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Garage Door Bumper Sensors

By April 20, 2019April 25th, 2019No Comments

In the age of cars driving themselves, you’d think garage doors would be smart enough to not hit something in the way, but you’d be wrong. They do sense that they’ve hit something and open back up, but by that time the damage is already done…in this case, to my front bumper.

Paint and plastic damage from a garage door hinge

To prevent this from happening to me or anyone else who parks in this garage ever gain, I added additional photobeam sensors to the inside and outside of the garage door right at bumper height. If either senses an obstruction, it will open the circuit to the factory sensors and the opener will reverse direction. The sensors have DIP switches inside that you can use to select a channel. I used CH4 on the outside and CH1 on the inside so they won’t interfere with each other.

Installation layout and beam directions

Wiring installation will vary depending on the garage door opener model, how the wires are run, and where outlets are located, but here’s a diagram of my wiring.

Simplified wiring diagram with new sensors in the red box

The photobeam receivers have relay contacts inside that I wired in series with one of the factory sensors. You can select whether the contact is normally-open (NO) or normally-closed (NC). I needed to select NC for my installation so that when either relay contact opens, it breaks the circuit which causes the garage door opener to reverse direction. Perfect.

The sensors need 12VDC to power both the transmitters and receivers, so I used a 12VDC power adapter plugged into the same outlet as the door opener. I ran 22 ga / 4 conductor wires from the garage door opener to the sensors along the route highlighted in red.

22/4 wire routing

I installed the sensors 22″ off the floor and 6″ away from the door. Measure your bumper heights for best results, but this is working well for my vehicles.

Check out the links below for all the products I used an enjoy your smarter garage door.

Matthew Budraitis

Engineer, product designer, co-founder of EveryAmp, and a dedicated fan of EVs, technology, 3D printing, and making.