Are you having trouble programming your Homelink with your garage door opener? Perhaps you followed all the steps and even erased all Homelink so that you can program from scratch, but it still didn’t work. It’s probably not your fault. A Homelink repeater is what you need to fix your issue.
So, what is a Homelink repeater? Homelink repeater is a device that allows older car models to communicate with newer garage door openers with Security+ 2.0. It does this by translating the signal from the car into a form that new garage door openers can receive. Think of Homelink repeater as an interpreter for two people who speak different languages.
A lot of homeowners have given up on their HomeLink after several attempts to program it to work with their garage door openers. And getting a HomeLink repeater installed in their garage is the only way to fix this issue. You will find out why in this article. Let’s continue.
How HomeLink repeater works
Before we discuss the Homelink repeater, let’s talk about repeaters in general. These are devices that receive a signal which is weak and then re-transmits the same signal by boosting it. The receiving device can now obtain a much stronger and clearer signal.
For instance, when you are making a phone call, your voice, which is the signal, is received by a cell tower, which is the repeater. The cell tower then amplifies your voice and then repeats it. The person you are talking to can now receive your voice on his phone, much clearer.
Repeaters receive the input signal on a frequency called the input frequency. And then transmits the boosted signal on a different frequency called the output frequency.
HomeLink repeaters work the same way. Older cars transmit HomeLink signals on a frequency that can’t be directly received by new garage door openers equipped with Security+ 2.0. For this reason, the HomeLink repeater is made to receive the signal from the vehicle. And then, it re-transmits the same signal on a different frequency, which can be received by the opener.
Think of HomeLink repeater as a bridge connecting two islands. Speaking of bridges, if you find on the internet or anywhere a device called HomeLink Compatibility Bridge, it is the same thing as HomeLink Repeater.
Why different frequencies?
You may be asking, what’s the point? Why should you purchase another device to get HomeLink to work with your garage door opener? I had the same question. So I did a little bit of research. Here is what I found.
HomeLink systems were operating on a frequency that interfered with the aircraft’s communication system. This was an issue that had to be fixed immediately. That is because interference can cause serious problems like loss of communication, or worst-case scenario, a plane accident.
To solve this issue, they have been changing their frequencies on newer opener models over the years. Now, Homelink on recent garage door openers works on a frequency farther away from that of aircraft. Unfortunately, these changes came with a significant setback.
Already existing car models are now not compatible with new garage door openers. This is because they can only communicate on the older frequencies. That was why the HomeLink repeater was made – to bridge the gap between older cars and the latest garage door openers.
Why you need a HomeLink Repeater
Perhaps you followed all the necessary steps required to program Homelink with your garage door opener. You even erased all the data on your HomeLink, so you start programming everything from scratch. You may have even tried the Rolling Code method. If you tried all these methods and it didn’t work, chances are you need a HomeLink repeater kit.
One sure way to know if you need a repeater kit is to pay attention to the HomeLink indicator LED when you attempt to program it. Here is what you need to look out for.
The standard procedure is to first press and hold the Homelink button you want to program. The LED will start flashing slowly. And then you press and hold garage door opener’s remote. The LED should either blink rapidly or stay on without flashing. If none of this happens, it means your garage door opener can’t read the signal from Homelink. The only way to fix this is to get the repeater kit.
Why you don’t need a HomeLink Repeater
Perhaps you have heard of the Homelink Repeater Kit. And you thought it is a device made to add new features to the control system. That is not the case at all. If your car can communicate directly with your garage door opener, you are good to go.
You are not getting any new and sleek functions with the HomeLink repeater. Purchasing the repeater kit is simply a waste of cash. You can, however, invest that money into a HomeLink compatible device like the Chamberlain WSLCEV Light Switch Control (Amazon). This will allow you to control your home lighting system from your car.
What is the HomeLink Repeater Kit?
The HomeLink Repeater kit (on Amazon) comes with two devices that are required to program your older cars with Security 2.0 garage door openers.
First is the repeater itself. That is what will receive a signal from your car and then forward it to your garage door opener. It’s a simple device, black in color, with no buttons. It also comes with a Type-A 2-pin plug, which, obviously, you have to plug in a socket to supply power to the device. There is an LED on the device which lights up when the repeater is plugged in and blinks when receiving and forwarding signals. And then, of course, there is an antenna that comes out as a cable and hangs.
The second device is a learning remote. It looks just like a standard remote for a garage door. However, all it is used for is to program HomeLink with your opener. You will use it a few times when you are programming, and that’s it.
Preparation before installing the HomeLink Repeater
Configuring the HomeLink repeater to work with your garage door opener is a simple process. It will take about two to three minutes or less to complete the process, provided all the required tools. You need to have a step ladder at your disposal before you start. If you already own one, perfect. If you don’t, ask a neighbor or a friend. You can hire a professional garage door expert to do the installation. However, it is such a simple process; I think anyone can do it.
The next thing required is an extra power socket outlet in your garage, preferably on the ceiling. That’s because the repeater has to be powered. Some homes have double sockets installed for their garage door openers. Most of the time, however, single sockets are used. If the socket installed is double, perfect. If it’s a single socket outlet, no problem, all you need is a socket extender like the WalterDrake 3 Plug Outlet Switch (on Amazon). This simple device plugs into your single socket outlet and gives you three sockets. This means you can plug in your garage door opener and have two extra sockets to plug in your HomeLink repeater. Now that we’ve got that out of the way let’s learn how to configure Homelink repeater with our garage door opener.
HomeLink Repeater Kit Training – How to Program HomeLink Repeater with Garage Door Opener
- Turn on your car: Put your vehicle in accessory mode. That way, all electrical and electronic components in the vehicle, including will be powered up without starting the engine.
- Hold the learning remote close to the HomeLink buttons: Now take the learning remote that comes with the repeater kit. Position it close to the Homelink buttons in your car. About 2 to 3 inches close should be okay. Hold it in place and perform the next step.
- Press and hold your desired HomeLink button: Choose one out of the three HomeLink buttons you would like to open and close your garage door with. Press and hold that button. The Homelink indicator LED will begin to flash slowly.
- Press and hold HomeLink repeater’s remote button: While you hold the Homelink button in your car, press and hold the button on the learning remote that comes with the Homelink repeater kit. Keep holding both buttons till the light starts flashing rapidly.
- Plug the Homelink repeater in a socket: Now is the time to power up the Homelink repeater. The closer it is to the garage door opener, the better. An LED on the repeater will start blinking.
- Press the Learn button on your garage door opener: Put a step ladder beneath your garage door opener and climb. The Learn button can be found at the back panel of your opener. Locate it, and press it once.
- Press and hold the HomeLink button in your car: After pressing the Learn button on your garage door opener, you have 30 seconds to do this step. Get down from the step ladder and into your vehicle. Press and hold the selected home button. Hold till the light on your garage door opener blinks. This means that Homelink is successfully programmed with your garage door opener. To confirm, press the button one more time to activate your garage door opener.
The Homelink repeater is a must-have for anyone who can’t get their garage door openers working with their vehicle’s Homelink system. If you found this post helpful, do well to share with friends or someone who will need it.