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Old 12-18-2012, 08:53 AM   #1
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Sears Garage Door Opener Glitch

Are there any GDO experts among the inmates? We have a Sears (Chamberlain/LiftMaster) 1/2 hp GDO that just started doing a strange thing. The wall button will always put the door up or down, but now the remotes will only do it if the light is out. This model (139.53674SRT2) does NOT have a lock out for the remotes or a separate control for the light. The light appears to be on a fixed timer on the PCB. The amber LED on the unit stays dark and will not flicker or pick up a signal from a remote until the timer shuts the light off.

I pulled the logic board (41A5021-3C) and it has no obvious flaws, all the resistors ohm out fine, diodes check out okay and I couldn't see any blown capacitors. After re-installation I reset it by holding the red/orange button down (I had to wait until after the light went out) and then paired the remotes again but the same problem remains. The unhelpful folks at Sears want $90. bucks for a new logic board and that seems like a ripoff since I can buy a complete new GDO from Lowes for $118.

The washing machine went kablooey in spectacular fashion last month so we're already off budget and I'm loathe to replace this whole unit when it is otherwise in perfect working order and add yet another item to the scrap heap.

Any helpful advise or source of used or cheeeep parts would be appreciated!
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:59 AM   #2
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What kind of bulbs are you using? I'm wondering if electrical noise from either CFL or LED type bulbs could be jamming the receiver. Does it still happen if you unscrew the bulbs?

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Old 12-18-2012, 09:14 AM   #3
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Without seeing it, I'd agree with Terry that it sounds like there is a CFL that is putting out RF somewhere.

Try and meditate on anything that was changed in the garage before this issue started happening. Another work around might be to see if you could install an extension cord and move the light a few feet away and see if that makes a difference:


Personally, I'd try simply changing the light bulb to a 60 watt incandescent and see if that makes the problem go away, and then troubleshoot from there.

Also, make sure there is a relatively new battery in a remote to ensure the remote batteries aren't just getting old.
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Old 12-18-2012, 02:35 PM   #4
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I like the way you guys think! Yes, it has a CFL bulb in it. Has had for about 3 years. And yes, I already tried unscrewing it to see if that was the cause. No change. Still> so keep the ideas coming! As far as low batteries, there are 2 visor remotes and one outdoor keypad, all exhibit the same behavior. The 2 visor remotes are multi-button models and they also open/close the other garage door opener (same exact make/model) just fine.
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:13 PM   #5
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Just some guesses...
Anything new in the area, specifically something pluged into the same circuit. It could be interfering with the reciever. You could try turning off all of the other circuits in the garage, or use and extention cord to plug the garage door opener into another location.
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dagofast View Post
The wall button will always put the door up or down, but now the remotes will only do it if the light is out.
Yes, it has a CFL bulb in it. Has had for about 3 years. And yes, I already tried unscrewing it to see if that was the cause.


What light has to be out in order for this to work, the one on the opener or a different one somewhere else?
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:34 AM   #7
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As the owner of a garage door company I'll give this a shot. I had an engineer from a garage door opener company tell me the CFL bulbs do cause interferance with the radio controls. But since you pulled the bulb and still have the same problem I would guess the board is the problem. There must be something wrong with the timer that is built into the board, but since it is built in you would have to replace the board it's self. These have gotten to be very expensive so depending on the age of the opener you my just want to replace the whole thing. Jerry
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:44 AM   #8
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Did you try googling the problem. My GDO was opening by itself at 9 pm every night. No one was around like neighbors so I recoded all the remotes and locked the door for a few weeks then it went away for now. My point is I found some good trouble shooting checklists while researching the problem.

Any chance your wires had trauma or got tweaked bent or broken? If you have any wire around you could hot wire the opener to see if it works directly. If it does that would rule out your wiring and point to your board.

Why not remove the light until you have the $118 for a new one. Check for sales through sears.com and the craftsman club. We get thunderstorms/electric storms all the time here so I have surge protectors on mine so they don't get zapped.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreaseMonkey View Post
Yes, it has a CFL bulb in it. Has had for about 3 years. And yes, I already tried unscrewing it to see if that was the cause.


What light has to be out in order for this to work, the one on the opener or a different one somewhere else?
The one in the opener has to turn off. And that applies whether there is a bulb screwed in to the opener or not. As long as there is power to the socket from the relay on the board, the GDO ain't working with a remote.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:28 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by scooteraug02 View Post
Did you try googling the problem. My GDO was opening by itself at 9 pm every night. No one was around like neighbors so I recoded all the remotes and locked the door for a few weeks then it went away for now. My point is I found some good trouble shooting checklists while researching the problem.

Any chance your wires had trauma or got tweaked bent or broken? If you have any wire around you could hot wire the opener to see if it works directly. If it does that would rule out your wiring and point to your board.

Why not remove the light until you have the $118 for a new one. Check for sales through sears.com and the craftsman club. We get thunderstorms/electric storms all the time here so I have surge protectors on mine so they don't get zapped.

Yep, tried the google. I've checked the wires, they seem fine since the photo sensors and the wall switch is working fine. If removing the light made it work, thats what I would have done and this thread would have never gotten started! Good tip on the surge protectors though, thanks.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:40 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mirider View Post
As the owner of a garage door company I'll give this a shot. I had an engineer from a garage door opener company tell me the CFL bulbs do cause interferance with the radio controls. But since you pulled the bulb and still have the same problem I would guess the board is the problem. There must be something wrong with the timer that is built into the board, but since it is built in you would have to replace the board it's self. These have gotten to be very expensive so depending on the age of the opener you my just want to replace the whole thing. Jerry
I hate you garage door company owners!

But thanks for your advise, you probably have a valid point about just hanging up a new one. Except I'm cheap and its December too. I installed the units in late 1998. Is that all the life you can reasonably expect out of these things? Sheesh. I really hate buying stuff repeatedly.

Say...do any of you or your fellow Garage Door Company owners have any salvage piles of old units I can scrounge through? If someone has one with bad gears, I'm a buyer for a cheap logic board.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:01 AM   #12
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Sure you can try checking your local garage door company, they may save old operators. We change out 3 or 4 units a day and just don't have the room to save old stuff so we throw it all in the recycle bin. Some years back I was talking to an engineer from Liftmaster (the maker of Sears and many others) at a trade show and he told me they build openers to last 10-15 years. Remember this is something that you use every day so if was me I'd replace it.
Hey us garage door guys aren't all that bad. I always try to help out the do it yourselfer because I'm one to. Jerry
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:10 AM   #13
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Sorry if this was mentioned already.
But since your other opener is the same model, have you tryed swing testing the boards from one to the other to see what happens?
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:52 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Mirider View Post
Sure you can try checking your local garage door company, they may save old operators. We change out 3 or 4 units a day and just don't have the room to save old stuff so we throw it all in the recycle bin. Some years back I was talking to an engineer from Liftmaster (the maker of Sears and many others) at a trade show and he told me they build openers to last 10-15 years. Remember this is something that you use every day so if was me I'd replace it.
Hey us garage door guys aren't all that bad. I always try to help out the do it yourselfer because I'm one to. Jerry
Thanks for the information and the salvage suggestion Jerry! I will give a couple of my local GD guys a visit and see if they have any problem with letting me dig for treasures in their trash. Oh, and I was just joking about hating on you guys. Its just the KLR owner in me bitching about having to spend money that I'd rather not. And I try to always remember Warren Buffets advise: "Never ask your barber if you need a haircut."

Dagofast screwed with this post 12-20-2012 at 09:03 AM
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:59 AM   #15
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Sorry if this was mentioned already.
But since your other opener is the same model, have you tryed swing testing the boards from one to the other to see what happens?
It's occurred to me but I haven't for 2 reasons; 1. I don't want to somehow screw up both openers and the most important reason: 2.In addition to being a cheap bastard, it seemed like a 4 times more work and I quite frankly haven't had a whole lot of time to mess with it. I'll probably try futzing with it again over the coming holiday. But again, I like the way you think!
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