Skylink EQ-1522BK Belt Drive Garage Door Opener Review
I’ve never heard of Skylink, but a quick look at their corporate site confirms that this is a Chinese manufacturer. Although, to be fair, it’s hard to find a company that still makes anything on U.S. soil these days, whether the company itself is U.S.-owned or not.
I stumbled across the EQ-1522BK while looking for good deals at the budget-end of the opener market, and this one sits comfortably between the $100 and $200 price points. At that price though, there have to be some major sacrifices. The key question is: Did Skylink drop anything really important? Let’s see if it’s better to just buy something else or buy something more expensive.
The 90s Called…
The EQ-1522 actually gave me a pang of nostalgia. It’s design could almost be called retro. There’s no polycarbonate or other modern material here, as far as I can see. Just a plain metal case – at least it looks like metal based on my careful examination of the photo. It takes me back to being a kid in the late 80s and early 90s. This thing is as 90s as Kris Kross and the MTV channel that played music.
The intention, I assume, is to cut costs, and at this price I can’t really blame them for skimping on the casing. Hopefully the money saved here went into the functional parts of the product.
This is a 1/2 HP equivalent DC motor, so if you have a door that’s close to or over 300 pounds you should look elsewhere as a matter of course. Otherwise this should be sufficient for most residential single doors, and maybe some double doors if they’re made from a lighter material like aluminum.
Since this is a DC motor and also a belt-drive design I expect it’s very quiet, and user reviews support that idea. It’s a nice bonus, since at this price-point we see the noisier chain-drive models almost exclusively. The motor also has a soft start and stop feature, which should further help cut noise and improve longevity.
The EQ-1522BK has a full set of accessories included in the box. This includes a wallpad, a keyless entry pad, an IR safety sensor, and two 2-button mini-keychain remotes. The wallpad lets you open and close the door and operate the light. There doesn’t seem to be motion detection, but it does have a vacation lock that disables all wireless functionality.
It’s also nice to see a keyless entry pad included at this price point; even more expensive units usually have this as an optional extra. This one can operate up to four Skylink doors which, given how cheap they are, is a real possibility.
Is Safe to Come Out?
Standard safety features are present and correct on the Skylink. There’s an IR sensor to stop and reverse the door if something’s in the way, and a force sensor that does the same if the door is physically obstructed.
The remotes also have a rolling-code feature to prevent remote code radio-piracy, and there’s also the aforementioned vacation lock feature.
There are no smart internet security features on this product, although at this price I really wasn’t expecting any.
More Tortoise than Hare
One of the biggest issues I can see with the EQ-1522B is that it’s slow, as some users report. Otherwise, it’s quiet and smooth, as can be expected from a DC-powered belt-drive opener.
Unfortunately, there have been some serious issues brought up by some buyers. Unlike U.S. brands like Chamberlain, it seems the instructions included in the Skymaster box is of poor quality and, in the case of the EQ-1522BK, not even correct for the model. It seems that the package includes instructions for the chain-drive model, which needs different steps to install correctly.
There have also been complaints of poor radio reception, with some people saying that the range can be as little as four feet. Even more worrying is that fact that one user found that the rail pieces had to be filed in order to fit.
Overall though, most owners seem happy with their purchase, but I do have concerns about poor durability thanks to uneven build quality.
The EQ-1522 actually presents a pretty difficult choice. On paper it has the features of more expensive brand-name openers. It’s not too unattractive, albeit a bit retro. The price is certainly the nicest things about it. However, it seems it’s rather a gamble. You may get a good unit or a bad one. This is always true, but I get the feeling you’re taking a bigger chance than usual with this product. Many U.S. companies also provide excellent after-sales services. Skylink has both a U.S. and Canadian office, so that shouldn’t be too much of a problem, but I remain skeptical.
Yet the warranty on the motor is six years (one year for everything else), so maybe you’ll feel it’s worth it. For my money, however, I’d either save an extra fifty bucks or open my garage door the old-fashioned way. The main use I could see for this is if you had a secondary garage that doesn’t need opening on a daily basis; in that case it may not make much sense to spend a ton of money.