Review: Chamberlain's MyQ Garage and Home Bridge Add HomeKit Support to Your Garage Door

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 30, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2001
    #1
    [​IMG]


    Back in January at CES, Chamberlain announced plans to release MyQ Home Bridge, a hardware hub to allow connected garage openers in the company's MyQ ecosystem to work with HomeKit. The MyQ Home Bridge was initially scheduled to launch in April, but as is common with these types of products needing to gain HomeKit certification, it was pushed back a bit and had a brief quiet launch earlier this month with an official launch coming just yesterday.

    The MyQ Home Bridge requires that your existing garage door opener already support MyQ wireless connectivity through one of three methods: built-in MyQ Wi-Fi support within the opener, a non-smart garage door opener linked to a MyQ Garage hub, or add-on Wi-Fi connectivity for a MyQ-enabled opener using a MyQ Internet Gateway.

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    Box contents of MyQ Home Bridge (left) and MyQ Garage (right)

    I own a Chamberlain chain drive garage door opener from 2009, but it does not include any MyQ technology built in, so in order to add HomeKit support to my setup I needed to install two separate pieces of hardware: a MyQ Garage for basic Wi-Fi support and then the new MyQ Home Bridge to add HomeKit compatibility.

    Alongside the original MyQ Home Bridge announcement in January, Chamberlain also disclosed plans for a Smart Garage Hub that will consolidate both the MyQ Garage and MyQ Home Bridge functions into a single piece of hardware. The Smart Garage Hub was originally planned to debut in July, but Chamberlain tells me its launch has been delayed and the company is not yet sharing any new target dates for it.

    MyQ Garage

    Working with my current dumb garage door opener, the first step was to install the MyQ Garage to get my opener online. It was a simple, straightforward process that only took about 15 minutes. The system uses a couple of screws to attach a metal bracket to the ceiling in the general vicinity of the garage door opener, at least two feet away from the opener itself but still visible when standing in the garage door opening.

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    MyQ Garage bracket screwed to garage ceiling

    The MyQ Garage slides onto the metal bracket and a power adapter plugs into an outlet, with excess cord able to be wrapped around the metal bracket.

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    MyQ Garage hub mounted on ceiling

    A separate door sensor is affixed to the top panel of the garage door itself, with either velcro strips or screws. The simple sensor wirelessly informs the MyQ Garage hub whether the door is up or down, based on the sensor's orientation. It runs on a replaceable CR2450 button battery.

    [​IMG]
    Door sensor

    The rest of the setup happens within the Chamberlain MyQ app, which requires you to create a MyQ account and instructs you to connect to the MyQ Garage via Bluetooth to enable sharing of your device's Wi-Fi settings during setup. Once the MyQ Garage is online, the app walks you through the steps of pairing the MyQ garage with your opener through the opener's program button, tests the door sensor's communication with the main hub, and lets you name your opener in the MyQ system.

    [​IMG]

    The app isn't particularly pretty and it hasn't even been fully optimized for recent larger-screened iPhones, but it gets the job done. It does support Touch ID, so it's easy to authenticate your MyQ account credentials whenever you open the app. The app lets you easily see your garage door opener(s) and their current status, as well as how long they've been open or closed for. Tapping on the door in the app will raise or lower it.

    On the safety side, it's important to note that garage doors are inherently dangerous, as children who are not paying attention have occasionally been injured or killed by closing doors. As a result, modern garage door openers are equipped with sensors that detect if there is anything underneath the garage door at ground level as the door is descending, automatically reversing the door if an obstruction is detected. Garage door opener instruction manuals also encourage users to visually supervise the door as it opens or closes to ensure safe operation.

    Because connected garage door openers can be operated remotely via app and thus without visual confirmation of safe operation, the MyQ Garage includes warning signals just prior to the door closing. Tapping the garage door in the app to lower it results in several seconds of fairly loud, high-pitched beeping, accompanied by flashing, bright white light from the MyQ Garage hub prior to the door starting to come down.

    The audio and visual warnings alert anyone in the vicinity that the door will be descending, and the beeping continues for the entire time the door is closing. It's an important safety feature, but it also means you may want to avoid using the app to close the door at certain times if the opener is, for example, located directly below a bedroom where someone may be sleeping.

    Alerts and Schedules

    The Chamberlain MyQ app allows you to set up alerts and schedules for your garage door, making sure you're kept up to date on the status of your door and letting you automatically ensure the door is closed every night, for example.

    With alerts, you can choose to receive them via push notifications, email, or both, and you can be alerted whenever your garage door is open or closed. Options allow you to specify only certain days and times during which you want to be alerted, as well as whether you want to be notified as soon as the event happens or after a certain time threshold is reached.

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    For example, you can set up an alert to be notified only if the garage door has been open for more than an hour. With multiple alerts, you can account for your daily schedule, such as setting up immediate alerts during the workday when no one is expected to be home, but only notifying after an hour or so at other days and times when people are more likely to be around the house.

    Schedules, as the name suggests, allow you to set up a fixed time of day (every day or only specific days of the week) to close the door, for example. For garage doors, only closing the door is supported, so you can't set the garage door to open on a specific schedule within the MyQ app.

    [​IMG]

    If you have other devices such as remote lights integrated with your MyQ system, you can also schedule them to turn on or off. Even without HomeKit, schedules are a great way to automatically make sure your garage door is closed in the evenings before heading to bed, and you can receive confirmation via email or push notification.

    Chamberlain's MyQ system also supports integration with Nest (including the ability to adjust Nest thermostats and view Nest Cam video), as well as smart home integrations through XFINITY Home, Wink, and IFTTT.

    MyQ Home Bridge

    If you're lucky, you already have a garage door opener with MyQ support built-in and you can start the process of getting it integrated with HomeKit here. Similarly, if you already had a MyQ Internet Gateway, you'll be able to replace that with the MyQ Home Bridge. And if you're like me, you just went through the process of installing a MyQ Garage and now you're ready to install your second hardware box.

    Installation of the MyQ Home Bridge is very similar to the MyQ Garage, using the same style of mounting bracket and then sliding the bridge onto the bracket, plugging it in, and wrapping excess cord around the bracket.

    [​IMG]

    The Chamberlain MyQ app then walks you through setting up the bridge with the MyQ and HomeKit systems. It just takes a few steps, after which you'll need to reset your MyQ Garage or MyQ-enabled opener to transfer over to connecting through the bridge.

    [​IMG]

    Once that's done, you're all set and you can control your garage door through Apple's Home app or using Siri, or you can continue to use the Chamberlain MyQ app to control the door.

    [​IMG]
    HomeKit integration in iOS 11: Control toggle in Home app (left), Siri control (middle), and scene creation (right)

    HomeKit support also means you can include your garage door within scenes in the Home app, such as for making sure your home is secured, lights turned out, and thermostat adjusted at bedtime.

    Wrap-up

    The MyQ Home Bridge is available from Chamberlain's website for an introductory price of $49.99, with the price rising to $69.99 at some point in the future. If you need to add on a MyQ Garage, that's an additional $129.99 from Chamberlain, although some retailers such as Amazon at $99 may have it for less. Regardless, the total is a good chunk of change to lay out if your garage door doesn't already support MyQ, enough to give me pause about whether it's worth the expense.

    The MyQ app could also use some updating. It generally works just fine, but its lack of large-screen optimization leading to an oversized status bar, keyboard, and date/time pickers is glaring, and there's really no excuse for not having fully updated the app for the larger screens seen on the vast majority of iPhones bought in the past three years.

    I must admit, however, that the garage door is a nice addition to my HomeKit setup, and if my opener was already MyQ-enabled and I only had to spend the $50 for the MyQ Home Bridge, it would be a no-brainer for me. With HomeKit integration and other compatible devices around the house, you can easily set up scenes and triggers involving your garage door opener to maximize your security and convenience. It's extremely handy to be able to do things like make sure the garage door is closed as part of a "Good Night" scene that also turns off lights and adjusts the thermostat, or turn on other lights in the house when you open the garage door at night.

    If you're going all-in on HomeKit integration and already have a MyQ-enabled garage door, the new MyQ Home Bridge is a worthy purchase. But if you have an older opener that would require installing both a MyQ Garage and a MyQ Home Bridge, I'd probably hold off a bit longer until the announced Smart Home Bridge integrating both functions into a single box becomes available. That should simplify installation and setup and hopefully come in at a cheaper total price than having to purchase two separate hardware boxes.

    Note: Chamberlain provided the MyQ Home Bridge and MyQ Garage to MacRumors free of charge for the purposes of this review. No other compensation was received. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon and may earn commissions on purchases made through links in this article.

    Article Link: Review: Chamberlain's MyQ Garage and Home Bridge Add HomeKit Support to Your Garage Door
     
  2. pesos macrumors 6502a

    pesos

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    #2
    Installed mine a couple days ago after purchasing a new myqenabled GDO. The high pitched squeal these units emit is beyond ridiculous both in volume and duration(it continues the entire time the door is closing, not simply an initial alert). My neighbors would kill me if I let that continue so I opened it up and pried off the little plastic cover housing the electropiezo speaker disc. Now it make sure more of a turn-signalesque clicking sound while he light flashes 8 or so times. Perfect earning and no death by neighbors.

    HomeKit integration and Siri seem to work quite well.

    Annoying to have waited 2 years since original announcement - delay after delay after delay - and pretty surprised no one else stepped in during that time - but it's here and it works and $50 ain't bad - although they rip you off on shipping.
     
  3. Vasilioskn macrumors regular

    Vasilioskn

    Joined:
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    Location:
    New York
    #3
    This seems like a lot of work to get something as "simple" as HomeKit to work.
     
  4. ayale99, Aug 30, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017

    ayale99 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    #4
    Screw Chamberlain. They announced HomeKit support a couple years ago and a "free upgrade" to current customers that bought the MyQ back then. When it was finally announced this year, Chamberlain said all customers have to buy new MyQ hardware and NO free upgrade. I won't spend another dime with them.

    Here's the Facebook posts that they removed when they went back on their word:
    https://myqcommunity.chamberlain.com/chamberlainmyq/topics/homekit-promises



    https://myqcommunity.chamberlain.com/chamberlainmyq/topics/homekit-update-1-6-16
     
  5. preaves macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    #5
    Yep.
    IMG_5774.JPG
     
  6. TheRealTVGuy macrumors 6502a

    TheRealTVGuy

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #6
    My Chamberlains were new this year and already had MyQ built-in. I ordered within hours of the soft-launch, received my bridge last week and installed it in ten minutes. Two minutes later, after a couple of configuration settings between their app and my 'Home' app and I was directing Siri to open, close and report on the doors. I even added certain controls to my "Goodnight" scene.

    All in all it was quick, painless, and... Just Works!
     
  7. urnotl33t macrumors newbie

    urnotl33t

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2017
    Location:
    Holly Springs, NC, USA
    #7
    For those of us with 2-car garages (thereby two openers), let me guess: I need two of each of these items? Sadly, mine are from 2006 even before this "iPhone" thing came around, so I'd need 2 of each? Even at Amazon prices, that's $300. Holy crap... I think I need to pay some other credit card and medical bills for my kids, first...
     
  8. VforVelveta macrumors regular

    VforVelveta

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    #8
    I asked this in the Homekit forum, but I’ll ask here too. Can this use a geofence to open the garage door when arriving home WITHOUT having to interact in the phone if the user is wearing an Apple Watch? I understand needing to have some level of auth involved with geofencing, since you obviously don’t want someone who stole your phone to just be able to walk up to your house and it opens, but since the Apple Watch is always authenticated until taken off, does wearing it remove the auth step?

    I’m really interested in getting one of these, but only if I can achieve the holy grail of you, and only you, showing up to your house and the doors opening up automatically and securely, and the Apple Watch seems like the key to making this a reality.
     
  9. Smith288 macrumors 65816

    Smith288

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #9
    I have a raspberry pi wired into my old garage door and it’s runninng HAP-nodejs

    Cost me about $50 all told.

    Being a geek sometimes pays off.
     
  10. pesos macrumors 6502a

    pesos

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    #10
    Haven't tried any geofencing but Siri will happily open and close the garage door for me via my watch (no extra auth, just like with the schlage sense).
     
  11. urnotl33t macrumors newbie

    urnotl33t

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2017
    Location:
    Holly Springs, NC, USA
    #11
    (reply to self)
    Actually, for that cash, and the age of these beasts, I probably should just plop down the $260 each and get all new ones altogether and get the ultra-quiet benefit with battery-backup (wife-happiness factor applies here) for $520, then get the two bridges above for $50 each. Hmm. I can get a discount on the new openers, so dollar-for-dollar that nets me a free bridge. :) (yeah this is how i rationalize expensive purchases! no wonder i have debt.. haha!)
     
  12. TheRealTVGuy macrumors 6502a

    TheRealTVGuy

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #12
    I have two openers and the bridge talks to both. Granted, both of my openers included MyQ built-in.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 30, 2017 ---
    Unfortunately Apple disabled this in a previous iOS update. I also wanted this for my all my HomeKit gadgets, so that when I was within 3 miles of the house, everything would activate (or lock down once I was further than 3 miles away). The way it was explained to me, they disabled it for security in case your phone is stolen. Now, you'll get an alert either on the phone or on the watch once you've hit the geofence. Problem is, you then have to interact with it.

    Notes:
    1) If I ask Siri (on my iPhone) to open my Garage door, she'll make me unlock the phone first.
    2) Even if I respond to the alert asking to run my "When I Leave" geofence scene, my KwikSet Premis lock will activate and lock the front door, but because it takes longer than 3 seconds to lock and report, the Home app thinks it failed and I receive a "Couldn't complete 'When I leave'".
     
  13. urnotl33t macrumors newbie

    urnotl33t

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2017
    Location:
    Holly Springs, NC, USA
    #13
    oh, so..... does it open both doors at the same time? or how does it know which door to open? Looks like the bridge just emits the RF signal like the car openers, versus wired-in like the pad on interior pad on the wall.

    or let me guess, new fancy openers these days don't have a wired pad on the wall anymore and they all use CR batteries and RF? it's been over 10 years, man, since i last installed one of these!! :) Last I remember, the wall pads were wired into the outlet up in the ceiling that also fed power to the machine, and also wired into the emergency/safety sensor on the floor at bottom of the track. A very analog system. :) But hey, sometimes analog works best!
     
  14. macduke macrumors 604

    macduke

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Central U.S.
    #14
    I'm still waiting for that $99 combo box mentioned in the article that will take care of everything in a neat little package.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 30, 2017 ---
    Is this true? Well that explains a lot. Like why my Ecobee doesn't automatically turn back on when we get within 60 miles of home to start cooling things down and flushing out the stagnant air. I set that up last summer, but I always forget to check why it doesn't do that any more. How can they remove features like this and not tell users? I sometimes feel like HomeKit is turning into Apple's MobileMe crapfest. One of the reasons I wanted this opener was for geofencing.
     
  15. pesos macrumors 6502a

    pesos

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    #15
    Ya supposedly the mystical MyQ Garage 2.0 will combine all this into one box. But don't hold your breathe - it was over 2 years just to get the homebridge finally released (and a lot of lying/attempted coverup on chamberlain's part).

    "Luckily" I needed to replace my gdo anyway so it was a no brainer to get a nice quiet myq one with battery backup and add on this $49 job for homekitness.
     
  16. jayhawk11 macrumors 6502a

    jayhawk11

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    #16
    I thought the same thing at first, but nope! If you have old openers (that is, they don't have MyQ built-in), you'll need the MyQ Hub thing for $130 and one extra door sensor (to cover the second garage door) for $36. The $130 hub that supports HomeKit isn't out yet...supposedly "soon".

    If you have openers with MyQ built in already, you just need the bridge piece, which costs $50.
     
  17. VforVelveta macrumors regular

    VforVelveta

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    #17
    That's why I'm wondering if having the Watch on makes a difference. I 100% agree with the need to authenticate in the event the phone is stolen, but the authentication is exactly what the Watch provides without needing to interact with it.

    Basically, putting it in terms of logic:

    if (enter geofence AND (Apple Watch on/unlocked OR Touch ID used on iPhone)) then (run automations)
     
  18. iamgalt macrumors regular

    iamgalt

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    #18
    I had this garage door opener add-on so I could use my phone. And it did allow me to open and close my garage door from my phone, which was great. However, it also decided to open my garage door at completely random times. I'd wake up in the morning and my garage would already be open from who knows when. Could've been 2 minutes, or 5 hours. Same thing when getting home from work. I disconnected it and am fine with the standard opener. So I'm definitely not going to install this again.
     
  19. dvdlovr24 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    #19
    So will Siri recognize each myq door opener like the chamberlain app or will it raise both when you tell Siri to open the right garage door?
     
  20. profets macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    #20
    A lot of work? You’re adding a wifi connected device to your garage door opener. How else did you think you were going to connect a garage door to homekit? With magic?

    I’ve been using a homekit connected door lock for a few weeks now. Have a rule set up using geofencing in the Home app (when I leave it locks, when I arrive home it unlocks). However it asks for confirmation to run this rule every time, even when using an Apple Watch. When searching about this I found that Home app requires the confirmation for door locks (things like lighting it doesn’t) which I guess is for security. I guess it’s a decent call, not so much for if someone took your phone, but for the times it can get triggered while you’re still several hundred feet from home. I’ve been sometimes 10-15 houses down the street and the alert comes up. I imagine this will be the same for the garage door.

    Ahh, that’s why that happens.. I get that once in a while, but couldn’t figure out why.

    In regards to (1) - it seems you need an unlocked device for door locks and garage door opening. When I use Siri on the Watch to lock/unlock it does it immediately (follows the method of the watch always being unlocked as long as skin contact is kept).

    The combo box will be nice. I really want to try this out but will need both devices. I hope they don’t take forever to get it out.
     
  21. GOAT4521 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Location:
    VA
    #21
    I ordered mine earlier this week. For those that already have it does the beeping noise when closing it really aggravate you? I live in a townhouse and don't want my neighbors mad when I leave for work at 0530 every morning LoL
     
  22. Romey-Rome, Aug 30, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017

    Romey-Rome macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    #22
    I've been doing it with Homebridge for a few years, but the beeping is really annoying on remote close.

    And you can't really automate open with GPS or Siri because you'll have to unlock your phone still, which totally defeats the purpose.
     
  23. jtorrebl macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2017
    #23
    No you can get he new my q garage that will update a non my q garage and give it HomeKit compatibility at the same time in one unit.
    I got the new homebridge kit and works nicely with Siri!
     
  24. profets macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    #24
    Do you have a link to this all in one unit?
     
  25. jtorrebl macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2017
    #25
    The one time I've used it with Siri it didn't make the noise. Using the home app and chamberlain app it does make the noise. I'll double check
    --- Post Merged, Aug 30, 2017 ---
    Yeah this is another company. A does not equal B
    --- Post Merged, Aug 30, 2017 ---
    https://www.chamberlain.com/smartphone-control-products/myq-garage/model-myq-g0201
     

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