Skip to comments.Garage Door Openers Stop Working On Entire Missouri Block
Posted on 02/06/2012 9:56:29 AM PST by BenLurkin
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that no one knows what exactly is going on at Westhampton View Court. The garage door openers at all five homes on the court stopped working shortly after Christmas.
Its a weird, weird thing, Joe Sullivan told the Post-Dispatch. And the timing for it all to go haywire for everybody at the same time cant be coincidence, right?
Garage door companies say interference problems are common at individual homes they blame what is known as frequency pollution. But experts say having the issue extend to multiple homes is just plain weird.
(Excerpt) Read more at stlouis.cbslocal.com ...
I live about five miles from there. On Saturday I went out to run an errand, waiting as I usually do for the garage door to close fully before leaving, and when I returned both the double and single doors were open. Weird, as it has never happened before. Just glad we hadn’t left for the weekend.
Gary Edwards said neither of his remotes will work, but Ballman helped him rig his keypad.
Once they realized they were all having some degree of the same problem, the homeowners met. Over coffee at Starbucks they quizzed one another about Christmas gifts.
Did anyone get any new gadgets? A new security system? An electronic fence perhaps?
Ballman got a TV, but no one else got any new electronics, so they dug further.
Hoechstenbach drove around the neighborhood to look for new antennas for ham radio operators. She found none.
Ballman contacted Cuivre River Electric. A serviceman checked equipment but found no problem related to the electric supply. The timing of the problem was far in advance of a recent geo-magnetic solar storm that could have affected power grids. The National Weather Service had no reports of a lightning strike in the area.
The residents all filed complaints with the Federal Communications Commission, but it's unclear how long it will take the agency to complete an investigation. And on Wednesday, a technician with the manufacturer has agreed to help the residents run a test to try to identify the problem.
In the meantime, the neighbors are putting up with their garage door nuisances, and checking into a seemingly endless number of potential gremlins. The latest theories have included high-efficiency light bulbs and smart meters on utilities.
Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/stcharles/garage-door-openers-stop-working-on-st-charles-county-street/article_38abbb98-7d73-52e8-b192-f91f3ed9263c.html#ixzz1lcv0EhkS
Probably all the same manufacturer so share codes. Look to the teenager next door who’s into electronics.
Five homes on the same block built about the same time with the same garage door installer. Hmmmmm hijacked code by a disgruntled ex-employee of the installer? Look for five robberies in the near future.
I was about eleven when that came on. It was my all time favorite show. I see Rod Serlings daughter now has a memoir out.
There are alternative manual applications for garage doors in the event of a power outage. I cannot believe this has caused such a crisis.
Don’t these homeowners have hands & arms?
Have they checked for an infestation of dust bunnies?
Perhaps some geeky teens have sabotaged the block;)
Somebody on the block divided by zero...
US Navy at Work
Maybe someone at the 509th Bomb wing is testing their E.C.M.gear,Prepping for an attack on our friends in Iran.Just wondering.
It’s not the first time this has occurred though.The last time it was caused by Navy AE-6 Prowlers running their gear.
UK town search for source of mysterious radio interferences
Someone deliberately jamming 300-400Mhz as a prank. If it goes on the military will get involved as they use some of those frequencies.
You would think that someone would have found a ham with a portable receiver and dipole antenna to trace the amount or source of any interference! For example, wireless thermometers (which I was thinking of buying but they apparently fail frequently).
....as per this example below.
This is a weird one so bear with me.
I installed a remote starter in my car about 2 years ago. It will decide to ignore the key fob commands at random. It will last for a few days and then be fine again. Over time I began to realize that this was only occurring in my driveway.
Recently I installed a new garage door opener. The opener comes with this nifty light fixture that you plug into any outlet in the garage. It receives its on/off commands from the motor housing. It worked fine for a few days and then stopped working. Not putting 2+2 together I demanded a replacement fixture from the manufacturer. Then the light went on (in my head, pun intended). That light fixture stopped working the same day my remote starter stopped working.
I did some investigation and it turns out both operate at 433 Mhz. I also found that if I move the light so that its receiver antenna is close enough to almost touch the transmitter it will work. Get a few inches away and it doesn’t work. Ditto with the car remote. If I put the key fob right up against the antenna wire it will work. Otherwise no dice. I’ve confirmed that they are not interfering with each other.
So I have a few questions:
1) What sort of everyday (or non-everyday) device could be transmitting strong enough to cancel out my other 433 Mhz devices?
2) What’s a typical range of a 433 Mhz signal?
I did some experimentation and my car remote begins to function once I’m about 200 feet away from my house. Further experimentation seems to point to the interference coming from me or the people across the street from me. Being a gadget-type person I suspect I’m the cause of my own problems.
I recently made similar observations of significant RF signals in the near vicinity of 433.92 MHz, in the 70 cm ham band in my little town of Colville, WA. The signals that I am detecting appear to be data bursts and, interestingly, sound to me to be part of a wireless network system since I can hear ‘blurp - blurp’ and then immediately after a weaker ‘blurp - blurp’ as though another transmitter is responding to the first, and so forth.
My immediate thought was that it might be my own wireless security system in my home. The interesting finding, however, is that my system, from ADT, using an Ademco 5882 receiver is specified, according to all of the information that I can glean, such as from the FCC equipment ID database, to operate on 345 MHz, NOT 433 MHz!
I have checked the FCC IDs on all of the system components, key fobs, remotes, etc. and they all declare 345 MHz as the frequency. Nonetheless, I went out radio direction finding yesterday with my portable 70 cm receiver (Yaesu FT-817) and a yagi antenna.
To my surprise, I found the signals all over our little town! The signals are essentially continuous in that they blast out a ‘blurp’ of data and then you hear other ‘blurps’ coming from somewhere. It does this over and over and over, 24/7. I figured that it was my own system wherein each of the wireless sensor transmitters are reporting back to the control panel that they are alive and well and this accounted for the different signal strengths of the various ‘blurps’ that I am hearing.
The only problem is (1) why would I be hearing this on 433 MHz when the system presumably operates on 345 MHz and (2) why do I hear this same mess of signals all over town, not of the same signal strength, it can be spotty, and, for that matter, over a very large area ranging from south of our town to Northport, WA which is about 30 miles north of us?
Today, I was able to use a different portable receiver, a Yaesu VX-5, to listen to 345 MHz, the frequency that is specified for my wireless security system in my house. Indeed, the pulses from the sensors were distinctly heard, just like I presume that they were supposed to be heard. They are a very different tonal quality as heard in AM mode on the receiver from the constant garbage heard on 433 MHz that
I had erroneously presumed to be related to my wireless alarm system. The security system infrequently gets sensor reports from the various sensors distributed throughout the system indicating that they are operating ok. I didn’t spend the time to clock it but I would say it is not more frequent than maybe once each half hour or maybe less.
The signals that I am detecting on 433 MHz appear to be largely from a multitude of wireless thermometers distributed throughout my neighborhood, the whole town, in fact. It is really amazing. I have two wireless thermometers myself and by playing with them I could clearly identify them by their signal strength, of course, but they also have a different sound than many of the others I hear.
I had a buddy who also has one check it out on his radio and his emits the characteristic ‘blurp - blurp’ kind of sound. Mine, on the other hand, is just a single lower tone similar to that of letting the air all of a sudden out of a balloon. What is so amazing to me, since I had never discovered this before, is what a large group of these things can do in terms of creating radiofrequency interference.
On an individual basis, they seem to emit a signal about once per 30 seconds and it lasts for less than a second. One of my units provides both temperature and humidity remotely to the inside unit and it emits one blast for temp and then, about 15 seconds later, a second blast for humidity.
To me the very interesting observation is that I never realized that so many of these devices can apparently be detected in a neighborhood if you have a good UHF antenna up above the house. Secondly, since these things are each emitting their signals randomly, when there is a large aggregate number all doing their thing, you get, from time to time, superposition of the signals leading to a really loud and strong blast of RF.
The concern that I have, and what drove me to investigate this, is that it might be possible for one, or a collection, of these devices to produce enough energy (signal level) into our 2-meter repeater input bandpass to key the repeater with a resulting ugly sound coming out of the repeater.
We will investigate this further but I just wanted to let other know about how apparently prevalent these wireless thermometers seem to be. And, crazy as it sounds, we were able to detect these same ‘blurp - blurp’ sounds for about 30 miles out in the boondocks along the Columbia River up here in northeast Washington. So, I am guessing that even though we were totally “in the country”, these things can produce signals over a much greater distance than I would have imagined.
Any neighbors have similar problems?
frequency pollution...AKA, “JAMMING.”
frequency pollution...AKA, “JAMMING.”
I had an almost exact same experience in the last two days (location - Schaumburg, IL, USA) - the range of the garage remote suddenly reduced to 5 feet, as also the remotely activated wall outlet device (used to turn on lamps before entering the house). The manufacturer is Chamberlain Model HD900D. Although I had to wait a while on hold till tech support became available, they were patient, quite knowledgeable even listened to all the complex self diagnostic steps I had performed. Even though they felt at the time (2 days ago) that the cause was due to interference, they agreed to send me a spare receiver board.
Today I confirmed that the interference was indeed the cause - I took the ‘ Wall socket remote adapter ‘ and remote to a friend’s residence and the range was over 300’!
I spent the better part of the day trying to build a simple LC tank circuit for 315 MHz and use an oscilloscope to track down the source, but without an RF amp I got nowhere.
Interestingly enough, when I powered down the entire house (the garage door opener has a battery backup), the range increased to a tantalizing 15’ but no more.
Then all of a sudden everything started working normally, I could open my garage door from the end of the block.
I want to be ready for it the next time it happens, which I suspect it will - should I call the FCC ? Note that this is 315 MHz, not 433.
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