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Oh-Fudge 01-02-2013 02:54 PM

Garage door electric eye issue
I guess this would go best in this section. My garage door electric eye stopped working the other day. The LED on the "sending eye" is lit, but the "receiving eye" is not lit. I checked the wire continuity = good. Held the receiver right up to the sender and still no light on receiver. Do these receivers go bad? How so, no moving parts, what happens to them?

They are the pre-1997 type with a green LED on each unit. They have not been damaged or gotten wet. Just looking for some ideas before I spend $40 on a new set if I don't have to. Thanks!

joecaption 01-02-2013 03:23 PM

Was the door still working? Sure it's not just the bulb burned out?

joecaption 01-02-2013 03:26 PM

Oh-Fudge 01-02-2013 03:46 PM

Sorry, gee, it would help if I told you that. The door goes up normally. If attempting to close it by pushing button it will stop and reverse direction (go up) and the overhead light on the motor will flash indicating an obstruction. It will only close if the button is held down continuously.

p.s. nice video, yes, I checked all of those things.

firehawkmph 01-02-2013 11:06 PM

what kind of opener is it?
Mike Hawkins:)

raylo32 01-03-2013 05:16 AM

Usually it just means one or the other got bumped and the beam isn't reaching the receiver. It doesn't take much misalignment to get a fail. Try nudging one or the other and see if the receiver led comes on.

rjniles 01-03-2013 05:39 AM

Yes they do go bad or the wire back to the opener is bad. Since you held the receiver up to the sender we can rule out an alignment issue. Use a meter and test the receiver to see if you have the same voltage at the receiver as you do at the opener terminals. If you have no voltage or much lower at the receiver, you have a wire issue.

If the electric eyes are bad, I would consider replacing the whole unit rather than spend money on a 15 year old opener.

Oh-Fudge 01-03-2013 08:27 AM

Thanks for the replies everyone. The opener is a Crapsman/Chamberlain unit that came with the house when I bought it in 1997. I've since replaced the springs and the drive gears inside the unit (why are those things cheap-assed plastic!?). The opener works great so I don't feel the need to replace it due to a $40 part. I checked the wire continuity with a DMM, but didn't check the voltage. Will do. I figured it was the electric eye itself when the wire tested good. Just checking here to see if there was anything I overlooked. Wondering if it could be the circuit board on the unit.

Does anyone know why the electric eye would go bad? There are no moving parts and it was not damaged or wet in any way. Just wondering? Thanks!

raylo32 01-03-2013 12:24 PM

You can bypass the safety interlock by jumping the 2 terminals that the elec eye wires connect to. Probably wouldn't want to leave it like that permanently but it will get it working until you get it fixed. And you might not want to do it at all if you have small children about. But that's how they all were back in the day.

If it was me no way I'd spend $40 on a new elect eye set if that's what they cost. I'd just get a whole new GDO that will also likely have updated wireless security and be quieter.

Oh-Fudge 01-03-2013 12:34 PM

Just ordered replacement "eyes" for $20 from Ama$on. Quick, easy fix will get the wife to park in the garage again and stop blocking me in the driveway. She's too lazy to get out and push the damn button to close it! I don't have the time or $$$ to replace the whole GDO right now. What, do you sell GDO's or something, Raylo? :laughing:

I don't want to bypass the eye. If the cat got squished I'd have hell to pay :furious:

raylo32 01-03-2013 12:49 PM

$20 is more like it. No, I don't sell 'em. I had to replace mine a couple years ago after my 1995 model got fried in a power surge after a power outage. New one is much better... and swapping wasn't that big a deal since I could use the old ceiling brackets and door bracket mountings. Unfortunately I did have to replace the rail as Sears changed the design a bit, but that wasn't too much extra work.

Oh-Fudge 01-21-2013 09:51 AM

UPDATE: Well, I got my new electric eyes (after a shipping delay :mad: ), but still not working. No green LED on either unit. Tested continuity of wires = good. I even hooked up the sender eye unit directly to the opener with the short new wire leads and it did not light up? (yes, I got the correct model of eyes - the pre 1997 with both LEDs green)

Then I jumpered the two terminals on the back of the opener where the eyes attach in order to bypass the safety feature, but even this did not stop the safety feature from kicking-in?

Does this mean that the circuit board is f-ed up? Is there a fuse in there somewhere? Help is appreciated - what to do next (besides get a new opener, no $$)?

McSteve 01-21-2013 10:38 AM

Let me know how this plays out; I'm dealing with the same thing on one of my projects. I've got a Chamberlain 1100 opener with one seemingly dead photo eye, and we were just about to order replacements from Chamberlain.

Have you tried briefly unplugging the opener's power cord? Checked voltage at the wires going to the photo eyes? Should be around 6V DC I think. At least that's what I was measuring.

You may want to try calling tech support at (800) 528-9131. I was on hold for over 15 minutes, but the person who answered was very knowledgeable.

Oh-Fudge 01-24-2013 05:50 PM

1 Attachment(s)
McSteve, hi, I measured about 6v DC at the terminals also. But still no LED on either NEW eye when connected directly to the terminals. Yes, I have unplugged/replugged. I can't tolerate tech support people, sorry, that's why I love DIY Chatroom!

Still hoping for answer whether the circuit boards can go bad or if there is a fuse in that thing ( I couldn't find one and the manual doesn't mention one ). :(

firehawkmph 01-24-2013 06:58 PM

circuit boards do go bad now and then. I have replaced some in the past that were under warranty. I haven't had one with the same problem as yours, but usually one of the functions of the door would start to act up. In an opener as old as yours, I personally would not try to repair, whether it was my own or a customers. I would put the money towards a new one. I used to sell genie promax 500's for about ten years. Last year, genie completely changed their lines of openers and stopped making the promax. The distributor I buy them from didn't know how long he would be able to get parts for them. I had already started selling liftmasters and continue to do so. The ones they make for sears are not of the same quality as the ones I get at the distributors. These are also not the same as the ones you can get at the big box stores.
The problem with an old opener is you can fix a problem, but in the case of a circuit board, they are not cheap. Depending on the model, you can usually count on 80-90 dollars. About the time you fix that, the plastic gears go, or the starting capacitor, etc. Even when my own go, (and I have 5 of them), I just go get a new one if its over 5 years old.
Mike Hawkins:)

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