What You Need to Know About RFI

What You Need to Know About RFI

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A few years ago, one could buy wireless doo-dads without a care in the world. But now, the garage opener remote is under siege by the very things you enjoy most. RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) is what happens when two or more electronic gadgets operate around the same frequency range. You might found yourself doing the Lion King pose with your Craftsman remote only to find out that the garage door opener was perfectly fine.What You Need to Know About RFI

LEDs can interfere with a garage door clicker

Garage door opener transmitters generally use a small section of the radio frequency spectrum, 300-500MHz, called UHF (Ultra High Frequency). The light that LEDs create isn’t what causes RFI in garage door openers. The technological guts that make LEDs work can give off some unwanted RFI gibberish. Most LEDs have built in frequency cancelling. However, there are a few noisy LEDs out there that cause RFI in the 30-300MHz range. Even though these two gadgets have different sections of frequency band, real operating frequencies of these devices tends to mush together. Some garage door openers can operate just below the 300MHz threshold resulting in RFI. You should avoid cheaper electronics and LEDs that don’t have built in frequency cancelling. It will keep you from standing in front of your garage waiting for a miracle.

The Internet of Things is taking over

There’s a promising new threat on the horizon, and it wants a slice of my remote control’s frequency band. Wireless treats meant to bring our analog world to life can operate in a multitude of frequencies. Many of these devices operate within a short distance of 30m, but some devices are made to reach as far as 300m. That could turn anyone’s electronic device into a potential RFI for a garage door transmitter.

Frequency ratings matter

It’s important to have a good idea about the frequency ranges of potential electronic purchases. Check on the side of the box or in the technical details section of websites to make sure that what you're purchasing won’t RFI the stuffing out of something you already own. With the number of wireless doo-dads growing, my garage opener remote may need an upgrade. The frequency range may be getting overcrowded, but have faith in the future. Hopefully, you won’t be sitting in front of your garage door waiting for a clear signal five years from now.

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