The Power Pet door gives you three power choices.
- AC Wall Power:
- AC with Battery Back-up:
- Battery Only:
The door comes standard with an AC wall adapter that powers the unit from any wall outlet. For maximum convenience, we provide two power receptacles, one on either side of the door. (Another unique feature) You can add an optional rechargeable battery to use along with the AC adapter so that the door will remain operational during a power outage. For operation without a wall connection at all, you can run the door on the battery alone by using our optional charger kit. Keep one battery in the charger and one in the door. When the door battery is low (after at least 1,000 operations), just swap.
The Power Pet door is inherently safe for use with all pets, even around infants and small children. The door panel is lifted by the motor but, returned gently and safely by gravity. And, only Power Pet has our unique Auto Safety Retract (ASR) system. If the panel senses an obstruction while closing it automatically reverses direction and reopens.
The Power Pet door uses a solid steel, dead-bolt lock. When closed, the dead-bolt automatically kicks in. The panel can only be raised by engaging the motor to release the lock.
The Power Pet door also gives you a complete range of installation choices for doors, walls and sliding glass patio doors.
Out of the box it can be installed in a door in an hour or two. High Tech Pet makes a pre-assembled wall tunnel that eliminates the need to frame the opening when installing in walls. So, wall installation doesn't take much longer. Finally, High Tech Pet makes a very high quality, reasonably priced line of patio pet door inserts using heavy duty construction and dual pane e-glass. These units allow installation in a sliding glass patio door in just a few minutes.
The Power Pet door is the best made electronic pet door you can buy.
No other electric dog door is engineered to provide the features, design, quality of construction, quality of materials, ease of installation and use, safety, security and reliability you will find on your genuine Power Pet door.
Built to last a lifetime!
Plexidor Electric Dog Door
The Plexidor electronic pet door is basically a copy of the Power Pet model PP-2 that we discontinued in 2005. It uses an aluminum extrusion for the main body with a Plexiglas front panel. This is a clever way to avoid high tooling costs but, it does not yield highly precision fits and finish and will have a negative effect on performance. However, the Plexidor really compares with our old PP-2 model, let alone the newer Power Pet PX series electronic pet doors for several reasons. Plexidor uses a similar drive mechanism to the one invented by High Tech Pet but, it uses a less expensive AC motor which is much larger than the DC gear-motor used on the Power Pet door. In addition to slower, louder operation, this causes the Plexidor to have a awkwardly large motor box hung at the top of the door that looks pretty unsightly. We noted several reviews complaining about the Plexidor's high noise level, stating that pets are sometimes afraid to use it and that it can be heard throughout the house when the doggie uses it at night. But,
Plexidor's biggest drawback is its price, a whopping $1200.00! We have no idea why it costs so much or why anyone would spend this kind of money when the Power Pet door, at 1/3 the price, performs so much better, looks so much better and gives you so many more features.
The Plexidor access panel is made of (appropriately) Plexiglas (acrylic). Not the best choice. Acrylic is not as strong or impact resistant as polycarbonate. Thermal properties are also not as good. We expect that the panel could have trouble sticking in very hot or very cold temperatures for that reason.
When we first saw the RFID sensing we thought it was a clever application of the existing technology. The RFID tag is waterproof, gives you foolproof identification of your dog and does not require a battery. The problem is that to read the sensor reliably you need a large antenna loop. Plexidor placed this loop on the door panel which looks pretty cheesy.
Reviews state that the door takes a long time to read the tag (about 5 seconds) and that the pet has to stand and wait within a few inches of the loop antenna for it to open.
There are no access settings. Just on and off. For power, the door uses an AC adapter or can be hardwired. However it is not UL approved for hardwiring. There is no battery power option. In regard to safety, the Plexidor seems to be completely safe around pets and kids. (One of the benefits of copying our basic drive.) The Plexidor is constructed from miter cut aluminum extrusions that are welded together at the corners. They use a Plexiglas front cover. Welded aluminum sounds strong but, it's actually less ridged than Power Pet's injected molded housing. This translates to lesser performance. The unit comes in only one size which is adequate for very large dogs. It is designed for door and wall installations which, other than the fact the frame itself is very tall, should be pretty easy. There are some photos of the Plexidor in a sliding glass patio door but, this looks to be a very expensive, custom affair. The company does not offer a pre-made patio pet door insert.
Overall, by the extremely high price of its product, the Plexidor electric dog door attempts to position itself as the premium choice. However, without appearing to be too harsh, we'd like to point out that it seems to have been priced by PT Barnum. By all accounts, the Plexidor appears to work fairly reliably and is constructed fairly well. But, it is not the best choice unless you have a very large dog (over 100 lbs.).
The bottom line is that if you purchase this electronic dog door you will probably be satisfied. But, you will have paid a lot more money for a door that does a lot less than a genuine Power Pet door.
Each Solo door is hand welded and assembled by Henry Solowieg himself. These doors are very basic in construction and assembly. While we are not criticizing the craftsmanship, more sophisticated tooling and modern automated assembly technology would yield higher precision with better fit and finish. Right off the top, however, the Solo door has a big, big problem.
Solo Pet Doors:
Any magnet, even the one sticking on your refrigerator door, will open the Solo dog door - not exactly what you would call secure.
Solo doors use a welded aluminum frame with a sheet metal front cover. Like the Plexidor, the drive is taken from the Power Pet design using a motor and lift cable with a gravity return. Unfortunately, like the Plexidor, the Solo uses a large AC motor and a rather crude controller. Henry chose to mount this large motor inside the casing. That is what makes over 4 inches deep, making it impractical for any installation but inside the wall studs. When mounted between the studs, the Solo door has a nice, flush mounted appearance. The problem is that
you have to cut a very large hole in your wall that covers the entire area of the door which is more than twice the area of the flap itself. That makes for a difficult installation.
And because there is no pre-made wall kit available you are required to build a custom frame to seal off the opening. The Solo door is not designed to be mounted on doors or in sliding glass patio doors. Solo does advertise door and sliding glass installations but, if you look any photos of such installations you see a huge box hanging off of a house door or a patio panel and that ends up looking crude and frankly, a little ridiculous. All this highlights the fact that Solo lacks the engineering skills and manufacturing equipment to produce a first-class electronic pet door. To its credit, Solo does use a polycarbonate (Lexan) panel. And we will say that
the Solo electronic dog door is basically well built. Just don't expect the level of performance and security that you get from a genuine Power Pet door.
Ironically, Henry's website, and the site of his biggest customer, Moorepet, tout the fact that
the Solo door uses a simple, inexpensive magnet as the collar key. This is not a plus. It's a BIG, BIG PROBLEM because ANY MAGNET WILL OPEN THE SOLO DOOR.
Yes, the collar keys are cheap and waterproof and require no batteries. Great. But, would you want the front door of your home to be accessible with a refrigerator magnet? This makes the Solo electric dog door the least secure of any electronic pet door. Additionally, household appliances like washers, dryers, vacuums and dishwashers, will open the Solo door. Sensing is not directional so there are a lot of false triggers when the dog is just passing by. Range with magnetic sensing is not easily repeatable. So, the door is apt to open at varying distances regardless of the internal settings. Like the Plexidor, there are no access choices, just on and off. Power is hard wired or plugged in directly to the wall socket. Unfortunately, while not required by law,
Solo Pet Doors are NOT UL Approved.
We believe these are generally safe doors but, they do not have the auto safety retract feature found on Power Pet doors so, there is the possibility of an occasional pinched tail.
Overall, we rated this door higher than the Petsafe models only because it is motorized and therefore, in a higher class of pet door. But, even assuming that all the claims of reliability and every other wonderful thing Henry clams on his website are true,
the Solo door should be your last choice in an electric dog door solely based on its lack of security. Once you install a Solo dog door, any thief with a ten cent magnet has a key to your home.
Petsafe Passport Door
Since the introduction of our Power Pet door and its dominance of the electronic pet door market, Petsafe has been under a lot of pressure from retailers, such as Petsmart, to manufacture an electric dog door with more sophisticated technology to compete with ours. This, apparently, is it. Now, as engineers we are always trying to find ways to take complex technology and make it simple. We are amazed, and a little amused, at how
Petsafe managed to take a rather simple idea and turn it into an outrageously complicated mess.
There are three swinging flaps (or a flap and two bezels depending on what you call a flap) and two sensing systems that seem to fight each other rather than work together. Although this door does not have a motor, it somehow turns out to be thicker than even the Solo door so, when mounted in a door or wall, it sticks way out from the mounting surface. Now, we would like to find something nice to say about our competitors so, we will note that the Passport electric dog door is a highly tooled, very professionally constructed product designed to be produced in very high volumes. Petsafe, obviously put millions into developing this product.
The Passport electric dog door really does try to do a lot. It uses a combination of RFID sensing for selective pet entry and infrared motion detection in order to implement a 4-way access system similar to the Power Pet door's. It has a programmable front panel box and a USB data I/O port and can be programmed with your PC. But, it still uses a swinging panel. Now the way we see it,
You can throw all the complex technology you want at a pet door but, if it uses a swinging flap, it's still a flap door.
If Petsafe is trying to compete with the Power Pet door, they've kind of missed the point.
Passport's fancy flap is actually a 3 flap system. The main panel and two bezels that swing with the panel. Each bezel has its own electromagnetic latch. (It's starting to look like a lot can go wrong here.) In addition to being mechanically complex, the triple flap system makes the unit stick out from the mounting surface several inches more than any of the other electronic dog doors. The size of dog that can use this door is limited since the larger size uses a 9 5/8" x 13 1/4" flap. The Passport operates with an AC wall adapter or custom rechargeable battery that is sold separately. However, access to the battery is difficult. The pet access panel is ABS plastic, a good, tough material. Another positive is that when closed, the flaps seal better than the Plexidor, Solo or Smart door but, not air-tight like the Power Pet.
Perhaps because High Tech Pet's ultrasonic sensing patent is still in force, Petsafe chose to borrow Plexidor's RFID sensing concept. But, here's the strange part. They also use motion detection such that the door must sense the RFID tag and detect the pet's motion in order to unlock. Our guess is that they did this in order to detect on which side of the door the dog is standing so that they can mimic Power Pet's 4 way access control. Now, we don't really mean to tease Petsafe's engineers (okay, we do) but, there is much simpler way to achieve this mechanically but, we are not going to say how.
The motion detector is problematic for two reasons, First, since the door is slow to respond, the dog tends to go up to the door and stop. Now that he's not moving, the motion detector can't tell he's there and therefore, won't allow the RFID sensor to open the lock. This is particularly true with smaller animals. Second, the motion sensor produces blind zones when the animal is close to the door. Since the detection range of RFID tags is short, actual activation range on the Passport door is more like a little activation spot where the dog has to be trained to stand. Not surprisingly, we've seen a number of reviews that claim the motion detector doesn’t work very well, especially with cats and smaller dogs. Some pet owners complain that they are required to wave a hand in front of the door to make it unlatch. That kind of defeats the purpose of a pet activated door. Another common complaint is that the latch activation is very loud and scares the pet away. As far as safety, you'd expect a Petsafe product to be pretty safe right? Actually, we'll give them one here. Although, Petsafe has had serious safety issues in the past, we don't see anything inherently unsafe about this pet door. The product is designed primarily for door-in-door installation. Petsafe claims there is a wall install kit coming in the future. There is no provision for installation in a sliding glass patio door.
Overall, there are just a lot more minuses to this product than pluses and, even given Petsafe's dominance in the in-store distribution realm, we will be a little surprised it this new electric pet door will be successful with pet owners in the marketplace. Frankly, given the resources available to a company that is pushing toward a billion dollars in sales, we really expected something better from Petsafe.
Petsafe Smart Door
Although not particularly successful in the marketplace, this is Petsafe's first electronic pet door to remain on the market for a sustained length of time.
The Smart Door is a non-motorized electronic pet door that unlocks when it senses the pet worn collar but, the pet still has to push it open.
This eliminates a lot of pets as potential users since, again, a lot of pets don't like pushing open the hard flap. The panel sits in a trapezoidal shaped groove and uses a mechanism to lift the panel out of the groove to all it to swing open. This, presumably, makes a better seal and more secure latch than a conventional hard flap door. However, there are many problems reported where the panel doesn't seat correctly when closing and prevents movement in one direction locking the pet inside or outside. This door will give a little better wind resistance than a flexible flap door but, is not air tight. Panel material is ABS plastic. The sensing system is conventional RF (Radio Frequency). The pet wears an active radio transmitting collar that requires a custom battery and is not waterproof. Radio waves are not directional so the door theoretically opens within a certain radius. In practice, the distance varies widely and is affected by environmental RF noise.
Access choices include the ability to turn the locking system off to allow it to work like a conventional pet door. You can lock the door to prevent the pet from going in or out and you can use is as an electronic locking door. You can't select "In Only" or "Out Only" modes since with RF there is no way to tell whether the pet is inside or outside.
The Smart door uses a non-rechargeable battery that needs replacing every so often.
As with the Passport door, we don’t see anything unsafe about this unit, nor have we heard about any safety issues. Security of this door, in our opinion, is a little better than an unlocked conventional flap door. But, a flap door with a lock-out slide is more secure at night than putting the Smart door in locked mode.
As with the Passport door, this is a highly tooled unit. So, Petsafe spent some money to produce it. However, the electronic and mechanical design and the resulting performance, in our opinion, leaves a lot to be desired.
POWER PET Rules!
Now, you may think we are just trying to slam the competition here, and we admit, we don't much mind doing that, especially since our competition seems to have made it so easy. However, we've made our analysis completely factual and those knowledgeable in this field will be hard pressed to find any factual error or omission. The fact is that, try as they may, no one has yet been able to match the engineering, performance, or quality of a genuine Power Pet door. Though we have to say we are flattered that they seem to be trying so hard. Power Pet continues to reign as the premium performance pet door at a price that offers the best value for your money.
High Tech Pet has been manufacturing electronic pet doors since 1993. We have continuously updated and improved our design and manufacture by intensely field testing our products, listening to, and learning from, many thousands of customer comments. All that we've learned, plus a multi-million dollar tooling and development program, has gone into the creation of our new, improved PX Series Power Pet Doors. Power Pet doors out sell all the others combined and are sold online everywhere by nearly every major retailer including Petsmart, Petco, Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, Sam's Club and many others. If you purchase a genuine Power Pet Fully Automatic, Electronic Pet Door you are guaranteed the highest level of technology, performance, features, quality and most of all, reliability. You will also get the most supportive customer service in the industry, both before and after the sale.
Please note that Petsafe, Radio Systems Corp, Smart Door, Passport Door, Plexidor, Solo, Invisible Fence and Lexan are all trademarks of the associated companies. We are not affiliated in any way with those companies or brands. We do not sell or represent any of the products represented by those trademarks, companies or brands. We are High Tech Pet Products, Inc. Makers Power Pet, the Amazing Pet Door on the Planet!