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Garage door opener, gotta share this, unusual, unique design. one moving part.

Blog entry by Craftsman on the Lake posted 11-21-2011 02:20 AM 68320 reads 0 times favorited 80 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Update two years later 9/16/13: The opener is still working like the day I bought it. First one that’s lasted this long on my large wooden door.

I don’t know where exactly to put this so I guess a blog entry is the best. First of all I am just a guy in Maine with an 18 ft wood garage door. Heavy and older. (the door… I guess me too) Anyway, I am not in any way affiliated with any garage door people or companies or stores that sell them.

I’ve had a few garage door openers. All chain drives 1/2 and 3/4 horse ones. Genie, Craftsman… etc. None have lasted more than a few years. And all didn’t really always work that well. Some weak point eventually breaks. My springs are adjusted good but they are a little weak. I can easily open it by hand.

I took a chance on a new garage door opener from Germany. Sommers (google it for picts and videos). It’s a very unconventional design compared to chain, belt, or screw drive doors. It has a fixed chain, stretched tight in an aluminum channel and a DC motor with a gear rides up and down the chain. Kind of like an upsidedown cog train on a track.

The motor which is 24 volt DC is in the unit that runs on the track and is geared to be very powerful. At the end of the track is a box with lights and power supply for the motor. The only moving part is the gear. No chains or screws turning and loosening up. The unit is silent. When I use the button on the back of the garage (as I come out of the house) to open the door. I can’t tell it’s working until I see the door open. Adjusting the up and down limit is simple compared to other units. A small stop on the track hits a cut off switch. One on either end of the track for up limit and down limit. The stops slide up and down the track and lock with a screw. You let it go up and down twice on it’s own to learn it’s parameters. It sort of learns it settings on it’s own. The unit has a LIFETIME WARRANTY except for lightning hits. And so far it’s working flawlessly. And as you can imagine, installing it is like setting up a train track. Easy. Very little assembly. And it’s well made. Comes with wired button and two remotes.

I just had to share this as I have a feeling it may be the last opener I have to buy for awhile. Maybe someone else in my position might benefit by this news as garage door openers can be frustrating at times.

It’s available on line. Available at some Lowes, and at all Lowes if you order it. Not all of them carry it in store. $228 as of this writing.

-- Tryin'



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Craftsman on the Lake

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80 comments so far

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

139 posts in 2973 days

posted 11-24-2011 05:29 AM

Thanks for the post. There are good door openers and there are door openers. How was the pressure sensitive safety system to adjust. I have an opener that either wants to stall out or it will split oak. it has the infrared beam system and some seem to think that is all that you need today. I got inside my garage and pressed the button and the door is going down. I looked back and I was not gar enough in the garage. The beams didn’t find the tires because they were inside. the door set down on the bumper of my pickup and the opener continued to fold the door into a tangled mess. I am a believer in the pressure sensitive system after that.

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Craftsman on the Lake

70 posts in 3796 days

posted 11-24-2011 06:27 AM

Never thought about it because it’s automatic. I remember having to wrestle with my craftsman to adjust it. This one is automatic. I went outside, put the door down and about halfway I gave the underside a slight upward tug with my hand. It stopped and went up. No adjustment. It’s built into the mechanism and is auto adjusting. Another reason the installation was so easy. Up and down twice and it memorizes your door and opening. It does have the light sensors like other doors.

From the Amazon.com description:
“The sensitive internal obstacle detection and the safety sensors constantly monitor every door movement and ensure the highest level of safety.”

-- Tryin'

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Grandpa

139 posts in 2973 days

posted 11-26-2011 06:46 AM

Hey that sounds like a great buy and not a bad price. Does it come with a touch pad. I have found those to be a good buy. I have a Sears opener on one door and it has one. I can put in a code for my exterminator and use his phone number for instance. It is good for a period of time and then it erases itself and back to normal. I like it. The Sears models are easy to adjust but they tend to break plastic gears in about 10 years. At least the old ones did. Those gears are available for a few dollars though. I have a Genie and it is a beast to adjust the pressure sensitive safety system.

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Craftsman on the Lake

70 posts in 3796 days

posted 11-26-2011 02:56 PM

Grandpa:
Hmm.. mine comes with two remotes and a mountable plate for opening and light. My old craftsman had a battery touchpad with combo. For me that wasn’t needed as I was just hoping for a door opener that would last awhile. Maybe they make a version with a number pad. I’m not sure. The gears in this thing are steel. Only the housings are plastic.
My last craftsman lasted about 2 years. The square collar that rides up and down the track ripped apart when the gear jammed in the chain. The genie I had before that just died. It would hum and light up and that’s all. Lasted a little over a year.
Fingers crossed on this one. And, barring any lightning hits, we don’t get them much in Maine where I live, I’ll hold them to their lifetime warranty.

-- Tryin'

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Grandpa

139 posts in 2973 days

posted 11-28-2011 05:48 AM

You bet! on the warranty. I have had a Genie for about 9 or 10 years. When I bought this house there were 2 Genie/Norelco openers on the garage. I tried to order a circuit card on one of them and the lady said, “Mr. that is an OLD opener. I can sell you the parts but if it were me I would put my $80 toward a new opener.” I took that as good advice and bought another Genie. I don’t like the new Genies because they are difficult to adjust. I do like the Craftsman from that stand point. Now we will see how long it lasts. I have known of them going for decades in the past. Everything is subject to change in the retail world.
Thanks for the post on this find.

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trevorcharles

4 posts in 1304 days

posted 12-23-2015 07:47 AM

I have obtained this front door from http://caldwells.com/ years ago, and still in god condition, but really wanted now to add mechanisms on it, is the opener shown here will work on it?

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Craftsman on the Lake

70 posts in 3796 days

posted 12-23-2015 12:31 PM



I have obtained this front door from http://caldwells.com/ years ago, and still in god condition, but really wanted now to add mechanisms on it, is the opener shown here will work on it?

- trevorcharles

It looks like the doors in your link are house doors. The opener if for an overhead garage door.

-- Tryin'

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