Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Garage Remote controls - They're not all that remote

Hi there

Last weekend, I went for a walk on the Maupuia Walkway.  On my return, I stopped at my front gate, pulled my earphones from my ears, and pressed the knob to turn off my MP3 player.

My garage door immediately rose up.

I pressed my MP3 player again, and the garage door gently closed down.

Knob pressed .... Up!    Knob pressed .... Down!   Hey, wasn't my electronic garage door  only supposed to be activated by its own personal remote control?  No mention of an MP3 player in the instructions.

The previous evening, before going outside, I'd turned on my porch light switch,.  The garage door had gone ....  up.    I turned off the light switch and the door went .... down.


As I was staring at the door, MP3 player in hand, my neighbour approached me.  We both watched as, of  its own volition - I hadn't even pressed my MP3 player - the garage door went up again.

"Maybe someone in the street has the same garage door co-ordinate thingee,," I said.  I don't know technical talk, a pity.

"Or someone's turned on their television remote control?" suggested my neighbour.  We both looked up , down, and across to the 15 or so houses.  There was no-one standing full-blown, in a window waving a remote control.

I decided to worry about the problem in the morning.

I didn't last till the morning.  At 11 pm, I got a phone call from my neighbour.  "Your garage door is open," she said.

"Oh."  What had I done over the last few hours in the electrical switching-on area?  Well, I'd turned on my toaster, my microwave,  my electric blanket, my television, my DVD recorder.  Had my garage door been rising and falling all evening?

The following day I got a new battery for my remote control.   Everything seems okay, now.  Like everyone, I keep the most useless junk in my garage.    But, hey, look, it's my junk.  And I have good memories associated with every broken chair, school report, photos from my world trip in 1965, a dried flower from my first beau, three suitcases of hippy clothes that I can't bear to part with,  my old bicycle with the withered tyres, a faux Christmas tree that I haven't unwrapped for 5 years, etc, etc.   Yet, still, I wouldn't want a burglar to just saunter in through an open garage door and pilfer a tad of it.

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