Review: Skylink MT-18 Garage Door Opener
I just received the Skylink MT-18 motorcycle garage door remote as a gift and have just finished installing it on my BMW F800ST motorcycle.
I really like the simplicity in the electrical design of this remote. Rather than trying to deal with all of the different brands of garage door openers on the market, match frequencies, match digital codes, etc., they just made it as simple as a the button that you probably have by your front door to ring the bell. All the receiver for this little remote does is simply provide a switch closure just like the doorbell button. So you just connect the two wires from the receiver either to your doorbell (if you mount the receiver near your doorbell) or to the garage door opener itself, which is where I mounted my receiver.
It works great, and I know I am going to love using it each time I go for a ride instead of trying to lean over far enough to punch in the secret code in the keypad outside of my garage.
The installation of the receiver was a snap. Basically you just plug in the little single pair wire to the receiver, and fasten each of the two conductors on the other end of the wire to either the 2 screw terminals in your garage door opener doorbell button or two the two terminals on your garage door opener that the doorbell button is wired into.
I will say that this 2 conductor wire has a plug on one end that plugs into the receiver, but the plug is very flimsy and I think it was chosen because it is dirt cheap and not because it was a good plug for the job. If you have ever seen some of those little fragile type plugs that plug small components onto the motherboard of the typical PC, then you've got a good idea of what the plug is like. The plug felt loose after plugged in. Since I was mounting the receiver close to my garage door opener I knew there would be vibration so I took some black electricians tape and taped it down real good so it would not come out. So that is the first bad hardware design.
The transmitter hardware is also nice and simple. The pushbutton is paired with a little red LED so that you can see when it is transmitting. This also lets you see when the battery is running low as the red LED stops lighting up. The button and the red LED is in a small little metal box that mounts to your handlebar. A short wire (I estimate 12 inches in length) connects it to the actual transmitter box. They recommend mounting this so it is out of the weather and I had no problem doing so on my BMW. I just removed the panel that covers the faux fuel tank and stuck the transmitter there.
This product really falls on its face when you try to install the button/LED to your handle bars. It is a horrible, horrible design. The metal strap that goes around your handlebar is as close to non-adjustable as you could build it and still claim that it can be adjusted. And the backside of the box that contains the button and the LED is completely open to the weather too! And the screw and nut used to clamp it down is a very small screw that requires the use of a very small headed phillips screwdriver. Because this screw is so small, you cannot really tighten the clamp very tight at all. And even with the thick pad of rubber they provide, the clamp was still way too big for the handlebars of my BMW. So I ended up putting that on as best I could then once again getting out the black electricians tape and taping it as best I could so that it was secure. So the installation looks like crap! But it works. I am sure I will also have to re-tape it from time to time which will be a pain as well.
And once again, they obviously chose a wire that was as dirt cheap as they could to connect the button/LED unit to the transmitter. It is a 4 conductor wire, and the wires are 4 different colors. So know I have this rainbow looking wire along side all of the nice looking black cables. But it works.
This gadget only costs $25 on Amazon right now. In my opinion, the company should add about $2 to the cost of each unit to use a better clamp, enclose the button/LED box, and use black wires and a good plug on the receiver end, then charge $10 more for it. If they did that I would still think it is a great buy and everyone would be happy.
Oh well, perhaps in version 2!
I see that Amazon also carries the Flash2Pass motorcycle garage door opener for around $80. I would be interested in hearing comments from anyone that has one of those units.
Last edited by diverbw; 11-29-2009 at 11:19 PM.
Reason: Forgot something.
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