Eglin working to solve garage door issues
by Lois Walsh
96th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
8/24/2004 - EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFPN) -- Government and industry experts gathered here Aug. 17 to discuss solutions for garage door openers in nearby communities malfunctioning and using government-owned frequencies.
Experts here began installing a new land-mobile-radio system in May to comply with a congressional mandate requiring Defense Department agencies to narrow their large LMR system band frequency.
Although the DOD holds the license for the mandated frequencies, several garage door manufacturers were also using those frequencies, infringing on the government's licensing agreement and causing the openers to be locked out.
About 90 percent of the nation's garage door opener manufacturers were represented. They discussed problems that may affect other areas as more DOD installations come on board.
"It's very important to us, from a community relations standpoint, to share our data about the spectrum and our LMR system to help you solve the problems and come up with a solution for your customers," said Col. Anthony Faughn, a group commander here.
The Smart Zone LMR is similar to a cell-phone system. One transmitter runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at each of the base's five sites, officials said.
The system provides Eglin officials with state-of-the-art technology for person-to-person communications, the colonel said. It will be the primary communication tool for first responders and people working on the flightline.
"The new LMR system will not only benefit Eglin but also benefit the local community as the base often helps respond to situations in the local area," he said. "It's a benchmark system that may be used throughout the continental United States on all military installations."
"The goal is to provide industry [leaders] an insight into the problems experienced by the community surrounding Eglin," said Joe Giangrosso, communications group frequency manager. "We also provided a spectral overview of the LMR system to assist (them) in understanding the spectrum usage and provide answers to their questions."
Bringing the manufacturers in to talk to base experts and to see how the system works was necessary, Mr. Giangrosso said. Now, they have some idea what they are up against in trying to come up with a fix to allow the garage door openers to work in the community.
"This is the first (system), and it's going to be a major system in our country which will affect a lot of garage door openers," Mr. Giangrosso said.
The data collection is critical to make informed choices because the system could be nationwide, said Joe Hetzel, technical director for the Door and Access Systems Manufacturers Association. As a result, there are 40 million garage door opener users who could be affected.
"We need to be sensitive to those users," Mr. Hetzel said.
Federal Communication Commission officials said they will contact the association to work on a joint resolution. (Courtesy of Air Force Materiel Command News Service)
Strikes me that this isn’t the government’s problem!!