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Radio Signals May Jam Garage Door Openers
Kansas City Star ^ | Mon, Dec. 06, 2004 | JOHN J. LUMPKIN

Posted on 12/06/2004 6:06:04 AM PST by mollynme

WASHINGTON - Coming soon to dozens of military bases around the country: radio signals strong enough to jam nearby garage-door openers.

Between now and 2008, the military is supplying a new radio system to roughly 125 bases that uses the same frequency as the one relied upon by more than 90 percent of the remotely operated openers, Pentagon and industry officials say.

The military radio signal is sometimes so strong that it overpowers the opener's signal, preventing the door from opening. Or it can also vastly reduce the opener's range, forcing the user to walk close to the garage before it will open.

snip

Linton Wells II, Pentagon acting chief information officer, predicted the effect will only be noticed within 10 miles of a base.

But Karasek said interference may be felt as far away as 50 miles. He estimated that at least 50 million garage-door openers in the United States use the same frequency as the new radios.

Beyond issues of convenience and cost, his group raises safety concerns about people who don't carry house keys being locked out of their homes.

The garage-door opener frequency at issue - 390 megahertz - has belonged to the military since around 1950. Openers have legally operated at that frequency since at least the early 1980s, Karasek said.

snip

The radios are coming online in at least two more places: Fort Hamilton in New York City and Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

The Defense and Commerce departments, the Federal Communications Commission and industry are starting discussions. Base commanders will be instructed to inform nearby communities the interference is coming.

Karasek said a solution may be for the military to program its radios to skip the garage-door opener frequency.

Entire article here.

(Excerpt) Read more at kansascity.com ...


TOPICS: Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: District of Columbia; US: New York
KEYWORDS: miltech
Any FReepers having trouble getting into their garages?
1 posted on 12/06/2004 6:06:05 AM PST by mollynme
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To: mollynme

this has been a problem for some time now here where I live next to Eglin AFB in Niceville, FL.


2 posted on 12/06/2004 6:08:16 AM PST by diverteach (signs of the times. whatcha gonna do... \o/)
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To: mollynme

The military will lose and will be forced to shut down these transmitters if the effect is as described. The law on frequency allocation pretty much says the military must yield if there is a conflict unless there is no other military option. Yeah, I read the part about these garage door openers operating in a military band and I still believe the miliary will lose this one.


3 posted on 12/06/2004 6:11:54 AM PST by DugwayDuke
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To: mollynme

Your government at work.


4 posted on 12/06/2004 6:14:08 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: diverteach

I live in Ft. Walton and my BEEBER won't stune anymore.....


5 posted on 12/06/2004 6:14:49 AM PST by Red Badger (If the Red States are JESUSLAND, then the Blue States are SATANLAND......)
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To: DugwayDuke

Yep -- and you can thank ANOTHER scumbag lawyer for trashing our military and destroying more of our power to defend this country.

What's next for these anti-American whores? Sue the military for killing the enemy? Oh! I forgot, they already are!


6 posted on 12/06/2004 6:15:41 AM PST by steplock (http://www.outoftimeradio.org)
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To: mollynme
Any FReepers having trouble getting into their garages?

Yes, I've not been able to get into my garage since the springs broke.
Can I blame the Army and send them a bill?

7 posted on 12/06/2004 6:16:55 AM PST by ASA Vet (What if there were no hypothetical questions?)
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To: mollynme

I remember a Joan Rivers routine from yrs. ago.
It was when IUDs were new.

She said every time she crossed her legs the garage door would open. LOL


8 posted on 12/06/2004 6:17:57 AM PST by Vinnie
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To: mollynme

Happened here in FL several months ago, for several days in a row.


9 posted on 12/06/2004 6:18:04 AM PST by NautiNurse
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To: Tealc

A malfunctioning GDO could ruin your whole day.


10 posted on 12/06/2004 6:19:39 AM PST by asgardshill ("We march by day and read Xenophon by night.")
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To: DugwayDuke
The law on frequency allocation pretty much says the military must yield if there is a conflict unless there is no other military option.

If this radio is required for national defense, then change the law, and change the frequency on garage door openners.

11 posted on 12/06/2004 6:19:58 AM PST by CIB-173RDABN
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To: mollynme
Let me see if I got this right....

Military gets interference on one of their tactical frequencies from garage door openers legally manufactured with a shared frequency status from the FCC.

Military retaliates by jamming frequency, rendering it useless for both tactical use and garage door use.

illogical

A look at any spectrum map covering DC to Daylight will reveal that the military does have a few gigahertz of other spectrum available.

Wait until they play the rookie contractor trick and nail a few hundred paint jobs by triggering the doors to come down at the wrong time.

A long time ago, contractors learned why you can't open a new subdivision of stepford homes with garage door openers all on the same frequency.

While effectively jamming all frequencies of garage door openers, it won't take much of a stray RF signal to activate random codes of the openers.
12 posted on 12/06/2004 6:22:49 AM PST by Dalite (If PRO is the opposite of CON, What is the opposite of PROgress? Go Figure....)
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To: mollynme

"his group raises safety concerns about people who don't carry house keys being locked out of their homes."

We need to convene a panel of the brightest intellects known to man in order to devise a plan to overcome such a mighty challenge.

</sarcasm>


13 posted on 12/06/2004 6:23:25 AM PST by ruiner
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To: mollynme

"All your garages are belong to us!"


14 posted on 12/06/2004 6:25:41 AM PST by bigbob (2)
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To: DugwayDuke

Why on earth should the military yield to frequency interlopers?


15 posted on 12/06/2004 6:25:51 AM PST by Bikers4Bush (Flood waters rising, heading for more conservative ground. Vote for true conservatives!)
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To: ruiner

I have visions of some poor schnook in his pajamas going out of his garage to pick up the morning paper only to have the door shut behind him.


16 posted on 12/06/2004 6:26:01 AM PST by mollynme (cogito, ergo freepum)
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To: DugwayDuke

"The military will lose and will be forced to shut down these transmitters if the effect is as described. The law on frequency allocation pretty much says the military must yield if there is a conflict unless there is no other military option. Yeah, I read the part about these garage door openers operating in a military band and I still believe the miliary will lose this one."

Actually, probably not. depends on who is the primary licensee, and the article implies it's the military. All other users are considered "secondary" and have no recourse when interference occurs.


17 posted on 12/06/2004 6:27:15 AM PST by RFEngineer
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To: DugwayDuke
The law on frequency allocation pretty much says the military must yield if there is a conflict unless there is no other military option

Which law is that? I think you may have that backwards. I believe the military has primary access to the frequency while the garage door openers operate under a section of the Communications Act that gives them secondary rights (i.e., they can use the frequency as long as they dont cause interference to the primary user).

That said, it is dumb after not using the frequency for such a long period to suddenly piss off such a large number of citizens. There are millions of other frequencies. I wonder what makes this one so necssary?

18 posted on 12/06/2004 6:27:45 AM PST by Dave S
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To: RFEngineer

As I said, I realize that it is a military band. But, politics and not law usually determines the winners in cases like this. It simply isn't good politics for the military to inconvienience a bunch of civilians. Bad for budgets. Unless there is a compelling reason which I doubt, the military will yield. Too bad, but the frequency management folks should have seen this coming and selected another band.


19 posted on 12/06/2004 6:30:06 AM PST by DugwayDuke
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To: mollynme

Golly! I hope we don't have to get out of our cars and open them by hand. Would that also cause the cables to break as mine did several weeks ago?


20 posted on 12/06/2004 6:30:34 AM PST by Piquaboy (22 year veteran of the Army, AIr Force, Pray for all our military in hostile territory.)
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To: Dave S

See my post #19.


21 posted on 12/06/2004 6:31:23 AM PST by DugwayDuke
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To: DugwayDuke

Quick, someone alert America's Funniest Home Videos.


22 posted on 12/06/2004 6:33:45 AM PST by massgopguy (massgopguy)
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To: mollynme
Oh well. Too bad. Because garage door openers are part of a group of devices whose operating frequencies are governed by Part 95 of the FCC regulations which states, "These frequencies are not afforded any protection from interference due to the operation of fixed and mobile stations in other services assigned to the same or adjacent frequencies..."

Time to upgrade I guess.

23 posted on 12/06/2004 6:34:03 AM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (All I ask from livin' is to have no chains on me. All I ask from dyin' is to go naturally.)
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To: mollynme

The ultimate development in weapons systems: the garage door jammer. This will certainly give us the edge in urban combat!


24 posted on 12/06/2004 6:41:42 AM PST by GingisK
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To: CardCarryingMember.VastRightWC

Saw this on the local news and was wondering if it might be coming to a base near us.


25 posted on 12/06/2004 6:50:37 AM PST by mollynme (cogito, ergo freepum)
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To: mollynme

On a different, but related note, I bought a wireless doorbell for my new house. Trouble is, every time a neighbor uses his garage door opener, my doorbell rings.

I replaced it with a real, wired doorbell.


26 posted on 12/06/2004 7:02:06 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: MineralMan

I hope you don't have dogs. LOL


27 posted on 12/06/2004 7:03:05 AM PST by mollynme (cogito, ergo freepum)
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To: Dalite
A look at any spectrum map covering DC to Daylight will reveal that the military does have a few gigahertz of other spectrum available.

Exactly. The military "controls" large chunks of the RF spectrum that isn't even being used.

28 posted on 12/06/2004 7:23:42 AM PST by Thermalseeker
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To: mollynme

When Reagan would visit his ranch in California, they'd park the Doomsday plane at March AFB. It would make garage doors open and close from time to time in the neighborhoods around the base.


29 posted on 12/06/2004 7:28:31 AM PST by Dr. Zzyzx
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To: Piquaboy
Would that also cause the cables to break as mine did several weeks ago?

Funny you should mention that. My garage door cable broke about a month after the door opener frequency problem. The cable broke 14 hours before one of the hurricanes as I was heading to the store to get ice. NOT a good day.

30 posted on 12/06/2004 7:30:37 AM PST by NautiNurse
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To: Red Badger

change the batteries


31 posted on 12/06/2004 7:48:54 AM PST by Calamari (Pass enough laws and everyone is guilty of something.)
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To: asgardshill; Cloud William; Frank_Discussion; Monkey Face; Rastus; raybbr; Rebelbase; Redcloak; ...


A malfunctioning GDO could ruin your whole day.



At least you won't get a go-ahead back... :)
32 posted on 12/07/2004 6:18:39 PM PST by Tealc (Mail me if you want on or off my Jaffa, Kree! ping list)
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