Craftsman Garage Door Opener

rick2010January 5, 2010

I purchased and self installed a Craftsman 1/2 HP model 53985DM GDO on 01/19/09. It worked fine for a week and then would not open the door from the outside, using either remote, when the door was closed. If the door was open, the remotes worked fine from a short distance down the drive. If you got to far away, they would not work.

A Sears technician came out, replaced the main board and everything worked fine for a couple of days then the same thing happened again. Another technician came out, ordered another board and installed it a couple of days later. Again, everything worked fine for a few days and then the remotes quit working. Sears came out again, ordered and replaced the board and the story goes on.

They have replaced the board 4 times now and on the last replacement in March, I thought it had been fixed. It went for about 6 months with some intermittent problems but mostly worked fine. It would work without incident for several weeks and then quit working for two or three days, then begin working again for several weeks. After all I had been through, I decided just to put up with it, since it worked most of the time. Now it's back to it's same old self again and won't open unless I hold the remote right up to the top of the garage door, almost touching the door from the outside

The last Sears Tech. out in March said I was getting some sort of RF interference from somewhere and it wasn't Sears problem. He recommended I purchase another make of door opener, if the problem continued.

I have owned Craftsman garage door openers for thirty some years and never had a problem. I'm beginning to believe this one is possessed. Any idea's?

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Here are some things you can check.

Limited range of your remote controls could be related to radio frequency interference that comes from something in your home or in the surrounding environment. Certain electrical devices can radiate interference; this could be almost anything that is plugged into an electrical outlet.

Please keep in mind that the device can be brand new, or can be an item that has been in use for quite a while. Also, the item may continue to function properly as far as you are able to tell. The only problem with the item may be that it has started to broadcast the interference, with no other symptoms noted.

Some devices are more likely to generate interference than others. This includes TV cable, cable amplifiers, surge protectors, fluorescent lights, battery charging devices (power tools, golf carts, etc.), anything that utilizes a timer (sprinkler systems, lights, alarm systems, etc.), and a myriad of others. If the problem seems sporadic, we can safely assume that the device responsible for the interference is only being operated during these times. Again, please keep in mind that the age of the device does not determine if it is capable of broadcasting unwanted interference. Any electrical device can be the source of the problem.

The first step is replacing the battery in your remote. If the range on your remote does not improve, remove the wall control wires from the overhead unit. If the range does not improve you will likely need to replace the remote control. After replacing the remote, or if you have other remotes programmed in to the opener, and the range problem still exists, please proceed to the Power Down test.

Multiple garage doors:
If you have two garage door units and one is working just fine, you will need to start by unplugging the good unit. This will help determine if the unit with no range starts to function properly. If the range comes back to the bad unit then you will need to replace the logic board on the unit that was unplugged as it is emitting an RF signal that is over powering the other garage door opener. If the range doesn not improve after the "good" unit has been unplugged, replace the batteries and try programming some additional remotes to determine if the existing remotes are the issue. If the extra remotes do not have any range then you would need to replace the receiver logic board in the "bad" unit.

Power Down test:
To isolate potential sources of interference, turn the circuit breaker off to the garage and plug the garage door opener into an extension cord from another room. If the range improves, then the interference is coming from a device in the garage. If no improvement is seen follow the same procedure, this time turning off the circuit breakers to your home, with the exception of the garage and test the remote controls. If improvement is noted, turn the circuit breakers back on, one by one, until the range problem resurfaces. This will allow you to narrow down what room the problem device is in. You will have to go from there to isolate it further, by unplugging and re-plugging the items in that room.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 4:54PM
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Thanks Don. I will try the things you have suggested and see what happens.

I have thought about extending the length of the antenna wire but I don't know if it has to be kept to a specific length or not.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 1:10PM
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