automatic garage door openers.

Do the diy retro fit automatic garage door openers work well ? Am considering the Motor Lift from Chamberlain from screwfix @ 185.99inc vat. Any pointers of any difficulties experienced would be appreciated or any other better value mnufactures to consider ?
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On 17 Jul 2003 15:59:31 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net (dave) wrote:

I've been looking at this option too. I've got an up-and-over door and I can't quite figure out how the auto-opener could open/close the door.
Andrew
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Fitted one to a canopy door with the 'Chamberlain Arm'. Extra 45. When it's up, the lowest point of the arm brushes my scalp. Might make all the difference if you are parking something tall. Because the brickwork over the opening was fullbrick depth ~220, needed to chisel into this in order to get the track close enough to the door. If there had been a box section lintel on the inner face this would have made it impossible to fit.
Works a treat my 72 yr old mum wouldn't be without it.
Toby.
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On Sat, 19 Jul 2003 15:46:47 +0100, "Toby"

I'm getting seriously worried if you are a midget ;)
Andrew
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On Fri, 18 Jul 2003 01:28:08 +0100, Andrew McKay

Thanks to all the positive comments on this thread I've just ordered the door opener + canopy accessory from Screwfix.
Thanks to everyone who contributed comments!
Andrew
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On Sun, 20 Jul 2003 20:12:23 +0100, Andrew McKay

Arrived yesterday and I spent a grand day installing it. For anyone who might be interested here's my experience.
About 6 hours effort all told. Some of that was because I had to make special provisions for the rail mounting - I've got an RSJ running over the door and although that's nice and solid as a potential mounting point I was slightly less sure of its ability to remain in place over the longer term - it's literally just gravitationally held in place, obviously with the weight of the roof bearing down on it (but I didn't want the RSJ "walking" over a period of years as the door opener pulled and pushed).
Solved that problem by using a couple of heavy duty angle brackets to hold a short wooden beam, screwed into the rafters just above.
At the other end I had another problem holding up the motor end of the rail. Had to fashion another improvisation there.
Then had some fun and games with the canopy arm accessory, mounted to the door. But fairly straightforward all the same.
Door wouldn't initially open the full way. Got around that by judicious adjustment of the pots on the drive unit.
Finally, that canopy arm sticks out rather a long way as the door is rising and lowering - it's going to clobber the back end of my Freelander if I continue to park where I have got used to. Solved by taking the car forward another foot.
Overall I'm very pleased. The one significant downside for me is that the installation kit does not come with key fobs - you instead get a couple of wallet-sized buttons which are hardly convenient for carrying with the car keys. Looks like I'll be placing an order for a key fob from these people:
http://www.easygates.co.uk/remotes.asp
Unless someone can suggest an alternative.....
Andrew
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I have two garage door openers, on double garage doors, that I installed myself. I found the instructions clear and accurate. Particularly regarding dimensions and location of the drive "bar" above the front of the up and over door. This location can be critical.
Mine have run for three years now, but I have no doubt that they'll continue OK. At a guess, 75% of all garages in the USA have these devices - the kinks have been all worked out. I bought "Genie" type openers that use a screw drive. If I was doing it today I'd but Bosch units that use a chain drive. One thing the US units have going for them, they have IR beams across the opening, to prevent the door closing on little kids and animals. They also have torque sensors, which when set, will back up the door action, if the door hits an obstruction - like you or the car!
Openers 'usually' have no problem opening the door - the trick is to get them to close it! If the door has been opened to a position parallel to the garage floor, or even tilted slightly toward the closed position, then it will likely close easily. However, if the door is pulled open so that [ what would be the top edge, when closed ] is below the level of the lower edge of the door, you will have a problem. The normal hardware supplied with the opener, will only push the door back into the closed position. If the top edge is lower than the front, it will just keep pushing that edge down, and jam up the closing action.
The cure is either a fancy dancy sliding bracket fixed to the inside of the garage door, or, a U bracket that my buddy came up with, that prevents the closer pushing the door down.
If you only have one door to the garage, then you should fit a safety mechanical override. This is a lock on the front exterior of the garage door, you insert a key, pull the device, it then pulls the mechanical release inside the garage that disconnects the drive fro the door. Bingo you can get into the garage, without the opener.
Good luck

Email address omitted contra Spam.
John Hewitt, Malaga.
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On 17 Jul 2003 15:59:31 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net (dave) wrote:

I have two of these and they work fine.
The main issue I found was organising a secure mounting above the doors to take that end of the rail. I have a concrete lintel running across and above the doors, so found it necessary to create a fixing in the right spot by using an additional timber secured to the nearest joist plus a steel bracket. That is installation specific, though.
The information in the picture and with the product as to whether an extension arm is needed is confusing. I have one of the door types that they list as needing an arm and I didn't. Therefore I would suggest buying the lift and checking when you install, then buying the arm if you need it.
The rest of the installation is uneventful. A bracket fits to the wall above the door. There is a steel rail which comes in sections that you bolt together and then onto the motor. There is a carrier which runs along the rail and is moved back and forth with a tensioned chain around a sprocket on the motor.
The assembly is then fitted into place and the motor unit attached to the ceiling or to a joist using steel straps. You may need to do some organising of fixings here as well, although I didn't. Mains power to the motor is needed as well of course.
If you have the type of door with latches on the sides operated by cables or rods, these need to be disabled. The door is held in place when closed by the arm and the chain. The motor drive is via a worm gearing arrangement so that short of very heavy heavy forcing of the door by a gorilla it won't open. Nevertheless, I re-incorporated the latches using a mechanism specifically for the job:
http://www.amourelle.co.uk/securidor.htm
This makes the locking a bit more substantial - at least as good as it was.
This company also sells replacement bits for doors, such as springs, which you may need if yours have become tired.
I also added some additional locking and security features to beef it up even more.
There are then limit and force adjusters which need to be set up. The force setting is adjusted so that there is comfortably enough to open and close the door.
There is a built in safety mechanism whereby if the door closes onto an object, it is detected (by resistance to travel at the motor) and the door opens again. However, the force can be quite a bit (although probably not enough to cause injury) before it detects and reverses, so if you have small children etc., the manufacturer makes a photoelectric beam accessory which will detect things in the way and reverses the door. B&Q stock these as well as other accessories like remote keypads etc.
After a bit of adjusting over the first few days, both systems have performed faultlessly.
.andy
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Like me! :-)

Agreed, in ne of my installations the trusses across the garage were lowere than the rail for the door needed to be so I actually had to remake the bottom piece of the truss with an offset centre section to allow the rail past.

That was OK for me but I do agree that the pictures are rather small and not too clear. I did need the arm for both my garages.
--
Chris Green ( snipped-for-privacy@x-1.net)

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I've got two of those, I installed them both myself on different sized garage doors. Both have been giving sterling service for several years now (three or four years I think). No problems at all really, I've just greased one of them recently because it wasn't quite making it to fully open and the safety switch was stopping it due to excess friction. Installation was pretty easy, just take your time and make sure you understand what goes where and how it works, the instructions were OK but not brilliant if I remember.
I was lucky because both garages have alternatice entrances so I didn't have any worries about locking myself out, the installation manual warns repeatedly about that! :-)
--
Chris Green ( snipped-for-privacy@x-1.net)

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wrote:

I fritted one of these 8 years ago. works perfectly every time (twice a day most days) I haven't even had to fit a new remote battery yet after nearly 3000 presses. I checked the adjustment of the chain but it didn't need touching
Mine came with a remote keypad which is really useful if you get locked out or you need to leave something valuable for a friend to collect while you are out. Just tell them the code, or set them a one off code then change it back after they have been
Very reliable
David
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day
My mistake
6000 presses twice in the car per day the other two from inside the garage
door has opened or closed over 11600 times
David
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You need to know if your door is a canopy or retractable,a canopy door would normally have about one third of the door protruding past the frame,this type of door requires a conversion arm for proper operation.A retractable door works with a pivot action and are best suited to automatic operation.If you have a separate entrance to the garage fine if not you will require a emergency unlocking kit incise of power or unit failure.
lastly have a look at Henderson,s Duo range very up todate and very reliable and no moving chain,also very simple to install. www.pchenderson.co.uk
Alex
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