Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Button. A Door. It's a Simple Thing Really.

When is a door not a door?

When it's ajar!!

It's a simple thing really.  At it's simplest it is some semi-flat and thin plank that can be set or pushed in front of some sort of opening to enable or prevent ingress/egress of some one, some thing, snow, rain, etc.  Slightly more complex and the plank is attached by rope or metal or something that forms a hinge and the planking can be swung to admit passage.  Add a little more complexity and the hinge can be at the top, and some electronic mechanism can even perform plank movement automatically.  Really.  I've seen it.

That fanciest of all versions contains an "Automatic Door Opener."  Cagers figured this thing out long ago that allows them to carry, in the car, a small box with a button that will control that "Automatic Door Opener" remotely.  When they leave, a press of the button will close the door.  And when they arrive it will open the door.  There is a matching button usually mounted on a wall within the garage that will control the "Automatic Door Opener" from an internal stationary location.

This is a spectacular achievement when the vehicle is going through that portal.  The user does not have to exit the vehicle to open or close the door and get back into the vehicle.

So what about us no-account motorbike riders that don't have storage space to keep that box with the button?  Or easy accessibility if one does?  Or fingers that are not the size of a Christmas ham wrapped in leather casing?

We are "attached to another object by an inclined plane wrapped helically around an axis."  Some people have devised a form of the boxed button that will activate that "Automatic Door Opener" with the honk of the horn.  Unfortunately, that only seems to work when the appropriate receiver is nearby and tuned to your horn's frequency.

But wait!

A couple intrepid inventors saw a possibility here.  Could something be created for a motorbike?  Something other than velcro-ing or gluing the boxed button onto the bike?

One such system is the Flash2Pass.

Image taken from Web
This product involves hooking into the high beam wires for your motorbike, and then stashing the small attached mechanism on your bike somewhere.  This will usually fit behind a fairing or headlight, but could be mounted under the seat in a pinch.  A second mechanism is attached to/or replaces that button that is mounted on the wall internally.  This is all wrapped up neatly, allowing the motorbike operator the luxury of pressing the "flash" high beams in quick succession to activate that lovely "Automatic Door Opener."

No, it isn't difficult to dismount a motorbike and open that door.  But when it also entails unlocking the inside door, disarming the alarm, preventing the geriatric dog from breaking a leg as she jumps all over you panicking to be let out, unlocking the back door and escorting the dog through the screened porch, all the while looking and feeling like an astronaut walking on the moon with this heavy orbed object on your head, baubling along the rooms trying not to knock it against the cabinet or doors.

No.  It isn't completely necessary.  But it is such a simply thing and so nice to have.  :)


  1. Great video.

    Troubadour used to have a door opener like that. I could hear him coming from down the block and if I wasn't busy cooking dinner would run out and open the garage door for him. This was before we splurged on the automatic opener. I still make dinner, but don't have to rush out to open the door.

    Sounds like an adventure ducking the dog and trying to get in the house.

    FYI - My captcha for this comment is "antflo" what are you trying to tell me? Bahahahaha

  2. steel cupcake:

    I would be interested in a bikini, or unclad opener ?

    Riding the Wet Coast

  3. Pretty cool gadget. I have taken to using a tank bag just about all the time as it gives me a place to stash all my junque one of which is the garage door opener. But even then it is occasionally a challenge to find it.

    So did you pick up one of these gadgets?


  4. I think mine is broken, I blow the horn twice as indicated but nothing happens :-( Maybe it's the age, it's getting older by the day, I think I need a new one, much younger :-) ha ha
    I had seen the video, pretty cool and funny.

  5. Interesting opener. Our garage door opener is some antique from the 70's. I'm not sure a new, modern button would work on such a classic! I carry an equally old 70's something garage door opener in my tank bag. I'm just retro that way. :)

  6. Hi Trobairitz:

    I was the same way. :) If I heard him coming I would run to open the door for him. Thought he was always able to just lean over his bike and open with the touchpad, I never could reach. On the other hand, when I knew he was home I would come home the other way that passed me in front of the house and I would honk incessantly as I passed. That garage door was up when I got to the driveway! :)

    As for your captcha...the motorcycle gos want you to go with the flow and get a Flash2Pass. LOL

  7. Hi Bobskoot:

    I'm thinking I need to get you out here and pose for that one then. ;)

    -Steel Cupcake

  8. Hi RichardM:

    Unfortunately, our opener (singular) has been lost to the techno gods that know when something is important and it is promptly taken. Since the cars aren't parked in the garage it wasn't too big a deal. But the bikes?? You betcha I installed one of these on each bike! Very nice. :)


  9. Hi GeorgeF:

    You have found the issue with older automatic door opening units. Before attempting directly to replace with a younger model, which might upset the older model, attempt to reinitialize the older model with new lubricant, wine and cheese sometimes work well. However, if you did decide an upgrade to a newer, younger model was absolutely necessary, I would recommend a model with far fewer functionality, just stick with opening/closing the garage door. Unless, of course, it also did yardwork. :)


  10. Hi Bluekat:

    I believe the only reason yours still works is precisely because it is from the 70's. The junk built in the 80's and 90's never would have lasted that long. So tell me...your opener that big box 3x4 inch thick black plastic with the big metal clip on the back? hehehe


  11. I simply ripped the guts out of my remote. Then I drilled a small hole for a little pushbutton in a fairing piece. A bit of rewiring and presto! Push a button on the dash and the door opens.

    Of course, the wife is a bit miffed since I stole the remote from her car. She still has the honking one, though. She honks and I open the door!

    Take care,

  12. Dear Steel Cupcake:

    My arthritis is generally raging by the time I get back into the driveway, and my garage dismount is certain to be the last of the day.

    My topcase opens from the front, and my little remote is right handy to raise the door, enabling me to ride right into the garage.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  13. That is an amusing video, made even funnier by the guys dead-pan and serious voice. H-D used to make a garage door opener that worked in the same way, presumably by radio waves, so that whenever you approached the garage with your high beam on it opened. These were not available for the UK market, but I might try and find the one you suggest. As you say, nice to have but so much easier than fumbling for your remote with gloves on. I loved your description of arriving home!