Radio-controlled garage door openers at five homes on the same St. Louis area street are not working, causing frustrated residents --- after checking a number of possible frequency conflicts --- to call on the Federal Communications Commission to investigate the phenomenon, notes Grumpy Editor.
But seeking an FCC investigation may take some time. The government agency these days is more concerned with broadband spectrums that keep smart phones operating.
Such an unusual matter in earlier days would see the FCC on scene on the day a complaint comes in.
The problem, surfacing in late December, obviously stems from interference from a stronger source on or close to the same frequency that the garage doors operate.
With the case of the “clash of radio frequencies,” the affected automatic door openers utilize low power at 315 megahertz. Now that is close to some Defense Department transmissions that use the 380 to 399.9 MHz spectrum, usually with high power.
Adding to the mix are a number of wireless gadgets.
Growing in use are so-called “smart meters” being installed by utilities around the country. But the data they transmit wirelessly flow through the higher 450 to 470 MHz and 902 to 928 MHz frequencies.
Thus, solving the mysterious “radio frequency collision” affecting homes in the St. Louis area provides an excellent opportunity for a publication or a broadcasting company to dispatch electronic experts to the scene to perform a public service and reap national publicity.
And to cue in the FCC.