So I wanted a garage door opener on my bike. My first, very caveman, design was an opener attached with Velcro to my triple clamp. Well effective, it looked like crap and could be stolen very easily. My new plan was to create an opening system that would be out of sight and could be activated without taking my hands off of the bars. What I came up with is a system hidden under the gas tank that is activated by turning on my high beams. The cool thing about this set up is that it can not be activated unless the bike is running, and no one would know it is there. I figured I could just hook the opener up to the power source on the bike, but that was not the case. The bike puts out 12 volts, and the opener requires 3 volts. I tried taking apart cigarette adapters and hooking them up to the opener with the hopes it would convert the 12 volts to 3 volts with very little work, but it was more of a pain in the ass then it was worth. Turns out most chargers put out varying volts depending on what is being drawn by the device (such as a cell phone). Even the one 3 volt non-adjustable adapter didn?t work (I think it was bad to begin with). So I went to radio shack and got a few parts (under $10) and built my own converter. The main parts needed at radio shack are a 100 ohm resistor, 150 ohm resistor, and an LM317 regulator (also know as a buck converter). Here is the build and most of the install. The system converts 12 volts to 3 volts and has worked flawlessly for the past few months (even through washes).
First the garage door opener. I think most modern remote garage door openers work on 3 volts, but some older ones work on 12 volts (so you could skip the voltage conversion). Take the remote apart like you were changing the battery. Then remove the circuit board from the plastic housing. Take the battery out from the unit (no longer needed). Take note where the battery contacts the board. The top of the battery is the positive and the bottom is the negative. Also take note where the button is that you depress to activate the remote.
Then you will have to wire the opener so that it is always in the activated position. I used a small piece of metal and soldered it (you can see it one the bottom, center of the circuit board). Once this is done, you can put the battery in to make sure you got the right leads. If the door moves, then you got it right. Remove the battery and leave it out forever. Next step is to wire on positive and negative leads to the back side (or front, does not matter) of where the battery used to be.
Take the leads you wired on and touch them to the 3v battery. Same thing, if the garage door moves, your connections are good.
Then fit the circuit board back into the plastic housing so that the wires have a place to come out. I cut the part out of the back where the clip went. That?s it for the remote.
Now to make the 12 volt to 3 volt converter. Here is a poorly drawn diagram.
**Make sure to use heat shrink or electrical tape in appropriate spots (must put heat shrink on before solder connection is made) ** SOLDER ALL CONNECTIONS. Take a long (long enough to get from the gas tank to the headlight) two lead (positive and negative) wire, and wire the positive (12v in) to the far right of the three posts on the LM317 regulator. Next wire the 100 ohm resistor between the center and left posts of the LM317 regulator. Then take the negative wire (12v in) and wire the 150 ohm resistor between it and the far left post on the LM317 regulator. Then, where the negative lead and the 150 ohm resistor connect, wire that to the negative lead on the remote control. Finally, wire the positive lead from the remote to the top tab of the LM317 regulator (opposite the three posts).
Then I moved the heat shrink into position and cleaned everything up. This is how it should look when finished.
I tested the unit by touching the two leads to the battery in my motorcycle (make sure you touch positive to positive, and negative to negative). With power applied, the garage door should activate. Once I verified it worked, I placed the converter I made on top of the remote control and taped everything up with electrical tape. The finished product looked like some sort of bomb (don?t call the cops).
I placed the unit under my gas tank near the right side of the frame. Then I ran the two wire lead under the right side fairing to the right side high beam. I removed the high beam connector and opened the flap door, exposing the two leads inside. I carefully used a small screwdriver to free the leads from the housing. I then soldered the leads from the unit I built to the leads of the high beam (the solid black is the negative). You must solder it in a spot to allow the prongs to fit back inside the housing and allow the flap door of the housing to close.
Snapped the housing back in and it?s done.
Now I just flick on my high beam as I approach my house and cruse right into my garage without stopping. Then I momentarily turn the high beams off, then back on again, and the garage door closes. I love it!!!!
Good luck, and hit me up with any questions.
When you ride with the high beams on, will it have any adverse affect? I'm sure the 3V is nothing to worry about but will the chip and opener have any problems, maybe overheat or something?
I rarely ride with the high beams on, but I have not had any problems with it so far. Before I installed it, I left it activated for just over an hour and it did not get hot, in fact I did not notice any change in temperature at all. I'm very confident that the manufacture of the garage door opener designed it to handle the constant 3 volts. I will update you if I have any problems with it in the future.
Deftly solved; and nice write up. It's damn nice to just pull right into the garage without stopping.
As an option, you could just put the opener under the seat and run a pair of wires to from the opener to a discretely placed push button. Of course you have to solder the wires to the switch inside the opener.