A disturbing puzzle that affected dozens of families in the Cleveland area was finally settled, but not before weeks of spoiling people who – oddly enough – could not open the car and garage doors.
In late April, residents of the town of North Olmsted, Ohio, began to discover that their wireless car key controls and garage door openers simply stopped working or ran unpredictably when they worked.
Sometimes it would be one of two remote controls that would not work while the other worked. At other times, car doors could be opened wirelessly when parked elsewhere, but if the vehicle returned to North Olmsted, the locked doors would become inert once more.
One resident, Cory Branchick, assumed that his key's battery should be missing, so he replaced it only to find that the problem had not been solved-at least when it was parked in his garage.
"Anywhere else, when I go to work or when I go to the grocery store, the locksmith works," Branchick told local paper WKYC.
As dozens of neighbors on several nearby streets reported the same phenomenon, no one knew what was causing the widespread malfunction.
Some have suggested that this could be related to trips at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, or even a technological risk related to a NASA research center in the area.
Others, including city officials, suggested that the malfunction could be related to telecommunications and electricity providers who sent their own teams to investigate what could be hampering residents' radio transmitters.
"It can not be a small device that is causing this interference," said North Olmsted councilman Chris Glassburn last week.
"We really thought it would be the utilities."
Despite these initial suspicions, an intense door-to-door investigation, led by local officials, determined that it was actually just a dishonest device behind the city's radio transmitters that were in the dark.
The culprit, it seems, was a homemade device invented by a local electronics enthusiast. He designed a specialized appliance to let you know if someone was upstairs in your home while working underground.
"He has a fascination with electronics," Glassburn said in a statement describing the anonymous local inventor – a person with special needs who had no idea of the damage he was doing to the community at large, simply because of the radiofrequency that his device continually operated. in.
"The way he designed it was persistently putting a 315-megahertz signal. There was no malicious intent of the device."
This constant transmission has effectively jammed the radio signal for radio devices installed on car doors and garage doors, which often operate in the 315 MHz to 433 MHz radio range.
It's a bit scary to think that just one home radio device can easily cause widespread outages in neighboring technological equipment – but, at least for the people of North Olmsted, life for the moment may finally return to normal.
The device invented at home has been identified and deactivated, said Glassburn, adding that there will be no further interference generated by him.
"And the villager has agreed not to manufacture these appliances in the future," added Glassburn.