Goodbye Z-Wave, hello HelloKit smart garage door opener - Stacey on IoT

Cupertino, October 5, 2021

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For the past four years, I have used a smart GoControl Z-Wave garage door opener. Well, technically, I've been using it for about two years, but it was plumber since 2017. Once I moved away from the smart hubs that support Z-Wave, GoControl remained dormant. Since switching to HomeKit this year, I've made an Amazon transaction for opening the Meross smart garage door: at a normal price of $ 49.99, it had a $ 5 discount and I had around $ 21 in membership points on credit card to be applied.

Meross has two models of this smart garage door opener available. I bought the one that uses Wi-Fi and works with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Home. There is an older, less expensive model that only works with Amazon and Google smart homes.

The complete package includes the Wi-Fi model with QR code HomeKit, an electric brick and a USB plug, a 25-foot wire connected to a magnetic sensor and a second sensor for wall mounting. These two sensors are used to determine if the garage door is open or closed. There are also some double tapes to secure the device.

Immediately, this device is much smaller than my old GoControl. It's not a hit on my old device. It's more of a problem with smart device components that shrink over time. However, there is a visible difference.

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The installation was simple and took me no more than 30 minutes. And that includes removing the old garage door opener. Most of these devices are installed in the same way: by connecting two wires from the smart garage door opener to a pair of screws on the existing “easy” garage door opener.

Here's a look at the two wires from the Meross device I attached to the garage door opener:

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The black cover starts from the Meross unit and contains two wires.

Once these wires are connected, I connected one end of the 25-foot sensor wire to Meross, passed the rest of the wire along the garage door rail, and let the fixed wire sensor down. This sensor is attached to the garage wall and the other sensor is attached to the garage door.

After that, I used double-sided tape to temporarily hold the wired sensor in place for several tests.IMG 0824 scaled e1632315104390

You can see from the remaining tape in the image above that my first placement was not ideal. Closing the garage door removed the sensor from the wall. After lifting the senor a little, I had no problems and then fixed it to the wall with two screws included. When the sensors are close, the smart garage door opener Meross knows that the garage door is closed. When I'm not there, the door is open.

Fully connected, I used the Apple Home app to scan the QR code of the device. The app recognized the device as a garage door controller and connected it to my home's wireless network.

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All I had to do was name the device and add it to a room, which I called a "Garage." This part of the setup was completed in less than a minute thanks to the way HomeKit works.

IMG 0825So how does it work? Fantastic, as my wife will confess: she's been salty for the last two years, not having the smart garage door opener she had. Indeed, I had her test Meross first using Siri.

She used the voice control on the Apple Watch to tell Siri, "Open the garage," and that satisfying noisy sound of the garage door opening is heard. I could see on my own iPhone that the garage door was open as well. My wife closed the garage door, using her voice again with the Apple Watch and everything was fine again in the Tofel household.

IMG 0827Later I created some automations for the garage door.

For example, one is to close it automatically after the last person leaves home, just to make sure we don't leave the door open.

And I was very impressed with the HomeKit app when it suggested some scenes in the context of the device.

This easy-to-use approach is extremely necessary throughout the smart home industry.

Although I appreciate the HomeKit approach more and more as I add devices that can use it, I would say that the Smart Meross garage door opener is also good for smart homes that are not HomeKit.

Setting up the app may not be as easy to use, but this Wi-Fi device doesn't require a hub. Keep in mind that if you're using Amazon Alexa, you'll need to download an ability to use your voice and open and close the garage door. In addition, the Meross mobile app is required in a non-HomeKit situation.

Is a smart home "mandatory"? I can think of higher priorities for those who are just entering the smart home scene: all the lights, sockets and security cameras come to mind. However, it is convenient to approach the house and open the garage door. The price for this convenience is not exorbitant either.

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