2011-09-01 / Local & State

Remotely Mysterious Malfunction In Eastern Pa.

READING, Pa. (AP) – Residents in one eastern Pennsylvania community are having a remote mystery.

Remote controls stopped working for no apparent reason in Ontelaunee Township's Willow Glen neighborhood. Now they're working again, so residents are happy but no less confused.

“Two to three weeks ago, I had to be 6 inches from my garage door to open it (with the remote),” said Randy Wails, a neighborhood resident. “Now I can open it from a block away.”

The Reading Eagle reported Monday (http://bit.ly/pP4t1C) that at least 10 residents, using different brands and models, said their garage door openers stopped working in July.

John Rohrbach of The Overhead Door Co. of Reading said remotes can stop working when radio waves interfere with the signal but not on such a large scale.

“We've had pockets in some developments where we’ve had issues like this, but it’s usually one or two houses,” he said. “Whatever was doing it was pretty strong.”

Willow Glen resident Lisa Klemka said she and her husband, Tom, decided to replace their nonfunctioning garage opener with a new manufacturer that seemed to be operating at other homes. It worked, but only from within their driveway.

Meanwhile, their old model worked perfectly elsewhere.

“The one that we had we took to my brother’s house, because he got a new house,”' Lisa Klemka said. “My husband put it in and it worked fine there.”

Township supervisor William Klein said officials have been asking around about what could have caused the interference. So far, nothing’s turned up.

Some residents said their remotes suddenly started working perfectly again. But they don’t know why.

“I’d like to know what it was,” Wails said. “Someone knows.”

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