SmartThings, Chamberlain/LiftMaster MyQ and Lowes’ Iris
I’ve been on paternity for a bit now so taking time to tackle some home projects. Today’s was a Z-Wave Garage Door remote for SmartThings. The kids are constantly leaving the garage door open so I thought it’d be nice to both be able to see the status and change the status.
I thought this would be a simple fix — buy component, wire in, pair up, done. It wasn’t quite that straightforward but nothing unachievable.
First we need the Z-Wave component. There only seems to be one produced, rebranded for many different companies — GoControl, NuTone, Iris, Nexia, etc. Lowe’s said they had it in stock so I decided to go pick one up. After wandering around looking for someone to help me, we finally got it. $75 — cheaper than Amazon.
You’ll note it says — ‘Requires Iris smart hub’ — this isn’t entirely true, it really only requires a Z-Wave compatible hub. It paired right up with my SmartThings 2015 v2 hub.
Wiring it into the opener
This was my first roadblock. I’d get the beeps and the lights (intended to warn anyone in the garage the door was about to open/close) and I’d hear the relay click, but the door wouldn’t move. Some digging left me with a document that said the MyQ-enabled or MyQ-ready Chamberlain systems weren’t compatible. Some searching led me to a forum where people were talking about cracking open the Z-Wave box and soldering jumpers between two contacts — definitely a PITA.
Instead, I decided to try mimicking the wall switch, by wiring the Z-Wave box directly into the switch buttons the wall switch presses. I have a LiftMaster 880 wall switch. Take it off the wall and there are two switches (left and right) near the top, directly underneath the large plastic open/close bar. On the contacts for these switches, solder on the downstream/bottom leads of one side (I used the right side). Close it up and you’re ready to go. No changes to the main opener, no cracking open the z-wave box, just wire the leads from the Z-Wave box into the switch in your wall switch.