Early this spring, Valparaiso resident Dan Braxton started having problems opening his garage door.
Dan Braxton says, "Got to where I thought I might need another battery for my garage door opener, had to get closer and closer to the door to open."
It turns out his battery has nothing to do with the problem. Eglin Air Force Base's new land mobile radio system operates on the same frequency as many garage door openers, 380 to 400 megahertz. As a result, many who live near Eglin have complained of doors that won't open and some that open by themselves.
Tuesday, Eglin held a conference to notify garage door makers of the problem and help them come up with ways to fix it. Apparently, no easy task.
Joe Hetzel, DASMA Technical Director, says, "In order to make informed choices and decide things as an industry we need to collect all that data. We need to analyze, we need to see who it affects because the message that we're getting is that this system could be enacted nationwide as a result of that, there are potential 40 million garage door openers throughout the country."
It’s something Braxton knows from experience.
Dan Braxton adds, “They gonna have some people hollerin’ soon as they start installing the transmitters in various locations. The military has licensed the frequency which means it’s up to the garage door industry to come up with solution.
Pensacola Naval Air Station is slated to test the new radio system next, then Tyndall Air Force Base.