WiFi activating garage door?

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 Question by Eric Huang posted 02 Apr 2007
 WiFi activating garage door?
I have been having problems with my electric garage door opener opening at random times. I limited the range of the garage door RF receiver by shortening the antennae so that it only opens when the garage door remote is 100 ft away or less. The tech at the garage door company says it is possible my WiFi (802.11g) is activating the garage door opener. Have you ever heard of this? Any possible solutions?

 Answer by Dmitri Abaimov posted 04 Apr 2007
Dear Eric,

It is a possibility but a VERY remote at that. Your 802.11g devices operate in one of the 11 channels allocated by the standard. From those 11 only three are actually not overlapping so channels #1, #6 and #11 are recommended for use. In fact, I believe that most manufacturer's equipment sets itself up to use channel #6 - minimum frequency 2426MHz, max frequency 2448Mhz.

So, even though I highly doubt you can get this kind of complicated interference from a WiFi device, you can rule your WiFi out by simply moving your network to the extreme ends of the spectrum - #1 or #11 and observing the garage door's behavior. To change the channel you'll need to open properties of your wireless NIC as well as your wireless router and set it there. Just be careful changing the router's channel while connected to it wirelessly: you will loose the connection as a result. In fact, I would only setup the router via the wire anyways just in case.

With all that said though, I would have to add that I have never heard of interference doing a "useful job", so to speak - as in opening a garage door. I would be more inclined to think that if the interference is the culprit, it would rather prevent the door from opening.

And how on Earth the interference (being essentially a sort of noise) can provide the exact code needed for the receiver to open the door, time after time?

I would advise you to just look for the source of the problem elsewhere unless you want to play with the WiFi channels and prove your garage door tech wrong.

Dmitri Abaimov, RCDD

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