DASMA Appeals to Military to Avoid GDO Frequencies

© 2004 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Winter 2004
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Page 36

DASMA Appeals to Military to Avoid GDO Frequencies

DASMA has appealed to the U.S. military and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to avoid radio frequencies commonly used by millions of garage door openers (GDOs). DASMA issued the appeal after meeting with FCC officials in Washington about GDO interference problems with the military’s new Land Mobile Radio (LMR) system.

Spurred by incidents of interference at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, a delegation from DASMA met with FCC officials in Washington on Sept. 21, 2004, at the offices of the FCC. More than a dozen DASMA representatives attended the meeting.

Potential Enormous Problem

After that meeting, concerned DASMA members conferred about the remaining problems and drafted a letter to the FCC on Oct. 22. The letter stressed the potential enormity of the problem.

“Because millions of existing vehicular access systems installations operate using the 390 MHz frequency,” the letter stated, “even a fraction of these installations being affected can result in a problem of tremendous magnitude.”

The letter also said, “The cost of reworking millions of garage door operators to operate at a different frequency could be staggering to both consumers and manufacturers.” The letter noted that many consumers have several transmitters that would need replacing.

Concerning the GDO radio frequencies, DASMA members asked the military to adjust the LMR system to avoid the commonly used frequency ranges “for an indefinite period of time.”

A Designated Frequency

Appealing then for a long-term solution, the letter also asked the FCC to “assign to the garage door operator industry a frequency, or series thereof, that would be protected from frequency interference due to the operation of high-powered, continuous devices.”

When this magazine went to press, DASMA was still awaiting information from the FCC on the rollout of the LMR system. DASMA has also expressed an interest in the preparation and release of a joint FCC/DASMA consumer alert on the subject.

Problems in Pennsylvania

In November, Congressman Todd R. Platts (R) of York, Pa., notified DASMA that a military LMR system near Harrisburg, Pa., was expected to resume operation in late November. The same system had caused interference with automatic garage door operation in late August.

Platts sought to minimize interference problems to homeowners in his district. DASMA Technical Director Joe Hetzel replied that DASMA is working directly with the FCC in an effort to make progress.

Editor’s Note: In November and December, some industry companies launched a major effort to fight this problem. Stay tuned to this magazine for further developments.