Hello and welcome to the most advanced part of home automation: Smart relays. I’ll tell you all about it but, first of all I want to make one thing absolutely clear:
My garage is for two cars with each having their own door, then my driveway has an electric sliding gate. The problem is, that with how many houses are around, the radio is noisy and sometimes it’d take about 5 tries to finally open the gate, drive in and then experience the same madness with the garage door. I thought there must be a solution and there actually is. Wifi and Google Home!
Ok, first of all, if you have read our About Us page you do know that I’m absolutely incompetent at handy work. I don’t know a lot about electric work either, so I had to do some trade-offs here, but bear with me.
All garage doors and gates as far as I know work on the same basic principles. There are two contacts which need to be shorted together for a short period of time to create an impulse. This triggers an action usually open, close, or stop movement of the door. The easiest and cheapest way (or the way I did it) was to give up the normal switches for opening the door from inside the garage. These look like your typical lightswitch, but have only a push action (usually a spring puts them back to off position). What I did was that I removed the switch covers and took a long look inside, then measured carefully what’s on the wires, in my case it was 220V. One wire being brown, the other marked black. So I went, took a ladder and took another long look into the unit mounted next to the garage door motor.
I’m sure that some of you already noticed that there’s a shelly wired in already. Yes, there is. I’ll tell you how it is done now.
Smart relays (well not only the smart ones) work in an easy to imagine way. You bring the power to it and it will snap contacts marked I and O together. In this setting you need to find a source of power and the two contacts you need to short together to create the “impulse”.
So, first of all, grab your meter and look for where there’s mains power. Usually atleast in Europe, these will ‘most likely’ be marked brown (live) and blue (neutral). So set your meter to according voltage touch a probe on a screw that’s likely to have live on it and look for blue wires. Touch the screw on a blue wire terminal and if you measured mains voltage. There you go. That’s your source of power. So yeah, but there’s just one wire and you need more right? Grab a length of wire – to be safe in the same diameter that your mains voltage has. Now, you’ll need to disconnect power, pull the circuit breaker and go back.
I can’t just stress this enough, but now’s a time to grab the meter again and measure the voltage one more time, so you’re sure that there’s none. As I said before, it WILL kill you.with the disclaimer out of the way, let’s move on.
I can’t even stress enough how easier a job gets done if you have the right tools. So here’s what you need:
Find your live wire and your neutral wire and cut it. Use wire cutters to cut the wire and expose the ends using the stripper thing (if you have never done this, you just find the right gauge of the wire and using the circly cutter part you cut the isolation and then using lever-like motion expose the wire). Don’t forget to strip both ends of the wire, you should expose about 3 mm of the copper core of the wire. Now you need to connect what you have cut, so click them together using a wago connector. Use a length of wire to connect these from the wago to the L and N input on your shelly.
Now your Shelly has power and it can operate to your commands. But it still has no input and output to short together. What you need to do now is disconnect your old switch and find out which wires lead to it, these are the wires that when shorted create the signal to open/close. Now, I wanna make one more thing very clear, you’ll lose the switches but I decided I will use wifi-switches on the wall, so it doesn’t matter, perhaps there’s a way to wire the shelly so that you can keep the switches (and I’m quite sure there is, but it didn’t seem to work with my garage controller).
The wires from your original switch just go straight into the I and O terminals on the shelly.
Now, if you don’t want to give up your switch, read my post here. Since I will admit I was stupid enough to give up my physical switches for a few months.
Since shelly can behave in a ton of different ways you’ll need to setup the shelly itself. So, now if you have wired it up and triple checked that you indeed wired it the right way, you can go to your breaker box and turn on the breaker.
What’s gonna happen now is either a lot of smoke and bangs, or and that’s hopefully more likely, your Shelly has powered up. Give it a few seconds to boot, grab a smartphone, or a laptop with wifi and connect to the wifi called “Shelly-AEBEDSX” or similar. Whenever a clean shelly boots up, it goes in AP mode and you can connect to it via wifi.
If the Wifi of the shelly doesn’t seem to work, give it a minute and if it still doesn’t, grab your meter and start measuring what the hell is wrong. Especially measure if there’s mains voltage across the L and N screw terminal on the shelly. Look also if you haven’t interchanged them.
If your wifi works, you need to connect to: http://192.168.33.1/ this will bring up an interface with all sort of options. You go to the timer settings. Now, what you need to do now is find the auto-off feature. This will make it work the way as our original switch. Auto off basically means “when turned on, turn off after x seconds”. Find the option and put 0.5 seconds. That’s the first one, second is the type of connection and you need to find settings and then button type: Detached Switch – Set Shelly device to be in “Detached” switch mode – switch is separated from the relays.
This ensures it works as “dry contacts”. Basically it just shorts the two wires together. Last thing here is connect to wifi so it’s within your network.
One last thing to do, you download the original shelly app and you can just follow the original guide here. Add the device to your app, from there give it a name and type. Go to your Google Home and add a device that “works with google”. Give it a name (if it doesn’t import it) and you’re done. Now you can control it from your Home app, or you can just tell your google assistant “hey google, turn on the garage door”.
If you’re no expert like me, you’ll think that the above guide will work even if you want the Shelly to turn on a light. No, it doesn’t!
Smart relays work in mysterious ways!and yeah, this won’t work.
I will admit here that I needed help and I asked Tones from our gang to help me out. Because I tried connecting it with above mentioned way and it just wouldn’t work. (Maybe I’m just stupid, because I didn’t figure this out myself).
Basically the difference is that I and O mean indeed input and output and also it means that’s the two ends of a switch. So what you want is to cut the live wire in the switch. For easier understanding I made a diagram. Sorry, my drawing ain’t best, but it’s worth a ton of words.
You can just use Wagos and split cables the way you need. Now this drawing is a bit better understandable than even the one on the official shelly website. So here’s one of your bonuses for reading here.
My garage door is a bit weird regarding the wiring, so I wouldn’t tell you exactly the points where to connect, now my sliding gate is different it uses a Nice motor, which is found very often near houses all around Europe. So, here goes:
If your motor looks like this, you’re in the luck. So follow the guide above, but you can follow also my connection points here (double check with your manual anyway). From this view, there’s a screw in the middle of the right plate, so remove that, now sliding upwards, you can remove the half-cover. That covers only the electronics of the gate controller. So up it goes and away.
As I mentioned before you need mains power and the contacts you want to short. Since Shelly uses less than 1W of power, you can just cut the mains power comming into this box and split that with wagos to get power for the shelly. Now pin 10 and 12 (on the screw terminal bank, right upper part of picture) is the “button input”. Put wires in and get these to your shelly as I and O. Bam, you’re done. Set up the shelly same way as in the garage door guide and enjoy.
This is the last part of the home automation. There’s still one bit left thought, in the very very last part I’ll show you how I integrated my home theater and my home theater PC with Google Assistant and how I can come out of bed in the morning and trigger all kinds of shit to happen. Like having my computer play Spotify and my coffee maker ready. Stay Tuned! And if you have any questions I will try my best to help you, there’s a box down here, you know what to do!
Smart relays, hooorah for them!