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Virtual parking "guides"

So, like many others here, will be pulling my MS into and out of a single-car garage opening (the wife gets the double-car opening). Since our driveway is configured such that you have to make a 90-degree right-hand turn to get into the garage from the street, I'm worried about clipping the MS's rear passenger-side fender on the column that separates the garage doors as I pull in.

So, I was thinking that some kind of photoelectric beam could be established a couple inches from the corner that I want to avoid, hooked up to an audible alarm in the garage if the beam is broken. That would give me warning that I'm getting too close.

I figure one of these - http://www.seco-larm.com/E960Sb.htm - could be set up with the sensor above the garage door and the reflector (removed from housing so it's flat) attached to the driveway. Wire it up to permanent power and a small piezo speaker located right inside the garage door.

Thoughts on this? Any suggestions on improving the setup? Or, if there's already a product that does this, do let me know...reinventing the wheel can be extremely tiring. ;-)

Just to clarify: The beam would be oriented vertically such that anything passing through it (encroaching on that safety zone near the corner I want to avoid) would trigger the audible alarm.

Is it an 8 foot opening? I have a somewhat similar approach to an 8 foot door and was wondering how tight the fit is.

Padding the column would be cheaper.

@Brian H: Yes, but padding wouldn't tell me I'd hit it until it was too late. Besides, putting padding on the outside of our house has very low WAF.

@Bighorn: Our small garage door is 9' wide, but the opening is 8'6". It's a difficult configuration. I'll just have to learn to take it a bit slower and more carefully than I have been the past several years.

I may be off here but could you not rig up something similar to this yourself at home using proximity sensors in various parts of the garage that beep at different rates the closer you get?

It would be crude but might get you by till something more official gets released.

I hang threads along my garage door so they hang when the door goes up and plan on getting mirrors on the inside to see the car while I am parking it.

@cfOH
Thanks--hoping not to be a mirror folder.

Folding in mirrors gains six inches on each side.

Folding mirrorsbis very manual... hoping for a more eligant solution... I was thinking of some mirrors that would help to align the drivers side, assuming a properly aligned drivers side would align the other side.

@wcalvin: I'm not worried about mirrors...I'm worried about the rear fenders because the car's body is widest at the rear wheels and those spots are difficult to see.

Cheap and reliable solution: Use a cord to mount one or several yellow tennis balls hanging from the roof. Watch them in the side mirrors while slowly entering the garage. If they touch the car, you are too close.


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