Homelink - weak sauce

Homelink - weak sauce

Anybody else finding that the homelink transmitter is WAYYY less powerful than they expected (as compared to other cars they've had)? In my old Audi I could push the button half a block away no problem, whereas with the MS I pretty much need to be within a couple of car-lengths of the garage.

While I'm whining, gotta say that I much prefer having a dedicated homelink button vs. the touchscreen... but I know others probably differ with me on that point.

Salman | 13 marzo 2013

I'm finding the transmitter in my MS is more powerful than the one my BMW had. I was pleasantly surprised, actually, given what I read on the forums about Homelink prior to receiving my car.

As for a dedicated button, I thought I would miss it, but the combination of being able to give settings friendly names, and having the dropdown appear automatically when in GPS range of the programmed location, offers a better user experience, IMO. (Useful for us because we have a security gate programmed in addition to our garage doors.) It would be great, though, if the dropdown would appear in a slightly wider radius than it does now; as it is, the car is in transmission range before the dropdown appears.

One question I had about Homelink is if there's a limitation in the protocol that doesn't allow for more than 3 programmed slots? Every Homelink system I've used has had exactly 3 buttons/slots, and it would be great if that number could be increased in the future with a software update.

olanmills | 13 marzo 2013

Yeah it does seem like there's a limitation to three slots, but it does seem like it would be wierd to make it that way.

Alex K | 13 marzo 2013

@Salman | MARCH 13, 2013: One question I had about Homelink is if there's a limitation in the protocol that doesn't allow for more than 3 programmed slots? Every Homelink system I've used has had exactly 3 buttons/slots, and it would be great if that number could be increased in the future with a software update.

HomeLInk is licensed from Johnson Controls, so there may be a licensing limitation on the number of HomeLink programable buttons. I've taken allot of HomeLink transmitters apart and most of them have a chip that interfaces to only 3 buttons. I've found a few HomeLink Transmitters that appear to store the programming information in an EEPROM. So theoretically, the EEPROM could be simulated by an attached computer and more than 3 setting could be programmed.

There is an item on the Prioritized Enhancement Software List, 72. m4. Homelink capability for at least 8 devices, 28 (Alex K, 1/11/13) which I proposed. You could vote on that item and hopefully Telsa would consider it.

olanmills | 13 marzo 2013

I meant to add that especially with the location awareHomeLink, I don't mind not having physical buttons for it.

Pungoteague_Dave | 13 marzo 2013

Mine works from 1/4 mile away, but the GPS-enabled drop-down does not show until just in front of the garage, because that's where it has to be programmed, and so remembers it as the spot to raise its hand.

jat | 13 marzo 2013

It is in between other cars I have had -- I can operate the garage door when I get to the bottom of my driveway. The LEAF can operate it when I reach the edge of my property, but my wife's old car can't do it until she is nearly sitting at the garage door. So, nothing outstanding and nothing bad.

Bennett R. | 13 marzo 2013

It's more powerful than the Homelink I had on my G35.

I wish it didn't disappear so quickly. When I open my gate, it disappears before I have a chance to push it again to close the gate.

Pbfoot | 13 marzo 2013

I wish it would show up a second time after the first push. I never just open the garage door and leave, I always close it after pulling the car out or in. Another nicety would be to have the buttons just a little larger so you don't to be quite as precise about where your finger pushes.

Darmok | 13 marzo 2013

Much better than my old RX 330.

Oliver in Seattle | 13 marzo 2013

Be careful what you wish for. A friend of mine liked to push his garage door opener just before turning into his culdesac, until one day, pressing the button actually closed the door on the tailgate of his wife's car as she was unloading groceries, causing a rather nasty scrape.

rroonnbb | 14 marzo 2013

Hmm, sounds like the weakness of mine is somewhat atypical. May have to check w/ Tesla on that at some point.

Agree that I'd LOVE for it to Geo-Open a bit further away, and that it was easier to 'hit' the button and that it should stay open longer once it's open... feels like there's some usability tuning to do here in general.

exPGAhacker | 14 marzo 2013

Homelink is working great for me. I've got a gate and a couple houses programmed and no complaints. My BMW 7 series worked from a bit farther away but I'm in love with the entire "touchscreen for everything" concept.

Onamort | 14 marzo 2013

Mine is very weak too! Any solution?

rroonnbb | 14 marzo 2013

@onamort Sure would be nice if there was some way of measuring the broadcast power relative to what Tesla specs it to be. Doubt they have that sort of capability at their service locations though...

docdac | 14 marzo 2013

Mine is weak. It works better when the car faces the garage (up to about 80 ft away. But, when I back out of the driveway and am perpendicular to the garage door in the street, the Homelink is not strong enough to close the door (from about 50 feet away). I have to pull back into the driveway, close the door with Homelink, then back out again.
A second problem is that sometimes, I push Homelink and it starts to close the garage door, then stops after a second or two. I think it senses the signal as if it was two separate signals (one - start, the next - stop). I have heard others mention this on the forums. | 14 marzo 2013

While I'd give it's current operation a 8 of 10 (Very Good), it really could be made to work even better.

1) Have a wider GPS presentation range (maybe 2 -3 times the current range). I often hunt and press the tiny button to get the main button to appear as I get close to the garage, but further than the auto-presenation occurs.

2) I'd love to have a much larger open/close button (double size?) so it's much easier to tap without looking for it.

3) Get rid of the option to open the homelink settings. I often hit settings when trying to get to the open button (when driving over bumps near my garage). Other options would be to make the settings button only work with a long press or position it much further way from the open/close button.

4) Another plus would be to temporally show that it was actually pressed (color or text change?). For my opener, it has about a 2 second delay, just enough to question if the button was pressed or not, and pressing it a second time then changes the door direction after it starts to move.

JZ13 | 14 marzo 2013

Mine is noticeably weaker than my Mercedes. It's so weak that it often triggers the opener twice so it basically starts it opening and then stops it immediately. I then have to hit it again to return the door to it's closed position just so I can try to open it again.
I doubt a software upgrade can strengthen the transmitter so I might be frustrated for a while. (BTW, due to poor reception a few years ago I added an extra receiver antennae in my garage)

A few other upgrades I am waiting for:

1) When the homelink menu opens and my camera is in my top window the camera view goes blank. This is likely a glitch that can be fixed.

2) The geo-homelink menu should appear sooner so I can press the button while further away from my garage/gate

3) The geo-homelink menu should only show the door/gate I am nearest. Currently both my gate and my garage appear as options in the drop-down menu when I approach either. The one I am closer to is highlighted in green but it is still sometimes confusing to have to select one of them.

SD Supercharger | 14 marzo 2013

Solution for weak homelink---change the batteries in your remote garage door opener before you start programming. I had the same problem--the garage door would not open until I got within 2 car lengths. I changed the remote battery, reprogrammed the home link connection, and now it activates from much farther away. Let me know if it works

jat | 14 marzo 2013

@docdac - sounds like when you programmed it, it picked up two cycles instead of one from your existing remote. You should try reprogramming it.

Salman | 14 marzo 2013

@Frank2, for your point #4, there is a subtle indication that a Homelink button was pressed: a "transmission" icon appears to the right of the button name, and animates through a broadcast cycle (image the WiFi icon as it appears on most phones, tipped on its side).

It can be easy to miss, but once you know it's there you'll probably find it easier to spot.

jbunn | 14 marzo 2013


Homelink is two way communication between the car and the device to be controlled. Might not be the car at all. Try working the other end. Also, the devices poll each other. So depending on polling frequency, it might take longer to show a connection than the actual range. Try approaching slowly to determine range.

Alex K | 15 marzo 2013 | MARCH 14, 2013: Homelink is two way communication between the car and the device to be controlled.

Homelink is just the a programable remote that supports fixed and rolling codes. Once it is programmed it mimics the original remote control. Homelink, like the original remote, is a one way communications device. See where they talk about how fixed and rolling code transmitters work.