Jul 19, 2019 | Updated: 08:51 AM EDT

Local Inventor Homemade Gadget Accidentally Disrupt Entire Neighborhood's Garage Doors and Key Fobs

May 07, 2019 08:24 AM EDT

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It is easy to take modern conveniences for granted like keyless entry and automatic garage doors, but when for some reason they stop working we realize their importance.

This is exactly what happened to the residents of North Olmsted, Ohio. A week ago, almost everyone in the neighborhood began experiencing something truly bizarre. Their car keys and garage door openers were dying for no apparent reason, and it's only happening within their vicinity. When they seemed to be working fine everywhere else. Furthermore, nothing seemed to fix the problem.

The problem became such a nuisance that the authorities started getting involved. A local news channel even brought in a retired engineer to help out but to no avail.

After weeks of investigation, it became clear the root cause was a strong radio signal in the same frequency that cause the disruption. Authorities started powering down parts of the town where the signal was the strongest. The idea behind this is by shutting down the power, it will also kill the signal to whatever was causing it. However, it was to no avail. 

With the help of some electronics experts, they started tracking the signal's strength across several city blocks and located one particular house where the signal appears the strongest. With further investigation, it appears the homeowner had actually built a device that was clogging the airwaves without him even realizing it.

It was a homemade gadget, originally designed as an alert system that would signal the inventor whether someone is home while he's working in his basement. Unfortunately, the device happens to broadcast a radio signal that is the same exact frequency as many key fobs and garage door openers, thus the interruption. The device was also battery-powered, which is why turning off the neighborhood's power grid had no effect to it whatsoever. The inventor was quite apologetic and stated that he had no idea that he was the source of the problem and certainly did not intend to cause any of the disruptions.

The device has been powered down for good, allowing keyless entry systems and garage door openers to function normally going forward. That's music to the ears for Spectrum, AT&T, and the local power company, all of which have been working on determining the source of the problem.

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