Improving the sensor's reliability

The actual reflection rate must be around the threshold value. It is a know issue that iOS app get’s reflection rate value stuck. Developer will be working on it.

Can you log into the web app and check the reflection rate there?

Ah…iOS app issue… gottcha.

Thru the web app, Im showing 10%… does this mean I’m getting way too much ambient light in the garage perhaps?

Looks like it. Garadget doesn’t so much mind the ambient light, as when that light aligns with the laser (i.e. shining from straight behind of the unit). Just dropping threshold to 5% might help if there is no practical way to limit interference.

Interesting… I dropped the threshold to 5% and now the garage is showing the right status, which is ‘closed’.
But reflection rate at about 8-9%… is this ok?

As long as the reflection rate stays above the threshold the unit will indicate the closed state.

Just received another million alerts showing ‘open’ and ‘close’ at about 1:30pm while I was at the gym.
I’m guessing this is due to the sun is shinning on a different spot of the garage.

How should I resolve this? Should I position the reflector on the bottom of the garage? (darker area)
Or that doesn’t really matter? because the ambient light might still hit the laser?

@onair125, your garage sounds like quite a happy place. If you send pictures of it with the sun flooding it, I’ll think of some recommendation.

Here you go…

Lovely… I’m guessing the reflective tag is that light dot in the center.
I’d try adding some sort of non-transparent visor or tube to the photo-sensor blocking direct light from the windows.
You can experiment with moving the reflector above the windows and/or to the side.

Gotcha…will try that.
Correct me if I’m wrong…but the best position for these unit/laser/reflector is basically where it has the least amount of lights/ambient lights? Correct?
I think my last recourse would be extending the wires and installing the unit in the corner of the garage? (where my lawn mower is…) The angle of the laser shouldn’t matter right? As long it hits the reflector that sticks onto the garage door…?

But I will try experimenting the direction of the laser first…

Can you explain what the reflector does?

I came up with the laser idea to make installation simple: I.e. existing products require either long wiring for magnetic sensor or a separate battery-powered radio-linked tilt sensor on the door. Ideally Garadget is placed on the opener motor so you don’t have to run long wires to/from it.

Extending wires and hiding Garadget from sun will do the trick, but kind of defeats the purpose for laser sensor.

Reflector explanation: well, it reflects the light from the laser back at Garadget. The property of this retro-reflective film is that is sends light back to where it came from at wide range of angles. This way when you illuminate the traffic cone or safety vest with your headlights at night, only you see the bright reflection stripes.

Now to minimize influence of the ambient light, I implemented the algorithm which makes the ambient light measurement before firing the laser, then fires the laser and makes another measurement. The reflection rate is calculated based on the increase of the light intensity. Multiple measurements are averaged to eliminate false positives from coincidental increases in brightness from other sources (lamp turned on, lightning strike etc).

With intense direct light there’s not much room for further increase so the reflection rate (confidence of the sensor) decreases accordingly.

Make sense… I will try experimenting the laser direction first…
I might need more of these reflector and sticky pad =)

Will keep you updated.

For additional stickers search “reflective safety tape” and “double sided adhesive pad” on ebay.
I have more supplies too; I can share for the cost of shipping and packaging.

Just installed mine last night, working great until this morning when sun came up. Reading all this stuff here and just more confusing. My Reflection was 40 when it woke me up but now at 10am it is 18 at this moment … so I changed Senor Threshold to 5 now, or it was keep texting me it was open… Is this correct?


Yes, one of the approaches is to lower the threshold to about half of the reflection rate, but 5 is a bit too low.
I’d suggest moving the reflective tag in the way there are no sources of bright light aligned with it. (I.e. away from the window). There should be many options considering that the laser doesn’t have to hit the reflective tag strictly perpendicular.