City investigating after key fobs, garage openers not working in one North Olmsted OH neighborhood.

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
9,785
OK, I'll trust you on that. :) Besides a lake called eerie there is that tower called terminal.

Ron
More seriously, I think First Energy/Illuminating Company has no interest in solving the problem until the FCC gets on them for EMI. It could be a hoax, but media reports seem pretty legitimate. I drive through that area at least once a week and have seen no strange lights or other phenomena commonly associated with "extraterrestrial" beings.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
7,356
This thread sure sparked a lot of interest.

:p
The power lines in the Florida Keys were infamous for RFI when I worked at the comm station there long ago. Our receive antenna farm and control station were at the very back of the base near the ocean to get away from the noise.
https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?vpsrc=6&ctz=0&ie=UTF8&msa=0&t=h&ll=24.571975785064502,-81.67333308177729&spn=0.070261,0.169945&z=19&source=embed&mid=1QdOJnqT9Re9fKlvmnPYKKMutFiM

The high humidity salty air conditions were perfect for generating constant corona discharge.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?vpsrc=6&ctz=0&ie=UTF8&msa=0&t=h&ll=24.5709411586776,-81.67378235178728&spn=0.070261,0.169945&z=21&source=embed&mid=1QdOJnqT9Re9fKlvmnPYKKMutFiM
That is a HF antenna designed to reduce RFI. Magnetic loops.
 
Last edited:

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
21,377
Another way any DIY person could have located the RF source would have been to drive around the neighborhood and try to map out where the key fob worked and failed. You would have been able to draw a crude circle with the source at the center.

Glad to know that they found the problem. Looks like a DIY was trying to build his own security device with RF signalling.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
9,785
Looks like a DIY was trying to build his own security device with RF signalling.
Maybe, but "no malicious intent." Is there such a thing as malicious ignorance? No, but I believe a standard of intentional ignorance exists. Why didn't the guy with the SA detect it? Was it turned off for that period? A simple test would show that.

I am a firm believer in justice before mercy. Justice is the process and whether laws were broken. After that, then maybe intent and ignorance might be mitigating. I have a feeling it was a person who knew, but figured, "so what." It wasn't just an on/off test. It has been weeks and all over the local news.
 

Thread Starter

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
5,512
Maybe, but "no malicious intent." Is there such a thing as malicious ignorance? No, but I believe a standard of intentional ignorance exists. Why didn't the guy with the SA detect it? Was it turned off for that period? A simple test would show that.

I am a firm believer in justice before mercy. Justice is the process and whether laws were broken. After that, then maybe intent and ignorance might be mitigating. I have a feeling it was a person who knew, but figured, "so what." It wasn't just an on/off test. It has been weeks and all over the local news.
I left a comment in the newspaper story comments section pretty much stating just that. My content was promptly removed and I earned a Red Box of Content Disabled. What is it they say about ignorance and the law? Me and this newspaper simply do not get along. :)

Ron
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
9,785
Sorry you are now in the penalty box. We still love you here.

Oh well, I am sure drivers ticketed for going a little over 65 on I-495 in North Olmsted and Fairview Park* have no malice either. Makes one wonder whether that defense has ever been tried successfully. Right.

John

*Speed limit is 60 mph. It's a notorious speed trap stretch on the West side of Cleveland. Fines, points, and rewards to the patrol go up considerably when more than 5 mph over the speed limit.
 
You aren't alone, I noticed the lack of details. Yes, at the onset the FCC should have been all over this like white on rice.

Ron
This morning I read a few more details (https://www.cleveland.com/news/2019/05/the-mystery-in-north-olmsted-is-solved-key-fobs-garage-openers-work-again.html). Maybe I should not be so amazed or suspicious.

I admit that I just had not heard much about combining RF with PIR, for example, for motion detection. Combining MW and PIR, yes, but not RF and PIR. I see now that there are even commercial products that combine RF and PIR for motion detection (e.g., https://www.amazon.com/433MHZ-Wireless-Motion-Detector-Security/dp/B0136JZ18M).

Apparently, this fellow had built such a system and, perhaps, cranked up (illegally and irresponsibly, I assume) the power of the transmitter. Is that, pretty much, it?
 

Thread Starter

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
5,512
This morning I read a few more details (https://www.cleveland.com/news/2019/05/the-mystery-in-north-olmsted-is-solved-key-fobs-garage-openers-work-again.html). Maybe I should not be so amazed or suspicious.

I admit that I just had not heard much about combining RF with PIR, for example, for motion detection. Combining MW and PIR, yes, but not RF and PIR. I see now that there are even commercial products that combine RF and PIR for motion detection (e.g., https://www.amazon.com/433MHZ-Wireless-Motion-Detector-Security/dp/B0136JZ18M).

Apparently, this fellow had built such a system and, perhaps, cranked up (illegally and irresponsibly, I assume) the power of the transmitter. Is that, pretty much, it?
Years ago, maybe 20 years ago, I did a small routine using a few .VBS scripts. It did need a small PC like a laptop running in the background. The program used VB 6 to call a script. The VB 6 portion looked at an RS232 comm port. The RS 232 allows for 3 digital inputs. So you can have 3 sensor inputs of a digital Hi or Low. The program would call a script and the script would send a text or email. The script looks like this:

Code:
CreateMailMessage "**********@vtext.com", _
"test message from VBScript", _
"test message from VBScript"

Sub CreateMailMessage(strTo, strSubject, strBody)
Set appOutlook = CreateObject("Outlook.Application")
Set msg = appOutlook.CreateItem(olMailItem)

With msg
.To = strTo
.Subject = strSubject
.Body = strBody
.Send
End With

End Sub
The line "**********@vtext.com" in quotes is the ten digit cell phone number. I use Verizon and the Verizon gateway code is @vtext.com and different carriers use different gateway codes, here is a list of cellular provider gateway codes. The ********** is your phone number of 10 digits including area code. To just send yourself a text open notepad and copy and paste the above code. Then use File / Save As and save as is All Files. Give it a name but end the name with .vbs. Just as an example SendMessage.VBS and save it to your desktop. In my example code I just created a folder in the root of my C:/ drive with three notifications, Intruder Alert, Flooding and Fire Alert. The sensors could easily be wireless. The .vbs is written for a Windows OS. It is all done without violating any FCC codes.

This individual made peoples lives miserable for 3 weeks. I really don't understand how he could be smart enough to build the project and not notice he was the cause of the problem?

Ron
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
7,356
https://www.fauquiernow.com/fauquier_news/article/fauquier-feds-admit-radios-interfere-with-garage-door-openers-11-5-2019
Rarely commenting on its activities, the training center addressed their concerns in a three-paragraph statement.

“To address homeland defense needs and comply with government direction that agencies use the electromagnetic spectrum more efficiently, the Department of Defense (DoD) is deploying new land mobile radios to installation across the country,” the statement reads.

The radios “operate in the same frequency range . . . as many unlicensed, low-powered garage door openers, which have operated in this range for years,” the training center said.

Authorized to use that frequency range for “several decades,” the defense department’s deployment of land mobile radios “is relatively new,” according to the training center.

As a result, “some users of garage door openers have experienced varying levels of inoperability that has been attributed to interference caused by the new radios.”
 
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