Houses

Review: Skylink Atoms Garage Door Opener

Ever have a shipping arriveat the house and wish you could open the garage door so your Trump Steaks don’t bakein the sun? Ever find yourself locked out and in need of a simple backdoor inside? The Web of Thingsoffersmanysolutions to suchproblems, but intelligent garage door openers providea particularly promising repair tomany of existence’s small inconveniences.

Skylink, best known for its DIY home security system, lately expanded into smart garage door openers (GDO from the firm’s parlance). If you’re a hardcore DIYer, this type of system might be compelling.

WIRED

Skylink calls the Atoms garage door opener “compact, strong, and quiet,” and the gadgetsucceeds reasonably well on these fronts. It’s nearly disconcertingly miniature—I dare say even trendy, for a garage door opener—but it works just fine. The mechanism around themodel I reviewed (a 3/4 horsepower system) includes a belt drive, which uses a rotating sprocket attached to a very long rubber belt to roll up the door up and down. Belt drives are rather quiet, at the expense of speed. The opener is $200 and set up like any old GDO.

To make it “smart,” you needan Web Hub (another $100) which connects to your Wi-Fi router through an Ethernet cable. Itis basically a bridge between your Wi-Fi system along with the garage door opener, lettingyou utilize a smartphone app to control it andconfigure IFTTT applets, a feature Skylink callsa first for GDOs.

TIRED

If you’ve never set up a garage door opener yourself, you’re in for a treat. And by cure that I mean eight hours of filthy, backbreaking work setting up a replacement (as you may reuse some existing hardware), or at least ten hours should you’re startingfrom scratch. This was the next time that I’d set up a garage door opener and it nonetheless dominated nearly all of a frustrating weekend.

My biggest complaint by far is that Skylink’s setup instructions are laughably obsolete and often self-evident, like the instructions for three or four different products weremixed up from the editing procedure. The unit’so called YouTube instructions—generally more helpful than the published version—are inaccurate in places, and have a tendency to gloss over a number of the most difficult facets of installation. (If you’re powerful enough to simply slip the belt across the rear pulley as shown in 4:00 in the movie, you don’t require a mechanical garage door opener, you may simply open it with the flick of the wrist.)

Skylink originally sent me the wrong online Hub, and it took 2 tech service calls to get it functioning properly (again, the written instructions are bad at all). But by day four, I finally hadthe system operating, and past a few hiccups with the Hub, matters continue functioning mostly as assured. I am able to utilize IFTTT to text me whenever the garage door opens, or possess it flick on Philips Hue bulbs from the stairs when I’m coming home. Or, I could … really, these are the only reasons I could fathom wanting to hook IFTTT into my garage door, but Skylink has other suggestions for you whether you’re not too exhausted in the setup itself to tinker with it.

RATING

5/10 – Recommended with reservations.

Read more: http://www.wired.com/

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