The installation of the xbee + arduino powered garage door sensor was a success! This was my first time working with xbee, and I’m pretty happy about the way things came out.
The problem: because of the design of the house, it’s difficult to visually check if both garage doors are securely closed.
Although it might be a bit of overkill, this was an opportunity to figure out how to use xbee & install a sensor system.
My solution: Private twitter account that relays the status of both doors (open or closed).
In the garage:
- Two magnetic proximity sensors mounted at floor level on each of the garage doors.
- An xbee radio mounted on a spark fun regulated breakout board with one digital pin connected to each of the sensors
In the house:
- Arduino Uno with an ethernet shield & xbee radio mounted on a spark fun breakout board.
- The Arduino reports the status of the garage doors to a pachube feed about every minute (the code for the arduino includes a watchdog script to reset the board if it gets stuck)
- Triggers on pachube automatically tweet when the door is opened & when it is closed.
In the future: Visual indicator of door status / push notifications instead of twitter / better handling of normal operation (short open/close for access/egress)
All in all, for my first try I think it went pretty well. The system is operating reliably. I wish that pachube made it easier to set more specific triggers. I’m not yet really familiar enough with writing/hosting the triggers or adjusting the arduino behavior to make the system wait longer before notifying that the door is open an unusually long amount of time.