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I have a common modern garage door, which has a remote-opening system. There are a couple of 4-button key fobs that look like this image.

enter image description here

Several times I have walked into my garage to find the main door wide open, once at 2AM to find wind raining inside.

How can I carry this fob in such a way to stop accidental key presses? Any of the four buttons toggle the door.

I have tried carrying it in a hip-pocket, both attached to a keyring and loose. I've also tried it loose in my fob pocket, but a minor bump at the right angle can trip the door.

  • I've also considered a neck strap but that wouldn't suit working around power tools. – Criggie Apr 22 at 0:44
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    Check your car to see if it has a door opener function that needs to be set ; if so leave your remote in a drawer. ( I have no idea where my remotes are). – blacksmith37 Apr 24 at 20:07
  • @blacksmith37 fair point for some users, but my car's older than me, so it doesn't even have hazard lights. – Criggie Apr 24 at 22:15
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    I'd have though there was some device you could buy and attach to your car so that when it comes near your door, the door opens? This does very much seem like "putting the fob in the car" though – Caius Jard Apr 25 at 4:21
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    I think those systems are like some sort of continuous laser beam emitter that only works when the car is powered on. Note that some of them also have the minor "problem" that they confuse some laser speed traps operated by the police – Caius Jard Apr 25 at 7:29
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You might try this instead.

My solution was to STOP carrying the garage door opener. I keep it in my car instead.

Also, I installed an external keypad to open the garage when I return from a bike ride. These external keypads start at about $20 US and are wireless, so no cables need to be installed.

Good luck!

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  • Yup, I don't know anyone who carries around the garage door opener. – pboss3010 Apr 23 at 12:36
  • @pboss3010 I guess you're in an area where its normal to leave vehicles outside all the time. Personally I think a car belongs inside its garage when not being used, but that's getting off topic. – Criggie Apr 24 at 22:18
  • @Criggie: I don't understand your comment. I'm pretty sure pboss3010 means that he/she carries the opener in the car, not in a pocket. – James Apr 24 at 23:55
  • @james no I get it - I just don't drive a car very often. – Criggie Apr 25 at 7:17
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    @Criggie: My answer had two parts. 1) Keep the remote in the car. 2) Put an external keypad outside the garage to use instead of the remote when walking or riding your bike. In other words, you only use the remote when you are driving the car. So when you said "This worked, until...", I assumed you had tried my entire solution. Sorry. – James Jun 5 at 11:38
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I carry the car's remote in an external pocket (closable with a zipper) of the jacket. There is almost no chance to press the buttons accidentally.

However, the "safest" storage for your remote seems to be a kind of a hard case. It can be something as simple as a tiny casserole for spices (delivered for to-go food). I use such small casserole when I need to carry my shaving razor - to avoid cutting everything around.

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I got fed up with this and made a cover for the fob. Its just a piece of subtly-curved plastic hacked out of a milk bottle, to vaguely match the curve of the buttons.

enter image description here enter image description here

The bolts are little M3x0.5 and were about 5mm long.

I opened the remote with a screwdriver in the top, under the metal keyring loop. The circutboard was just wedged in place.

The bolt heads are on the inside because they were smaller than the nuts, but I still had to shorten them with a dremel to allow the case to click closed.

The range of the transmitter seems unchanged, I didn't alter the board at all. You can still press a button through the lid, but it needs a lot more "push".

Longer term I'm thinking of a complete 3D Printed case which is minimised to just the circuit board, but that's future stuff. It would have either a sliding or a flippy lid over the button.

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  • To use this I push my finger under the cover, I don't press the button through the cover. – Criggie Jun 4 at 23:58
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As an alternative to James' proposed keypad that opens the door directly, in case you cannot find one for your door, you could take a look at those small wall mounted combination safe (like old people have to keep a key in, for their care workers to let themselves in with) - put the opener fob in it

Looking at the design of the fob, might you be able to find an empty replacement fob shell for cheap on the net, then cut and shape the front of it so that it fits onto the fob (with the current shell still installed) ? It means you can still poke a finger in to press the buttons but leaning on a door wouldn't trigger anything

Perhaps see if your door maker has a cell phone app

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  • Excellent thought - I do like the idea of a modified case. I don't ever want to hook my doors up to some external service via the internet, that concept is just scary. – Criggie Apr 24 at 22:20
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    @Criggie: Perhaps you think the keypad is an internet device, but it's not. It's basically just a large fob with a keypad that you mount outside your garage. You enter a PIN and it opens/closes your garage door over the same frequency as your fob uses. – James Apr 25 at 13:28
  • @James the "internet thing" was in reference to the last line "a cell phone app" which would require an internet connection, no? – Criggie Apr 25 at 23:14
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    @Criggie: You're right. Sorry, I thought you meant the keypad. – James Apr 25 at 23:52
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If you're any good with a soldering iron, crack the fob open and take a look at the board. It should be possible, by selective cutting of the tracks and soldering bits of wire in various places, to reconfigure the remote so that two or more buttons need to be pressed simultaneously to activate the door. If you upload a picture, I'm sure that the people here or (better) over on electronics.stackexchange can help out. They might even be able to suggest a way of wiring it with an IC so that a particular button sequence must be pressed to activate

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  • That is an excellent idea - essentially a two-action button. I like it! – Criggie Apr 25 at 7:21
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Based on the latest question comment i did also just have the maybe crazy notion that you could glue the fob under the bike seat or some other hidden place, then mount a switch on the handlebars, so you can open the door as you cycle toward it. You might even just be able to press the buttons by reaching under the seat, and people will wonder how you open your garage by scratching your ...

If having the fob permanently fitted to the bike doesn't appeal to your sense of security (if you leave your bike parked publicly then someone who knows your address and bike could steal the bike and access the house) maybe you can find/make a mount so you can clip/unclip the fob, like you would a bicycle light, and have a bar mounted fob - mostly the fob can live on the bike (and it would be a convenient place to access it if eg you need to take the trash out via the garage) but when the bike is in some insecure place far from the garage you can pocket the fob for security of the fob, but it will be too far to activate the door

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  • This is a fair idea that might work well for a motorbike, where there's a lot of storage/dashboard/bars - I also have more than one bike. – Criggie Jun 4 at 23:59

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