Skip to comments.Fort Detrick Radio System Jams Remote Garage Doors
Posted on 02/27/2005 6:06:22 PM PST by Denver Ditdat
FREDERICK, Md. - A new radio system at Fort Detrick will improve communication with the Pentagon. The downside: some people may have to open their garage doors the old-fashioned way.
The Land Mobile Radio system will allow Fort Detrick and 10 other Army installations in the Washington region to communicate with the Pentagon and civilian emergency personnel by hand-held radios.
In a suburban sacrifice to emergency preparedness, Frederick residents could experience a rash of dead door openers in coming days, as the Army's Fort Detrick begins using a new radio system linking local and federal government emergency personnel.
The new system uses a frequency that has been owned by the military for decades but used only by a couple of consumer devices, including garage door openers.
Testing of the system has generated a dozen calls to Fort Detrick from residents with problems, and when the system begins operating on 3,000 military properties across the country in coming months, hundreds more complaints may follow.
"I think the Army ought to buy us a new opener or pay for a converter," Marty Kreps told The Washington Post.
"If the government was fair, they'd give us a tax deduction," Michael Foster said.
Negative, the Army says.
"This frequency belongs to the military," said Michael J. Batt, telecommunications engineer and frequency manager at Fort Detrick, who is coordinating the radio system rollout. "I'd rather know Frederick County has a radio system it can rely on in an emergency and have to walk a few feet to open my garage."
In May, residents near Eglin Air Force Base in Florida had problems with their garage door openers while the base was testing its land mobile system. In November, Fort Detrick finished work on a 150-foot radio tower, which juts above a grove of satellite dishes about a mile from the entrance to North Crossing. In mid-January, Detrick began testing the radios.
That was about the same time Darlene Foster returned from the Safeway to find her garage door immobile. And the same week, Marty and George Kreps learned that to open their garage, Marty Kreps said, "you have to pull up to the door like you're going to run into it."
Surfing the Internet, George Kreps learned that this was a known problem with two possible solutions: "Either you get a $60 kit" to change the frequency "or you spend $150 on a whole new system."
Something to keep in mind when BPL (also Part 15) starts to roll out.
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Look, I told ya I'm sorry about the garage, honey.
Hey, I DID PUSH THE BUTTON.
There is no liability. Those folks are using freq's that belong to the feds...always have. Any lawsuit will get tossed.
Wait until it starts interfering with TV clickers.
How about when some housewife sets off a rocket barrage with her door opener. LOL.
Fort Detrick Radio System Jams Remote Garage Doors
This is very good news!
Not the IR ones.
I'm not referring to lawsuits against the government but rather against the maker of the gd opener (which is what the people are calling them right about now). I agree that the feds are entitled to use those frequencies. But I wouldn't be so quick to claim that the manufacturer has no liability. I'm thinking that if a widely used national brand is involved, there might be some dickering room on the price of the refit kit.
Oh man, the Army --and the government-- same thing I suppose, is so stoopid, I could spit. Shame on them for imposing their goldarned rules on us, using their own reserved radio frequencies, to have a worthy communications system!
Many more lives would have been saved on 9/11 if only radio communications were better... oh, but the Army and the dumb gubmint is stopping our garage door openers, blah blah blah
I'd better quit now.
Land Mobile Radio (LMR) has been around DOD for decades....it's of course just a frequency sharing issue. FCC is the culprit as even Uncle Sugar has to ask for frequency use. At least we did prior to and up to 1998 when I retired........
Quit callin me honey.......
It would seem if the manufacturer is using the Army's frequency it would be up to the manufacturer to pay for the change. Funny thi gis the Army talking from Fort Detrick to the Pentagon, Thats a long wasy , Down here where I live the local Fire Department cant get to headquarters 13 miles away and they just bought a new 5 million dollar radio upgrade.
On the back of the opener motor housing you will find a wire protruding from and dangling below the cover; get a helper and splice in a long piece of solid wire while the helper operates the remote from greater distances until the distance limit is established; now alternate trimming the lead by 1/4s and checking for increased distance until by repeated trial and error the maximum obtainable distance is achieved. Leave it there and hope for the best; one might also try mounting a ground plane reflector if all else fails.
I know about Part 15, our garage door opener operates on 390.000 Mc (verified with my police scanner) which is also one of the frequencies Air Force One uses according to frequency lists that I have. I'm kind of leery to use it when I think about it, I live in a flight path and when the President flies in, he always flies over my house.
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