Our resident community engagement guru and all-round Raspberry Pi-powered DIY home hack enthusiast Matt Richardson does not like venturing outside to check whether he remembered to close his garage door. So he cobbled something together from a couple of Raspberry Pi Pico Ws and some sensors to check for him.
No one wants to hang around in the pouring rain waiting to make sure with your own eyes that the garage door has closed. Nor do you want to have to shuffle outside in your pyjamas for peace of mind before you go to bed. Matt’s creation lets you check your garage is secure from the comfort of your own indoors.
How does it work?
Two Raspberry Pi Pico W microcontrollers drive this build. One lives inside the garage and controls the door sensors. The other lives inside the house and indicates what state the garage door is in.
The Pico W inside the garage is connected to two Hall effect sensors attached to different parts of the door opening mechanism. These register whether the door is open or closed.
The Pico W inside the house flashes three separate LEDs based on the signal it receives from the sensors inside the garage. One LED flashes when the door is open, another flashes when the door is in the process of opening or closing, and another when it is fully closed.
Mosquitto, an open source MQTT message broker, runs on the Pico W inside the house. You don’t have to use a Raspberry Pi board for this, but the software is so lightweight it can run on basically anything, even our miniature microcontrollers. No need to worry about a whole computer for this part. You can find installation instructions and links for Mosquitto here. It’s this software that sends messages between the two Pico Ws.
You’ll need something to keep all the hardware in the garage dry. Matt used this fancy weatherproof electrical box, but you could just use some Tupperware.
Disney + Raspberry Pi crossover event
If Matt is the sort of person you’d like to see pop up on your TikTok feed, give him a follow. It’s mainly joyful Disney Parks content but some Raspberry Pi builds (Disney-themed, obv) pop up now and again.
Our favourite Disney/Raspberry Pi mashup TikTok is Matt’s Halloween countdown clock.