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Friday, August 12, 2005

Electrical Mayhem

I seem to be having a strain of bad luck with these wonderful summer lightning storms that roll through every afternoon.

Not long after I returned from St. Louis last month, I came home from work to discover my internet connection wasn’t working. After a lot of troubleshooting, I finally concluded that the ethernet hardware in both my server and my primary wireless router were hosed. The server worked fine otherwise, and the switch functions of the router were also in good shape. Following the acquisition of a new PCI ethernet card and a new router, and I was back in business.

I’d have simply chalked that one up to a fluke, but I came home a few days ago to a garage that was half open and my remote wouldn’t work. The wall button inside the garage worked fine, but not the remotes. Also, in the interim prior to this morning when someone came to repair it, three different times I approached the garage to again find it either partially or fully open—one of those times after having been away from it for a few minutes!

While I can’t dismiss the possibility, I doubt anyone’s just trying to pull a prank by repeatedly opening it. But that oddity aside, even after trying two different circuit board replacements and a brand-new replacement remote as well as my original two remotes, the opener would still only work with the wall button.

The only other part that that the repair guy suspected might be fried was one of those “might as well replace the whole unit” parts due to the cost to replace just the part. I know that mentality sends up red flags for some people, but I didn’t doubt him because 1) he did try in earnest for nearly a half hour troubleshooting the unit before coming to the conclusion, and 2) he, in no way, pressured me to buy a new opener.

Regardless, I now have a brand-new Chamberlain LiftMaster Professional and an essentially dead Genie Intellicode Screw Drive. I was also informed that the LiftMaster I was sold uses the new range of remote signal frequencies to avoid interference from military communication systems. Turns out, the military has laid claim to the original frequencies for a very long time but have only recently started using them—and they can affect tens of millions of openers within a range of up to 50 miles.

Thinking perhaps the zapped circuitry may have been sporadically opening my door, the repair guy speculated that stray military signals could possibly be triggering openings. Hmm, maybe that explains why I occasionally see doors wide open throughout my condo property with no one around, when the association rules are pretty clear that they should remain shut when the owner isn’t actively using the garage area. It’s a conspiracy, I tell ya!! :-)

But seriously, please wave positive vibes my way that I won’t suffer costly, lightning-related snafus again any time soon. Between these, as well as having to replace my living room television and VCR a number of years ago which had also been zapped, I think I’ve had my fair share for now!

» Posted by ALBj at 02:24 PM (ET)
Category: Journal

Comments

Living in a military town, I can tell you that the military does indeed use those frequencies from time to time. The latest issue was that everyone’s car remotes stopped working for a couple days. The Navy denied it was them. I’ve heard a rumor that it was a rouge television transmitter.

» Posted by Queue
August 19, 2005 07:40 PM

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