fuel for your car?

Nov 01 2011

EV charging, fuel your car for FREE

 

Would you fill up your car with free fuel if some one offered your fuel at no cost. Or you you pull in to a Service station and pay $50.oo to fill up your tank?  What if there was an added bonus that the fuel was domestically produced instead of coming from foreign countries.

With an electric vehicle you can do just that. In the photo I’am re-fueling my Nissan Leaf at a FREE public fueling station. True it does pump out electricity instead of gasoline, but the fuel is free. This one is a ChargePoint charging station hosted by Koles department stores.  Did Koles get me into the store, you bet. Did I buy anything not this time. But maybe next time.

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Wrong Sales Tactic

Oct 05 2011

 

Nissan is using the wrong slogan in their marketing plan when selling the Nissan Leaf.  They are currently pushing the “Zero Emission” of the 100% electric Leaf. This is evident with there latest TV commercial  “Gas Powered Everything” and even the previous “Polar Bear” commercial.  I think the Zero Emission crowd is too small of a market segment for a successful re-introduction of the EV .

The market segment Nissan needs to be going after is the “Energy Independence” crowd.  I think this is a much larger segment of the population. These are the people who are not  core environmentalist. This group has a real concern about the  United States dependency  on foreign oil and the wildly fluctuating cost of gasoline. This is the group that Nissan should be appealing too.

What is the significance of energy independence? It is the ability to drive a car with out the use of  foreign oil.  Even if it means that the source of Domestic energy is not environmentally friendly.  The source of the energy that produces the electricity could be from coal, Natural gas, hydro, nuclear, solar or wind.  As long as the energy is domestic.

So Nissan needs to look at a market larger than the ‘Zero Emissions”  group and go after the much larger “Energy Independence” group.

 

 

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Netflix Un-truths

Sep 20 2011


Reed Hastings the CEO of Netflix posted a video on YouTube on 9/18 to apologize and clarify the changes he is makeing to Netflix.  The big change he announced, in the video, is the splitting of Netflix into two companies. One for streaming called Netflix and a new company for the DVD by mail business to be called Qwikster.

Reed apologized over and over for not communicating  this change, in business strategy, effectively to the current subscriber base. Reed only makes a small mention that splitting of the company will cause a cost increase.

The cost increases  announment was made over two month ago. So if you think about it Reed must have been thinking about the changes for  2 or 3 month before that. I would think a company of this size would do some planning before making shuch a bold change as splitting the company.

So when  you look at the new Qwikster website (9/20/11 screen shot above) and only see a one page website announcing the new site is comming soon? You start to wonder how much planning has gone in to the YouTube video and the decision to split Netflix. After four months of time you think there would be a real site for the Qwikster business. Why would Reed make this huge change and not have the web site ready.

Makes you think he is backpedaling in the video to recover from a bad decesion to raise subscription rates so soon again. The price hike  has caused a loss of over a million subscribers.

Not only are subscribers unhappy, look at Wall Street,  the stock price is down to $143 from an all time high of $286 just (last month Aug 2011). That is a 50% loss in value in a month.

Reed better do a lot better then he did in his apology video or that subscriber base and stock price will continue to erode!

Or was the split done to position Netflix for Amazon to purchase Netflix?

 

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Solar Park & ride

Sep 09 2011

The park and ride, pictured above, is in Vacaville California off of interstate 80 at the Davis exit. The location is half way between Sacramento and San Francisco.   It is the first, location in California, to house a 440 volt quick charging  station.  The quick charge station will charge a Nissan Leaf from empty to 80% charge in just 30 minutes. The park and ride also has a very large solar array to supplement the electrical car charging done at this location. With several L2 charging stations.

Here the 440 level 3 charger, located under the solar panels,  beinging used to charge up a Mitsubishi i-Miev at a press event conducted at the  Vacaville California location. There are discussion and tentative plans to build over 300 of these CHAdeMo format chargers through the United States. Nissan has already build a CHAdeMo format L3 charging network through Japan, placing one every 40 or sol miles.

Will the every 40mile charging station work here in the United States or will EV’s just be around town cars. Oh do not forget the upcoming version two of the electric car where refueling will take less then 2 minutes.

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