The History Of Garage Door Automation
Remote controlled garage doors are used across Wales, the UK and the world over. What was once a flashy technological gizmo has since become standard especially in relation to roller shutter garage doors. Automated garage doors have many benefits with the largest being that they’ll save you having to get out of your vehicle and manually have to open the garage door which in South Wales is almost always going to be in less than pleasant weather! At Access Garage Doors we specialise in fitting all kinds of garage doors in Newport, Cardiff, Caerphilly, Pontypridd Penarth and other South Wales locations. Our automation fitting team handpick the best technology from reputable brands such as Hormann who are known for their reliability and security.
Early 20th Century
Following a massive technological boom and increase in consumer technology the first remote-controlled garage door system was invented. This charmingly simple invention worked on a very basic principle. The motor which would lift the garage door up would be fitted with a signal receiver unit that would be programmed to recognise a certain signal frequency. A handheld transmitter remote would be programmed to emit this frequency which would in turn get picked up by the receiver unit which would then instruct the motor to start working and lift the garage door up.
This was very slick when it was invented but due to technological limitations at the time, these systems were only programmed with a small range of frequencies. This meant that many remote controls would be emitting the same frequencies to their receiver units. Security concerned soon became apparent as it became very easy for a single remote control unit to open many different garages.
Increasing Frequencies & Fixed Code In The 1970s
The 1970s saw massive leaps forward in general microchip technology and manufacturers set about beefing the security of their automation systems by implementing “dip switches”. These components basically control the operation of a circuit board (in this case one that initiates the opening sequence of a garage door) through binary code. This means that a receiver with eight dip switches could generate over 256 potential code combinations (2^8).
Unfortunately, the problem with this “fixed code” system is that although 256 possible combinations seems like a lot for a human to manually break, an automated algorithm can figure it out within seconds which came to be a huge security risk by the mid-1990s. To add, it became possible for thieves who couldn’t hack the frequency code to covertly record the signal used when someone opened their garage door and use it to break-in at a later time.