Monday, 26 March 2012

Garage Door or Gate Opener not Working and your car won’t start?

Radio frequency issues known as spurious emission coming from household gadgets may be the cause of these problems.

Recent personal experience by Les McLaren from Chamberlain Liftmaster may have revealed an explanation to many of the unexplainable interference related problems experienced with many brands of garage door and gate openers. He describes what happened below.

"We visited our house in Sweden recently and when we arrived I noticed that the outside temperature transmitter was out of batteries. It is of Chinese manufacture; CE marked and has been in use with the batteries changed periodically for around 5 years.

"On replacing the batteries I noticed the display had not regenerated properly, what I did not realise was that it must be transmitting a constant signal! 

First consequence:
"Our Ford Kuga which has a totally keyless system failed and the key would not open or close the doors, even when the override buttons where used. Also the whole electrical operation had seized up and the engine could not be started. Using the spare "key" which probably has a stronger battery and being right up close to the car door, I managed to get in and start the engine - which promptly told me that the key was outside of the car so I could not drive away! 

Second consequence:
"And the one that triggered my understanding of what had happened! - The Liftmaster LM60 garage door opener would not operate unless I was standing directly in front of the door!

"I took the batteries out of the temperature transmitter - everything worked again immediately! 

The bottom line:
 "If a customer suddenly gets short range this could be a helpful and beneficial indication of what the general problem is and they should start investigating such devices nearby!

"It just underlines what happens out there in reality - irrespective of what frequency used. Yes this one was 433 MHz because I know that this is the frequency which Ford uses.

"It could just as easily have happened on 868 MHz if the interfering signal and other items had been on 868 MHz or any other corresponding frequency.

"What it clearly demonstrates is that as we have always said - many Chinese [and other] radio devices “broadcast" a signal that vastly exceeds the power laid down in the radio emissions regulations".

Image coutesy of Angus Leonard at

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1 comment:

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