Garage Door History
As the mass production of garage doors continued to grow and become more popular they occasionally closed on people and mostly children.
From 1982 to 1990 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recorded countless injuries and 10 to 60 deaths a year in the United States all of them children. Mostly due to technology failures and improper installations.
As early as 1980 the director of engineering at the Chamberlain company mapped out a system using infrared technology found in television remote controls to devise a system to prevent injuries by reversing the closing process.
Above are the schematics and layouts of the printed circuit boards used in the infrared-based safety system for the LiftMaster garage door opener, introduced in 1993. It was one of the first and most successful models to use IR sensors to prevent the door from closing on and harming children.
In 1988, two children, both from the Minneapolis area, were killed in separate garage door accidents on the same day, Willmott recalls. In response, Minnesota lawmakers decided to create stricter safety requirements for garage door openers. Manufacturers were invited to participate. Willmott volunteered the IR system he had devised years earlier. The technology had improved, and the price had come down significantly. The manufacturers voted eight to four to recommend the IR technology for the Minnesota statutes, Willmott says. It’s possible that other manufacturers were amenable to endorsing the use of the IR “electric eye” in part because Willmott had neglected to patent it. Genie, for one, had already “borrowed” the technology.
in 1990 Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which required that automatic residential garage door operators conform to the latest version of ANSI 325, which recommended the IR sensors. The system, still in use today, exploits IR at a wavelength of 930 nanometers, because at that frequency the system very rarely gets fooled by glints of sunlight.
In 1992, Colin Willmott [foreground] tests the pioneering safety system, based on infrared sensors, that automatically stopped the LiftMaster garage door opener if an object in the door’s path blocked an infrared beam.
Garage Doors can still be dangerous.
Avoid Causing Additional Damage
Garage door openers are not designed to lift the entire weight of your garage door. Garage door openers are usually under one horse power of torque and simply guide the garage door along the properly aligned tracks. Garage doors can weigh 150 to 1,000 pounds or more! The garage door spring is the mechanism that counteracts the weight of the garage door.
For more information about repairing your garage door click on the button and read our ultimate guide to garage door repair.
Types of Garage Door Openers
Standard, Chain & Belt Drive – Screw Drive – Jackshaft or Direct Drive – Smart Garage Door Openers –
A Chain or a belt that is around 140 in. is pulled around a sprocket that is attached to the garage motor. As durable and flexible and a chain is it can create quite a bit of noise due to all the working parts. 80% of garage door openers in America are chain drive openers.
Belt Drive openers are quickly becoming the most popular garage door opener installed today because of their superior performance. The belt drive garage door opener is only one piece compared to a chain that may have several hundred pieces. The new belt drive garage door openers are considered to be just as durable as the chain drive motors and twice as quiet.
Screw Drive garage door openers tend to be twice as expensive and twice as noisy as chain drive garage door openers. They do have fewer moving parts since a trolly rides along the single screw axel that runs from the opener to the wall. Due to the lack of parts it is easier to maintain however the positives simply do not outweigh he negatives in this case and therefore we rarely recommend a screwdrive garage door opener to our customers.
An RJO, – jackshaft or ‘direct-drive’ garage door opener sits at the end of the tortion tube and manually rotates the shaft directly instead of pulling on it from 10 feet away suspended from the ceiling. Mounted on the wall instead of the ceiling a jackshaft garage door opener is great for high lift garage doors where ceiling space is at a premium. These garage door openers are quiet and easy to maintain. Although these garage doors are more expensive due to reinforces pulleys and gears inside the motor they are useful in giving the space under the garage a more appealing look. Jackshaft garage door openers are commonly used in spaces with low overhead space or large spaces where the garage door retracts straight up or conforms to the shape of the ceiling.
Smart Garage Door Openers are new but homeowners say that they love their functionality and safety features. Smart Garage doors come complete with battery backup (in-case of a power outage), an app for your smartphone that lets you operate the opener, the app has a walkie-talkie function, a live and replay video camera function as well as a smart and secure integration with Amazon called ‘Amazon Key’ that connects to your Amazon account and gives the delivery driver an automated single use key code to open the garage door and safely deliver packages anytime day or night. As it is every new garage door we install is wi-fi enabled & has “smart” technology.
Garage Door Remote Control is really all about convenience. Now that garage doors are “smart” and can be controlled from our smartphones the need for an actual remote controller or key-fob has all but disappeared.
Traditional garage door remotes are becoming obsolete with the advanced functionality of the smartphone operated garage door opener. Track the time and date that it was opened. Create one time use codes for anyone. Use the camera function to see who is in your garage and the walkie talkie function to speak with them.
Infamous Garage Door Openers
Wayne Dalton I Drive
On their website Wayne Dalton has a list of the 11 most common issues with this model. It fails to give audible feedback and the motherboard will need to be replaced, It just chirps at the operator but won’t open or close, It runs but doesn’t move, It will open one inch and stop if the spring needs to be replaced, if it chirps 6 times that means that the motor is burned up and the motherboard will also need to be replaced.
It only works on the Wayne Dalton proprietary spring system and even their upgraded iDrive Pro series fell aside as this entire concept was completely discontinued.
The Genie Screwdrive
It can screech like the gates of Mordor & like freight train coming from 200 yards away. But, It can lift a 400 lb. garage door straight off the cold garage door when the spring is completely broken and the only thing that needs to be replaced is the little black trolly. The genie screw drive is still in production today because Genie did find a low cost way to create enough torque by leveraging the physics of the screw-drive technology.
Guardian 600 SL
So Cheap, made in China.
Garage Door Opener Security
Remember when you set your garage door remote control with frequency pins? Some of those garage door openers and remotes are still in use today. The early remote control functions on garage door openers used radio frequency that you could set manually by matching up the pins in the back of the remote to the pins on the opener. Many remotes weren’t changed from the default setting that came with the device out of the box and this created a security issue.
Today radio frequency is still used but the frequency matching is digitized and can be reprogrammed instantly and automatically which creates a completely new frequency immediately before the door opens to completely prevent any frequency matching or encoding that could be used to open your garage door unsecurely.
This is a list of the safety features that come with the garage door openers that we install.
Battery Backup System: Connect your garage door opener to a small battery to get into your garage even if the power goes out. For 24 – 48 hours all of your safety and security features will continue to work.
Security +2.0® Technology: Virtually eliminates radio-frequency interference by generating a new code with each click.
The Protector System® : This is a safety eye upgrade that uses a light beam to detect when something or someone is in the path of a closing garage door. It automatically reverses the garage door if something breaks the beam of light.
PosiLock®: Ensures the garage door stays down and in a locked position. This feature protects against forced entry and by its nature we can’t say much more about this because we want to keep it’s functionality discrete.
Timer to Close: You can set a time for your garage door to automatically close after a predetermined time. If you don’t manually close your garage the timer to close will shut your door for you.
Alert to Close: Uses visual and audible alerts if the garage door is closing and you are not physically on the premises. For example if you need to open your door for a neighbor or a spontaneous delivery you can open the door with your smartphone from anywhere. When you close your door with your smartphone the opener will sound an alert to let anyone nearby know that the garage door is closing.
Gate Openers Big and Small
The same garage door technicians who are trained to install the biggest door opener in your house are also trained to install the biggest gate on your property. Gates are always a custom install so having a properly trained technician out to give you the exact quote is better than just any run of the mill garage door installer.
Gate openers or “automatic gates” use electric motors to open and close the gate doors. Automatic gates are controlled in the same way that garage doors are controlled with radio frequency. New automatic gates are now being installed with smartphone technology which creates a brand new remote control frequency each time the button is clicked. The gate opening mechanism can be attached to an existing swinging or sliding gate. Automatic gates are becoming more popular in areas where populations are becoming more dense because of the added security measures that they provide their owners.
About A1 Garage Door
A1 Garage Doors has been a family owned and operated company in Denver since 2004 and continues to provide garage door service with a focus on low price and quick convenient delivery. With snappy as our company mascot we like to say that we make garage doors a snap. Fixing Denver one garage door at a time.