New Chamberlain Garage Door Opener Problem

Apr 27, 2013

My neighbor bought, and had installed, two new Chamberlain garage door openers, I am not sure of the model number, but it is the new one that has LED lighting.

From what he told me, I think it may be this model.....

After the openers were first installed last week, the two openers worked flawlessly. He then said after a few days, the range on the remotes seem to start degrading.

He would have to pull right up to the door when using the remote from his car. He called the company whom did the install and they cited possible RF interference. They told him that his only choice would be to downgrade to an older opener that uses a different RF frequency system, and that they had seen this problem before that was the only "fix" that was successful. He is not opposed to this, but the opener model they are recommending does not have the LED lighting which is a feature that he really wants.

Has anyone else here on BITOG heard of this phenomenon? I was under the impression that these digital RF radio chip sets were somewhat immune to interference and that the door opener claim to fame for security was the capability of these newer models to have an infinite number of combinations of transceiver channels.

I am hoping someone else might be able to elaborate on this situation, and also possibly offer another solution other than to change out the openers.
I installed a new Chamberlain earlier this year and I am experiencing the same issue. It seems to be better recently though. One time I sat there in the driveway for like 10 sec trying to close it and finally just pulled my phone out and closed it with the app. Other times I can open the door all the way down the street!
Dish....that is exactly the problem this guy is having. Chamberlain told him that this model opener has only been on the market a month or so that they already have received no less than 4 customers in the our metro area with these same issues. Sounds to be me like some RF engineer from Chamberlain may want to go out into the field and set up a spectrum analyzer to see what is actually happening with the signal interference, collisions, reflection, and or cancellations.
Go to the old opener and install led bulbs? Just make sure the bulbs are compatible....some led's apparently would also jam the opener signals.
This ^^^

I had this same problem and a buddy of mine told me to remove any LED bulbs in or near the opener and replace them with incandescent bulbs. The weak opener problem went away and has stayed away for years.
Maybe he thinks he pressed the button on the opener when he didn't press it completely at least not hard enough for it to actuate?
Thinking outside the box... Put a coax extension on the antenna element, to outside, with an amp in series. Amp eats maybe a watt phantom power. This is strictly DIY, the installers aren't going to be trained to do this.
Today's neighborhoods are loaded with RF hash. I have many 80 year old tube radios that are sometimes difficult to listen to because of all the hash. I find it can come from fluorescent lights, LED lights, dimmers...... I even get it when I plug in my phone charger.
I have a relative with a Chamberlain that is more than a few years old, and had this vexing issue.

I haven't heard them complain about it for a while, but it was a PITA when it occurred. Their guy also suggested replacing the opener, but I don't know what the final solution was.

GDOs have operated in the ~300-400MHz band forever, so even if there are now additional sources of RFI, sanctioned or not, it's curious how complaints about old school openers don't seem prevalent compared to the rolling code units.
This ^^^

I had this same problem and a buddy of mine told me to remove any LED bulbs in or near the opener and replace them with incandescent bulbs. The weak opener problem went away and has stayed away for years.
Yep. I have some long LED shop lights and 2 flood style LED’s that prevent my Chamberlain from working correctly, I have to hold the opener to the garage door if they’re on for it to get the signal. The Genie doesn’t seem to care though which is weird. With the lights off, I can open it from over 150ft away no problem. Remote has fresh batteries even.

The GE LED bulbs I had in the Chamberlain didn’t seem to bother it though.
Im going to post this but not to sound negative I doubt anyone will try it. I wish they would because it may solve the problem.
What is more cool I love feedback good or bad. I just know he has a much better then 50/50 chance it will solve the problem.

I agree the company most likely is correct about the RF, thing is you can do something about it. I used to install all things wifi, security and low voltage powered items in homes, including controllers for door openers linked to alarm systems, as well as video ect ect. It wasn't an every day issue But it was an issue in some homes including on my security system..
What I am about to post WILL reduce/stop RF interference if it is a power line RF issue which is very likely with the door openers thin wires as they can act as an antenna.
I dont know why companies are not as aware of this solution, I increased signal power between my security system RF keypads by 400% with them, they were barely working before I installed it. Now for fun I have them on EVERY electronic device in my home and I have A LOT *LOL*

My neighbor a few doors down always had an outdoor wifi security camera for YEARS fought with Lorex tech support, constant resetting the camera because of poor range constantly losing connection, yet his wifi router was that far away. Eventually then sent him a new model, same issue, also replaced his wife if router, then came down to my house since he knew I did cameras. Went to his house, first fixed up the tangle of wires at his router, then put these things on every power lead and most important to the camera. He never had an issue again, wrote the company about it too.

Its worth a shot for way less then $20, why not? IF and only IF it is strong RF interference in the leads going in and out of the garage door this WILL solve it, that means putting at LEAST one on every wire, really should be two (which are quite thin) AND while you are at it, you maybe as well get some larger ones and put it on the actual 12v power line plug.
There are so many sizes so you really need to order "kits" with multiple sizes until you know what size that you want. You want then to be sized right so when you snap them onto a wire at the garage door opener they are pretty firmly attached, its ok if you can slide them a little as long as there is resistance.

Before I post this link, confirming a least a little bit of what I am saying, once you see this, you will think to yourself, oh some of my electronics have these built onto the cables. If high end companies, including Sony TV in the $2000 price range have them, as well as quality transfer cables for cameras, really good HDMI cables have them too, as well as almost every commercial device in a BANK where things are critical you may think I am not that crazy *LOL* Currency Counters ect. But the typical installer doing these installs and their company are even clueless about them.

Ill post links, but you can get them anywhere, Ive even ordered bulk ones directly from China, though with shipping issues right now I think I would pass on that. Ebay has them, Amazon has them, my two go to sources. They come installed on many quality electronics and almost all have at least a couple of them in their homes and never thought much about it.
They are called snap on Ferrite Beads Im including the whole amazon search but its the first four on the page.

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I had a similar issue with the Craftsman unit (built by Chamberlain) in my barn. It ended up being the digital TV antenna on the building. Once I unplugged the booster on the antenna the remote worked consistently. I use LED bulbs in both the closer in the barn and the one on the garage on the house.
I have the opposite experience. We put the cheap chamberlain opener on our new house. I didn't have any old style bulbs, so I put an LED bulb in it. Works fine.

I even added another LED bulb overhead light.

Still works fine.
Had a Chamberlain opener installed a few days ago and the manual states that if one has problems with LED lights to change to a better quality LED light or switch back to regular bulbs. So for those who use "budget" LEDs a warning. :eek:;)
Another simple option to try is taking some speaker wire or similar to extend the stubby antenna on the opener and running it towards the front of the garage above the door to improve reception. If not a finished garage, run it up into the rafters to get it higher up.

Sounds like an issue with the newest models, I have 2 Craftsman (Chamberlain) units less than 2 years old (still sold) both WiFi and both using 2 LED bulbs, albeit not integrated. No issues with either opener with a combination of Homelink and the provided remotes.
I was going to go with one of these new models but decided I'd let others work out the bugs and go with the older style, besides the new one looks just like the old Craftsman. I do have LED's in the new unit but they are the Genie brand LED.

The only issue I had was the wife's old Caddy and my Lucerne don't really have HomeLink so they won't program. I also bought a couple cheap remotes of Amazon and they work really well.

AlarmGuy....I just ordered some ferrite core beads from Amazon. I am willing to try anything at this point. It would be great if this indeed solves the problem.....Thanks so much for your suggestion.
AlarmGuy....I just ordered some ferrite core beads from Amazon. I am willing to try anything at this point. It would be great if this indeed solves the problem.....Thanks so much for your suggestion.
Great, I would love to hear if it is successful. If possible, two on each line going into the garage door opener as close as to the opener as possible within reason of course..
Oh and in case I didnt make clear!
DO NOT put them on the actual garage door opener antenna assuming the model has a thin wire hanging from it.
When Verizon first installed FiOS in my house the range of my Liftmaster (made by Chamberlain) remotes was reduced to the point at which I had to nearly be at the garage door to open it. Verizon said at the time that the FiOS equipment in my garage "shouldn't" be interfering with it. I ended up buying an external receiver with two key chain remotes on eBay for $20. It was branded "House Link." They don't seem to have that brand anymore, but there are others like it. They weren't affected by whatever was affecting the factory remotes. The extra benefit was that I now have two small remotes to go with my two full sized ones. Some of the receivers they make now work with apps on your phone - even better because you don't have a remote in your car to possibly be stolen. When the original FiOS box had to be replaced the original remotes went back to functioning as they should. I really like the little remotes, though.