MyQ - Garage Door Automation and iOS

This post starts with a rather embarrassing story. 

Last summer, we were invited to a Friday evening happy hour at our neighbors' house. 

(That isn't the embarrassing part.)

Our dog was playing in our backyards, but when food was served, she got a little bit overbearing and actually climbed onto the neighbors' deck to beg, so we took her home. (Major party faux pas, Lucy. And AAAD family, too - your dog wasn't invited.)

She didn't take it well at ALL. So while we were back at the happy hour, she was jumping at our back sliding glass door, trying to open it. 

Instead, she locked it. Our little 30-lb dog managed to flip the toggle lock on the sliding glass door. 

And the other doors were all locked, too. 

And my wife and I didn't have our keys. 

And it was after 9 PM on a Friday. 

Fortunately, we had our iPhones, and we were able to find a locksmith to get us into the house. 

(I wish we'd found a BETTER locksmith, because this guy never even tried to bump or pick the locks, and just whipped out a drill and destroyed the lock and deadbolt to our garage side-entry. But hey, we were in.)

But for a while last summer, we were the couple whose DOG locked them out of their house. Good times. 

And this got us wondering - why don't we have a keypad entry for our garage? Which got ME wondering - how can I somehow tie this entire process into my iOS Home Automation project?

Step One - Wireless Garage Keypad

This step was easy. 

We have a Raynor Aviator garage door opener, which works with LiftMaster accessories - some quick Googling and we knew what we needed. 

LiftMaster 877MAX
The LiftMaster 877MAX.

Runs on a 9-volt battery (grrr...), has a lighted keyboard, and is completely wireless.

When choosing a wireless garage keypad, make sure that it is compatible with your garage opener - you'll be able to tell based on the color of the "learn" button.

The Raynor Aviator has a purple "learn" button, which meant that the 877MAX was the best available for us.

At first blush, a wireless garage keypad seems like it would be a complicated install.

But really, it's just another garage door opener like the one you have in your car. It's completely wireless,
bolted to your house, and only sends the "open" command if you enter a 4-digit combination.

My son and I installed the 877MAX yesterday while watching the Bears' season go down the tubes in the worst possible fashion in Minnesota. Oh well.

But it works like a charm. No more getting locked out of the house!

Step Two - MyQ and iOS Integration

This leads to the next question - but how can I monitor and operate my garage door opener via iOS? 

Ms. AAAD would note that this is a pretty ridiculous question. Now that the door can be opened with a keypad, why would I ever need - or WANT - to have to get my iPhone out in order to open the garage door?

Well... I'm not sure exactly. 

What I do know is that the commercials for MyQ (LiftMaster's garage door automation platform) look pretty sweet, and I think it would be cool to get iOS notifications about when the door has been left open, or something like that. 

After all, how many times have we been out and about and wondered if the garage door had been closed? (I mean, we've never actually left it open, but it could happen...)

The MyQ system comes standard on new high-end doors, but you can retrofit an existing system to be remotely monitored via iOS, too. 

BUT... we're going to have to swap out our existing hardwired garage door panel. Which seems like a moderate amount of hassle. 

I'm going to have to sell this one pretty hard, and I'm not even sure how much I really value the benefit. Stay tuned on this one. I'm sure I'll be updating this post. 


  1. For about $100 bucks in Arduino pieces I was able to make my existing dumb garage door opener be controlled by my iPhone.

  2. This is an amazing post for car lovers.