“A recent article in The New York Times reported that many garage door openers and keyless vehicle entry fobs in an Ohio town near Cleveland mysteriously stopped working. While the article invoked The X-Files and hinted initially that a NASA research center somehow could be involved, the cause was not so much mystifying as arcane.
“Garage door repair people, local ham radio enthusiasts, and other volunteer investigators descended on the neighborhood with various meters,” the May 4 article by Heather Murphy recounted. “Everyone agreed that something powerful was interfering with the radio frequency that many fobs rely on, but no one could identify the source.”
More than a dozen residents reported intermittent issues getting their key fobs and garage door openers to operate, and most lived within a few blocks of each other. At one point, the local power utility started shutting off power to areas where the strongest RF signal was detected, but the signal persisted. Dan Dalessandro, WB8ZQH, a TV repairer, was among several hams who investigated. He initially picked up “little blips” on a signal detector, but finally, on one block and at a particular house, the signal was quite loud.
“The source of the problem was a homebrew, battery-operated device designed by a local resident to alert him if someone was upstairs when he was working in his basement,” the Times reported. “It did so by turning off a light.” The individual, who, the article said, has special needs, was not identified for privacy concerns. The inventor, who had no malicious intent, had no inkling that his device was wreaking havoc on the neighborhood until a North Olmstead City Council member and a volunteer knocked on his door. The device operated on 315 MHz, the frequency many keyless-entry devices use under FCC Part 15 rules. The device’s battery was removed, the signal stopped, and all who were involved breathed sighs of relief”
The results are in for the 20th US ARDF Championships and 11th IARU Region 2 Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF). Four days of competitions were he... Read more
“Successful Bilateral Transatlantic 144 MHz QSO made ! Between 04 and 05 October 2016 a new record was set. PY1MHZ Marcos received in the city o... Read more
What makes a truly world-changing invention?. Of all the inventions of the 20th century just one could be said to have changed the world in such a way... Read more
Stop buying equipment, you only need these five things to have a successful ham radio portable operation. Read more
Gaspar, EA6AMM José Francisco de Almeida, CT4AN, IARUMS Coordinator from REP (Rede dos Emissores Portugueses; Portugal), info... Read more
Tonga Volcano An update on the situation coming out of Tonga. A very large volcano has erupted disrupting satellite, communications and telephone netw... Read more
HamCation A large ARRL team of member-volunteers, program representatives, and presenters will advance the convention theme inviting attendees to “reD... Read more