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simple solar garage door controller?
16 dec 2004
i'm thinking again about covering the outside of a south-facing garage door
frame with a layer of polyethylene or polycarbonate (with better views and
longevity) to solar heat the garage and provide lots of workshop daylight.
would anyone (duane?) like to invent a simple controller to open and close
the door automatically, given the electric opener? i might buy one.

it would be nice to invent an inexpensive circuit that simulates pushing
the button, without getting into the detailed electrical design of each 
different brand of opener. we might deliver a 1 second pulse to grainger's 
$4.76 5zc15 120 v 0.9 va (16k ohm) relay when their $13.65 2e158 spdt line
voltage thermostat in a glazed box closes on temperature rise, and another
pulse when it opens at the end of the day, with a 400 v 100 uf electrolytic
cap for a differentiator, but there's likely a simpler electronic solution
with a small power supply and pic and reed relay.

and since pushing the button both opens and closes the door, something
should sense whether the door is open or closed and keep it in phase with
the sun. it would also be nice to be able to override the control to open
the door at night sometimes and inhibit door opening when nobody's home.


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