Homelink? How does it work?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by ng0, Sep 30, 2017.

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  1. ng0

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    I apologize if this has been discussed. I searched and couldn't find anything. There's a lot of discussion about homelink but I can't seem to figure out how it works and what if anything I'll need to use it.

    I have a pretty standard lift master garage door opener. Is there some attachment I need to make it work with homelink in the car? How is homelink different than normal garage door buttons on any other car?

    Thanks so much for answering my stupid questions!
     
  2. SoFlaModel3

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    Nothing special, the car will learn from your current remote and/or potentially need you to place your garage door opener in learn mode as well (usually only necessary for rolling codes).

    You’ll have a guide explaining the steps and it’s very easy to setup!

    You can have multiple doors as well so if you have more than one garage door and a gate to get into you’re covered!
     
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  3. ng0

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    Thanks so much! So no extra hardware required?

    I wonder if I'll be able to control the garage door from my phone?
     
  4. SoFlaModel3

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    No extra hardware required.

    If you want to control it from your phone you may need extra hardware. I have the LiftMaster app and can control the garage door anywhere in the world as well as getting push notifications when it opens/closes.
     
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  5. MelindaV

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    here's the Homelink programming setup page

    you essentially are setting up the car as the remote. To be able to control the opener with a phone app, you need to have a wifi opener (for Chamberlain, it's their MyQ ones....).

     
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  6. ng0

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    Thanks! All this info is really helpful!
     
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  7. sigmo32

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    On our S it was very straightforward to set up - if I recall it was 5-10 minutes. When it works well, it's awesome. Pulling toward the house the garage door starts going up automatically. We don't use it on close since that's a bit more fickle.

    Early on we had some issues with LED lights in the garage causing interference. Our model is pretty standard, Lowes/Home Depot type, about 15 years old. Made sure to pull the 6-9" antenna down straight, and range works as expected now.

    Recently the GPS trigger has started firing too soon, meaning it's still out of range and thus we have to manually touch the homelink button on the center console. Still easier than fishing around for the remote, but not as seamless. I've tried resetting the GPS trigger by parking further from the entrance point, but it hasn't worked better yet.

    The HomeLink feature also works with Summon, which is a sweet demo for people new to Tesla and/or semi-autonomous driving features. We start with the garage closed, activate the summon feature - car wakes up, raises the door, backs out, lowers the door. Works every time!
     
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  8. MelindaV

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    do you think the range using the car's homeink is the same as using the garage door opener's stock remote? shorter range? or longer range?
    I generally click my remote button when I turn the corner prior to my house (~200ft/52meters). Will the homelink antenna stretch to that distance or will it need to be closer?
     
  9. RandyS

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    A tip, if you're looking for remote opening/closing of your garage door and your existing garage opener doesn't support it...Here's how I came to want that remote capability....I had the feature turned on in my Model S where it would raise my garage door when I approach. It has worked well in the past...Well, until a few days ago...

    I got a motion alarm from my garage Nest camera when I was at work, and sure enough, on my Nest phone app there was a person walking around in my garage and the MAIN GARAGE DOOR WAS OPEN.
    Turned out to be a friendly neighbor who found my door open. He unlatched the door from the opener track and manually closed it for me. I didn't recognize who it was at the time and immediately came home to see what was going on...The door was closed by the time I got home.

    In playing back the Nest video, I figured out what happened. I opened the door to go to work, rolled out onto the driveway and stopped because a lady was walking her dog and was walking slowly down the sidewalk. So I closed the door from the screen and waited several seconds for the lady to clear the driveway. As I'm watching the video, I see the door close properly as I'm sitting in the driveway. Then a few seconds later, it opens all by itself(!) And my car is out of view (I must have just pulled out and driven away). I think the Tesla feature got confused because I lingered in the driveway, and it thought I was coming home so it gave the signal to open the door....

    So what did I do to fix the problem? I disabled the auto-open feature on the car, which isn't a big deal (I can manually open the door with the screen)...And I ordered the Nexx Garage remote garage door opener / closer from Amazon for $99 and installed it. I have an older Genie garage door opener. Now, with my phone, I can see what the status of the door is remotely and open or close it. And if I'm home, I can use my Amazon Echo to verbally command the door to open or close. It works very well. The device requires a nearby LAN wireless access point and standard push button contact closure on the garage door opener....Works great, Highly recommended....
     
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  10. SoFlaModel3

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    I have the LiftMaster app on my phone and yet I find simplicity in tapping the Homelink button by my mirror rather than opening the app. I basically have the app for push notifications and the occasional call from my wife... “did I remember to close the garage door?”

    With Model 3 I will test out auto open/close and possibly disable it in favor of manually pressing the button.

    I am the second house in from a corner and I have a sneaking suspicion it will think I’m home too early and miss on on auto open and something about auto close freaks me out :)
     
  11. sigmo32

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    That's a good question. I can test a bit with auto disabled this week and trigger it from known working points for the remote. My hunch is it's similar range, though it might be slightly longer. The tricky thing to tell with auto is sometimes it dings as we're pulling in the driveway, and it seems like if we drive a little faster it gets close enough to trigger. I'm not sure if it literally sends the signal when it dings, or if it is a longer transmission.

    In contrast, my remote does NOT work from the bottom of the driveway...
     
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  12. MelindaV

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    thanks : ) My driveway is on the left side of the street on a blind corner, so I open my garage well before I'm in my driveway to (hopefully) give a warning to any on-coming traffic. Waiting until I'm in the driveway, for the door to open would be a bummer.
     
  13. Rich M

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    I only have one data point, but the Homelink mirror in my Rav4 has about half the range of the remotes that came with the garage door opener. :(
     
  14. MelindaV

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    well, I don't plan to buy a Toyota, so its range shouldn't matter ;)
     
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  15. OneSixtyToOne

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    FYI
    Besides your garage door, Homelink can also control other things in your house like lights and appliances. It's a repackaging of the old BSR X10 home automation technology. Way back when (1980s) I use to have my whole home computer controlled with these modules. Besides lighting control I use to have my electric blanket turn on 15 minutes before I went to bed. Toasty!

    If you google X10 and Homelink you'll find forums where people explain how to interface it with your car. You can do things like turn on your house lights AND open your garage door, change the thermostat, turn on your sprinklers, etc. etc, etc.

    https://www.x10.com/
     
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  16. MelindaV

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    I still have some x10 controllers. Didn’t realize it was the same as homelink
     
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  17. Twiglett

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    Same here with a new Honda.
     
  18. OneSixtyToOne

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    Homelink lighting accessories. (Look familiar?)
    http://www.homelink.com/about/lighting
     
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  19. sigmo32

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    As promised, I tested our Homelink setup as compared to our standard garage door remote. In our (non-refresh) 2016 Model S, the transmitter is located near the nosecone. I assume it's similar for the newer cars as well. This becomes relevant because the body of the car can block/interfere with the signal depending on your approach angle.

    For example, pulling up to my garage door (within a few feet), the remote works great inside the car, outside the car, and homelink works great. Backing up to the garage door, I could not get Homelink to activate (only tried a few times though), whereas the remote worked well outside the car, and moderately well inside the car.

    At the end of my driveway, neither Homelink nor the remote are able to trigger the door (60 ft). There is a spot to the side of the house on the roadway, while on approach the remote can trigger the door, but the Homelink system did not. This is about 70 ft away - further than the end of the driveway test, which was interesting. Must be a signal path through a window or something on the side of the garage.

    In short - it seems to be no better than the remote, and in several cases shorter distance. I do still have the anecdotal experience of it working many times while driving up the driveway toward the garage. The main caution I would add is you don't get to choose where the automatic trigger occurs, but you might still be able to activate it manually.

    Additional caveat - our garage door lift/system is ~12-15 years old, so some of the signaling tech may have improved. We also use LED lighting exclusively, which is known to potentially cause some signal interference.
     
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  20. mishakim

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    I think you're misunderstanding the connection between Homelink and X10. They're not the same thing at all, X10 used a really primitive signaling over power line protocol (it's been replaced by Insteon). Homelink uses RF over the air. The various options for using Homelink to control lighting simply provide a bridge unit that has Homelink RF and whatever other home automation protocol you want - Insteon/X10, Z-wave, MyQ (Chamberlain), etc. So it receives a Homelink command from the car, which the car thinks is a garage door opener command, and the bridge turns that into a lights-on, or whatever else you want, command.
     
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