Can I use this device with my 'iProduct'? (iPhone, iPad, etc.)
At the moment, there is no app for Apple products. If someone would like to step in and develop an app that would work with this device, I would be willing to work them.
Will this work for my garage door opener?
Basically if you have any kind of physical push button (in your garage) and/or a number keypad (outside of your garage) that opens/closes your garage door, then yes it should work. The way this device works is that it just simulates a simple 'button push'.
It's not practical for me to run an Ethernet cable from the device to my router/network switch. Do I have any options?
Yes, you have at least 2 options (both assume you have wi-fi):
- Instead of using an Ethernet Shield, you may be able to use the Wi-Fi shield. The Arduino code/sketch may have to be modified however as there is a different library.
- A more cost-effective option would be to purchase one of these. You configure it to connect to your wireless network, and you plug a physical Ethernet patch cable from your device to it.
Do I have to utilize the 'sensor' for status feedback?
No. Your device and app will function just fine without using the reed switch and magnet combo. If you choose this route, just keep in mind that the garage door status will always show 'open' in the app.
Is there anything I can do to bring the total cost of the project down?
- You could do away with the screw terminals - it would save you about $2. This would mean though that you would have to solder wires onto the PCB instead of having the convenience of having 'removable' wires.
- You could make your own circuit board if you have the stuff to do that at home. It would save you about $9 (after shipping). Please see my Garage Door Controller Tutorial - Solder on your homemade circuit board for more details about this option.
- You could leave out the reed switch and magnet - it would save you about $3.50. These 2 parts make up the 'sensor' that can tell you if your garage door is open or not. If you decide to do this, the Android app would always show your garage door as 'open'. You should probably only skip this if you have another way of knowing the status of your garage door (camera, etc.).
- Buy a microcontroller without the bootloader, and burn the bootloader yourself. This would save you about $2.
- Buy a cheaper (currently $19.99 when I last looked on 3/25/15) Ethernet Shield @ Radio Shack. I haven't used this one particularly, but I don't know of a reason why it wouldn't work for you just fine.
Can I use the app away from home?
The short answer is yes. However, the long answer to this question is a bit more complicated. Please see my post entitled Garage Door Controller Tutorial - Using the app away from home.
What are the physical dimensions of the professional PCB (circuit board)?
The board is about 3.187"W x 1.75"H.
What are the physical dimensions of the homemade PCB (circuit board)?
The board is about 3"W x 1.75"H.