Hawk's By Design

My wife and I purchased our first home over a year ago! Man does time fly.

Our home came with a detached, two car garage. Now, when I say garage, it’s more of an old shed that got converted to a garage. There is plenty of space in the middle between the two cars, but not a whole lot of space next to the cars themselves. My wife parks on the left, and I the right. On her side, when in the garage, she can’t open her doors on the left, and on my side, I can’t open my doors on the right. She makes it work by backing in to her spot.

To make it worse, for whatever reason, the door to the garage is on the left side of it…so if my wife parks her car on her side, the door literally can’t open. Still to this day, I find this door placement strange. It’s pretty obvious that this was a door added to the side, and there used to be one in the front center. I have no idea why this choice was made, but it’s a choice we have to live with.

Now that you know our situation, now we can move on to what this article is really about: smart garage door openers. Specifically, the myQ smart garage opener.

What is it?

The myQ smart garage door opener is something made by Chamberlain, a pretty prominent garage door opener manufacturer. The goal of this smart system is to be able to open and close your garage through the myQ app on your smart device. Pretty standard for nowadays, right?

Chamberlain myQ Hub, Sensor, and App

It’s simple enough. You have to have a hub, and that hub connects to your Wi-Fi. Once connected, you have to pair up a sensor. This sensor is placed on the garage door itself, and is how the system knows if the garage door is open or not. The actual setup takes maybe a couple minutes, super simple.

Once connected, you can easily open and close your garage through your phone! Neat. You just double tap on a listed garage, and it opens or closes.

Of course…it seems simple…but my goodness can things go wrong.

My Frustrations

We can both agree this concept is simple, yeah? Door is either open, opening, closed, or closing. The sensor talks to the hub which is connected to the Wi-Fi to talk to myQ servers which then relays info to the app. Not complicated at all (I mean, setting aside the security shenanigans).

Jim Carrie Frustration Meme

So…where does it all go wrong? Well, I’ll list it out.

Logging into the app

To do ANY of this smart stuff, you have to log into the app. You know, that’s pretty self explanatory. Except…probably about half the time the log in process takes about 10-20 seconds. So you just sit there, staring at your phone, sometimes seeing the reflection of yourself and your dying soul.

Then, I’d say about 5-10% of the time, the app just tells you to eff off. Like. It says server error, go away.

App UI / Functionality

It’s a clean app, it really is. But…imagine this. You are in a rush, you go to open your garage and damn, you hit the wrong one. Well, you’re shit out of luck because there is no going back. You have to wait for that wrong door to open, be open for a minute or so, and THEN you can close it. You would think being able to cancel wouldn’t be too hard to do.

Also, why the hell does it take the app so long to figure out the door has finished opening/closing?!

Smart Home Integration

This isn’t really a big deal for me, because this is the only smart thing in our house. However, it can be a turn off for a lot of people. If you are looking for any sort of smart home integration with myQ…there is none. They basically told everyone to shove it, use their app or don’t use it at all.

There are some workarounds out there, utilizing IFTTT.

The Sensors

The sensors are the heart of this entire process. I mean, they are what tell the system the status of the door. So, naturally, you have to one one per door. No biggie. We have two sensors, for two doors, and my GOD the amount of times they error! I swear we can’t go a month without each of ours having a “Sensor Error”.

So what happens when you have a “Sensor Error”? Well, first you got to find a way to get into the garage. Remember before? When I talked about our garage’s shit door placement? Yeah.

Okay, you’re in the garage now. Just click the sensor, have it re-sync, and you’re good right? Hahahahahahaha, no.

It makes you re-pair the sensor as if it’s a first time setup. So, not only do you have to pair it to the Hub, but you also have to go through the door pairing again. And to do that, the door goes through another cycle of opening and closing.

So. Much. Time. Wasted.

First World Probs

In the end, this is 100% first world problems. I mean, we could have to open our garages by hand. Or, we could not even have garages! So why am I complaining? Well, I paid for a service to make my life easier. To be honest, it really does, except when it doesn’t.

When everything works, it’s great. The problem is that when it doesn’t work, it’s SUPER annoying.

And it “doesn’t work” way too often for my taste.

Thanks for listening to me wine like a baby, I feel better now.

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