Fixing our garage door opener
A while back when we had our switchboard upgraded, after we turned the power back on our garage door opener was being a bit dodgy. I figured it had lost the memory or something, so I went through the service manual’s instructions of adjusting the sensitivity, to no avail.
It’s a “Boss” “BRD1” opener, which appears to be a control unit, attached by five wires to an on-spool motor/gear system on the side of the garage door spool. Looking into it further, it’s a 12V system, with a bi-directional motor and two limit switches, but from what I could deduce everything looked normal to me.
What’s it do? It mostly functions correctly, however after having been off for some time, when you open it, it opens fine, but when you close it, if you push the button (on the unit or on the remote, doesn’t matter), it’ll pulse the motor for a second and stop. Rinse and repeat a few times and finally it’ll close, unless the door gets far enough down the track that it opens completely again, in which case you have to start over. Once it starts moving for longer than a small fraction of a second, it closes fine, it’s just getting that start.
However, we have a second one… it doesn’t work, at all, and since we only use half the garage anyway (on account of havin one car and a pile of stuff including a server rack and some shelves) it seemed reasonable to crack that one open.
I couldn’t work out what’s wrong with it, but I did spot a 1000μF 50V electrolytic capacitor on there that seemed suspicious. So today, as I have to take off work early and then come back later in the evening for meetings (damn time zones) I decided to crack open the semi-working one.
Sure enough, the electrolytic cap on that one is very bulging at the top… likely dried out. So I picked up a replacement, desoldered the old one, stuck the new one in (paying careful attention to the polarity, on this one the negative stripe goes towards the fuse), and buttoned it all up.
Plug it in and it works flawlessly the seven or eight times I’ve tested it, so I’m calling that a win!