Location, location, location…
Garage door opener remote control distances and range may vary depending on the part of town you are in, for example an opener in Point Loma or La Jolla (coastal) will not get anywhere near the range an opener might expect to get in Santee or Lakeside (Inland) simply based on whats floating around in the air. There are a multitude of frequencies floating around constantly from radio signals to military operations and that’s what determines how well your remote is going to work.
I live in Santee (Inland) and I typically find the range to be good, it does vary from day to day between 80 to 100 feet and like most of you I’m looking for maximum range so when I noticed the range on my gate slowly going down.. down.. down, I waited until it got to the point where I needed to be right in front of it to open, then I started with the antenna, since it is exposed to the weather I took it down and replaced it with an old TV antenna I had and now my range is roughly 300-400 feet…. Problem solved!!
The need for better reception
Now that doesn’t mean that you can do the same thing because my antenna wire for my gate is coax cable…your antenna is simply a wire, but the various opener manufacturers have acknowledged a need for better reception in and around the coastal areas and as of late have been producing garage door openers that run on dual frequencies, this means that the transmitter or remote control will emit two frequencies at the same time and the receiver built into the opener will grab the strongest signal making it at least twice as good as before if not near perfect.
What you have to realize is that the frequencies our door openers run on is a frequency owned by the military and when they exercise their right to jam those frequencies there is not a thing you or I can do about it….NOTHING! We just have to be patient and wait it out, and I suppose after more of these single frequency machines start getting replaced by the newer models these problems will slowly go away. There are some things you can do right now to “help” increase your range but none are guaranteed to work and all are quite expensive. You can have an external antenna installed outside with coax cable but I’ve tried that in the past with limited success and by the time all is said and done you’ve come up a few dollars short of a new machine with the dual freq receiver already built into it.
The Liftmaster Rep told me last month that they have tested the dual freq machines near a military base in Florida and it worked flawlessly and Genie’s system is basically the same so to sum up this article I would say you now have two logical choices when living on the coast…#1- Replace the opener you currently have, regardless of how old it is, with one of the newer dual freq machines, or #2- Wait until the manufacturers come out with this dual freq in an external receiver that you can attach to your existing machine although keep in mind it’s not practical to spend 90 bucks on parts plus labor on a new receiver and two new remotes if your current system is over 10 yrs old.
So If you are in that group of folks constantly having range problems with your garage door remote control…solutions to your frustrations are on the horizon.