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How can I REDUCE the range of a garage door opener?

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  • How can I REDUCE the range of a garage door opener?

    The new Chamberlain Whisper Drive opener I installed can be activated from over two hundred feet away despite the fact that it's installed in a metal building with no windows. I cannot see the door from my house, so I'm concerned the door might be opened inadvertently, and I'd have no way knowing without walking over there.

    There are two antennas hanging down from the opener, one short and one long. I assume the short one is for the MyQ function, which I don't use because it's beyond the range of the wifi in our house.

    I've tried coiling the long antenna tightly, and putting it inside a metal tube that's grounded to the building frame, but that didn't significantly reduce the range. I'd like to get it down to around thirty feet. I don't want to cut the antenna off, though.
    Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

  • #2
    can you remove it? by unscrewing or whatever?

    WM I have the same problem with not being able to see the door from the house, was actually thinking of either installing a mirror or a micro switch that lights a little led when it's open or closed...
    Last edited by A.K. Boomer; 03-04-2017, 10:38 AM.

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    • #3
      If it's like other openers I've had apart, you cannot remove the antenna without unsoldering it from the circuit board.

      I've got most of what I need to install an indicator light on the side of the building I can see, but I thought reducing the range might be easier.

      Maybe there's something I could do to the remote, other than run the battery down, of course.
      Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

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      • #4
        How about a wireless video security system with a camera aimed at the door? Horror Fright sells a 2 camera set for $245 that got good reviews.
        Last edited by Dave C; 03-04-2017, 11:40 AM.
        “I know lots of people who are educated far beyond their intelligence”

        Lewis Grizzard

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        • #5
          they sell a remote signaler that tells you in your house that the door is open 1 part attaches to the door and the receiver mounts in the house , it has 2 lights 1 green, 1 red, when red is lit door is open, IIRC it was about $30.00 USD.

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          • #6
            Years ago I had the problem of my garage door opening on it's own. I cut the antenna completely off and it still worked with the remote but I had to be a few feet in front of the door.

            I'd start snipping the antenna off until you got it down to the distance you want it to work at.
            Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dave C View Post
              How about a wireless video security system with a camera aimed at the door? Horror Fright sells a 2 camera set for $245 that got good reviews.
              ouch that's kinda an expensive fix, but the thought crossed my mind to just wire up a dummy camera that's already got the red LED in it, make it so it's viewable from the house, Led is on when the doors shut, so you know at a glance and also have a little fake security to boot, all for something like 12 bucks, might be a good way to go.

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              • #8
                Try shorting the end of the receiving antenna to ground. Radical but hey, might work. To do it right you need to put a pad (couple of resistors) after the antenna on the pcb, but...

                And the other way is "detune" your remote. It might have an adjustable coil; if so - just move the slug slightly. Pad the output antenna.. remotes are cheap or.. drop the battery voltage to "almost flat"... with a few series diodes. etc etc. My remotes are good for 100 feet with new battery, 10 feet with almost flat.
                Last edited by lakeside53; 03-04-2017, 12:15 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by duckman View Post
                  they sell a remote signaler that tells you in your house that the door is open 1 part attaches to the door and the receiver mounts in the house , it has 2 lights 1 green, 1 red, when red is lit door is open, IIRC it was about $30.00 USD.
                  Ditto that. I believe that Chamberlin sells one. My neighbor used to call me to tell us our door was open. I can see mine from my Lazy Boy. Bob.

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                  • #10
                    Or do as I did. Take the doors off. I don't have a door on my shop. I drive in and out of it with equipment all the time. Of course I live out in the country with no neighbors and I have security cameras and dogs that know no one is allowed in my shop without me. I can't say exactly how they learned that but they did. I can be in the shop with someone and the dogs are there with us. If we leave and that person goes back in there they will come running out really fast! Every once in a while I test my "security" with an unsuspecting poor soul. Yeah I know, I am bad!
                    Location: The Black Forest in Germany

                    How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

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                    • #11
                      My garage door was built by me. As a security measure, the remote opening signal only activates the system if held stable for at least 3 seconds. This prevents accidental opening and also sequence scanning attempts to open the door by brute (electronic) force. If a scanner had to go through all the codes holding each one for 3 seconds it would take some serious time.
                      Helder Ferreira
                      Setubal, Portugal

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                      • #12
                        The length of the antenna determines the frequency that it WORKS at. So shortening it will reduce range.

                        On my door opener, after 220v went into it due to an ice storm knocking the neutral wire off the pole in front of my house, the 12v transformer burned out. That little transformer is not available for purchase. It is soldered directly to the board. So I measured the wire size and counted the turns and rewound it. Now mine had about a 25 foot range and I wanted more so I added a few more turns to the transformer thus increasing the voltage about 0.5 volts and this gave me about 75 feet of range. That being said you could remove some winds from the transformer and that would lower the voltage and reduce the range. Lower aprpx 0.5-0.7v.
                        There is always more than one way to skin a cat...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by duckman View Post
                          they sell a remote signaler that tells you in your house that the door is open 1 part attaches to the door and the receiver mounts in the house , it has 2 lights 1 green, 1 red, when red is lit door is open, IIRC it was about $30.00 USD.
                          I have a couple of these Winchman. Cover shipping and they're yours. They worked a few years ago. Been sitting in a box since. No guarantees.

                          Otherwise, a roller micro switch on the track and an outside indicator light would be simple and reliable.
                          Last edited by Boostinjdm; 03-04-2017, 02:13 PM.

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                          • #14
                            I've got a large external garage with a Chamberlain garage door opener, that would occasionally not close properly (something would trigger it to go back up), so I got their MyQ setup ($100), includes a sensor on the door and a wifi device, and now I can tell on my phone if the garage door is up or down, and if the door is being opened or closed.

                            And, eventually, I did figure out the problem, it was the rag used to plug the hole we put in the door for putting an exhaust tube through, it was just close enough to the safety sensor that the rag would sometimes trigger the sensor. And then sometimes snow would stick to the bottom of the door to do it was well.

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                            • #15
                              I don't know how your antenna is constructed, but mine are just pieces of ordinary wire that hang off the terminal strips on the openers. If yours are like that, you could just fold them back instead of actually cutting them. I would fold back in 1" increments until the range is decreased to what you want. Tie them up with plastic cable ties or string or electric tape.



                              Originally posted by Arcane View Post
                              Years ago I had the problem of my garage door opening on it's own. I cut the antenna completely off and it still worked with the remote but I had to be a few feet in front of the door.

                              I'd start snipping the antenna off until you got it down to the distance you want it to work at.
                              Paul A.
                              SE Texas

                              Make it fit.
                              You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!

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