Feds admit radios interfere with garage door openers

donderdag, 14 november 2019 - Categorie: Berichten Internationaal

Bron: www.fauquiernow.com/fauquier_news/article/fauquier-feds-admit-radios-interfere-with-garage-door-openers-11-5-2019
5 nov. 2019

A top-secret and secure federal government facility just northwest of Warrenton admitted Tuesday that it may be responsible for crippling dozens of garage door openers in two nearby subdivisions.

More than 70 Olde Gold Cup and Silver Cup Estates homeowners have reported that openers started to fail about two weeks ago, according to Betty Compton, Olde Gold Cup’s Neighborhood Watch group coordinator.

The disturbance has affected more than 60 of Olde Gold Cup’s 214 homeowners. About nine of Silver Cup Estates’ 55 homeowners complained of malfunctioning door openers.

Some pointed fingers at Warrenton Training Center Station B along Bear Wallow Road, suggesting its activities somehow have interfered with the use of their garage doors.

Some users of garage door openers have experienced varying levels of inoperability that has been attributed to interference caused by the (Warrenton Training Center’s) new radios.
— Warrenton Training Center

Rarely commenting on its activities, the training center addressed their concerns in a three-paragraph statement.

“To address homeland defense needs and comply with government direction that agencies use the electromagnetic spectrum more efficiently, the Department of Defense (DoD) is deploying new land mobile radios to installation across the country,” the statement reads.

The radios “operate in the same frequency range . . . as many unlicensed, low-powered garage door openers, which have operated in this range for years,” the training center said.

Authorized to use that frequency range for “several decades,” the defense department’s deployment of land mobile radios “is relatively new,” according to the training center.

As a result, “some users of garage door openers have experienced varying levels of inoperability that has been attributed to interference caused by the new radios.”

Garage door openers “operate as unlicensed devises, they must accept any interference from authorized spectrum users.”

The training center recently conducted a two-week test of its new radio system that apparently has coincided with the garage openers problems experienced by Olde Gold Cup and Silver Cup Estates homeowners.

To appease affected homeowners, the training center as of Tuesday, Nov. 5, will suspend use of its radio system for 30 days.

That will give homeowners a chance to “update their equipment to operate within the RF (radio frequency) spectrum guidelines,” the training center said. “After the 30-day window, DoD will re-able the new radio system permanently.”

A training center public affairs representative, who provided only his first name, contacted Fauquier Now about the prepared statement.

In a phone call Tuesday afternoon, Brandon asked to FAX the statement to Fauquier Now.

Unable to accept FAX’s, Fauquier Now asked him to email the document. After Brandon rejected the offer, a Fauquier Now reporter agreed to meet him at the facility’s visitors center off Bear Wallow Road to receive the document.

During the brief meeting at the training center, Brandon and the facility’s “commander,” who identified himself as Mitch, refused to comment on the statement — after which they left the visitor center in a large, black SUV.

In interviews last week, two Olde Gold Cup residents plagued by failing openers said they believe someone should compensate them for losses related to replacing their devices and/or systems.

The training center statement made no reference offsetting neighbors’ costs.

The Olde Gold Cup homeowners’ association will meet at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Warrenton Police Department at 333 Carriage House Lane. A police department member will attend. The training center will not send at representative, Mitch said.

The Department of Defense in 2005 first acknowledged radio interference with garage door openers elsewhere.

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