Cell Tower causing Garage Doors to Malfunction!?

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BlueDevil

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About 3-4 days ago a new cellphone tower has been placed close to our neighborhood. I would estimate it at less than 1/2 mile. At about that same time there have been 10+ residence in the new housing development that I like in who said they are experiencing difficulties opening or closing the garage door via remote.

Any thought?
 

mmckenna

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It's possible that the RF from the cell site is overloading the receivers in the garage door openers, but 1/2 a mile away is a bit of a stretch.
Are you sure this is a "verifiable" issue, or is it the typical knee jerk reaction that some people have to cell sites being anywhere near their homes? Reason I ask is that we've had issues at work with people complaining about cell site interference when the cell sites were not even turned up yet.
 

ecps92

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380-400 Mil is usually the suspect, as the Remotes are a secondary user of the Mil Spectrum

About 3-4 days ago a new cellphone tower has been placed close to our neighborhood. I would estimate it at less than 1/2 mile. At about that same time there have been 10+ residence in the new housing development that I like in who said they are experiencing difficulties opening or closing the garage door via remote.

Any thought?
 

mikewazowski

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Considering the large frequency gap between a typical garage door remote and a cell site, I would say it's very unlikely.

Since this is a new housing development, I would say people are fishing.
 

bchappuie

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Check the light bulbs put in the garage door opener. I put some LED bulbs in there, and got enough interference to somewhat quiet the receiver in the opener. My remote would only work when the lights were off, or I had to be right outside the door.
 
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There are several instances of new Trunked P25 systems operating in the 400MHz government band causing interference to garage door openers over wide geographic areas, do you live close to a military installation, this could be your problem.
 

iMONITOR

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I have two 60w (equivalent), and two 40w floods, all LED, in my office/computer/radio room. I haven't noticed any interference on the radios. I have LED lights throughout my entire home, including two mounted on the garage door operator. Everything works fine!

I'm using CREE brand LED bulbs, from Home Depot.
 

KevinC

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About 3-4 days ago a new cellphone tower has been placed close to our neighborhood. I would estimate it at less than 1/2 mile. At about that same time there have been 10+ residence in the new housing development that I like in who said they are experiencing difficulties opening or closing the garage door via remote.

Any thought?
Just having been erected 3-4 days ago I HIGHLY doubt anything is active on it yet.
 

BlueDevil

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Thanks for everyone's input. This was a sudden onset change that occurred last week to multiple residence in my development. We do not live next to a military installation of any type. We contacted the cell phone company and they advised that there equipment is not active at this point. The residence effected is over about 1/2-1 mile radius, at least that it know of. At this point I have not gone door knocking. Yesterday we started to experience issue with our keyless entry to our vehicles. We have multiple calls into all the various communications/utilities companies in our area. Something radically changed to cause this big of an issue all of a sudden.
 

ecps92

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Where in Washington State, as with RF you do not have to be next-door to what folks might consider a Military Installation to get the RF interference.

High RF from TV stations has also been a known interferer to key-fobs.

Thanks for everyone's input. This was a sudden onset change that occurred last week to multiple residence in my development. We do not live next to a military installation of any type. We contacted the cell phone company and they advised that there equipment is not active at this point. The residence effected is over about 1/2-1 mile radius, at least that it know of. At this point I have not gone door knocking. Yesterday we started to experience issue with our keyless entry to our vehicles. We have multiple calls into all the various communications/utilities companies in our area. Something radically changed to cause this big of an issue all of a sudden.
 

jonwienke

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Try using a scanner in Close Call mode to see what strong signals you can find in your area.
 

bryan_herbert

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The U.S. military is in the middle of moving their trunked radio systems from 406-420 MHz to 380-400 MHz. This includes ship based trunked radio systems such as those found on aircraft carriers and destroyers. You may want to search 380-400 MHz for these new trunked radio systems. I also recommend Googling to see if any ships have dropped anchor in/around Washington.
 

N8IAA

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The U.S. military is in the middle of moving their trunked radio systems from 406-420 MHz to 380-400 MHz. This includes ship based trunked radio systems such as those found on aircraft carriers and destroyers. You may want to search 380-400 MHz for these new trunked radio systems. I also recommend Googling to see if any ships have dropped anchor in/around Washington.
He's a bit to far inland for ship to shore.
But, the U.S. Dept. of Energy Hanford Reservation is not that far away. They show a 400MHz EDACS system. Most likely they are changing to a 380-400MHz P-25 system. That's what they did here in GA.
Larry
 

prcguy

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I changed out all the bulbs in my house to CREE from Home Depot. They wipe out VHF pretty bad where you can stand under one with a moderate level 2m signal is fine with them off and on the 2m signal disappears in the noise when they are on.

Have not noticed any problem on UHF or HF yet but if the OP has one of these LED light bulbs in his garage opener it could certainly affect reception in the typical 300-400MHz range of most garage door openers, since the receive antenna is right next to the light socket.
prcguy

I have two 60w (equivalent), and two 40w floods, all LED, in my office/computer/radio room. I haven't noticed any interference on the radios. I have LED lights throughout my entire home, including two mounted on the garage door operator. Everything works fine!

I'm using CREE brand LED bulbs, from Home Depot.
 

MTS2000des

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Without a spectrum analyzer at the scene of the alleged interference, it's a guessing came. Could be anything/anyone.

and, if the source of the interference is a cell site, broadcast, or any licensed radio spectrum user who is operating within their emission mask, you and your neighbors are SOL.

Garage door openers, cordless phones, WiFi, Bluetooth, etc are all authorized under 47 CFR Part 15.5 The two main rules are:

§ 15.5
General conditions of operation.
(a) Persons operating intentional or unintentional radiators shall not be deemed to have any vested or recognizable right to continued use of any given frequency by virtue of prior registration or certification of equipment, or, for power line carrier systems, on the basis of prior notification of use pursuant to § 90.35(g) of this chapter.
(b) Operation of an intentional, unintentional, or incidental radiator is subject to the conditions that no harmful interference is caused and that interference must be accepted that may be caused by the operation of an authorized radio station, by another intentional or unintentional radiator, by industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) equipment, or by an incidental radiator.
(c) The operator of a radio frequency device shall be required to cease operating the device upon notification by a Commission representative that the device is causing harmful interference. Operation shall not resume until the condition causing the harmful interference has been corrected.
(d) Intentional radiators that produce Class B emissions (damped wave) are prohibited.

So, in other words, your garage door opener must accept interference which may render it inoperable. And it must not cause any harmful interference to any licensed radio spectrum user.

In plain English, part 15 is "where is, as-is" basis of radio spectrum use and the lowest on the totem pole.
 

ecps92

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Hard to tell his Location as the Profile says "WA" = Big State.

As for DOE moving to 380-400, unlikely. 380-400 is DoD
400-420 is the rest of the Federal Government.



He's a bit to far inland for ship to shore.
But, the U.S. Dept. of Energy Hanford Reservation is not that far away. They show a 400MHz EDACS system. Most likely they are changing to a 380-400MHz P-25 system. That's what they did here in GA.
Larry
 

WA0CBW

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An electrician friend of mine called me out to a small restaurant he was wiring in a little strip mall. The restaurant owner was complaining that his customers couldn't open their car doors with their key fob when parked in front of his restaurant. A spectrum analyzer revealed a lot of interference around the frequencies used in the key fob's. The electrician had replaced the main lightning with LED bulbs. The problem was that the dimmer was not rated for LED bulbs. Replaced the dimmer and the interference went away. Check to see if someone in the neighborhood has replaced their regular bulbs with LED's but did not replace the dimmer.
BB
 

tech020

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@ecps DOE=Department of Energy, supplier of nukes to the Military and obviously eligible for fed frequencies.
 
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