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Street of 'haunted' garage doors


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Posted

Something strange is happening on Westhampton View Court.

Shortly after Christmas, garage door openers on all five homes on the cul-de-sac stopped working. So far, no one has been able to figure out why.

"You'd see one of the neighbors pull up to the garage and get out of the car," said Gilbert Ballman. "Pretty soon we were asking each other, 'Are you having trouble with your garage door too?'"

Local garage door companies say they have seen plenty of interference problems with individual homes in the last several years. Certain models of televisions, clock radios, headsets or speaker systems often turn out to be the culprit.

"There is so much radio frequency pollution now," said Butch Martin, owner of Martin Door Co. "Everything is wireless, and the more wireless stuff we get, the bigger the problem is going to get."

But an issue that extends to multiple houses, like the one involving Westhampton View, is more unusual, industry experts say. Mark Karasek, chief technology officer for The Chamberlain Group, which manufactures Liftmaster openers, estimated that they handle an outage that big only about a dozen times a year nationwide.

Westhampton View residents started noticing problems getting in and out of their garages on Dec. 26 and 27, and the situation got progressively worse.

They went through the usual trouble-shooting steps of changing the batteries and rebooting their systems. All but one have Liftmasters. Some called the manufacturer. Nothing worked.

First, Kathy Hoechstenbach's double garage door wouldn't work, but the single one would. Then the single door would work only if they got really close to the door with the remote. Soon it wouldn't work at all.

Joe Sullivan's doors have the same problem.

"It's a weird, weird thing," Sullivan said. "And the timing for it all to go haywire for everybody at the same time can't be coincidence, right?"

Wireless garage door openers consist of a remote, which transmits on a designated radio frequency, and a receiver, which accepts the radio signal and then opens or closes the door.

Today automatic garage door openers are used in 35 million U.S. homes, according to industry experts.

Seventy percent of homeowners use the garage door as their "front door"

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Posted

Silly first world problems. :p

This is why I prefer manual roll-up garage doors. Not that difficult to hop out and roll it up. Though, it is a plus in stormy weather. :rolleyes:

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Posted

Simple fix , extend the wire from the garage door opener unit to the front of the car port , worked for me ..

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Posted

Homes are built over an underground alien base.

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Posted

Geek, they are just north of two airports.... SW and SE respectively... This is in St. Charles, MO I believe....

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Posted

Long ago in another house the people on our street were coming home to find their garage doors open. Other times they had them open but they'd mysteriously close.

Problem: stray RF from a nearby airport which, after a few dozen neighbors called the FCC, replaced our receivers and remotes with units on a different frequency and digital lock codes.

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