The Adventures of the GoControl/Linear Z-Wave Garage Door Opener

Every night while I’m locking up the house I stick my head out the door to see if the garage door is shut. Then I asked myself, there has got to be a better way of knowing if the door is open or shut. After doing some research I found there were some garage door motors that you could buy that were controlled by a mobile app as well as some additions to specific manufactures of motors that you could add on but neither of them integrated with the SmartThings system, and that is a high priority for me. I finally came across the GoControl/Linear GD00Z-4 Z-Wave Garage Door Opener. This unit would not only tell me whether the door was open or closed but it would also let me control it from my mobile device and SmartThings. The reviews on it seemed good and the setup seemed simple so I decided to give it a try.

Once I received the unit and set up it I realized because I don’t use a dumb button (a single button that opens and closes the garage door) and instead have a smart controller (panel with a digital interface and buttons to control the door and light, along with motion sensor for the light) the Linear unit would not work. I either had to use a dumb button, only control the door from an app, or totally hack the setup so I could use both. Well, the DIYer inside of me decided to take on the hacking option since the other two options I didn’t like.

It took me some digging but I finally found some a solution that others had posted and made an attempt. In the mean time, I actually got the unit set up on SmartThings and was able to use it to tell me if the door was open or closed, but that was all. At this point it was a really expensive way to tell me if a door is open or closed.

I wont go to much into the process, others have already documented it in detail, but it was a painful process and many times I wanted to throw the Linear unit across my garage. The quick version of it was;

  1. Soldering some wires to my smart controller.
  2. Hooking it up to a 12-volt automotive relay.
  3. Providing power to the relay.
  4. Connecting the correct wires from the smart controller, Linear device and power supplies.

The whole process was a huge learning curve and very painful but I eventually got it working. When everything was set up and it still wasn’t working, it turned out I had some of the wires connected to wrong places. The basic process of all of this was to get enough power to the motor to turn it on. When connecting my smart controller and the linear device to the same place, the power was lost and the motor wouldn’t turn on. Now, the relay controls where the power comes from (the smart controller or the Linear device) and sends enough power to the motor.

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In the end, I know have the smart controller working and the Linear control working. This means I can now see the status of the door and I can open or close it from my mobile device and SmartThings.

img_0009The features are pretty basic but a couple of items to be aware of. When you trigger the Linear device to open or close the garage door an alarm sounds for about 5 seconds before the door opens or closes. Once the cycle finishes you have to wait about a minute before you can activate it again. I guess these are suppose to be safety precautions.

Overall, not impressed with the complexity to set it up but now that I have it working, it is a decent system. If I would have know exactly what I was getting myself into, I would not have purchased the product. If I was using only the Linear device or had a dumb switch then I would recommend the product. The other down side of this device was not being able to control it with the Echo. Well, you can, but again, you need to hack it to make it work. Good luck.


Also published on Medium.

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