Does MyQ work with Alexa?
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Does MyQ work with Alexa? In short, no, not natively. That’s right, there is no MyQ skill for Alexa, and Chamberlain has declined to offer one. But all is not lost as there are several options depending on your garage motor model.
Why doesn’t Chamberlain MyQ support Alexa?
Chamberlain has not been a friend to smart home enthusiasts, and has engaged in some frustrating behavior in the past. There have been a number of cases where access has been blocked, dropped or pay walled. And while varied access exists for some other platforms, including IFTTT, HomeKit, and Google Home, Alexa has been left out in the cold.
Chamberlain claims this is due to security (and perhaps liability) concerns around letting you open your garage by voice command. This is odd though, as both IFTTT and Google have been given access (even if behind some roadblocks) simply without that specific ability. Google even offers a second PIN code step to open the door when using other brands, so this argument doesn’t really hold water.
It’s far easier to break into your garage with a piece of wire than a home automation breach. The more likely reality is that Chamberlain has taken the view to only provide smart home support where they can profit directly from it, rather than as a value add and selling point. This may hurt them in the long run, even though they make excellent door motors this move is likely giving their competition a leg up.
Before choosing a work around
There are a few ways around this issue, although they all involve extra cost. They key consideration before you choose one is the type of garage door opener you have. Older models will generally have wiring terminals on the side of the motor which are used for connected wired remote door controls. A simple physical button that will trigger the door to open or close.
Newer models, particular using Chamberlain’s Security+ 2.0 system may not permit a simple button arrangement to work, so we’ll have to get more creative there. You may still be fine, and the support for these varies a bit, so be sure to check your specific model in the solutions below.
Option 1: Use IFTTT
IFTTT Can be used to close your MyQ connected garage door, but not open it. Chamberlain is not comfortable allowing voice commands to open the door, but as I note above there are ways around that such as enforcing a PIN when the command is invoked. This is how Alexa and Google Assistant handle door locks, so there’s no real reason for it to be blocked.
Nonetheless, Chamberlain has only provided a close action in there IFTTT service, so we can only use that. This also means you can’t use this method to get the status of the door either, so it’s pretty limited.
Note: Chamberlain has also region locked their integrations, so this may not be an option for you and you’ll be stopped in step 1 below. Also note that IFTTT is a paid subscription service, but you can create up to 3 applets for free, so you should be good to go for this one.
You’ll need to sign up for IFTTT access via Chamberlain’s site here https://www.myqservices.com/account/login . It’s free at the moment, but they make you do this so they can potentially charge a subscription for the privilege later.
You’ll also need to be signed up to IFTTT of course.
In IFTTT, create a new Applet using Alexa as the trigger (the ‘If’ part), use Say a Specific Phrase and enter something meaningful like ‘close the garage’.
As the ‘then’ action, choose the MyQ service and select the action Close Garage Door and specify the door from the list (this comes from step 1).
Give the Applet a name and save it.
Now you can say “Alexa, trigger <the phrase you put in the applet>”
If you don’t want to say the ‘trigger’ part, you can create an Alexa routine using the Voice action and shorten it to something like “Alexa, close the garage”. You can select IFTTT as an action which will show you a list of IFTTT Applets you’ve create using the Alexa service.
Option 2: Add a third party smart opener
There area a number of third party garage door controllers that plug into the physical wiring terminals on the motor and simulate a physical button press. This is the easiest work around, as you can simply choose a product that supports Alexa, plug it in, and go.
These devices are typically small units that you sit on top of the motor and plug into the same power outlet, from there you just connect the two wires to your motor terminals. Makers of these types of device usually have a comprehensive list of supported motor models, so be sure to check to ensure this option will work for your situation.
The best value option if you go this route is the Meross Smart WiFi garage opener. This not only supports Alexa, but Google Assistant, IFTTT, and SmartThings as well. Through the Meross app you get a few extras, like close reminders, auto close, history and additional notifications, and you can open and close the door with the simple commands “Alexa, unlock my garage” and “Alexa, lock my garage” using the Meross skill.
Take a look at our full review of the Meross opener.
Stepping up a price bracket, the Nexx NXG-200 is a popular option. It works the same way as the Meross (using the button terminals on the motor), but you also get a bunch of extra features. These include the option of a wireless door sensor (instead of wired), optional temperature and carbon monoxide sensor, multi-user control in the Nexx app (so you can share access and see specifically who opened the door and when) and support for both Apple and Android watches as well.
You’ll also get location based control, which Nexx calls “Just Drive”. This means you can set the door to open when you approach, which is super nice and affords truly hands free control.
Voice control with Alexa uses simple commands, just say “Alexa, open the garage”, or “Alexa, close the garage”.
Option 3: Hack a Chamberlain remote
In the event that you have a newer model motor that cannot be supported by the third party controllers above, we have to get creative. By using an official Chamberlain Security+ 2.0 remote and an Alexa compatible smart relay we can create a wireless solution that sends the signal from the remote to the door just like normal.
To do this, we have to open the remote, and wire the relay to the two solder points used by the physical remote button. Then, when the relay is triggered by Alexa, it will briefly short the button terminals and make it look like the remote was pressed. This will cause the remote to send the secure command signal to the motor.
Meross Smart WiFi garage opener
2 thin wires (telephone or Cat5 will do)
Wiring the remote
Open the remote up to remove the circuit board. You’ll want to solder the two wires from the Meross opener to the button terminals to provide the short that will trigger the remote, any of the buttons 3 buttons will do. Once set up simply place the arrangement somewhere in range of the door motor where you can plug in the Meross device. The advantage here is that it’s a remote, so you’re not bound to placing it in the garage.
You could also do this with an Alexa powered relay like this one from MHCOZY. It’s cheaper, but takes a bit more setting up, and you’ll need to provide your own USB power supply (via the MicroSD port on the relay). After soldering the wires to the remote, connect the other end to the NO and COM terminals on the relay.
This one uses the eWeLink app and the eWeLink Smart Home Fan Alexa skill. You’ll need to configure it so that it auto switches off after 1 second (to simulate a button) rather than staying on. This is supported by what they call ‘inching mode’. As it’s a dumb switch you say “Alexa, Activate Garage Door” instead of ‘open/close’ wording. You can, of course, create custom routines to use that wording if you wish, but it won’t actually matter if you say open or close, both will simply cycle the door depending on what state it’s in, just like pressing the remote button.
While Chamberlain may not be playing ball with Amazon, or their customers, owners of MyQ garage door motors can still get things working in Alexa. You’ll require some extra gear for best results, but if your door motor is supported there are some very easy addon smart openers that will do that job for you. Even if you have a newer model that won’t work with those solutions, a little DIY action can get things working without much more effort and expense.
My recommendation is to go with option 1 above where you can, but options 2 will provide some better control and reliability. Just be sure to check the device maker’s compatibility lists for your motor model, and be aware that some models require an extra component to work, which both of my recommended device makers will ship to you on request.