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    Secure Garage Door Automation

    There a lots of ways to automate garage door operation using HomeSeer. My issue with most of them is a lack of security. By that I mean the systems will automate both the closing and the opening of the doors. Programing solutions are not robust enough for high-security applications. My solution provides the "close" function but eliminates any possibility of the overhead door being opened remotely via the automation system. What I have done is to put a Z-Wave contact closure in parallel with the existing garage door controller and a heavy-duty magnetic reed switch in series with the device. When the door is open the reed switch is closed, so if the system activates the garage door trigger the door will close. If the door is closed there is a mechanical disconnect and the garage door trigger will never close the contacts to trigger the door. In other words, if the door is closed the system could activate the Garage Door event all day long and the door wouldn't open because there is no continuity.

    I also recommend installing a shield to prevent "push and hook" intrusions through overhead doors. There are several commercial versions but they are pretty easy to build and install DIY.

    #2
    I am not quite following but is the result that you can't open the garage door through homeseer? Does it work when you use HS at home (not that I see much use for that unless you have a proximity function)?

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by thom_samuel@protonmail.ch View Post
      "push and hook" intrusions
      What is a push and hook intrusion? Google search gave me 0 hits

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by prsmith777 View Post

        What is a push and hook intrusion? Google search gave me 0 hits
        It sounds to me like those door hooks you have in some hotels and older homes. In our old home we had a chain mounted to the door frame and that chain connected to the door. It allowed you to open the door without somebody smashing the door open. Just a guess, though.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by prsmith777 View Post

          What is a push and hook intrusion? Google search gave me 0 hits
          You push the top of the garage door and use a wire hook to grab the emergency release so you can open the door.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by drhtmal View Post

            You push the top of the garage door and use a wire hook to grab the emergency release so you can open the door.
            Let me understand this. So you open the garage door by 1-2 inches by pushing on the top. Then you route a wire trying to grab the release hook some 8-10 feet way? If I get this right then there are a lot of easier ways to get into a home. Btw, our garage door has a rod that engages once the door is closed. You wouldn't be able to use this method unless you drill a hole into the door. Even if we didn't have that, I would be more concerned about other ways for people to enter....

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by mulu View Post

              Let me understand this. So you open the garage door by 1-2 inches by pushing on the top. Then you route a wire trying to grab the release hook some 8-10 feet way? If I get this right then there are a lot of easier ways to get into a home. Btw, our garage door has a rod that engages once the door is closed. You wouldn't be able to use this method unless you drill a hole into the door. Even if we didn't have that, I would be more concerned about other ways for people to enter....
              I am just the messenger here. You understand it correctly. However the release is not 8 feet back when the door is closed. It is not far from the top of the door when the door is closed. Check out this video.

              https://youtu.be/CMz1tXBVT1s Only takes seconds.

              Here is another good one. Many buildings have electronically controlled entrance doors. Lots of apartments do. You call the person you are visiting and they buzz you in. Many of these setups have a motion sensor to unlock the door when people are leaving. This is called REX (Request to Exit.) As you are walking out the motions sensors unlocks the door. Take a balloon like those used by balloon artists, shove it between the double door, inflate it and let it go. It flies around and trips the motion sensor and the door opens. Or take a Mylar balloon, shove it under the door, inflate it with helium and let it float around thus tripping the motion and opening the door.

              Think that chain thing you have on your door can stop a crafty intruder. Once I can open the door, I can stick my hand inside and use a ribbon, rubber band and tape to open the chain lock or just use a ribbon

              https://youtu.be/N_6NeOAWFM0

              There are international competitions called LockSport http://locksport.com/where people compete to pick locks and bypass security.

              Bump keys are interesting. You can cut various keys in a way that when inserted into the lock turned the key to apply pressure on the tumblers and strike the key with a blunt object which applies an upward force on the tumblers to be all forced up so the lock can be open.

              There are pen testers (penetration testers) that do this stuff for a living. Companies hire them to try to bypass their security. There are contests at DEFCON for pen testing. There is so much info on how to do these things on the Internet it would make your head spin.

              Always remember this. Locks keep honest people out.

              Comment


                #8
                drhtmal Ok, so they go in from the top and not the bottom. That reduces the distance quite a bit. Anyways, this wouldn't work for my garage door. First of all we don't have such a pull chain in the middle. The motor is on the side. Second, the garage door already has a lock that prevents people from forcefully open it beyond what is 'reasonable' to get into a home. But what does that have to do with home automation?

                As for the door chain, most are tight enough that you can't put your arm in. Even if you could, the point is that when you open the door slightly somebody can't ram it in. If you open the door as much as the chain allows and somebody sticks their arm in trying to unlock it, I would smash the door. Let's see how the person is going to open the door with broken bones. Again, what does that have to do with home automation?

                Having said all that, can you provide more information about your system? It kind of sounds like what my garage door is already doing but not everybody might have that. So maybe some people are interested. Please how pictures, how it integrates with HS, etc.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by mulu View Post
                  drhtmal Ok, so they go in from the top and not the bottom. That reduces the distance quite a bit. Anyways, this wouldn't work for my garage door. First of all we don't have such a pull chain in the middle. The motor is on the side. Second, the garage door already has a lock that prevents people from forcefully open it beyond what is 'reasonable' to get into a home. But what does that have to do with home automation?

                  As for the door chain, most are tight enough that you can't put your arm in. Even if you could, the point is that when you open the door slightly somebody can't ram it in. If you open the door as much as the chain allows and somebody sticks their arm in trying to unlock it, I would smash the door. Let's see how the person is going to open the door with broken bones. Again, what does that have to do with home automation?

                  Having said all that, can you provide more information about your system? It kind of sounds like what my garage door is already doing but not everybody might have that. So maybe some people are interested. Please how pictures, how it integrates with HS, etc.
                  This has nothing to do with automation. I did not even start this post. I was just posting some information to answer your question about how push and hook is done and how easy it is to do to the type of garage door openers that probably 99% of households have in place. If I were replacing my openers I would probably go with a side mount like you. And like you I would go with a battery backup garage door opener even though Illinois does not have a law that requires me to have a battery backup like Cali does which requires homeowners to install battery backup openers under penalty of law.

                  Every security device has pros and cons. Every security device has flaws that can be exploited under the correct conditions.The OP wanted a solution that decoupled opening his garage door from HomeSeer while allowing HomeSeer to close the door. This makes sense since HomeSeer and many other convenience systems for home automation like Alexa or Google home could be used nefariously to gain entry. I think the OP just was not comfortable having a system that was not totally under his control to have the ability to break into his house. I think it was a very cleaver solution. Kudos to him for the ingenuity.

                  The security chain works under mots conditions. The video I posted just demonstrates how the security chain can be bypassed. In the video there was no such person to "ram" the door shut and break bones. I would guess that most readers understood that this venerability would not be employed if someone was home.

                  My garage door is probably integrated much like your is sans the side mount opener with a relay to open/close and some sort of detection device to indicate if the door was opened or closed. This is probably how 99% of HomeSeer users have integrated their garage doors.

                  As I said, the purpose of my post was merely to provide information to the community in the hope that it educated the community and maybe even prevented something bad from happening. It was not intended to offend you or rile you.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Recent garage doors (last 30 years) also have slide latches on the doors to the track which work if you are home and want to prevent the garage door from being opened.

                    Push and hook is just another way to get in to a garage as most if not all today have emergency release pulls. You can remove the little rope and clamp the release shut if you want ed to.

                    That said here mine is wired to the alarm panel with reed switches at the open and close position. Years ago did loop the switches to work only one way or another.

                    That said I do not automate the closure or opening of the door and just send alerts inside and outside of the house if the door is left open.

                    I did have a little incident here in the 1990's where I did automate the door with the alarm panel. Wife drove in to the garage while on a conference call and the door automagically shut because she did not disable the alarm and still had the car running while in the garage.

                    I have mentioned this a few times over the years and it being a life and saftey issue sort of like self monitoring your alarm / security panel or configuration.
                    - Pete

                    Auto mator
                    Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb- Mono 6.12.X - HSTouch on Intel tabletop tablets
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                      #11
                      The circuit would look like this:

                      Click image for larger version

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                      When the door is open the reed switch is closed and the relay can activate the motor. When the door is closed the reed switch is open and the relay cannot activate the motor. It is important to have a safety beam and reversing mechanism as well.

                      This is a latch shield I made from an aluminum PC tower door:

                      Click image for larger version

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                        #12
                        I tried but couldn't find it, but years ago, like HS1 days I think, someone wrote a post about automating garage doors. Someone else wanted to have the door open as they past some point on their long driveway so that it would be open by the time they got there so they could drive straight in or something. Coolness factor, I guess... It may have been HS2 days as I think there was a cool "new" RF" solution for the trigger I think. Is this ringing a bell with any other old farts like me? ANYWHO, there was a huge discussion about garage door safety and security and the bottom line was: Automating the opening of a garage door was not secure and automating the closing of a garage door was not safe. The solution, as I recall (and adhere to today) was to put open/close/motion devices on the doors and have some indicator, either voice or device (LEDAM was a favorite at the time) to let you know the status of the garage door. An extra RF remote in the house could be used to close the doors for those with detached garages. We went from DS10A'a with mercury switched soldered inside them, BetaBrite Signs and HS reminding us our garage door was open to Z-Wave Garage Door Sensors and the WS200's all over the house indicating the statuses of our garage and house doors.

                        Sorry, that basically added nothing to this discussion except a trip down memory lane for me.....
                        .

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by outbackrob View Post
                          I tried but couldn't find it, but years ago, like HS1 days I think, someone wrote a post about automating garage doors. Someone else wanted to have the door open as they past some point on their long driveway so that it would be open by the time they got there so they could drive straight in or something. Coolness factor, I guess... It may have been HS2 days as I think there was a cool "new" RF" solution for the trigger I think. Is this ringing a bell with any other old farts like me? ANYWHO, there was a huge discussion about garage door safety and security and the bottom line was: Automating the opening of a garage door was not secure and automating the closing of a garage door was not safe. The solution, as I recall (and adhere to today) was to put open/close/motion devices on the doors and have some indicator, either voice or device (LEDAM was a favorite at the time) to let you know the status of the garage door. An extra RF remote in the house could be used to close the doors for those with detached garages. We went from DS10A'a with mercury switched soldered inside them, BetaBrite Signs and HS reminding us our garage door was open to Z-Wave Garage Door Sensors and the WS200's all over the house indicating the statuses of our garage and house doors.

                          Sorry, that basically added nothing to this discussion except a trip down memory lane for me.....
                          I have to agree that the best way to automate a garage door is to not automate the garage door. That being said, I do have mine set to close when the system goes into "night mode". I have an optical obstruction sensor on the door and a reversing switch. I also have a camera that I can use to view the door, so closing it remotely is pretty much like closing it locally. I may eventually eliminate this in favor of having HomeSeer LED's change color when the door is open (I'll just walk down and close it). If you want cool factor look into Flash To Open.

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                            #14
                            Hear hear!

                            Over the years here have added much to the GDO et al stuff. I have RFID tags in the automobiles which do work from the entrance of the subdivision but only tested them and never really used them other than for announcements.

                            I have always been able to remotely open / close the garage door since the HS1 days / GPRS cell phones and really never use it. Have had a camera in the garage some 15 years now (thinking way more).

                            I use whole house TTS to remind me that the garage door is open while I am in the house and have a by pass if I am working in the garage. TTS was coming also from HSTouch screens and today also tinkering with Alexa TTS which works nicely (but getting low on the WAF).

                            Today tinkering with a combo MQTT GDO up and down sensor and digital button that works nicely (have left the wired to alarm panel in place). It is a nice working alternative.

                            In the 1980's built a detached garage and infrastructure to the home. I did run cabling to the then alarm panel and put in a flashing light in the kitchen (hard wired) and remote control for the garage door mostly because you could only see the garage door from 1-2 windows in the house. That and I used a photobeam on the long driveway for sensing automobiles in the driveway. The garage at the time was set up with it's own sub panel, gas and water.




                            - Pete

                            Auto mator
                            Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb- Mono 6.12.X - HSTouch on Intel tabletop tablets
                            Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.12.X
                            HS4 Pro - V4.1.10.0 - Ubuntu 18.04/VB W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb - Mono 6.12.x
                            HS4 Lite -

                            X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation-Tasmota-Espurna. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant

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                              #15
                              I also have on my garage door opener motor a zwave appliance module. Turn this off and the garage door is locked. No false openings.

                              stuart

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