Fluorescent lights interfere with Infra-Red devices even when switchedoff!?!?!?

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Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

Perce, I'm not sure I understand this phrase:
" operates its associated light fitting via an IR beam:"
I may be wandering down a byeway but are you saying that - when you open the door, a light should turn on automatically? - the 'switch' for this came with the door opening kit? - the switch is controlled by infra-red from the main unit? - That the light is a flourescent?
So the question might be whether the flourescent light is a suitable load for this electronic switch, and not whether it interferes with an IR beam?
Phil
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On 08/25/05 12:23 pm P.R.Brady tossed the following ingredients into the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:

When the door is operated, the light should come on, remain on for 5 min., then switch off again. The wall-mounted *wireless* control that came with the whole set also has a separate button that is supposed to operate the light, toggling it on and off -- but, again, the light is controlled via the IR link from the opener proper: Wireless switch sends RF signal to opener, which in turn sends IR signal to light fitting. So the light fitting needs only a convenient outlet -- no control wires. BTW, the IR sensor on the light fitting can be aimed fairly readily at the opener proper.
I have used only a regular incandescent bulb in the opener-associated light fitting: it will normally be on for only a few minutes at a time, so the expense of a CF bulb would take years to recover. The fluorescent lights in question are the CF ones in the original ceiling light sockets -- but whether they are on or off makes no difference.
Perce
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You could always unscrew the CF bulbs from the sockets and remove them from the garage. If you still have the same problem (I STRONGLY suspect you will) you will know for sure that their explanation was BS.
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Let me get this right:
You have CF lamps, unconnected with the garage door unit, that appear to cause problems with the garage door unit, and the problem will "initiate" EVEN IF the CFs are off?
I suppose it's very marginally possible that their assessment is correct, but it shouldn't be that sensitive.
A couple things you could try to rule in/rule out: try putting an optical barrier between the CFs and the GDO, or block off the IR sensor so that it only can "see" the directions where the actuators are. Check to make sure that the CF switching actually switches off the hot, not the neutral. Pull the CFs from their sockets and see if the problem persists.
If it were a classic tube fluorescent, the first thing I'd do is make sure the fixture case was solidly grounded and that it was only the hot being switched.
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Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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"Percival P. Cassidy" wrote:

Does the system operate correctly if you remove the CFLs completely?
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Paul Hovnanian mailto: snipped-for-privacy@Hovnanian.com
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On 09/09/05 03:11 pm Paul Hovnanian P.E. tossed the following ingredients into the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:

I didn't try that. I have now received and installed the free replacement light unit and motor-control board, and they work fine -- but the light unit is now controlled via an RF link instead of via the earlier version's IR link. So it's quite possible that W-D had enough problems with fluorescents in garages (surely a rather common situation) interfering with their IR-signalling system (when the fluoro. lights were ON) that they felt obligated to scrap the IR in favor of RF.
Perce
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"Percival P. Cassidy" wrote:


There is one more thing you can check, if you don't mind doing a little research just for the heck of it.
See if any of the lamp sockets into which the CFLs were installed have their hot and neutral leads reversed. The screw threads of a lamp should be neutral.
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There is certainly no way a fluorescent lamp which is switched off can interfere with any type of control.
However, operating fluorescent lamps can interfere with IR controls. It doesn't seem to be a widespread problem, but I've heard about situations where IR controls used for TV and other A/V systems don't work in rooms with fluorescent lighting. The reason is the frequency of the IR signal. If it is close to or a multiple of the frequency that the ballast sends to the lamp, then the lighting signal will swamp the IR receptor.
TKM
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On 09/09/05 05:26 pm TKM tossed the following ingredients into the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:

I have now received and installed the free replacement light unit and motor-control board, and they work fine -- but the light unit is now controlled via an RF link instead of via the earlier version's IR link. So it's quite possible that W-D had enough problems with fluorescents in garages (surely a rather common situation) interfering with their IR-signalling system (when the fluoro. lights were ON) that they felt obligated to scrap the IR in favor of RF.
Perce
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On 08/23/05 02:40 pm I wrote:

And I just noticed that the Revision Date on the manual is 10/06/04, whereas the DOM code on the unit is 0903. How on earth did W-D have this thing sitting around for a year before they boxed it up to ship out?
I've still heard nothing from W-D about my replacement parts, but I've emailed them and told them I hope to get a prompt response.
Perce
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On 08/26/05 08:52 pm I wrote:

The replacement light unit and motor control board arrived today, but I haven't had a chance to install the board yet. It looks as though they've changed from IR control to RF control for the light: a loop on the circuit board where the IR diode was on the old one.
Still no replacement wall control; the newer ones have a "vacation lock" function, which I think could be very useful.
Perce
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"Percival P. Cassidy" wrote:

Do you have a CFL installed in the garage door light fitting?
Its very possible that the (electronic) ballast presents a load that the lamp control circuit (probably a solid state control like a Triac) can't handle.

Its not very likely that the interference is with the IR link but with the lamp control.
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