LED Lights and Garage Door Opener???

Started by mrjb1929 April 13, 2010
This may not be appropriate for this site or this section of the site so
forgive me in advance if it doesn't belong here.  We have a unique problem
that for the life of my electronics background, doesn't make sense but its
real and strange at the same time... and it's driving us bonkers!

I have two garage door openers as I have two separate garage doors.  The
remotes mysteriously do not work sometimes.... BOTH of them.  Our
alternatives are to unlock the house front door and go through the house to
the garage and push the manual button.  It doesn't matter which car, or
remote we use, they all work or don't work at the same time (with either
door).  

So we were thinking it was rather odd, but both garage door openers are
failing at the same time.  Or something worse.

Then I realized last night that the problems occur mostly at night or
specifically between dusk and dawn.  Around the time that my landscape
lighting comes on.  The system has been in use for a couple of years but
just recently I replaced all of the quartz hallogen bulbs with LED to
conserve energy and cut down on bulb replacement.  All of the bulbs were
purchased over the internet from a variety of sources (ebay).  Some of the
spot lights are up to 6 watts of consumed powere so I suspect there is some
circuitry involved internally.  BUT it appears that once I've swapped out
all of the bulbs and the system comes on at dusk, the garage door opener
remotes just do not want to work.  Freaky - almost like the aluminum foil
hat type of thing.    Can anyone explain this to me or am I thinking
something that just can't happen this way.

Any advice would help - even those that think I must be smoking something
(I'm not... but hey... it's still advice),
Thanks,
Jerome B.

	   
					
---------------------------------------		
Posted through http://www.Electronics-Related.com
On Apr 13, 5:42=A0pm, "mrjb1929" <j.bokelmann@n_o_s_p_a_m.comcast.net>
wrote:

> I have two garage door openers as I have two separate garage doors. =A0Th=
e
> remotes mysteriously do not work sometimes.... BOTH of them.
<snip>
> Then I realized last night that the problems occur mostly at night or
<snip>
> just recently I replaced all of the quartz hallogen bulbs with LED to
The LED bulbs likely interfere with the garage door receivers. Try switching back to the previous bulbs, then you'll know. -- Cheers, James Arthur
On Tue, 13 Apr 2010 17:42:57 -0500, the renowned "mrjb1929"
<j.bokelmann@n_o_s_p_a_m.comcast.net> wrote:

>This may not be appropriate for this site or this section of the site so >forgive me in advance if it doesn't belong here. We have a unique problem >that for the life of my electronics background, doesn't make sense but its >real and strange at the same time... and it's driving us bonkers! > >I have two garage door openers as I have two separate garage doors. The >remotes mysteriously do not work sometimes.... BOTH of them. Our >alternatives are to unlock the house front door and go through the house to >the garage and push the manual button. It doesn't matter which car, or >remote we use, they all work or don't work at the same time (with either >door). > >So we were thinking it was rather odd, but both garage door openers are >failing at the same time. Or something worse. > >Then I realized last night that the problems occur mostly at night or >specifically between dusk and dawn. Around the time that my landscape >lighting comes on. The system has been in use for a couple of years but >just recently I replaced all of the quartz hallogen bulbs with LED to >conserve energy and cut down on bulb replacement. All of the bulbs were >purchased over the internet from a variety of sources (ebay). Some of the >spot lights are up to 6 watts of consumed powere so I suspect there is some >circuitry involved internally. BUT it appears that once I've swapped out >all of the bulbs and the system comes on at dusk, the garage door opener >remotes just do not want to work. Freaky - almost like the aluminum foil >hat type of thing. Can anyone explain this to me or am I thinking >something that just can't happen this way. > >Any advice would help - even those that think I must be smoking something >(I'm not... but hey... it's still advice), >Thanks, >Jerome B.
I made the mistake of replacing the high-vibration incandescent lamps in the garage door opener with compact flourescents, since we were out of the special ones, and I figured they'd last at least as well (that part was right). And promptly forgot that I did it. Some time later, I noticed that the door would go up from the remote control but woudn't go down except manually. A bit of a hassle, but I did it for a few months before trying to 'fix' it. Strangely, as it turned out, if you waited 5 minutes or so, the remote would once again work to make the door go down. Turns out that EMI from the lamps was overwhelming the RF front end and disabling the receiver. The lamps went off automatically from a timer, so the remote would work again. So, yes, the LED lamps with their fine Chinese and perhaps unfiltered and unapproved high current switching power supplies could well be causing your problem even from some distance away. Nothing freaky about it. You could perhaps add some filtering or dump the lamps or improve the antenna. Best regards, Spehro Pefhany -- "it's the network..." "The Journey is the reward" speff@interlog.com Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com Embedded software/hardware/analog Info for designers: http://www.speff.com
In article <v-WdnQSccpDsblnW4p2dnAA@giganews.com>,
mrjb1929 <j.bokelmann@n_o_s_p_a_m.comcast.net> wrote:

> BUT it appears that once I've swapped out >all of the bulbs and the system comes on at dusk, the garage door opener >remotes just do not want to work. Freaky - almost like the aluminum foil >hat type of thing. Can anyone explain this to me or am I thinking >something that just can't happen this way. > >Any advice would help - even those that think I must be smoking something >(I'm not... but hey... it's still advice),
Garage door openers tend to use one of several different radio bands, and are usually operated under the terms of FCC Part 15 certification. This means that (1) they're not allowed to interfere with other devices, and (2) they must accept any and all interference from other devices, whether licensed or unlicensed. They're classified as "intentional radiators" - they transmit a low-power radio signal by design. LED lights of the sort you're talking about, probably incorporate a small "switching" power supply, to step down the mains voltage to the relatively low DC voltage needed by the LEDs themselves. These switching supplies can generate a significant amount of RF interference, which can be carried back onto the AC power lines... the manufacturers sometimes (often?) omit adding the components necessary to filter out the interfering RF noise before it gets back onto the power lines. These sorts of devices also operate under Part 15, as "incidental radiators" - they're producing RF signals as a side effect of their operation, not as an intended behavior. What you may be running into, is a situation in which one or more of your LED lights are generating enough RF interference to "jam" the remote receiver in your garage door opener. It's as if your receivers were listening for the whistling of the tune "Yesterday" in order to operate, while sitting in the middle of a boiler factory :-) The first thing to do, to confirm this hypothesis, would be for you to switch off all of the LED lights, and confirm that the garage door opener works. Then, turn the LED lights back on one at a time, and figure out which one (or which ones, in combination) are generating enough RF hash to block signal reception. If you can determine what frequencies your remote-control system uses, you might be able to use a radio scanner or receiver to detect the interference. It's quite possible that some of the lights you're using don't comply with the Part 15 emission rules, and have not been tested and certificated... there are quite a few such devices on the market (mostly imports, and technically illegal to sell). If this is your problem, then you've got a few possible ways to fix it: - Figure out which lights are at fault. Replace them with other lights which don't generate such interference. - Replace the garage-door remote system with one operating in a different frequency band, which isn't vulnerable to interference. - Try filtering out the RF hash. If it's mostly being conducted over the power lines, you might be able to install an interference filter at the garage door opener's power plug. If it's mostly radiated interference, you'd have to install filters at the individual light sockets. People sometimes run into this sort of non-operation problem from non-local causes. A large percentage of the remote-control fobs being sold in the U.S. today operate in tht 420-430 MHz radio frequency range (433.920 MHz is very common). This band of frequencies has a "primary" user - government radar installations - and around some Air Force bases, the radar signals are strong enough to jam such remote control systems for quite a few miles. I found that the remote-control fob for my car would not work at all reliably in a local mall's parking lot. Sniffing around with a hand-held receiver led me to a local Chinese restaurant, which uses a wireless order-taking system that operates near 433.920 MHz... it's not Part 15 certified, and as I read Part 15 it's operating in a way which is quite illegal (tranmissions are much too frequent and probably too powerful). -- Dave Platt <dplatt@radagast.org> AE6EO Friends of Jade Warrior home page: http://www.radagast.org/jade-warrior I do _not_ wish to receive unsolicited commercial email, and I will boycott any company which has the gall to send me such ads!
On Tue, 13 Apr 2010 19:15:30 -0400, Spehro Pefhany
<speffSNIP@interlogDOTyou.knowwhat> wrote:

>On Tue, 13 Apr 2010 17:42:57 -0500, the renowned "mrjb1929" ><j.bokelmann@n_o_s_p_a_m.comcast.net> wrote: > >>This may not be appropriate for this site or this section of the site so >>forgive me in advance if it doesn't belong here. We have a unique problem >>that for the life of my electronics background, doesn't make sense but its >>real and strange at the same time... and it's driving us bonkers! >> >>I have two garage door openers as I have two separate garage doors. The >>remotes mysteriously do not work sometimes.... BOTH of them. Our >>alternatives are to unlock the house front door and go through the house to >>the garage and push the manual button. It doesn't matter which car, or >>remote we use, they all work or don't work at the same time (with either >>door). >> >>So we were thinking it was rather odd, but both garage door openers are >>failing at the same time. Or something worse. >> >>Then I realized last night that the problems occur mostly at night or >>specifically between dusk and dawn. Around the time that my landscape >>lighting comes on. The system has been in use for a couple of years but >>just recently I replaced all of the quartz hallogen bulbs with LED to >>conserve energy and cut down on bulb replacement. All of the bulbs were >>purchased over the internet from a variety of sources (ebay). Some of the >>spot lights are up to 6 watts of consumed powere so I suspect there is some >>circuitry involved internally. BUT it appears that once I've swapped out >>all of the bulbs and the system comes on at dusk, the garage door opener >>remotes just do not want to work. Freaky - almost like the aluminum foil >>hat type of thing. Can anyone explain this to me or am I thinking >>something that just can't happen this way. >> >>Any advice would help - even those that think I must be smoking something >>(I'm not... but hey... it's still advice), >>Thanks, >>Jerome B. > >I made the mistake of replacing the high-vibration incandescent lamps >in the garage door opener with compact flourescents, since we were out >of the special ones, and I figured they'd last at least as well (that >part was right). And promptly forgot that I did it. > >Some time later, I noticed that the door would go up from the remote >control but woudn't go down except manually. A bit of a hassle, but I >did it for a few months before trying to 'fix' it. Strangely, as it >turned out, if you waited 5 minutes or so, the remote would once again >work to make the door go down. Turns out that EMI from the lamps was >overwhelming the RF front end and disabling the receiver. The lamps >went off automatically from a timer, so the remote would work again.
Good grief, I've been having the same erratic problem: the garage door will go up but won't close. I overhauled all the mechanics, cleaned the limit switches, tweaked the big nasty dangerous spring, all that. It appears to be a control problem, not a mechanical one. And after a while it started working again. The receiver/motor box is straddled by two light sockets on the ceiling, with CFs, drived from a motion sensor. The bulbs inside the Genie housing are still incendescents. Next time it acts up, I'll try incandescents for the ceiling lights. John
On Tue, 13 Apr 2010 16:35:48 -0700, dplatt@radagast.org (Dave Platt)
wrote:


>I found that the remote-control fob for my car would not work at all >reliably in a local mall's parking lot. Sniffing around with a >hand-held receiver led me to a local Chinese restaurant, which uses a >wireless order-taking system that operates near 433.920 MHz... it's >not Part 15 certified, and as I read Part 15 it's operating in a way >which is quite illegal (tranmissions are much too frequent and >probably too powerful).
This happens to me in parking lots as well. I just assumed that it was the RF from the cameras that the business had installed outside swamping my little FOB.
In article <322as51u5bbo6mddcp2d1rtd936kpsrm1s@4ax.com>,
Hammy  <spam@spam.com> wrote:

>>I found that the remote-control fob for my car would not work at all >>reliably in a local mall's parking lot. Sniffing around with a >>hand-held receiver led me to a local Chinese restaurant, which uses a >>wireless order-taking system that operates near 433.920 MHz... it's >>not Part 15 certified, and as I read Part 15 it's operating in a way >>which is quite illegal (tranmissions are much too frequent and >>probably too powerful). > >This happens to me in parking lots as well. I just assumed that it was >the RF from the cameras that the business had installed outside >swamping my little FOB.
Entirely possible, I suppose. As I read it, Part 15 intentional-radiator transmissions in the 433.920 MHz range are supposed to be both brief, and occasonal... continuous transmission isn't allowed. A camera would probably be a serious violator, as it would likely be transmitting a large fraction of the time (perhaps continuously). In the case of the restaurant system I found, it has a "polling" behavior - the base station sends out an inquiry transmission several times per second, and any hand-held order-taking terminal with data to send will respond. On an FM or SSB receiver, it puts out a distinctive "pokka pokka pokka" sound, with two or three reps per second. The brand name? "Pokky" :-) -- Dave Platt <dplatt@radagast.org> AE6EO Friends of Jade Warrior home page: http://www.radagast.org/jade-warrior I do _not_ wish to receive unsolicited commercial email, and I will boycott any company which has the gall to send me such ads!
mrjb1929 wrote:
> This may not be appropriate for this site or this section of the site so > forgive me in advance if it doesn't belong here. We have a unique problem > that for the life of my electronics background, doesn't make sense but its > real and strange at the same time... and it's driving us bonkers! > > I have two garage door openers as I have two separate garage doors. The > remotes mysteriously do not work sometimes.... BOTH of them. Our > alternatives are to unlock the house front door and go through the house to > the garage and push the manual button. It doesn't matter which car, or > remote we use, they all work or don't work at the same time (with either > door). > > So we were thinking it was rather odd, but both garage door openers are > failing at the same time. Or something worse. > > Then I realized last night that the problems occur mostly at night or > specifically between dusk and dawn. Around the time that my landscape > lighting comes on. The system has been in use for a couple of years but > just recently I replaced all of the quartz hallogen bulbs with LED to > conserve energy and cut down on bulb replacement. All of the bulbs were > purchased over the internet from a variety of sources (ebay). Some of the > spot lights are up to 6 watts of consumed powere so I suspect there is some > circuitry involved internally. BUT it appears that once I've swapped out > all of the bulbs and the system comes on at dusk, the garage door opener > remotes just do not want to work. Freaky - almost like the aluminum foil > hat type of thing. Can anyone explain this to me or am I thinking > something that just can't happen this way. > > Any advice would help - even those that think I must be smoking something > (I'm not... but hey... it's still advice),
Some of those lights have a very cheap switching supply system, merrily transmitting a broad spectrum of radio waves, blocking your transmitter. I see two options, one, to trace-down and/or replace lights, another is to increase the antenna quality of the receivers, by using a parabolic reflector behind the antennas, or give the antennas sideways shielding, or both. Those transmitters are very low-power, and can easily be overruled by interference.
On Tue, 13 Apr 2010 17:13:16 -0700, John Larkin
<jjlarkin@highNOTlandTHIStechnologyPART.com> wrote:

>On Tue, 13 Apr 2010 19:15:30 -0400, Spehro Pefhany ><speffSNIP@interlogDOTyou.knowwhat> wrote: > > >Good grief, I've been having the same erratic problem: the garage door >will go up but won't close. I overhauled all the mechanics, cleaned >the limit switches, tweaked the big nasty dangerous spring, all that. >It appears to be a control problem, not a mechanical one. And after a >while it started working again. The receiver/motor box is straddled by >two light sockets on the ceiling, with CFs, drived from a motion >sensor. The bulbs inside the Genie housing are still incendescents. > >Next time it acts up, I'll try incandescents for the ceiling lights. > >John >
And sweat the day when you can't get incandescent light bulbs any more because you've been told that they are too inefficient! I'm sure we're going to see a sharp rise in residential fires in the next 10 years, too... Mostly due to cheap chinese CFL lamps failing when used in locations that are totally inappropriate, a move forced by those who "think" they know best for everyone.
On Wed, 14 Apr 2010 08:31:44 -0400, PeterD <peter2@hipson.net> wrote:

>On Tue, 13 Apr 2010 17:13:16 -0700, John Larkin ><jjlarkin@highNOTlandTHIStechnologyPART.com> wrote: > >>On Tue, 13 Apr 2010 19:15:30 -0400, Spehro Pefhany >><speffSNIP@interlogDOTyou.knowwhat> wrote: >> >> >>Good grief, I've been having the same erratic problem: the garage door >>will go up but won't close. I overhauled all the mechanics, cleaned >>the limit switches, tweaked the big nasty dangerous spring, all that. >>It appears to be a control problem, not a mechanical one. And after a >>while it started working again. The receiver/motor box is straddled by >>two light sockets on the ceiling, with CFs, drived from a motion >>sensor. The bulbs inside the Genie housing are still incendescents. >> >>Next time it acts up, I'll try incandescents for the ceiling lights. >> >>John >> > >And sweat the day when you can't get incandescent light bulbs any more >because you've been told that they are too inefficient!
I'm goint to order a few cases of them, a lifetime supply, before they become illegal. I suspect there will always be an ebay black market, too. CFs don't work in cold locations, and most can't be dimmed, and most won't work with 2-wire motion sensors.
> >I'm sure we're going to see a sharp rise in residential fires in the >next 10 years, too... Mostly due to cheap chinese CFL lamps failing >when used in locations that are totally inappropriate, a move forced >by those who "think" they know best for everyone.
I recently replaced one that had failed after a few months. As I was climbing down off the last rung of the ladder, the *new* one failed. I eliminated the timer to all the lights in our stairwells at work, so they stay on all the time. The CFs last much longer that way. The good ones last for years at 100% duty cycle. The bad ones get culled out in a few weeks or months. Next we'll have expensive LED bulbs that "last up to 100,000 hours" with crappy electronics. Nearly all the green LED traffic lights in San Francisco have failed, in interesting patterns, and had to be replaced. Only the greens, for some reason. John