Time to fix the garage door opener

As I noted earlier, our garage door opener receiver died a few weeks back. Rather than get a new, cheap, made-in-China receiver to replace it, I’ve decided to get a couple wireless remotes for our security system and program them to operate the garage door. Now, the original plan was to buy two bidirectional remotes (they can receive and display system status as well as arm/disarm the system, hence the term “bidirectional”), and a special keypad which includes an RF receiver/transmitter module to support the remotes. But, our system already has an RF receiver, and I recently learned that my particular alarm panel does not support more than one receiver.

Now, why am I interested in a second receiver if I already have one installed? It’s basically because of the oddball layout of our house. Our house is very long and narrow, and the center is narrower than the rest of the house. There’s no real practical spot to mount a receiver in the dead center of the house. It either needs to go closer to the west side of the house, or the east. It so happens that most of my wireless zones are on the west side of the house, so that’s where I mounted the current receiver. Unfortunately, the garage and entrances are all on the east side, so the receiver isn’t in the optimal spot for remote keys.

Plan A for dealing with this was to get the keypad with the RF receiver, and mount it closer to where we’d be using the remotes. But, I can’t do that because my panel doesn’t support multiple receivers. That brings me to Plan B, which is to buy the remotes and the required transmitter module, and just try them out with my existing receiver in its current location. These things supposedly have a 200 foot range, and I’m still well within that, so it can’t hurt to try it out.

While researching this today, I learned that there’s now a wireless repeater module I can buy, which effectively extends the range of the existing receiver. So if I go with my Plan B and the performance isn’t up to snuff, I can add a repeater closer to the garage, and that should hopefully do the trick. So that’s the current plan. We’ll see how it goes!

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