Monday, June 05, 2006

New radio system jams some local door openers

Fort Detrick Standard 3 Feb 2005

New radio system jams some local door openers
by Staff Reports

A newly installed land mobile radio system at Fort Detrick is causing some frustration with local neighbors who are experiencing problems with their garage door openers, said Chris Devine, chief of the U.S. Army Garrison Public Affairs Office.

"Since the new Land Mobile Radio System works on the same frequency as the garage door openers, we have been getting some calls in the Public Affairs Office from neighbors along the Opposumtown Pike area to help solve the problem," he said.

The new system links Fort Detrick with 10 other Army installations in the National Capitol Region through a wide-area network communications system using voice quality handheld radios.

Fort Detrick's system complies with a 1992 Congressional Law and 2001 Department of Defense policy that requires DoD land mobile radio systems to operate more efficiently. Fort Detrick's system is part of the military's transition to the 380-399.9 Megahertz band, a military-owned frequency since the mid-1930s.

"This is often the same frequency range used on some unlicensed "Part-15" consumer devices such as the garage door openers," said Devine.

Emergency services and telecommunications personnel start training on the new system in March. After this start-up step, the channels and frequency will be used for only short time periods which may cause intermittent problems to remote garage door openers, said Devine.

"Interference problems with Part 15-devices won't necessarily go away, but they are less likely to occur once military installations move from the testing phase to the operational phase," he explained.

Devine recommends that people experiencing problems with their door openers get in touch with the manufacturers or commercial vendors to discuss alternatives or seek compensation.