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Old 02-28-2011, 06:08 PM   post #1 of 9
BigD
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Default Extend the range of a garage door opener

Anyone know how to extend the range of a garage door opener? I'd love to be able to have the door activate when I first enter the driveway, but with the current door opener setup, I usually need to be about one half the way up the driveway before I see the door open. There has to be a good way to extend the range, right?
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:19 PM   post #2 of 9
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Default Re: Extend the range of a garage door opener

I did a quick search and found this, but I don't know how well it works.

http://www.jcwhitney.com/garage-door-remote-control-range-extender/p2007697.jcwx
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:46 PM   post #3 of 9
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Default Re: Extend the range of a garage door opener

The link didn't work but the SKU is 1JA 814605
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:57 PM   post #4 of 9
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Default Re: Extend the range of a garage door opener

Just as with any Raido type transmission system, to increase the range you basically have 2 possibliities.... Increase the power on the transmitter and improve the antenna for better reception.

For the transmitter, make sure you have fresh batteries installed. If possible use a slightly higher voltage battery chemistry if available (i.e. lithium replacements for alkalines 1.7 volts compared to 1.5). Different transmitters have different power outputs. The transmitters built into cars seem to have more power than the visor mounted ones. I'm not suggesting trading cars just to get the transmitter, but there are several replacement universal transmitters that may have more power.

For the receiver, it is possible to extend the antenna outside the garage with an extension kit. Is your garage sided with metal siding? You will probably have to go to a dedicated garage door business to get one, but I discussed the need for one when I installed openers in my pole barn. Finally, if your opener has a "dangling wire" antenna, make sure the antenna is fully extended for maximum signal reception.

Hope this gives some useful ideas.
--Rick
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:25 AM   post #5 of 9
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Default Re: Extend the range of a garage door opener

The other possibility would be to move the receiver to the end of the drive and hard wire the rest.
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Old 03-01-2011, 08:45 AM   post #6 of 9
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Default Re: Extend the range of a garage door opener

Quote:
Different transmitters have different power outputs. The transmitters built into cars seem to have more power than the visor mounted ones. I'm not suggesting trading cars just to get the transmitter, but there are several replacement universal transmitters that may have more power.
Funny you should say this. On my garage door, the little hand held remotes range is as good as the Homelink installed in the Toyota. But at my daughters home, the Toyota's Homelink beats their handheld remote by 50 feet!

Quote:
For the receiver, it is possible to extend the antenna outside the garage with an extension kit. Is your garage sided with metal siding? You will probably have to go to a dedicated garage door business to get one, but I discussed the need for one when I installed openers in my pole barn. Finally, if your opener has a "dangling wire" antenna, make sure the antenna is fully extended for maximum signal reception.
From what I read, the extension kit requires a opener with a coaxial plug built in to connect the coaxial cable. My opener does not have this plug. The garage is brick. I'll check that "dangling wire" to make sure it is extended. Thanks

Quote:
I did a quick search and found this, but I don't know how well it works.
http://www.jcwhitney.com/garage-door.../p2007697.jcwx
Quote:
The link didn't work but the SKU is 1JA 814605
This looks interesting, but I wonder how secure it is. I looked at the manufacturing web site but detailed info was lacking. Does this opener have the more secure rolling codes programing? Also looks like this opener is solely made for JC Whitney. No one else sells it.

Quote:
The other possibility would be to move the receiver to the end of the drive and hard wire the rest.
Now this sounds interesting. Kind of thinking outside of the box. This just may be my next experiment. I already have a hardwired driveway alert that rings a bell/buzzer when anything metal crosses the buried sensor, and this is wired to turn on the garage door light. I could use the same buried conduit for the relocation of the receiver end of this opener. As Arte Johnson says in Laugh-In "Interesting. Very interesting".

Thanks to everyone who responded.
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:48 AM   post #7 of 9
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Lightbulb Re: Extend the range of a garage door opener

Here's some input from a 1 & done? member this morning on the subject in this thread & I'm adding it to the thread per his wishes:

Quote:
Originally Posted by erkme73 View Post
I only registered to post a reply to a single thread. Didn't realize it was a multi-step process to post...

Just over a year ago, there was a discussion about extending the range of garage door opener remotes

This evening, after installing a device in my garage that apparently gives off enough RF pollution to jam my opener, I started the search for a fix.

Google brought me to this form - specifically the thread just above. It would appear there is no good resolution. After some serious head-scratching, I came up with a fix, and decided to share it. Alas, I can't post anywhere but here... And my determination to post the fix dies when I go to bed.

So, here's what it is (mods, feel free to move this to the appropriate thread, or delete if necessary)...

Find the dangling wire that exits the head unit. Remove the necessary covers to determine how it is attached to the circuit board. Chances are, it's simply soldered on. If that's the case, de-solder it and set the wire aside. There ought to be a ground point somewhere very close to the antenna solder point. Identify and note it's location.

Using a standard RCA cable (the kind you'd use for analog stereo/video signals) of appropriate length (however long you need it to be to get to the very front of your garage), cut off both ends. Remove just the outer insulation on the end that will be connected to the opener. Separate the inner shielded insulator, and the braided wire shield. Take care to keep the inner insulation (likely white) from being damaged at the point where it goes into the shielding.

Solder the center conductor to where the original dangling wire was attached, and the shielded wire to the closest ground point on the board. Obviously, make sure you don't short out anything with the bare wires.

On the other end, cut the wire shielding back about an inch from the end so that only the center insulation and conductor are visible. Now, attach the original wire to the center conductor. For neatness, put some heat shrink tubing (or electric tape) around the solder point.

Mount the original wire vertically, in the space between the top of the door and the ceiling.

I did this, and can now open my door from about 300' - which is about 3x better than it was before I installed the RF-generating device.

Hope this helps someone.

E.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:54 AM   post #8 of 9
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Default Re: Extend the range of a garage door opener

Interesting. He is grounding only the one end. Thinking about this, I may just try it. Can't hurt, right?

Thanks for relaying his thoughts WNYTractorTinkerer
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:08 PM   post #9 of 9
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Default Re: Extend the range of a garage door opener

Quote:
Originally Posted by schmart View Post
Just as with any Raido type transmission system, to increase the range you basically have 2 possibliities.... Increase the power on the transmitter and improve the antenna for better reception.
There's a 3rd possibility. A repeater, passive or active. Put in a passive repeater, half-way and no wires or power needed. It's often done for TV and FM reception. I've got two passive repeaters up on my hill for UHF and VHF TV.
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