Archive for July, 2008

Garage Door Monitor

Thursday, July 31st, 2008


Since my last posting, Synoptic Labs has been transplanted to new, larger digs in Sacramento, CA. As a feature of the new location, we now find ourselves with a full garage which has substantially increased our storage and work area. However, this garage opens up onto a busy downtown street with a lot of foot-traffic and a bit of that traffic is from scavengers — people who routinely comb the neighborhood (usually early in the morning) looking for recyclables or, frankly, anything that isn’t nailed down.

The door is opened by remote control and, as we’ve found on numerous occasions already, it’s all too easy to inadvertently hit the remote and open the door without realizing or just forget to close it. More than once we’ve woken up and found that the door has been wide open all night long; the fact that we haven’t lost any tools or equipment because of this astounds me.

Knowing that our luck wasn’t going to hold out forever if we keep leaving the door open, I decided something had to be done. So I hacked together a internet/mobile-phone enabled garage door monitoring system which will notify us if the door is left open during the night.