Both my Genie opener remotes only activate the operator when they are very
close (10' or less) to the unit. Both my cars with factory installed garage
door buttons also only activate the operator when the vehicle is inside the
garage. This all happened overnight. I imagine changing batteries in the
hand held remotes might be a possible solution for these units, but the fact
that both cars buttons are now distance sensitive tells me something else is
Any suggestions? Radio interference? Gremlins? Sunspots?
I already try slightly repositioning the antenna wire, to no avail.
Any/all suggestions welcomed.
It is odd that they both failed over night. Water leakage? Sudden
large temperature change? Bad ground leading to noise on the power?
Did somebody monkey with the code settings? Are the transmitters tuned
to the receiver frequencies?
The remotes in the car may have its own battery. Most batteries loose
energy when cold. I'll bet it just got cold around you area. Try new
batteries first. Next check the antennas, make sure they are connected and
not bundled up. It is possible that cold temps can cause a bad solder joint
to open up and if that was the antenna, then that could cause what you are
observing. However it is not likely two units would have the same problem.
Yes, the weather did get cold last night & today, but I never had the
problem last winter.
No water leakage, no recent rain. Don't know about the bad ground
possibilty. No settings have been tinkered with. All transmitters work when
in close proximity, so the codes must be right.
I guess I can open the unit up & check the connection of the antenna, but I
wouldn't know how to recognize a bad solder joint.
Verizon is in the neighborhood, beginning digging about 300 feet away for
new optical phone line installation along the street at the top of my
driveway. Workers have been in the area marking utility locations the last
couple days, maybe they used some kind of radio wave sensors to locate the
Some have reported extending the effective transmitter range by
holding it under the chin and this has seemed to work for me. They
also reported neighbors asking less frequently to borrow tools.
On Wed, 15 Dec 2004 22:07:20 GMT, "David Modine"
That is one possibility or could be a TV satellite dish, ham radio,
police scanner, TV cable not grounded properly, cell phone tower, or
another garage door opener (would need to be fairly close like in same
garage or multi-family type buildings). The other possibility is that
something in the receiver is defective & no longer sending a very
How old is the unit? If parts are still under warranty you may want to
change the receiver first. Or to rule out any interference from inside
your home turn off all breakers except for the one that powers the
garage door opener to see if the problem goes away.
Outside interference is constantly becoming a problem & sometimes it
will also simply disappear in a couple of days & sometimes it becomes
permanent. There have been many installations where we have had to
install an external receiver on a different frequency to get proper
distance. However those may not be compatible w/ your built-in car
We have some whole sub-divisions in our area where the range has been
severely limited for years. The more radio waves that are in the air
the greater the chance of interference becomes.
This is certainly true. Once in awhile, one or both of my garage doors
will start going up and down all by itself. I cure it by unplugging the
power to the motor unit for a few minutes. But it's not clear whether
that reset the receiver or the an interference source just left the
First possibility about all OPs problem that comes to mind is that the
common unit; the receiver that operates the door opener has developed a
fault. This could be due to a multitude of reasons, a power hit, lightning,
age of some component such as a capacitor etc. etc.
But reading this and other news groups over the last few years it is
becomingly increasing clear that there is more and more RFI, Radio
Interference; such as the post above by William Plummer.
Consumer electronic products, including garage door openers, are built to a
price. I guess they use something better for critical locations such as the
doors of an Ambulance/Rescue unit? With not very selective consumer
electronics, some of the interference is due to 'legitimate'
licensed/approved products/services, for example cell phones, those FRS
(Family Radio Service) and of course CB (Citizens Band); but these causes
are usually transient short lived or easily recognizable from were and when
they happen. There was a story, years ago about a delivery driver trying to
locate an address who called his office on his van CB. As he did several
garage door openers on that street operated! In one garage a scantily clad
housewife was putting clothes in the washer at the time .... oops! Today's
garage openers have become more sophisticated and digitally 'coded' as
result of this kind of interference and their previous tendency to interfere
with each other!
However the presence of persistent/continuous radio signals can desensitize
a simple radio receiver, such as that used in a garage door opener! By
desensitize is meant a signal so strong that even though it's not on your
frequency it overpowers the signal you want to receive from your hand
held/pocket garage door transmitters! It's rather the same as telling a 40
pound child to push down their end of a see-saw (teeter-totter) with a 250
lb adult sitting permanently on the other end!
So, in the absence of a fault it might be a good idea to find if any of the
following has occurred;
1) A new FM radio station in your area. (New AM stations unlikely?)
2) Has the power company started to send data signals over its power lines?
These can be deadly at many frequencies.
3) A new cell-phone tower in your neighbourhood.
4) A new electrical item installed in your or neighbours house, of the sort
that might be on permanently or for long periods.
There are more radio buzzes and whistles around my house wiring that I can
track down; some come from our three computers I know. I don't use dimmer
switches because they cause radio interference (especially the cheap one
that I would tend to buy!) I had a fluorescent light one time that was
transmitting a radio signal (and even once, for brief period, a light bulb
with a slight break in the filament!) but lights are not usually on for long
periods. Even the UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) for this computer is
5) Maybe one of those outside security lights which electronically sense
something approaching, or darkness!
The possible interference sources are many.
Which leads to a final point.
IMHO the FCC and equivalent agencies in other countries are not controlling
the technical requirements of the increasing amount of sometimes cheap
electrical products that are available to us as innocent consumers!
And some ARE hazardous. How often do you see the sign "Warning to Heart
Pacer users. Microwave in use in this area"?
And gee: I must test that el-cheapo screw in fluorescent bulb in my desk
lamp; which I tend to leave on! It may use less electricity but
................ if that's what has been interfering recently with my PBS TV
Just because something electrical has the ULL (Insurance Underwriters
Laboratory) label it merely means that it is supposedly safe for customer
electrical use; not that it doesn't have other undesirable characteristics.
Anyway thanks for the rant; but it may just be that the posted information
is symptomatic of an approaching level of electronic pollution that could
cause a sort of communication traffic gridlock?
GENIE used to be very helpful on the phone. They would send
replacement parts promptly, sometimes for free. However, I recently
had to replace the remote transmitter because it had stopped working.
All I got was the address of a local representative about 20 miles away.
It turned out to be an elderly woman who had a supply of parts in her
basement. I was able to purchase the replacement but it doesn't work
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