Radio Signal Interference

To continue our discussion of “What is wrong when I push the button on my remote and nothing happens”…

Last week, we discussed how to diagnose a failed remote.  Today we will discuss the next two most common causes: Failed or Failing Circuit Boards and Radio Signal Interference.

All garage door openers have PCB (printed circuit boards) that control the operation of the opener, learn remotes, respond to remotes and monitor the safety sensors.

Consider the following when thinking about a failed circuit board:

  • What is the age of the opener?  An opener older than about 12 years or so may have a circuit board that is failing simply due to the toll of the desert temperature extremes.
  • Do any remotes or keypads work, including remotes built into your car? If no wireless devices are communicating with your garage door opener you may have a failed receiver on the circuit board.
  • Many garage door openers have a diagnostic LED near the learn button.  This LED should flicker when a signal from a wireless remote is received.

Radio signal interference is a given in the modern wireless world.  Interference can happen when an electronic device near your garage door opener is putting out a radio signal on a frequency near that used by your garage door opener. This spurious signal may be strong enough to interfere with the signal between your remote(s) and your garage door opener.

These are some common indicators the problem may be radio signal interference:

  • Is the problem intermittent or time of day related?
  • Do you have to get close to the opener for the remote to work?
  • Have any new electronics, such as an alarm system or security cameras been installed in or near the garage?
  • Have you switched to CFL light bulbs in your garage door opener?
  • Finally, has the power or cable company been working in your yard or neighborhood?

Once you have determined what the issue is, then you can evaluate the best repair option.  Circuit boards can be replaced, but consider the age and overall condition of the garage door opener.   A good rule of thumb is two garage door opener repairs equal the price of a new unit.

Interference can be trickier, but can be less expensive.  If you can identify the source of the interference, you may be able to relocate the device causing the interference.  If CFL’s are the problem simply replace the light bulbs with standard incandescent bulbs.  Other repair possibilities include external receivers and new control boards that work on a different frequency from the current garage door opener, however this may require new remotes and keypads.  Another potential option would be to replace the motor unit entirely with one that runs on a new frequency.  This option ensures that all parts in the unit are new and the risk of failure in the near future is minimal.

Of course, you can always contact us here at Door Doctor West at 602-495-1555 with questions!

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