Military exercises in Pearl Harbor may impact garage doors

Military exercises in Pearl Harbor may impact garage doors
Published: Jun. 24, 2014 at 11:02 PM HST
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JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Rim of the Pacific exercise is the world's largest multinational maritime military joint venture and a trigger for some remotely operated garage doors.

So far, Susan Wong's garage door has dodged a bullet.

"I hear other people tell me that it's affecting their garage doors," she said.

During RIMPAC, increased radar activity affects a lot of garage doors.

"When the military is doing their exercises, if it happens to fall in the same frequency that we're on, we get locked up," said Valerie Okemura of H&H Overhead Door of Oahu.

"Most complaints are the remotes aren't working. They have to get up really close to the garage door to have it open, or it's just opening or closing by itself," Martin Garage Doors Hawaii's Leila Thompson said.

Residents in Aiea and Pearl City are affected the most. But it could happen to homes as far away from Pearl Harbor as Mililani. And if you haven't been hit before, don't think you're immune.

"It's certainly hit and miss," Thompson said.

RIMPAC begins Thursday and runs through July. Garage door companies know customers will complain and ask how to get their garage doors to behave.

"We could run an extension to the antenna temporarily. That may or may not help," Okemura said.

"Most garage door operators come now with what's called a frequency lock out. It's located on your wall console inside your garage. and you can just depress that button," Thompson said.

The downside is your remotes won't work.

Despite the potential inconvenience facing Wong, she realizes RIMPAC is important to Hawaii's economy and America's military.

"I'd rather be inconvenienced by them, knowing that they're here, than knowing that they're not here and not be inconvenienced," she said.

Garage door companies advise it's best to be patient. RIMPAC runs for a month. After that garage doors won't have to deal with the interference.

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