Curse You, Documentation Lacking in Details

This blog is a wee bit wireless, but not much- so be forewarned. And the wireless that it is has nothing to do with Wi-Fi. And the point of the piece has nothing to do with wireless per se. It’s more about lost time (and almost wasted money) on documentation that leaves out important details. If that doesn’t interest you, just move along…

Still here? Good. So my wife and I are Hoosiers now- we have relocated to Indiana. I’m still a wireless and network guy for a large private university back east, but that’s a whole other story. Here in Indiana, we bought a rather nice property with both attached and detached two-car garages, which is where the meat of this post begins.

Both garages have wireless keypads attached to the door frame as one way of opening the door. The one servicing the attached garage is a Craftsman brand, the other is Overhead Door brand. Though the previous owners left all kinds of information on various aspects of our new home and it’s amenities, no codes for the door opener keypads was provided.

No worries, right? A hip tech guy like me can just reprogram them. I can reprogram anything if I hack at it long enough, and these should be child’s play.

Should be. But wasn’t… at least not for the Overhead Door brand.

The Craftsman was easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. Off to the Internet I went and found the info I needed toot-sweet, and had that opener factory-defaulted and reprogrammed in about three minutes. It opens, it closes using the wireless keypad. Yee-hah.

The Overhead Door unit had a bad attitude from the start. I needed a new 9V battery to begin with, and that sent me off to CVS where I discovered that drug stores in Indiana have a fairly decent hard liquor selection… But back to topic. I popped in the new battery, and got to work trying to tame this beast:

Alas, there were various versions of “guidance” on how to reset it online but they all failed me. Press “PROG + 8”. Press “PROG, 6, UP/DOWN” at same time. Press “PROG + UP/DOWN”. Stand on left foot, point a pitchfork at the sun, and yodel. Didn’t matter what I did- each attempt was met with angry you suck at this, Pal flashing lights.

But then… the golden nugget surfaced. That wee bit of info with the right level of detail that got this little project over the goal line. Behold:

BOOM! One document after another (even those from the manufacturer) said to press multiple buttons SIMULTANEOUSLY which is erroneous , capricious, arbitrary and poop. But when you press PROG, and THEN press 6 while still pressing PROG, and THEN press the up/down button while still pressing the other two, a golden light shines down from the heavens and this unit resets so you can then program it.

I pissed away like an hour and a half, and was ready to call this unfamiliar-to-me unit “bad”. But it’s out there working like a champ now, because I found ACCURATE documentation. Which is important to any and all technical systems. I couldn’t help but think I have seen similar out of market-leading networking documentation. Contrary versions of the same information, and have taken the red pill before when the blue would have been correct.

There’s nothing new under the sun, ya’ll.

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