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Any interesting projects for a working garage door opener I just took down?

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  • Any interesting projects for a working garage door opener I just took down?

    We replaced an old screw drive opener with a new belt drive unit. I can't think of anything useful I could make with the old one. Any suggestions?
    Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

  • #2
    Garage door opener

    In a house I used to live in, I finished the basement and made a secret room for my reloading/gun room. I used a garage door opener to open a section of paneled wall that was the door to the room. No locks, knobs or handles, just the remote control that was hidden somewhere else nearby. It worked great!


    • #3
      Either an electric gate opener or an IRS agent stimulator.


      • #4
        You basically have a long range linear actuator there. You can make it as short as you might want to- the major problem I see with re-purposing it is that it's likely for the motor to overheat if it goes into any application where it's operating for more than a minute or so at a time without rest periods much longer than that. They are capable of delivering a reasonable amount of torque, but the gearing is not really up to the task in any door opener I've seen. Doors are spring loaded, making the openers job easier. Without the springs, the door could still be opened, but the gears will end up stripping. Any application will have to be fairly easy to carry out.

        Possible use- angling a solar collector to follow the sun- raise and lower a flag- open and close something from a distance- I don't know. I have one with the screw drive. I cut a piece off the screw to use in a milling machine adapter to make spiral slots. It was 1 turn per inch, I think. The screw was inside a piece of aluminum channel, and I've used some of that for various things. That black moly grease is the messiest stuff-

        When I got this unit, the power cord had been chopped flush with the grommet where it goes into the box. All the used door openers where I got this one had the same thing. Obviously the company did not want anyone re-using the old openers. We probably picked up three or four from the scrap pile one day- got one that would fit and put a new cord on it. Worked fine. Two I have here have been robbed for parts, but I've never used the motor and gears assembly.
        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


        • #5
          IRS STIMULATOR???? How's it stimulate them??


          • #6
            I've got it.

            I could shorten the track, and install switches at both ends of the travel. Running it "down" would turn on the air compressor I just salvaged from the dumpster and repaired. Once the compressor tank is charged, running the GDO "up" would open a valve to my salvaged air horn.

            And I could do it remotely from the comfort of my recliner whenever the neighbor's mutt started barking.
            Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.


            • #7
              gwilson, I'm quite sure that in order to simulate the IRS you need a device with a looooonnnnnngggggg STROKE! If you know what I mean?
              James Kilroy