I have a gate at my house. It’s driven by a LiftMaster Miracle 1 motor unit, which in turn is commanded by a Door King 1812 gate controller. This was all installed around 2000 but the design probably predates that. I got deep into the setup of these things trying to make the gate do what I want, and failed. Mostly because I don’t understand the Miracle 1.
The Door King 1812 is still sold today, still supported. The manual is here, I reference it by section number (like 2.2.1 for master code).
Programming it seems daunting. I tried at first to get it working using the PC software and a modem, but that requires a monthly $$ subscription to use and seemed pretty rickety anyway. Instead I used the touchtone programming interface. This is overwhelming at first, but really not so hard.
The key thing here is the gate controller is wired into my phone line. It’s listening in-line and can be programmed to work as an intercom using the phone wires, to synthesize a ring on my phone line, and even to answer and make phone calls. I talk to the controller via my phone; just pick up and press *7 at the dialtone to get the gate’s attention and it answers with a beep.
One wrinkle: some steps require you press 0 and # simultaneously to end programming. (I write this as 0-#). I found neither phone keypad I have is able to send two tones at once. I ended up having to use the gate keypad to program things so I could enter 0-#.
Here’s some stuff I learned:
Master code. You need this to do anything else. Old ones had a default of 9999, newer ones have a default of the last 4 digits of the serial number. Someone had written mine down on a sticker inside the keypad box. See 2.2.1 for setting a new master code; you open the keypad box and flip a switch. I’ll use “xxxx” to stand in for this code later.
Attention. The gate listens for a code, *7 by default. It beeps when it responds. All commands to the gate start with that. See 2.2.2 to change the number 7. You can inspect the state of the gate relays with this attention command, as described in 4.11. After a brief delay the gate will beep at you to tell you which relays are open.
Basic operation from house phone. *7 9 to open the gate. In detail: the controller is programmed to respond to simple commands on digits 1-9, described in 4.13. *7 gets the gate’s attention, and then it’s sent the command 9. These commands are called “tone open numbers” in the manual and their programming is explained in 2.3.2.
Basic operation from keypad. #zzzz to run an entry code program, described in 4.4. Typically this is something to open the gate. You program codes (like #1234) and give them to friends who you want to get in.
Program strike time. Described in 2.3.1. Various commands tell a relay to operate for N seconds before turning off again. That’s how you have it open the gate for N seconds, then close it again automatically. I believe my gate was programmed to do this for 2 seconds (much less than the time it takes to swing the gate). I think this is the way the Door King signals the motor controller; a short pulse on the relay.
Program tone open number. Described in 4.13 and 2.3.2. *7 *05xxxx 1* 987#* 0-#. This is super complicated. I’m telling relay 1 that when I press 9 I want “momentary activation” for the strike time, when I press 8 I want “hold open”, when I press 7 I want it to deactivate, and nothing for the 4th command (#).
I’ll be honest and say I’m confused about what I ended up with. *78 seems to cause the gate to hold open. Then *78 again will cause it to hold closed. *77 doesn’t do anything?
Program entry codes. Described in 2.6.1, see 4.5 for definitions of “momentary” and “hold”. I entered *7 *02xxxx 18* zzzz* 0-#. That sets up the new entry code zzzz to location 18, a “hold” location. That should cause it to hold the gate open when #zzzz is entered, then close when #zzzz is entered again. If I’d set it to a “momentary” location again like the number 11 then it would only open the gate for the strike time, then close it again.
Security hardening. The controller can answer and make phone calls. I don’t want that. Sections 2.3.5, 2.5.1, 2.5.3 all seem relevant things to turn off.
Garage door remote. My gate also comes with garage door buttons to open. The Door King doesn’t have anything to do with this; it’s wired directly to the Miracle 1.
There’s more the gate controller can do. You can set it so some codes only work at certain times, or certain days. You can program it to accept and make calls. Etc etc. I didn’t do any of that.
The relay and the Miracle 1 motor. This is key to the whole programming. All the Door King is doing is turning a relay off and on. What does that mean to the motor?
I got lost here. The Miracle 1 isn’t really programmable, but does have a few configurable options. I believe ours was configured so that a signal from the relay means “open the gate, wait 45 seconds, close the gate again”. What I want is a signal to open the gate, then a second signal to close it again. The Miracle 1 manual suggests that’s not really possible but I know it used to work that way, so it must be. But in the process of tinkering with it I got the gate in a state where I couldn’t even make it open reliably. It may be that something’s wrong with the limit switches or the power supply. I got fed up and quit.