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Wayne Dalton idrive Garage Door Opener

When I moved into our new residence with my wife, we didn't have a working garage door. The garage was sealed off and turned into a room. So the previous owner hired a contractor to pull off the wall for us. That left the garage door sitting on the vertical track, but there was no horizontal ceiling track nor the curved track.

Lowis and Home Depot were very generous to new homeowners by giving us 10% coupons. We used the coupon to buy a Wayne-Dalton idrive garage door opener. The idrive opener is unlike conventional openers in that it is wall-mounted over the garage door rather than ceiling mounted with a long track. This has the advantage of eliminating clutter overhead and eliminating noise and vibration that would otherwise come from the track. I thought this opener was a really cool invention and wanted it for my home.

To speed up the process of setting up our home, we hired a local garage door professional to put in the missing tracks and to install the opener. Installing the track was easy enough for the professional. But when he saw the iDrive opener he mentioned that they wouldn't be able to install it for us. He felt that for the price of the iDrive opener I could get a LiftMaster that they could install and have plenty of parts on hand to fix. He also cited that the garage door isn't meant to be open by rotating the torsion bar, so the iDrive would eventually be problematic.

I politely told him to put in the tracks and I'll have to do some more research on the different types of openers. I spent a few hours later researching the different openers on the market. But the advantage of the idrive system is overwhelming. It is quieter with less vibration. It has ''military" security codes. Its remotes look more like modern car remotes rather than the old, clunky ''Clickers". It does not clutter the ceiling. The opener is white and looks futuristic, like the iPod.

On the other hand, people on the Internet seem to have trouble installing it. Some people even have trouble programming and operating it. (See " Info on Wayne-Dalton iDrive Garage Door Opener ??" in Related links). For me, the disadvantage is that I got to install it myself and service it myself with little or no support.

But then again, being the main author of this GearHack web site, being known as the Camera Hacker, and having written the Hacking Digital Cameras (Wiley) book, I can't let a little challenge scare me away from the newest innovation. But truthfully, I have never installed any garage door opener before. When I compared the different opener models at Lowes, the idrive just seemed cleaner and easier to install than the conventional openers. Just thinking about aligning the track on a conventional opener gives me a headache. As for the torsion bar issue, I see that the motor might labor a little. But I am a computer Scientist, not a mechanical engineer. If the mechanical engineer who designed the idrive says it can handle the load, then I am prone to trust him or her. This is similar to my expectation that people trust my judgment when asking me about software engineering.

The rest of this article will document my experience with installing the idrive system and serve as a product review as well.

Chieh Cheng
Thu, 10 Nov 2005 01:01:51 -0800

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Title: Wayne-Dalton iDrive Garage Door Opener
Weblog: Reality Talk Show
Excerpt: In this part 1 of 2 episodes, I put in the new Wayne-Dalton iDrive Garage Door Opener. This opener is different from traditional garage door opener in that it doesn't have a linkage system. It doesn't take up as much headroom. Listen to this talk as I describe the iDrive to Sasha. Let us know whethe . . .
Tracked: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 00:43:58 -0800

Title: Wayne-Dalton iDrive Garage Door Opener
Weblog: Reality Talk Show
Excerpt: In this second part of the talk show, we continue to talk about the Wayne-Dalton iDrive Garage Door Opener, general garage door maintenance, and the mechanical theory behind a counter-balanced garage door. We finish the talk on limit switches, torque sensing, and safety interlocks. [3:47, 891 KB, . . .
Tracked: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 11:53:14 -0800

Title: Wayne Dalton idrive for Torsion Springs - Pitfall #1: Garage Door Will Open
Weblog: GearHack
Excerpt: The Wayne-Dalton idrive came down. My wife and I came home the night before Thanksgiving and the garage door wouldn't open. I had thought that the remote lost its programming. But after parking the car on the driveway, entering the house through the front door, and examining the garage door, I found . . .
Tracked: Tue, 6 Dec 2005 19:24:01 -0800

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