Sponsored by Ryobi
Last week I installed and used the brand-spankin’ new Ryobi garage door opener. That’s right-the experts at Ryobi who normally dream up, engineer and produce power tools have created something new and unique in the world of garage door openers. The opener can host many cool accessories, in the form of snap-in modules. More on those in a moment. For now, let’s talk about the features of the basic opener:
- A 2-HP motor, which makes it last for a very long time. The logic is pretty simple. A more powerful motor doesn’t have to work as hard so it doesn’t wear out as fast. Truth is, most openers only have a 1/4- or 1/2-HP motor.
- No chain or screw drive in this machine. Instead, the door is driven by a steel-reinforced rubber belt, so it’s super quiet.
- An LED light offers bright light with no bulbs to replace-ever. A built-in motion detector switches it on every time you set foot in the garage.
- You can download an app for any smartphone. That app enables you to monitor and control the garage door from anywhere on the planet that has cell phone service. You can open the door for anyone, anytime, and know whether it’s open or closed. It’ll even tell you how far it’s open!
- But here’s the really great part. It has seven ports around the sides to accept specialized modules that enable you to do much more, like listen to music and stay cool on warm days. More on those in a minute.
The installation experience
My neighbor Ed and I installed the opener in our friend Denny’s garage. At first, we were baffled by the fact that the track seemed way too short. We didn’t have a long enough track to get the door to open far enough to fully open the door. It turns out the off-the-shelf unit is set up for a 7-ft.-tall door, and Denny’s garage had an 8-ft. door. We needed to pick up a 12-in. extension track. After we did, the installation was a cinch.
You have to go through a precise set of steps to initiate the car remotes and the indoor and (wireless) outdoor keypads. We tried to wing it without reading the manual, which slowed us down. Just follow the directions-once we did, everything worked flawlessly.
Now about those modules?
The seven ‘ports’ on the sides of the opener accept whichever accessories you decide to buy. They simply tilt and snap into place and they’re ready to go. Removal is just as easy with the push of a button. Here are the modules currently available:
- Extension Cord: It’s a 30-ft. retractable cord reel with room for three plugs at the business end. This one takes up two ports, so plan accordingly. The team at Ryobi thinks this one will be the most popular.
- Fan: It’s three-speed and you can pivot it to direct airflow anywhere you need it. It may not look big, but it drives a surprising volume of air.
- Bluetooth Speaker: This 3-watt speaker also sports a microphone, which means you can talk to your buddies hands-free or listen to music from your smartphone. It has surprisingly good sound too, as we found out when we streamed ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ tracks from one of our phones.
- Laser Park Assist: This module replaces the tennis ball dangling in front of your windshield. A pair of lasers lets you know when you’re parked in just the right spot in the garage. They activate every time the garage door opens.
- CO Alarm (Coming soon): This device monitors carbon monoxide, temperature and humidity levels. It allows you to check those levels on your smartphone and can be set up to alert your phone when temperature or humidity levels reach certain levels.
- Lithium-Ion Battery Backup: A dedicated port on the front of the opener uses the same Ryobi 18-volt battery as other ONE+ Ryobi tools. In the event of a power outage, the battery provides enough power to open and close the door up to 100 times. A built-in charger on the opener keeps the battery fully charged.
More modules are on the way, including a compressor module that will feature a retractable air hose. Each module costs $44 to $64. The opener itself will set you back about $250. You’ll find everything at The Home Depot.
I’m such a big fan of the Ryobi Ultra-Quiet GD200 that I’m going to replace the loud, crummy one in my garage with my very own Ryobi.
– Travis Larson, Senior Editor