Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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July 24, 2012

Navy radio might be crippling Conn. garage doors

(Continued)

HARTFORD, Conn —

Dave Osso, brand manager for The Genie Co., a Mt. Hope, Ohio, manufacturer of garage door opening systems, said the problem dates to the 1990s, when the military began using the same frequency used for door openers. The company sells dual-frequency openers that switch to a different frequency if interference is a factor, he said.

"For the most part, people over the years figured it out," Osso said.

For decades, the military has held a portion of the radio spectrum, from 138 to 450 megahertz, in reserve. But that range came back into use after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when officials discovered they needed a new system to allow civil and military first responders to communicate.

The ELMR system, which uses radio frequencies between 380 and 399.9 megahertz, was developed. It began operating at the sub base last summer but is not unique to the state.

In 2006, residents around an Air Force facility in Colorado Springs, Colo., saw their garage-door remotes stop working when the 21st Space Wing began testing a frequency for use during homeland security emergencies or threats. In 2005, testing of a similar system in Fort Detrick in Maryland resulted in similar problems.

In May, Overhead Door Co. said it would offer free installation and parts to change the signal on remote garage door openers near a naval base in Newport, R.I.

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