TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

What is the best option for increasing garage door opener range?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by DCEV, May 15, 2019.

  1. DCEV

    DCEV Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2019
    Messages:
    365
    Location:
    Washington DC
    I need to be extremely close to the garage door in order for the opener to work from the car and I suspect this is the reason that auto opening does not work for me.

    I'm looking into options for increasing the range. I have an older Chamberlain Garage door opener and I see a small cable hanging from it, which I assume to be the antenna. What's the best way to extend this so it works with the Model S garage door opener?

    is it as simple as getting wire of a certain gauge and splicing it with the little wire hanging from the opener putting a wire nut in there and bringing that wire outside the garage door by a few feet?

    Would be great to get this to work so as I pull up to the driveway, the garage door is already open.
     
  2. powaking

    powaking Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2018
    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I would definitely try getting some data cable (ethernet) and splicing them together to see if that helps. I too have a very old garage door opener but I don't have the range issue you are describing (I can open the door from the edge of my driveway which I can easily fit 3-4 car lengths). I'm wondering if that antenna wire may be damaged thus affecting the range needed? Also I assume you do not have any LED bulbs turned on in the garage at this time? I ran into that before realizing there are LED specific bulbs for garage door openers to reduce EMI.
     
  3. TonyT

    TonyT Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2018
    Messages:
    276
    Location:
    Orange county, CA
    Do you have LED lights on your opener?
     
  4. DCEV

    DCEV Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2019
    Messages:
    365
    Location:
    Washington DC
    I do but I love how super bright they are and I need all the light I can get in my super narrow garage where I park and i got tired of replacing incandescent bulbs. I'm hoping I can figure out a way to just extend the antenna and keep the LED bulbs that I like so much.
     
  5. DCEV

    DCEV Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2019
    Messages:
    365
    Location:
    Washington DC
    hmm... With two people talking to me about LED bulbs maybe I should look at changing the bulbs. My garage door opener connectivity is so spotty. I need to be just about 6 feet from the garage door to use the opener and the auto open feature never really works.

    I've seen YouTube videos where someone just splices a long 16 gauge cable together and it dangles outside and people are reporting 100+ feet range afterwards. Has anyone tried this approach with the Tesla opener?
     
  6. Rsdavis9

    Rsdavis9 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2017
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Nh
    I have old chamberlain belt drive openers and I can be 100 feet away and they work. I have led bulbs in there also.
     
    • Informative x 1
    • Like x 1
  7. DCEV

    DCEV Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2019
    Messages:
    365
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Okay, back to looking into an easy way to extend the antenna. Has anyone just spliced a certain gauge wire and just strung that outside the garage to increase the Model S garage door opener range?
     
  8. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker S 100D 2019.16.2

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2015
    Messages:
    6,289
    Location:
    Colorado
    Have you tried adjusting the location/distance in the Tesla Homelink settings? Initially, you could reprogram the location but they later added the ability to indicate how far away you want the signal to be sent from as well.

    I can open my garage doors from over 100 feet away...even with LED bulbs in my garage.
     
  9. dk10438

    dk10438 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2016
    Messages:
    73
    Location:
    Ranch Palos Verdes
  10. powaking

    powaking Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2018
    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #10 powaking, May 15, 2019
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
    I would not only try using lower gauge wire like an Ethernet cord to extend the antenna but also inspect that the antenna wire is not damaged. Extending the wire certainly won’t hurt and is a quick way to test.

    Also do you have a transponder for the opener? Does that experience the same symptoms? If not may as well try reprogramming the Tesla homelink settings again. I know it took me a few tries to get mine to work.
     
  11. DCEV

    DCEV Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2019
    Messages:
    365
    Location:
    Washington DC
    I'm inclined to first try extending the tiny antenna cord that is dangling from the opener. The wire is not damaged, and honestly there is nothing to get damaged in the wire as it's a thin flexible wire attached to the opener.

    What's the best gauge wire to splice into the very short wire that is currently attached?
     
  12. DCEV

    DCEV Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2019
    Messages:
    365
    Location:
    Washington DC
  13. powaking

    powaking Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2018
    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    16awg should be sufficient. That antenna wire is pretty thin.
     
  14. murphyS90D

    murphyS90D Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2016
    Messages:
    342
    Location:
    Horsham, PA
    What color is the insulation on the antenna wire? If it's purple it operates on 315 MHz. The receiver in my Garage Door Opener (GDO) was being blocked by a spurious signal on 315 MHz from a wireless IP camera. X10 wireless video cameras are also very close to 315 MHz. If anything close to the GDO blocks the receiver it is not going to hear the transmitter in the car.
     
  15. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
    Messages:
    2,523
    Location:
    Buford, GA
    For all of the folks worry about the size of the wire for the antenna, if you don't know the answer it is better just to be quiet. Gauge doesn't matter.
    The bigger issue is often which direction are you approaching the garage and what are the garage doors made of. Signals don't travel through metal garage doors.
     
  16. JPoldo

    JPoldo Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2017
    Messages:
    114
    Location:
    Sudbury, MA 01776
    Low power radio frequency (RF) does not require a thick wire guage. AWG #24 is ample thickness. Simply extend the opener's short antenna wire 10, 20, or more feet toward the approaching vehicle. Make a good electrical connection and either solder or secure with a wire nut. Locating this antenna wire outdoors should provide greater range because it delivers the signal through garage wall.
     
    • Informative x 1
  17. DCEV

    DCEV Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2019
    Messages:
    365
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Thanks for the 24 gauge recommendation. Yes, my plan is run a wire all the way outside the garage door because the garage door is metal and he rest of the garage is made with heavy brick so connecting the wire to the short wire of the opener and running it outside the garage should help. Would be a nice luxury to be able to count on the auto open feature working reliably.
     
  18. DarkestDot

    DarkestDot New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2019
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Chicago
    LED light bulbs use switch mode power supplies. The switch mode supply is likely operating in the same frequency as the receiver and causing interference that's preventing the signal from being heard by the garage door opener when you're further away. I had this issue with my Craftsman not too long ago and swapping from the LED bulbs to a different manufacturer helps improve the distance that I was able to access the door at as they probably had the power supply operating at a different frequency. Your other option is to get a Wi-Fi gateway which Chamberlain produces and then you can open the garage door with an app. If you're going to attempt to extend the antenna you need to be certain as to the length.If you don't get the length right you can severely impact the ability of the antenna to receive the signal.
     
  19. ahkahn

    ahkahn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2017
    Messages:
    730
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    Yeah that. I had whatever brand LED bulbs in my openers, and I had about a 25-30' range. I read a suggestion to switch them to special garage door opener LED's and now I can open the doors from down the street. Made a MASSIVE difference.

    I got the Genie brand LED bulbs.
     
    • Informative x 1

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


    SUPPORT TMC