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  • SMA Inverter and garage door openers

    I have an SMA inverter mounted inside my garage, about 8 feet away from my Garage Door opener. Since going live I've had issues with the door openers, all of them, 3 handheld remotes and 2 in card modern HomeLink systems. They all now work on a very intermittent basis and I typically have to get out of the car to close the door and to open it when I get home. With the addition of the Solar PV system I also have a powerline adapter providing LAN access to the SMA INverter and a Rain Forest Eagle, also plugged into a powerline adapter. I've unplugged both the those devices and notice no change so I'm blaming the inverter. I have not powered it off entirely to test that theory and I'll probably do that at some point to confirm it....simply haven't got around to it yet. Anyway, it's a total PITA and I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this sort of issue before and if so what's the fix? Even if it is the inverter as I suspect, I'm not going to get rid of it, obviously so I do need to figure out a solution.

    The Garage door is a LiftMaster and is about 5 years old and worked flawlessly previously...from a block away.

    Thanks for any ideas.

    Cheers
    KIWI
    [url]http://tiny.cc/m8ex0x[/url]

  • #2
    Your best workarounds for an inverter which produces a high level of RF interference will depend on whether the interference is mainly radiated and picked up by the receiver antenna or mainly conducted over the power lines.

    To eliminate the latter, you would need to completely disconnect the AC wires from the inverter output (both hot(s) and neutral, not just the hot wires) and see if that makes a difference.
    If it does not, the interference is probably radiated. You could add an RF filter on the DC input of the inverter to rule out that possibility for conducted RF too.

    If it is radiated (through the cover of the inverter) you are very limited in what you can do. If the garage door openers have a provision for a remote antenna, then hook one up and locate it as far from the inverter and as close to the front of the garage as possible.
    If it does not have a provision for an external antenna, a local radio amateur (ham) may be able to show you how to hook up a remote antenna anyway.

    A different garage door opener whose RF input is in a different frequency band might work better too. But hard to predict without trying it.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by inetdog; 09-06-2015, 05:34 AM.
    SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

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  • #3
    I agree with inetdog

    Sounds like you have a conflict between the wireless garage door openers and your inverter LAN communication.

    I found similar conflicts with my home security system components and my computer wireless access. I ended up having to change the "channel" on my computer wireless equipment which eliminated any conflict.

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    • #4
      Originally posted by UkiwiS View Post
      I have an SMA inverter mounted inside my garage, about 8 feet away from my Garage Door opener. Since going live I've had issues with the door openers, all of them, 3 handheld remotes and 2 in card modern HomeLink systems. They all now work on a very intermittent basis and I typically have to get out of the car to close the door and to open it when I get home. With the addition of the Solar PV system I also have a powerline adapter providing LAN access to the SMA INverter and a Rain Forest Eagle, also plugged into a powerline adapter. I've unplugged both the those devices and notice no change so I'm blaming the inverter. I have not powered it off entirely to test that theory and I'll probably do that at some point to confirm it....simply haven't got around to it yet. Anyway, it's a total PITA and I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this sort of issue before and if so what's the fix? Even if it is the inverter as I suspect, I'm not going to get rid of it, obviously so I do need to figure out a solution.

      The Garage door is a LiftMaster and is about 5 years old and worked flawlessly previously...from a block away. KIWI
      I would first see if your door radios start woking again when the inverter shuts down for the night. No,
      eliminate any overnight radiation by pulling the AC disconnect. If none of this matters, it must be
      something else. Conduction from the inverter AC output can be dealt with by a minimum level line
      filter, capable of the the inverter voltage & current. Another one might be needed on the DC input
      side, different ratings. Radiation from the inverter itself needs a tight metal box enclosing it. Use
      hardware cloth with 1/2" openings for ventilation, soldered wire junctions.

      Or find out what frequency your radios work. I'm expecting 315 MHZ, some earlier (mine) were 390
      MHZ. I had severe range problems too, for different reasons. You can get a different radio set and just
      connect it to the push button input. A significantly higher frequency might help.

      My receivers have their own 120VAC plug, very low power. The range can be greatly increased with
      a proper antenna. I modified my receivers to allow ant connection, but there are radios already
      equipped with an ant jack. You may be able to buy your own ant for the frequency, but I made my
      own from a design off the internet, scaled to the frequency. My problem was range, but yours is
      interference. So you need the ant to be pointed toward the drive and away from the inverter; the
      receiver & ant could be located as far as practical from the inverter, using a long button wire pair.

      I have a Yagi (TV ant style) ant for use inside a building, and a colinear designed to be mounted on
      the outside of a metal building. The Yagi is adequate; the collinear is actually too good. I only have
      a picture of the colinear here, but the Yagi is on my PHOTOBUCKET . Bruce Roe
      Attached Files

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      • #5
        I have SMA TL6000US-12 inerter that using Locus monitoring, the communication is through Dlink powerline adapters to my router in living room. I have Lifemaster opener and recently upgrade to Chamberlain wifi belt drive, never have an issure with remotes, wireless keypad or homelink on my Mercedes. The only issue I had is lost connection in every 6 months and unplug - replug the powerlinr adapters to gain access.

        The inverter and monitoring installed within garage.
        Attached Files

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        • #6
          Thanks for all the responses. I have a few things to try and I'll report back if/when I figure it out.

          Cheers
          KIWI
          [url]http://tiny.cc/m8ex0x[/url]

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          • #7
            If your garage remotes work in the night time without any issue, then it might be the inverter. If you are having same issue at nights, then the problem isn't the inverter since inverter is shut off during night time. simple test

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            • #8
              The issue remained after dark, although door did seem to work a little better so not 100% certain that it was the inverter. Anyway, here's my simple yet effective fix.

              1. Purchase can of Pringle chips
              2. Eat Pringle chips
              3. Slice can in half length ways
              4. Slice a V in the bottom of one half of the can to accommodate the antenna.
              5. Using duct tape, tape can to door opener, shielding antenna and point open portion of the can to street.

              I can now open the door when I have line of sight to the garage door from approximately a block away...woot woot.

              Cheers
              KIWI
              [url]http://tiny.cc/m8ex0x[/url]

              Comment


              • #9
                Ant Fix

                Originally posted by UkiwiS View Post
                Anyway, here's my simple yet effective fix.
                1. Purchase can of Pringle chips
                2. Eat Pringle chips
                3. Slice can in half length ways
                4. Slice a V in the bottom of one half of the can to accommodate the antenna.
                5. Using duct tape, tape can to door opener, shielding antenna and point open portion of the can to street.

                I can now open the door when I have line of sight to the garage door from approximately a block away...woot woot.
                KIWI
                Great, do you have pictures? Bruce Roe

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by bcroe View Post
                  Great, do you have pictures? Bruce Roe
                  Let's see if this works
                  Attached Files
                  [url]http://tiny.cc/m8ex0x[/url]

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    1.jpg
                    [url]http://tiny.cc/m8ex0x[/url]

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                    • #12
                      Originally posted by UkiwiS View Post
                      [ATTACH]7708[/ATTACH]

                      A classic design.

                      Depending on the exact frequency of the RF, a larger radius can set farther back (1/4 wavelength) from the antenna might work even better, but there is no arguing with success.

                      I wish I could do something like that with my gate opener, but it has to work from inside and from two approach directions outside.
                      Best I could do would be to restrict the horizontal plane by going to a multiple wavelength antenna.
                      SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by UkiwiS View Post
                        I have an SMA inverter mounted inside my garage, about 8 feet away from my Garage Door opener. Since going live I've had issues with the door openers, all of them, 3 handheld remotes and 2 in card modern HomeLink systems. They all now work on a very intermittent basis and I typically have to get out of the car to close the door and to open it when I get home. With the addition of the Solar PV system I also have a powerline adapter providing LAN access to the SMA INverter and a Rain Forest Eagle, also plugged into a powerline adapter. I've unplugged both the those devices and notice no change so I'm blaming the inverter. I have not powered it off entirely to test that theory and I'll probably do that at some point to confirm it....simply haven't got around to it yet. Anyway, it's a total PITA and I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this sort of issue before and if so what's the fix? Even if it is the inverter as I suspect, I'm not going to get rid of it, obviously so I do need to figure out a solution.

                        The Garage door is a LiftMaster and is about 5 years old and worked flawlessly previously...from a block away.

                        Thanks for any ideas.

                        Cheers
                        KIWI


                        I had a Sears branded garage door opener only for 10 years and one day the main logic board went bad. I purchased a new one for $90 and installed it myself. Just saying.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by SolarFamilyGuy View Post
                          I had a Sears branded garage door opener only for 10 years and one
                          day the main logic board went bad. I purchased a new one for $90 and installed it myself.
                          My garage door openers are so old they didn't have logic boards (or electric eyes); by using the button
                          connections I can use generic radio units independent of the door. My 56 unit started with buttons for
                          up, down, and stop with a 3 phase motor. I did add a logic board and a radio for more conventional
                          residential control, but if it ever fails, it will be a free home repair job. Been running here since the
                          70s, on my hit list for wasting 1 watt vampire. Bruce Roe

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Thank you for the Pringles can idea ... I am hoping it is still working for you. We just installed part of our PV system with 10 panels w microinverters on garage roof, pretty much right over the garage door opener. No issues until today when it was really sunny out. Today in the bright sunshine I came home to no garage door remote controls working. At first I thought the power was out or the batteries died, but nope, everything was perfectly fine in the house and with the garage door opener and remote batteries - opener is a Chamberlain Liftmaster as well. It worked fine in the AM, no remote openers opening it mid day and by 3:45 when we returned home from work/school, it was opening via remote again. We have now eaten our Pringles and are headed out to strap the can up there. Hoping it works just as well! Glad you posted the picture. We chose a different flavor to enjoy. Never buy Pringles, but today it was a treat!

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