More military testing to disrupt automatic garage doors

22604889_BG1By Elizabeth Rawlins

Radio system testing at Fort Gordon is affecting many homeowners specifically, their garage doors. Automatic garage doors operating in the 380 to 399.9 megahertz range may no longer operate properly, which could force some to pay out of pocket to get it fixed.

“When people purchase houses, we didn’t think anything like this would happen but here it is and we are faced with it,” said Milton Devereux. Milton and Emma Devereux first noticed their garage door was not working last week. “It wouldn’t go up, so I thought it was my battery,” said Emma Devereux.

Like many others, Emma Devereux soon realized the battery wasn’t the issue. It turns out land mobile radio system testing at Fort Gordon interferes with garage door openers that use frequencies ranging from 380 to 399 MHz.

“You can [only] open it with the button inside,” said Milton Devereux. But when the military is using the frequency, the Devereux’s are unable to use the portable remote and can only access their garage using the button on the wall.

According to a statement released by Fort Gordon: This frequency has been reserved for military use since World War II but commercial garage door owners use these frequencies on an unlicensed basis.

“Everyone in this neighborhood was affected by the radio testing and now Fort Gordon plans to resume that testing on Monday which raises an even bigger concern for the Devereux’s.

“Only thing we can say is here we go again,” said Milton Devereux.

He and his neighbors are worried about safety and even the possibility of changing their frequency which he said could cost around $150 per household. A price the Devereux’s don’t think they should have to pay.

For more information about Fort Gordon’s testing plans please see the following news release below:

FORT GORDON, GA – Fort Gordon will resume intermittent testing of its land mobile radio system Monday, June 17 through Friday, June 21, which may produce interference to garage door openers between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

The installation halted testing of the system on Tuesday to ensure the public was informed of the planned transmission timeline after receiving reports of interference with garage door openers in the area.

When testing is completed on June 21, no more are planned from June 22 to July 15. However, the system will permanently resume operation on July 15.

Only garage door openers operating in the 380 to 399.9 MHz range may be affected. People can check their garage door opener manual or the information panel on their garage door unit to determine if their unit operates within this frequency range.

During the intermittent testing period (June 17-21), and certainly after the system is permanently turned on (July 15), some electronic garage door openers may not operate normally at all times.

Owners should contact their garage door manufacturer or a local vendor for assistance with determining if a particular garage door opener is affected, or for fixing, modifying, retrofitting, or replacing an opener. In many instances, retrofit kits, widely available from many sources (to include on-line), will repair the problem, preventing owners from having to purchase and install an entire new unit.