How can I open my garage door?
November 5, 2007 1:11 PM   Subscribe

Old garage door opener, and the last remote has gone missing. Can I go to radio shack, and make something work? I suspect this might sound nuts.

Okay, I have a rather old garage door opener. My wife drove away with the last working remote on her hood. Now, I have a garage door that I need to get out of my car, unlock a man-door, walk inside, and push a button to open.

While this isn't the WORST thing in the world, I'd really rather have the option to open the door from my car. Canadian Winter is almost here!

The door button has a series of dip's pretty old school I think. The manual also seems to have a pretty extensive schematic. I'm I crazy to think that it *shouldn't* be that hard to "make" another one? Maybe leveraging some old remote control?

Old school electronics folks...can you help? Suggested websites? Anything?
posted by Richat to Technology (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Try here.
posted by beagle at 1:13 PM on November 5, 2007

Go to a junkyard. They tend to have piles and piles of those things from the old cars that get brought in. I don't know if you have junkyards up there in Canadia, but if you do, then you'll find what you need there; just look for one that looks similar.
posted by koeselitz at 1:24 PM on November 5, 2007

Find the brand name and go to your local hardware store and look at what they have, decent chance they will just have a replacement clicker and you have to sync the dip switches up. Something similar happened to me a few years back and this worked a treat.
posted by edgeways at 1:27 PM on November 5, 2007

Yes. Easy Peasy. You can get a programmable remote and if necessary you can re-program your existing garage door code if you don't have an old one to use. You can probably find the information with your garage door unit on re-programming. Buying one from Radio Shack will be cheaper--much cheaper--than ordering one from the manufacturer. If by chance your type of door is too old for the newest generic remote, you could special order one from any company that sells garage doors & openers.
posted by 45moore45 at 1:29 PM on November 5, 2007

I have tried this sort of thing before; you may get lucky but one way to increase your odds is to make sure any remote you try has the same number of DIP switches. Older remotes will not be very easy to replace as they lack many features of new ones such as rolling codes and safety interlocks. Especially if you have kids or pets you might want to consider just buying a new opener. Newer models are faster, quieter, and have more safety and convenience features; if you are just replacing an old one then you will already have mounting and electrical covered so it should be an easy afternoon job (speaking from experience).
posted by TedW at 1:36 PM on November 5, 2007

When we bought our house, we had an opener and no remote. (Better yet, not electricity in the garage, but that's another story.)

We bought a new receiver and remote. It hooked up to the terminals that button hooks up to. Not only did we get a functional remote, but we got modern rolling code security. It's made by Chamberlain.

We bought our's at Menard's.
posted by advicepig at 1:42 PM on November 5, 2007

i have a remote but also have installed one of these which allows me to open it even without the controller. but i only have a garage door and no other way in (except by kicking out the window) so i really need the backup system!
posted by Salvatorparadise at 1:48 PM on November 5, 2007

You just need to get a replacement universal-type remote that supports your brand of garage door at a hardware store. You punch in the dip switch configuration, and you're golden.
posted by jeffxl at 1:56 PM on November 5, 2007

Found the receiver I mentioned above.

Receiver at Home Depot
posted by advicepig at 2:06 PM on November 5, 2007

Man, I should have mentioned that I did try a replacement remote. Unfortunately, due to the lack of a particular safety feature, they claim that they don't sell remotes for my old thing. I'll be checking a couple links all the same!
posted by Richat at 2:55 PM on November 5, 2007

I just reprogrammed a 10-switch clicker to work with an existing 8-switch door (and another clicker). Both clickers are completely different manfuacters and look like they were made around 20 years apart. I just set the 9th and 10th switches to zero. Works fine. Hopefully yours is old-school... it seems things have become more complex of late.
posted by meehawl at 6:04 PM on November 5, 2007

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