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Charging Roadster disables Garage Opener

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by Strib, May 18, 2015.

  1. Strib

    Strib Member

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    Alamo, CA
    I just figured out a perplexing problem. Turns out my garage door opener remotes (radio based) won't operate when my Roadster 1.5 is charging! The wall button works the opener because it is hardwired. Soon as charging completes, the remotes come back to life.

    I'm certain the charging circuitry is generating enough radio interference that it swamps the receiver in the garage opener. I found that if I hold one of the hand-held remotes right against the opener's antenna wire I can get it to function.

    At the moment I'm still using the 110VAC mobile charger - I've almost completed the 220VAC wiring for the Roadster HPC.

    Anybody else experience this conflict with a garage door opener???

    Strib
     
  2. gregd

    gregd Member

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    Given my experience with our home's X-10 system not working, I suspect that the interference is not over the air, but more likely conducted through the house wiring. If the car and the opener are on the same side of the mains (same half of the 240v coming into the house), especially if on the same circuit, temporarily plugging the car or opener into a socket on the other side might prove that. If so, a fix could be to add a line filter to the opener (plug the opener into the filter, then the filter into the socket). Filtering at the car would be better, but the higher current requirement would make the filter itself a bit more expensive.
     
  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    240V devices are always on both sides. That's how they get double the voltage. So when he goes 240 he won't be able to avoid it.
     
  4. Roadrunner13

    Roadrunner13 Member

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    He mentions the hardwired button works, so it's not 240V interference with the garage opener motor.
    It's truly wireless interference that seems to be the issue.

    I do have a garage door opener in a small garage, so it sits right over the roadster PEM but I've never experienced this type of interference with the two types of remote I have (mobile in the glove compartment and wireless fixed outside the door). Sorry.
     
  5. gregd

    gregd Member

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    The hardwired button works, but it's bypassing the entire RF portion of the unit. Conducted RF can still affect (desence) the receiver.

    I thought he said he was using 110v charging, while wiring up the higher voltage. If he's using 240v, then I agree that talking about sides doesn't make sense.

    But I stiill think it could be conducted vs radiated. So, how about this for a test: Park the car outside the garage (back it down the driveway if it will give you a bit longer reach. If it is radiated interference, then the desence should be less (better able to use the opener). If it's conducted, it shouldn't make a difference. If you add a (very heavy duty) extension cord, the longer the cord the more drammatic the difference should be. (Inverse square law vs linear.)
     
  6. Chris Lockfort

    Chris Lockfort 2008 Roadster 1.5 + 2015 Zero SR

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    Location:
    Palo Alto, California, United States
    One of my housemates is a ham radio nut; I can confirm that even after isolating his power lines, he still sees broad spectrum interference when my roadster is charging.
    I'll bet it's a lot worse in my 1.5 than the newer roadsters, as I'm guessing at least some of the interference is from re-using parts of the main motor as part of the charging process.
     
  7. gregd

    gregd Member

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    Well, ok then! Let's try this again.

    As another Ham Radio Nut, I did some experimenting with my Roadster. Sorry, but it's a 2.0, so as mentioned, your results may be different.

    I doubt the issue is coming from the motor, as it's (hopefully!) not spinning during the charge cycle. With my car charging on 120v, I scanned the region around the PEM from 300mhz to 436mhz. The radio is a Kenwood TH-F6, set to USB for best sensitivity, but with the squelch set just high enough to get rid of most of the ambient junk. I found 13 spikes in the background noise, all except for two of them were still there with the car unplugged and asleep. I presume they are from CATV leakage, or the PC or Internet router in the adjacent room. The two exceptions were at 334.8 mhz and 375.0 mhz. Both returned when the car was awakened (just opened the passenger door, not charging), and went away again the instant the car returned to sleep. Both needed the radio antenna to be fairly close to the PEM; they weren't strong enough to break squelch a few feet away. None were specifically associated with charging, so I'm not seeing anything that would explain what you are seeing.

    I'm curious about your car's noise being described as "broad spectrum". The RF noise generated by my car is definitely not broad; it's pretty narrow, which is consistent with being generated by digital circuitry. Broad spectrum noise is more often mechanically created, for example, arcing contacts in motors. Given that it's not the main motor, it could be one of the fan or pump motors, though I've never seen such a source be strong enough to desense an external receiver.

    Another possibility is that there's a broken, or loose and oxidized, ground connection. Since the car itself has a plastic shell, the usual non-ignition sources of RF noise in cars don't apply. You might ask the service center to look around for any missing or loose screws in/around the PEM, especially in the high voltage section.

    The only other place I can think of would be the charging circuitry itself. I presume the internal charger is essentially a big switching power supply. If poorly designed and filtered, they can be notorious for creating noise. But it's not usually that high up in RF frequency (below 30 mhz mostly), and usually there's a periodicity to the noise that's easy to spot by ear. What happens when you listen on an external AM radio? What does it sound like when you tune around?

    I've asked some other ham contacts for advice, and will pass on what they suggest.
     

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