Thursday, 15 November 2018

What is Rolling Code Technology?

Westlands Engineers Garador Electric Garage Door


When looking for an automated garage door fitted with an electric operator, you might be wondering about the different types of security integrated into modern electric operators and what security benefits they offer. You can view the full range of electric operator accessories currently available, on the Garador website. To understand why the technology for electric operators has been created, it is useful to understand how it developed… so let’s start by heading back to the 1960s.


Fixed Code radio signals (1960s – 1980s)

From the 1960s through to the early 1980s, fixed code radio signals were used with garage door hand transmitters and receivers. These were quite unsecure as the hand transmitter would always send the same fixed code and could easily be copied. Because the range of frequencies used to send fixed code radio signals was limited, you would sometimes get a ‘phantom garage door opening’, especially when neighbours used the same fixed code and their garages were in close proximity to one another.


Infrared Light Beam (1980s – 1990s)

During the 1980s and early 1990s, infrared light waves were used as a medium to open and close your garage door, but they also had major shortcomings. With bulky hand transmitters and large “box like” receivers installed on the outside of the garage, these devices had a limited transmission range and would not work from a long distance away. They also tended to be unreliable and because infrared is a form of light not a radio signal, if someone stood in the way of the space between the hand transmitter and receiver (effectively blocking the light beam), the garage door wouldn’t open or close. Furthermore, if there was bad weather such as mist, infrared based garage door openers wouldn’t work and if there was dust over the sensor on the infrared receiver, it wouldn’t work either.

Unsurprisingly, in the 1990s infrared was superseded by radio signal based hand transmitters and receivers, which used licensed 438 MHz radio frequencies, but this was short lived, as a new more widely used, unregulated signal frequency that didn’t require a license was to come to the fore…


433 MHz radio signals (2000s)

The 2000s witnessed the advent of 433 MHz radio signals. This technology has become far more prevalent than all of the other approaches over the last 30 - 40 years and its still used in many of the cheaper garage door hand transmitters and operator systems available on the market today. 433 MHz radio signals are unlicensed (meaning anyone can transmit using this frequency) and are therefore widely used in a variety of consumer products from car fobs through to baby monitors. So problems with signal interference and reliability when trying to open your garage door are still an issue, but not a critical one in many cases, as problems with signal interference, for example, are generally found in heavily built up areas with lots of devices in close proximity to one another (i.e. where a baby monitor used by a neighbour might interfere with someone’s garage door opener).

Over the past two decades we’ve seen the increased use of 433 MHz and 868 MHz radio frequencies to transmit signals. 868 MHz radio signals fall within the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) radio signal band that spans between 300 MHz and 3,000 MHz. Examples of equipment that use a UHF frequency are wireless LAN networks, television broadcasts and mobile phones, though they don’t necessarily use 868 MHz specifically.


Rolling Code Technology (2000s)

In the 2000s, the arrival of a new technology commonly known as “rolling code” or “hopping code” became more widely used in garage door operators and hand transmitters. You might have seen the term ‘rolling code’ technology when researching a new garage door with an electric operator, as it is generally supplied on operators sold here in the UK. The rolling code technology was originally developed for garage doors in the US and UK in response to people with homes and garages in the suburbs accidentally opening their neighbour’s garage, when the signal transmitted was the same. The great thing about rolling code technology is each time the door is opened or closed, a different frequency is used, and assuming the frequency being sent by the transmitter is the same as the one being expected by the receiver on the electric operator, the garage door will open. A hand transmitter using rolling code always sends out a different code from the one sent out previously.


Bi-directional Technology (2010s)

In the 2010s, bi-directional technology was developed; launched by Garador in 2011 it was a major leap forward in terms of security, reliability and range of signal transmitted by a hand transmitter to a receiver, in the form of an operator unit. Garador’s GaraMatic 10 and GaraMatic 20 operators both incorporate bi-directional technology, but the GaraMatic 9 does not.

The newly developed bi-directional technology uses 128-bit encryption; the same level of security that is used by high street banks to protect their customer’s details when doing online banking. The bi-directional radio technology also incorporated rolling-code technology, meaning that a different frequency code is sent each time the hand transmitter was used to open the door and this means that it is incredibly difficult to copy.

The bi-directional operators and hand transmitters use a licensed 868 MHz radio frequency; the term “licensed” means the frequency is reserved for Garador hand transmitter signals only and hence it is very unlikely you will experience signal interference from a baby monitor, for example, as was sometimes the case with 433 MHz radio signals.

The 868MHz radio signals also have a longer signal range, so you can operate the garage door from further away. This is especially notable when compared to hand transmitters with 433 MHz radio signals which had a shorter range. The use of bi-directional radio technology means it is almost impossible to copy the signal.


To find out more about Garador’s hand transmitters and operators, check out the Garador website at www.garador.co.uk

Friday, 28 September 2018

Garador Supports Macmillan Cancer Support

The team from Garador at their 2018 Macmillan Coffee Morning

As part of our annual coffee morning in support of Macmillan Cancer Support, we raised £300.00 this year, with all of the staff here at Garador putting in lots of effort to bake all sorts of savouries and sweet treats! Macmillan Cancer support are a really worthwhile charity that support those with cancer, from diagnosis through to treatment.

The team at Garador, are a talented bunch with lots of culinary skills that were put to great use… with Garador’s very own George Aldred, the organiser of the event, baking a super-duper delicious coffee sponge that was a double whammy when combined with a fresh cup of coffee. Sarah Cole baked an incredible chocolate cake, that will go down in coffee morning memory as a cake that just needed to be eaten!

Find out more about Macmillan Cancer Support by visiting their website at www.macmillan.org.uk

Monday, 3 September 2018

Garador Sponsors Yeovil Town Ladies Football Club

Hannah Short Headers the Ball in Match Against Arsenal 2018

With the promotion of Yeovil Town’s Ladies Football Club to the FA Women’s Super League this year, Garador are delighted support this local team with a sponsorship package to help ensure their continued success in the highest league of women’s football in England.

We are really pleased to support this local club as they progress through the ranks to the top league in women’s football and move from part-time semi-professional to full-time professional players. The 2018-2019 season currently features 11 teams, including those from high profile clubs such as Manchester City, Chelsea and West Ham.

The team are currently playing home matches at Dorchester Town Football Club. For more information, please visit www.yeoviltownladies.com

Credit for YTFC Photography: Lee Collier 2018.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Top 5 Things to Consider When Measuring a Garage Door Opening

Specifying a new garage door isn’t as easy as you might first think, so it’s important to measure up correctly so you can get the right size garage door to fit into your garage door opening. If you’re not sure, have a chat to one of Garador’s installers and arrange for a site survey and quotation, you can find them by visiting the stockist and installer page on Garador’s website.

It might sound pretty obvious but it’s always a good idea to measure the opening and inspect the garage before making a decision on what type of door you are going to fit, as some door types simply might not fit inside the opening or may not be possible due to obstructions inside the garage.

We always recommend having the door specified and fitted by an experienced Garador installer, but if you are a proficient builder and want to measure the opening yourself, then here’s a few pointers to get you started. So what are the top five things to consider when measuring for a new Garador garage door? Let’s dive right in and look at the art of measuring up, we’ll start outside the garage and work our way inwards…


1. Is the garage door opening square?

When measuring your garage door opening it is important to measure the opening three times… not just once for both the width and the height. Why would you want to do this I hear you say? Well it’s pretty simple really… If you are measuring the width of the garage door opening and measure it once at the top of the opening, once in the middle of the opening and once at the bottom of the opening, you can be assured that the width is the same at any point along the vertical axis. It is also worth repeating the process along the horizontal axis, to ensure that the height of the opening is the same on the left-hand side, middle and right-hand side of the garage door opening. By doing a belt and braces job of measuring the garage door opening you can be certain that the opening is square.

Diagrams indicating to measure the garage door opening three times (height and width), to ensure it is square

Failing to measure the opening properly and to ensure it is square could lead to further problems down the line, as the door won’t fit properly. In some cases, you may need to rebuild the garage door opening to make it square before fitting the door.


2. Are the brick reveals square?

When fitting the vast majority of garage doors, they tend to be fitted behind the garage door opening rather than between the opening. But in most cases the wall behind the reveals will not be flat; they will likely be a rough, rugged and uneven surface. This is an important consideration as you will need to ensure that the frame of the door is kept square and true when fitting the garage door behind the opening.

brickwork

For a retractable up & over door, if the frame is not square when the garage door is fitted, then the frame will try to push the door to one side all the time; resulting in squeaking and scraping sounds, as the door panel passes through the skewed door frame.

So you will need to be sure that the brick reveals are suitably square enough to fit the door behind the opening, and whether any additional building work is required to make them suitable.


3. Is the floor level?

When fitting a garage door on a slope, it is important to look at what whether the floor is level. If you are fitting a roller door, for example, then it is possible to order the door with a bottom chamfer profile. A bottom chamfer profile, can compensate for differences in height across the width of the roller door for up to 300mm in height. For Garador GaraRoll roller doors, the bottom chamfer profile is supplied in Jet Black, but can also be supplied in a colour matching the garage door.

Bottom chamfeur for GaraRoll roller doors installed on uneven surface

For an up & over garage door, if the floor level inside the garage is slightly lower on one side of the opening than the other, then the frame legs will not be fitted to a flat level surface, and that can cause problems (assuming that the frame leg for the garage door is positioned with the bottom of the leg touching the ground). If the garage door is fitted onto an uneven floor surface, then the frame is not level, it is being skewed. This puts a twist motion on the door panel which will result in the door failing to open and close properly.

If the floor isn’t level or if a certain type of door isn’t suitable for their garage, it’s important to make the homeowner aware of the issues they may face, so you can discuss these or look at what steps you might need to take in order to rectify the problem.


4. Are there any obstructions inside the garage?

It is worth bearing in mind that garages can be pretty busy places with all sorts of obstacles that can get in the way of you specifying a particular type of garage door. Gas or electricity meters inside the garage are a common problem, especially when they are positioned too close to the garage door opening, making it difficult in some circumstances to fit a garage door with tracks that go back into the garage. In this instance, a side-hinged garage door that opens outwards or a roller door with externally fitted roller box is preferable. Soil pipes or drain pipes behind the brickwork reveals can also be problematic, as they cause an obstruction when fitting the frame of your door behind the opening.

Electrical box inside garage near GaraRoll roller door

In some properties, the ceiling of the garage may contain a loft hatch, ceiling light or the homeowner may require regular access to the ceiling area and it would therefore not be appropriate to fit a sectional garage door or a retractable up & over garage door where the door panel sits on tracks inside the garage when the door is open. Shelves or shelving on the side walls could also cause an obstruction to tracks going back into the garage, so it’s a good idea to make sure the garage door will fit without having to remove any shelving or storage units.


5. Does the garage have enough headroom for each type of door?

Not all garages were built the same, which is a pretty broad assertion but it is very important when it comes to ensuring your garage has the right amount of headroom for the type of garage door you want to fit. It’s important to factor in how much headroom you have inside the garage, as this could affect the type of garage door you can fit.

Garador sectional garage door inside garage

Here’s a quick list of the minimum headroom requirements for the various types of Garador garage doors on offer. It’s worth noting that this is the absolute minimum headroom (the space between the top of the door opening and the ceiling inside the garage) and ideally you should look to have a bit of breathing room.

Door Type

Minimum Headroom (mm) *

Up & Over Garage Door (Canopy)

60mm

Up & Over Garage Door (Retractable)

40mm

Side Hinged Garage Door

Overall Frame Size

Sectional Garage Door (Tension)

100mm

Sectional Garage Door (Torsion)

210mm

Sectional Garage Door (Torsion Low Headroom)

100mm

GaraRoll Roller Garage Door (Doors up to 2300mm High)

290mm

GaraRoll Roller Garage Door (Doors between 2300mm and 3000mm High)

335mm

* Correct as of April 2018. Please refer to Garador price list for current specifications.

Whether it’s a sectional garage door, roller garage door or an up & over garage door, fitting behind the opening can give you a bit more room for error than fitting between the opening.

We also recommend measuring for a garage door in metric, rather than imperial measurements. This will enable you to accurately select and order a garage door from Garador’s price list where all doors are specified in millimetres.

View the full range of Garador garage doors online at www.garador.co.uk

Monday, 25 June 2018

Getting into your garage when there’s a power cut

It’s not an everyday occurrence, but when you do get a power cut you want to know that you can get into your garage. If you’ve got one of Garador’s retractable up & over garage doors fitted with a GaraMatic electric operator, then you will no doubt want to know the quickest and easiest way to get into your garage in the event of a power cut.

It’s pretty simple to do, but if you’ve never done it before then it can be a challenge, which is why we’ve also created a useful video to help you disconnect your Garador retractable door from the operator boom.


Monday, 4 June 2018

Thinking of automating your canopy garage door?

If you are thinking about automating your Garador canopy up and over garage door, we have the perfect solution, the GaraMatic Canopy Operator. But before we get into the nitty gritty, let’s run through a little bit of history to explain what’s new and why this new operator is a huge step forward when it comes to automating canopy garage doors…

Garador's GaraMatic Canopy Operator

Canopy garage doors were originally automated with an electric operator by fitting a bow arm (large metal device) to the back of the garage door panel. Bow arm conversions had the drawback of reducing the opening height of the garage door, often reducing the drive through height of a car substantially and sometimes meaning it was not possible to park your car in the garage. But with the introduction of Garador’s new GaraMatic Canopy Operator, this is no longer an issue.

Garador’s engineering team have been busy over the last 24 months developing a new operator and lifting mechanism specifically for its canopy garage door range, aptly named the GaraMatic Canopy Operator. One of the most notable benefits of this new operator is the unrestricted drive through height it provides, as when in the open position, as you can see in the image above the activating arm on the GaraMatic Canopy Operator sites behind the top edge of the door giving unrestricted drive through height.

In addition, the GaraMatic Canopy operator is quick and easy to install as the activating arm is attached to the shuttle within the boom, the guide wheels help to keep the device running smoothly and the torsion spring requires minor adjustment of 2 extra turns. Please refer to the instructions for further details. We have also produced a short video on our YouTube channel to show just how quick and easy it is to install for a professional Garador installer.



As with all GaraMatic operators, the GaraMatic Canopy, works with the full range of Garador mobile and stationary radio accessories, so you can fit a wireless finger scanner to easily get into your garage or simply a push button to open and close the garage door. All of these devices work seamlessly with the GaraMatic Canopy Operator.

View the full Garador Up & Over garage door range at www.garador.co.uk

Friday, 11 May 2018

Added safety and convenience with Garador’s Light Beam Device

garador_internal_light_beam_device

There are a fair few accessories available for garage doors and many of them are often overlooked, despite their benefits. A garage door light beam device (sometimes also referred to as a photo cell) is one such example that is potentially useful with Up & Over over garage doors using an electric operator to automatically open and close the door.

Aside from the convenience you get with a GaraMatic electric operator, by not having to manually open your garage door a Garador light beam device also provides additional peace of mind. As when the door is closing, should the infra-red light beam (on the photo cell) be broken the motor will stop the door there and then, allowing the obstruction to be removed. So the door will stop if the light beam is broken.

There are two types of light beam device, an internal version that is fitted inside the garage and an external one that is fitted just outside the garage. The internal version is required to run the GaraMatic 20’s self-closing timer option. The internal light beam device is supplied free of charge with all GaraMatic 20 operators. The external version of the light beam device has been design with protective covers, to ensure that if the device is exposed to direct sunlight or glare, that the light beam will continue to function properly and will be able to tell if an obstruction has broken the beam and the door therefore needs to reverse open.

Visit www.garador.co.uk to view the full range of Garador operators and accessories.