I posted a while back on a "poor man's Autoswitch garage door opener". It was basically a way to incorporate a modified garage door opener into any switched 12V circuit on the bike so that when the circuit was activated (illuminate brake light, flash high beams, etc.), the opener would get juice and send out it's signal. The mod works in theory and practice, but it's not quite as polished as the real Autoswitch product. I found that I did not like the low tech approach, so I ponied up the $30 for a real, bonafide Autoswitch AS5PG2
It's hard to tell from pictures on their website, but the unit is very small. I did not make measurements, but I would estimate the dimensions at about 1.5"x1.5"x.25".
I assumed it was some sort of circuit board, logic type thing inside, but I spoke with the manufacturer and learned that it's actually a very small mechanical relay. All it does is close a set of contact to complete a circuit, just like the poor man's version. The only difference is that the Autoswitch doesn't actuate until it receives two pulses
of a 12V signal versus the poor man's version which is a straight on or off thing. I assume it uses a small capacitor or something to store up juice from each pulse before firing the relay. (BTW, I have not exhaust every bit of electrical knowledge that I may or may not have. In fact, I might be wrong on every bit of what I've said here for all I know, but it sure does sound good doesn't it.
Anyway, it works. It's pretty cool actually. I chose to trigger it with my high beam circuit. Now when I get near my driveway, I just flash my brights a couple of times and the garage door magically starts to open. Pretty cool, huh?
For anyone that wants to try this, let me give you a couple of points of advice:
- Test your autoswitch before you install it. There is a quick procedure detailed online (not in the instructions that come with the unit) on how to test it offline using a 12V power source. Mine was good, but they obviously have a reason for going to the trouble of putting the instructions on their site. I did have some problems with my installation, and I regretted not having done the test because I could not rule the switch out as a possible culprit. I ended up removing the whole thing and performing the test.
- CHECK YOUR CONNECTIONS! I fought and fought with my installation job thinking that I had checked everything. I even soldered several of the key connections instead of using crimp connectors. With all of that, I found a bad solder job that I had done on the garage door opener itself. After re-doing that, it has worked every single time.
- If you don't know how to solder, use this as an opportunity to learn, or get some help with that part. Soldering is quite easy (and actually kinda fun). It only costs a few bucks for the tools and comes in very handy. I re-learned how to do it about a year ago and I've used it a ton since.