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Author Topic: Automatic Garage Door malfunction  (Read 3041 times)

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Automatic Garage Door malfunction
« on: January 13, 2018, 02:35:51 AM »
I hope this isn't an inappropriate post and hopefully it might be of some use to the more electronically inclined members.

The issue was that my "rolling code" remotely controlled garage door started randomly opening its self.
Anywhere from once every few days to twice a day. I'd walk past or arrive home and find the door open.
There was never any indication that anything had been taken or that anyone had been inside.
Since it uses the "rolling code" type of system there was almost no chance that the cause was somebody in the neighbourhood with a similar controller using the same code.
I did all the intelligent things ... Take the lid off the receiver and bang the control board with the a screwdriver handle .... turn it on and off a few times ... open and close the other garage door (beside it) to make sure there was no "cross talk". I even asked the Neighbours if they'd had problems or if there had been any power surges.

Not unexpectedly these endeavours got me nowhere.

Back to the door. Checked the limit switches and made sure it wasn't jamming somehow (even though it seemed to work perfectly when I used it). As expected all was ok.

Next - Type the model name into Google and after 30 minutes and 100 false starts discover that the system is based around  "generic" Chinese hardware that gets repackaged into multiple brands and model numbers for retail. The manufactures trouble shooting guide was helpful and sounded likely to work - Replace receiver and motor controller board.

Lastly in desperation - back to google with a more specific search; "Fix rolling code garage door opening by itself" - About 1,570,000 results !

Everything you'd expect from replace electronics to check out nearby Military Bases/Radars to make sure your remote controller is not being activated by other items in your handbag.

Then on a site called "" there was a brief mention that sometimes failing batteries in the remote control can trigger false transmissions and thus operate the door.

I'd always assumed that the buttons on the remote control unit switched power to the unit so how could a failing battery trigger the receiver when the buttons aren't being pushed ???

This has got to be an "urban myth".

Checked the voltage on the 12V remote battery. 9V dropping to 5 when the remote is operated!

Replaced battery 3 weeks ago and there have been no more phantom openings since. I've been too lazy to take the remote apart again and check that voltage is present on the circuit board when the control button isn't being pressed. Life is more interesting when there is a little mystery!

Has anyone else had this experience?



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Re: Automatic Garage Door malfunction
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2018, 07:28:48 AM »
I'd take the remote control apart, hook up an adjustable DC power supply and slowly lower the voltage when operating the thing.
May possibly eliminate the mystery though ;-)
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 06:07:20 PM by MEgg »
1st project: Dagu 5 Rover + Dagu - 4 Channel DC Motor + Red Back Spider robot controller + Raspberry B+
Chassis + wheels:


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Re: Automatic Garage Door malfunction
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2018, 05:34:00 PM »
Wow, can't believe that would have made it out the door like that but I'd guess nobody thought to test through a battery cycle.

I have a slightly different story in that my home automation systems opens and closes my garage door having a digital 5v input for sensor and a relay/digital out to control on a VERY old TC+ controller. A few years ago we were away on vacation out of state and I get a text at 11pm saying "garage door opened". WTF - thought someone was breaking in so I checked cameras and sure enough the door is open. Told it to remotely close via the web and watched it close right up, didn't see anyone in the cameras so wrote it off as a fluke.

Next night same thing all over again. Ended up the input sensor 5v power supply was flaky and when it would drop out the system thought the door was OPEN at 11pm, the time I have the system check to see if we forgot to close it, so it will close it automatically. I couldn't remote into my system back then so I had the house watcher just unplug the garage opener until we got back home.

Needless to say I changed the configuration to "fail safe / closed" so that wouldn't happen again if low sensor power but thank goodness for the text notifications or I would not have had a clue the door was open all night long or at lest until someone checked the house.

Recently I had another fun time using fake WeMo switches on ESP8266 end points for controlling lights and testing sending a voice control back through a fake one for garage door operations. After installing the Alexa app on an old Android tablet the whole group of WeMo emulators would cycle off and back on, which at that time also opened and closed the garage door.

Fun fun in the DIY dorky world I have built.

The past is done, the future is not here, live today...
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