COLUMBIA, SC — If you live near Fort Jackson, you might be used to periodic artillery booms. But starting next week, nearby residents might have to start living with a finicky garage-door opener.
That’s because base’s radio systems will be transitioning to a new frequency ranges the week of June 23 that could interfere with those on radio-controlled garage-door openers at homes in the area nearby, according to a Fort Jackson release.
The switch comes as part of a gradual, Department-of-Defense-wide, change to the frequencies for radios used by on-base law enforcement and emergency services. The frequencies have been reserved for U.S. Government use since World War II.
Because some manufacturers have created garage-door openers that use the same, previously unused, frequencies, homeowners might notice their wireless controls for garage doors ceasing to function or working at a reduced range. Homeowners shouldn’t expect garage doors to open and close on their own, and any hard-wired garage door controls will still function.
When Fort Gordon similarly adopted the new frequencies, homeowners as far as 15 miles away reported having problems with their garage door opener. Nearly the entire Columbia metropolitan area is within 15 miles of the base, as the crow flies. Portions of Lexington, Blythewood, Sumter and Camden are also within that range.
If you have a garage door opener that allows you to manually change your wireless frequency, try to find one that is not between 380 and 399 megahertz.