June 06, 2015 2 Comments

Controlling your garage door remotely is one of the many blessings of home automation. Finally, you don’t have to look back when driving off for the long weekend. Instead you can set a time everyday for the device to make sure your garage is closed. Or create an event based on geofencing which will open the garage whenever you’re about to pull into the driveway.

Telguard teamed up with FortrezZ to create a Z-Wave solution which brings all of the above and more. Functionality obviously depends on the kind of gateway you’re using. But the greatest thing about the Telguard GDC1 is that they decided to go with the simplest command class possible, namely the binary switch you’ll find in any Z-Wave light switch. It essentially means that you’ll be able to get the simple on/off (which translates into open/close) control and monitoring under virtually any Z-Wave controller.

If you’re thinking about automating your garage door you have probably considered the DIY option, including a garage tilt sensor and a contact module, such as the Evolve LFM-20 or FortrezZ MimoLite. It can be cheaper but keep in mind that this solution is not certified by the UL for safety so potential liability is far greater than when you get the UL 325 listed GDC1.

You might have also looked at the Linear GD00Z-4 device which looks fairly similar but carries a few significant differences. First of all, Linear uses a different command class (Barrier Operator CC) which is not supported as widely as the binary switch.

In terms of installation, the Linear uses a battery-powered tilt sensor, while the GDC1 operates with a fully wired door contact sensor. I hate to worry about replacement batteries (they’re never around when you need them) so Telguard wins this round for me.

In case you need a bit more insight to make a decision, I put together a list of what’s already good about the GDC1 Z-Wave garage opener and what could be improved:


  • It’s smart - it will automatically try to close the door if the first go is unsuccessful but at the same time it will suspend operation after 2 failed attempts to close it.
  • The Telguard device ignores any double commands to open or close the gate by reading the status from the sensor before acting.
  • The UL 325 certification lets me think it’s as safe as it gets for a wireless device.
  • All mounting gear is included in the box.
  • Hardware is really good quality which I already expected from a FortrezZ product anyway.
  • They have installation and Z-Wave inclusion videos for different systems!


  • The 5-second sound and visual siren can be too much if you’re sensitive to noise - it’s a UL requirement though so not much can be done here.
  • Even though it’s as universal as it can be, configuration issues still do happen when the device is included in certain Z-Wave software. It’s always best to update your Z-Wave gateway firmware before adding any new devices.
  • It’s an advanced and certified product alright but don’t forget the opener’s main purpose is convenience. It cannot guarantee physical security.
  • It would help if Telguard used the 500 chip to make signal encrypted. This would affect compatibility though as there are many controllers which do still do not fully support Z-Wave Plus devices.

Let me know if you have anything to add to the list!

Do you have any garage solution recommendations that I missed? Use the comments section below to share.

2 Responses

Jan (The Smartest House)
Jan (The Smartest House)

October 01, 2015

DB, I’m sorry you have experienced so much trouble trying to pair the Telguard with your panel. Sometimes, it’s a range issue and at time all it takes is to put the panel in exclusion mode first. Take a look at our blog entry on the easiest pairing fix ever:

Let us know how it went!


September 12, 2015

We recently repaired our garage door/lift and was excited to add automation (zwave) to the mix. It came down to the GDC1 and GD00Z. I chose the former and now having the worst pair issue. Utilizing the Qolsys powered by with updated firmware the product refuses to pair. Auto in addition to inclusion button yields same results. It it weird each time the inclusion buttn is selected gdc1 blinks rapidly then pairing process stops immediately. I have at this point (nearly 5 hrs trying) requested a replacement. Will post when more light can be shed on this.

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