Pros: Low cost, compact remote, security plus, easy install
Cons: Merely adequate instructions, customer support
When we bought our new home we inherited a 10 year old Craftsman garage door opener. The opener had only one remote, which is a problem for a two car family. So we found this product and took a chance since there is very little info available on the web.
· Security Type: Security+
· Remote Control: One included, eight devices maximum
· Remote Control Battery: 3V2032 Lithium battery (included)
Note: the 955CD and the 955D appear to be identical.
Included in the package:
· 3-Button Remote Control
· Visor clip (for remote control)
· 3C2043 Lithium Battery (for remote control)
· Remote sensing unit
· 15+ Feet Bell Wire
· 10 Staples (for wiring)
I considered the following alternatives:
· Additional Craftsman Remote
· Craftsman Enhanced System
· Chamberlain Universal Receiver
· New Garage Door Opener
Installing a new opener was going to be a headache and not really necessary so I looked at getting another remote. Two issues with this option. First, due to significant problems that we've had with Sears (it was so bad we made it on to the Consumerist website search "Sears Four Months Later" there) we have vowed not to give Sears a single dollar form our pocket. Second, the older remote used old security techniques which can easily be defeated by code grabbers.
The left either the Craftsman system or the Chamberlain system. Our vow against Sears made the choice an easy one. Normally I only look at getting new "toys" that have a lot of reviews and information available however that was not the case here. There were no reviews on Epinions, minimal information on the website and only a few adhoc references in various forums. Nonetheless our choice worked out well.
Setup was easy but did require some handiness. One of the weaknesses of the system is the manual, which is just a single page though it is downloadable from their website. First step is to remove the backing cover and strip one end of the included bell wire. The wire is then attached to the two terminals, and it doesn't matter which wire attaches to which terminal. The next step varies based on how your current opener is set up. The unit needs to be plugged in so the bell wire needs to go from where the unit is plugged in to the back of the opener. Ours was easy as we have an outlet just 2 feet away from the garage door opener, in the ceiling of the garage.
The garage door opener needs to be unplugged before continuing. The length of the bell wire required needs to be determined so I plugged in the unit and led the wire from to the back of the opener. I then cut the wire leaving extra in case the measurement was a little off. The end of the wires which were just cut need to be stripped. Our opener had clear labels of each of the terminals and one of the wires needs to be connected to "White" and one needs to be connected to "Red". Theses were the same terminals that all of our wall control units were plugged in to which made it a little difficult since in our case the new wire had to be added to two additional wires under each of the terminals, but a few minutes and some wiggling got it done.
The next step was to staple the wire to the ceiling to keep it away from any of the moving parts of the garage door opener (having it get ripped off may defeat the purpose). The last step is to plug but the new receiver and the garage door opener back in.
Before the remote will work, it needs to be synced with the main unit. I did it last as per the manual but I think it may make more sense if you did it first before installing the unit. Syncing is really easy, press a button on the main receiver and then press the button on the remote that you want to use to open the door. Done!
The one page manual was merely adequate. There is a purple wire coming out of the bottom of the receiver which is not mentioned in manual, and is apparently not used, as I had not problems and the wire isn't attached to anything. Showing how to replace the battery would be nice as well as there do not appear to be any screws on the remote control, only a single indent on the top which I assume must be pried open. It is helpful that they make it available for download on the website.
Not much to say it. Press the button, door opens, press it again, door closes. The range from the unit is approximately 65 feet, almost identical to our existing Craftsman remote. I read some reports of hacking the receiver to extend the receiver wire which extended it to 200 feet.
As mentioned, one of the key reasons I went with the new system is the upgrade to the Security+ system, which has over a billion codes, and thus is harder for code grabbers to get in to your garage. No complaints with performance, exactly what I was hoping for.
I couldn't find any reviews, not even on Amazon, other one on homedepot.ca which was very positive. The link to the manual is below.
I called customer service to ask about the mysterious purple wire however after several minutes navigating through their automated system, I still couldn't get a real person. Not great customer service if you ask me.
What could make this better?
· Clearer and more comprehensive manual
· Screws on both the remote and receiver - less likely to break than snapping pieces open and closed.
· Smaller receiver unit to fit in to smaller spaces.
· "Real" customer service that can answer questions.
I definitely recommend this unit. The manual isn't perfect but it is fairly easy to figure out and is an easy way to add a new remote to your system with the newer Security+ feature.