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Garage Opener Stealth Install Mod

22 July 2004
Los Gatos Mountains, Ca.
Sick of having a garage door opener floating around your car? Want an alternative to an expensive aftermarket mirror with embedded opener? Here's a simple mod that just about anyone can do with even the most basic of soldering skills, for only a few units of local currency.


Most garage openers use a simple momentary pushbutton switch to trigger the transmitter. If you open up your case, look to see if you can find the button on the circuit board, and examine the traces running to the legs of the button. All the button does is short (ie connect) those two points when you push the button. So it's a simple matter to solder on a pair of wires to the two points...


A dab of hot glue helps prevent you from pulling off your solders when you're wiring it up. I added another one in the center to help hold the excess wire down. I used mynar wire, a very thin wire used in wiring electronic and circuit boards (like this!). Thicker wire is fine though, space permitting.


I used a standard pin header, and cut a small hole in the bottom of the plastic casing about the size of the 2 pins. I soldered the other end of the wires to the pin header, glued the pin header to the casing, and now I can wire it up to any standard momentary pushbutton to trigger the transmitter. Making it removable with the pin header means you dont have to sacrifice a transmitter by permanently installing it into a single vehicle. The wire pictured is a motherboard wire off an old computer case, but these types are easily available. you can use any other connector too- I chose the pin header because it is so small and I was very tight on space.


Now I need to get the pushbutton, and figure out where I want to mount it. I'm thinking that the interior of the coin tray seems like a good spot - I know I've seen a pic of that here before. Then the opener unit itself could sit out of site in the armrest console. Another option would be to hook it up to an existing button in the car, like the headlight switch or something. Anyone have any better ideas? I don't like the headlight idea due to unnecessary wear on the popup mechanism. Maybe the Cruise Controls?

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Take it one step further and wire it to run from the car's power (as opposed to a watch battery that needs replaced). You can either buy or build a simple adapter to get the right voltage (from the car's 12 to the remote's native).

I think I would flush mount a momentary switch inside the glove box.
Nice idea - I also like the idea of the permanent addition via car-battery power however.
Here's a consideration for where to locate the momentary switch -

You can find additional remotes at AAA Remotes - another simple alternative is to pick up a keyring unit. I'm gong to pick one of those up for my motor-cycle.

I'm not so sure about any advantage of having the switch inside the glove box - if you have to open it to get to the switch, may as well just leave the remote in there & push the original button on it!
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Great idea on wiring it to the +12v with proper adaptation - this would be perfect for a permanent install. It less useful for a removable application, since you'd want to take out the battery every time you hooked it up, though you could leave it out if all your vehicles had the proper hookups. I may use your idea though since I dont plan on taking it out much- I just wanted to make the car connection universal so I could swap in another opener easily.

Inside the glove box is nice and hidden, which is good. But I don't want to have to open by glovebox every time i come home though. With GPS and a PC you could have it auto-open, but there's likely some safety and other issues with that one :)

That's the one that inspiried this project, execpt I dont want to have to take off the console to remove the opener or replace the batteries. Right now though I'm thinking I'll put the switch there in the coin tray- it's more hidden then the D'Ecosse location, but does take up some room in the tray..

I'm also going to need another pushbutton and a rocker/toggle switch for the carpc shutdown controller, so I really need room for 3 buttons... the JDM panel would be nice, but it's so expensive it's hard to justify over a couple dollars worth of switches and the stealth route.

why not use the TCS switch since nobody uses it anyways....

call it the (T)urbo (C)ar (S)torage switch.... or maybe (T)otal, or somethin else creative....

just a thought...

Joshs said:
Inside the glove box is nice and hidden, which is good. But I don't want to have to open by glovebox every time i come home though.

How about in the bottom of the ash tray?
I used the ashtray compartment. I removed the actual ash tray, bought a small (packet of matches sized) garage door opener from sears and placed it in there. When I need to access it, I just open the ashtray door. The buttons face up and it is thin enough to fit my fingers in there to depress them.
Well that is a nice job; but I love my new mirror with the home-link buttons, auto-dimming, lights, and compass. It kind of upgrades the technology on the car a tiny bit. But, absent that, your fix is nice.