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Catalyst
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
[It's all OK now. So, no need to post 'fixes' or anything like that. I just want to share the story and hear what you guys think]

We got Sandi in Feb. this year with two of the all-in-one remote+key devices (the remote device and the key are together in the same object). I gave one to my wife and I use the other (I'm the daily driver - so hers hardly ever gets used).

All of a sudden, on Sunday morning, just after the Summit group photo shoot in Ouray, the devices stopped working. - or so I thought...

After playing with them (both were acting the same way), I discovered that they would work while I was sitting inside the vehicle, but not from the outside (I usually click the thing as I'm walkign up to the vehicle, you know).

Then, my friend, Father Kal (komombo of Sandstorm fame) suggested it was a proximity thing, not an inside/outside thing. Sure enough, they would work if I was standing very close to the front of the FJ, but not when I walked even 5 feet away.

So, at that point, even though JammerGirl's device hardly ever gets used, and even though I knew its battery couldn't drain at the same rate as the one that I use all the time, I thought it might be something to do with the batteries in the devices, and decided to just check on it once we got home.

Then, later that day, when we were in Whitewater (stopped to pick up some fresh Palisade peaches, plums, cherries, etc), I tried it again and they worked just fine once again.

My hunch?....The only thing I can think of is that being there with 50 (60?, 70?) other FJs with the same exact electronic gadgets may have resulted in some kind of RF signal interference/confusion and may have reset in some way once the vehicle was in an area less densly populated with similar RF signals.

Does this make any sense?
Has anyone else ever experienced this?
Do you know what caused it?

This is all just curiosity for me know, but I'd sure be interested in hearing any legitimate explanations.

Thanks.
steven

p.s. I debated on whether to put this in the Summit section or not, but since it seems more to do with my rig in particular, and not necessarily anything to do with the Summit it self (other than possibly resulting from a large gathering of FJs), I put it here in the seciton that seems to deal with electronic issues.
 

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hmmm i noticed our Fj kept on beeping on it's own while the fob was in my pocket..I know nothing else was hitting it. it was very bizarre.
 

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Catalyst
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Haha, it was probably me, pressing mine, trying to figure out why the hell it wasn't beeping or locking or anything. :lol: :rofl:
 

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I guess it is possible considering the large numbers of FJ's. I think the key fobs are sort of like 'cell phones' in that their is a limited number of frequencies and codes in use, so some are shared. The key fob by the way, is always transmitting. It is a very weak signal but they are 'always on'. So I would think that it is possible for key fobs close in frequency to interfere with other units. Course if the key fob ever dies, you can always use the key to open your doors. :)
 

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Catalyst
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess it is possible considering the large numbers of FJ's. I think the key fobs are sort of like 'cell phones' in that their is a limited number of frequencies and codes in use, so some are shared. The key fob by the way, is always transmitting. It is a very weak signal but they are 'always on'. So I would think that it is possible for key fobs close in frequency to interfere with other units....
I figured it may be soemthing like this. Thanks.

...Course if the key fob ever dies, you can always use the key to open your doors. :)
Indeed. That's what I did.
It was just so odd, walking up to the FJ and sticking the key in the door....all-the-while, looking around like a dork, wondering if anyone noticed and was wondering in their head, "Hey, why isn't that guy using the remote?....maybe he doesn't like the beeps". :lol:
 

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I had a similar experience when i visited a Toyota dealer a couple of months ago, usually i get very good distance from my remote control to activate/deactivate the locking mechanism, but that day i had to stand 1 feet from my fj to make it lock. it was so weird, i was thinking of buying a new battery, but after i got out from there and got home everything was fine...
 

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Catalyst
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had a similar experience when i visited a Toyota dealer a couple of months ago, usually i get very good distance from my remote control to activate/deactivate the locking mechanism, but that day i had to stand 1 feet from my fj to make it lock. it was so weird, i was thinking of buying a new battery, but after i got out from there and got home everything was fine...
Aha. Interesting to hear the same thing has happened to others.
Thanks for letting me know.

steven
 

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[It's all OK now. So, no need to post 'fixes' or anything like that. I just want to share the story and hear what you guys think]

We got Sandi in Feb. this year with two of the all-in-one remote+key devices (the remote device and the key are together in the same object). I gave one to my wife and I use the other (I'm the daily driver - so hers hardly ever gets used).

All of a sudden, on Sunday morning, just after the Summit group photo shoot in Ouray, the devices stopped working. - or so I thought...

After playing with them (both were acting the same way), I discovered that they would work while I was sitting inside the vehicle, but not from the outside (I usually click the thing as I'm walkign up to the vehicle, you know).

Then, my friend, Father Kal (komombo of Sandstorm fame) suggested it was a proximity thing, not an inside/outside thing. Sure enough, they would work if I was standing very close to the front of the FJ, but not when I walked even 5 feet away.

So, at that point, even though JammerGirl's device hardly ever gets used, and even though I knew its battery couldn't drain at the same rate as the one that I use all the time, I thought it might be something to do with the batteries in the devices, and decided to just check on it once we got home.

Then, later that day, when we were in Whitewater (stopped to pick up some fresh Palisade peaches, plums, cherries, etc), I tried it again and they worked just fine once again.

My hunch?....The only thing I can think of is that being there with 50 (60?, 70?) other FJs with the same exact electronic gadgets may have resulted in some kind of RF signal interference/confusion and may have reset in some way once the vehicle was in an area less densly populated with similar RF signals.

Does this make any sense?
Has anyone else ever experienced this?
Do you know what caused it?

This is all just curiosity for me know, but I'd sure be interested in hearing any legitimate explanations.

Thanks.
steven

p.s. I debated on whether to put this in the Summit section or not, but since it seems more to do with my rig in particular, and not necessarily anything to do with the Summit it self (other than possibly resulting from a large gathering of FJs), I put it here in the seciton that seems to deal with electronic issues.
I did a little digging and found this very "illuminating" article. I believe that it may be one or more of the police cars or some other communication tower that was transmitting at the same frequency as your keyless remote, hence creating that interference at that spot in front of the Ouray Hotel. It now makes more sense to me, especially after having read the article:
Keyless Remotes To Cars in Waldorf Suddenly Useless (washingtonpost.com)

Cheers.
 

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Catalyst
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I did a little digging and found this very "illuminating" article. I believe that it may be one or more of the police cars or some other communication tower that was transmitting at the same frequency as your keyless remote, hence creating that interference at that spot in front of the Ouray Hotel. It now makes more sense to me, especially after having read the article:
Keyless Remotes To Cars in Waldorf Suddenly Useless (washingtonpost.com)

Cheers.
So...the NSA was spying on the Summit?!?!? :lol::rofl:
 

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So...the NSA was spying on the Summit?!?!? :lol::rofl:
Ummm, I don't know?! More likely, Ouray is relay point of secret information. I just had an idea: if you can hack into your keyless remote, will you be able to download secret government communication or send neat little messages to the NSA.

The important point here is that there is nothing wrong with your keys or alarm system, it's just cellular tower interference that effected some FJers but not others. My non-OCD brain buys that :cowfrown: :):)!
 

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Catalyst
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So Father, what you're saying is that, when this problem occurrs, I should just 'Use the Force'? :lol:
 

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Catalyst
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Cell towers...hmmm....there was a member there who had a cell repeater installed in his FJ. Maybe that was the source of interference?
Ok, so this brings up another question....in fact, it reminds me to ask another one as well...

1. If anyone knows....was the cell-repeater rig still in the vicinity of the intersection where the front of the gathering line was (where Mouse's, Backstreet, the Ouray Hotel, etc are) for a while after the end of the event?

The reason I ask is that we stayed at (and were still parked out on the side of) the Ouray Hotel with this disruption happening at least as late as 9:30 AM (we ate breakfast at Backstreet after the photo event and then took off out of town).


2. On that note...
a. Could it be that the reason the device only works very close to the vehicle's front end (presumably where the 'brain' of the system is) during these kinds of events is that the system senses the high interference, and purposely downgrades the 'pick-up' (I'm completely ignorant here) so as to effectively limit the radius within which it will accept signal from?

b. Is it possible that when this occurs (whatever it is that does actually occur), the system goes into some kind of lower-power reception mode either until the interference is gone or for a specified period of time?
 

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Cell frequencies are up around the 800 - 900 MHz range, vehicle remotes are usually in the 300 MHz range, so the cell repeater would not affect the remotes. A high power rf source using the same frequency range of the vehicle remotes would drown out the remotes via rf 'noise'. So either a high power transmitter within the same range of frequencies were responsible or if a bunch of fj'rs are together at once, it is possible that all the key fobs were interfering with each other. Not sure if you noticed but the key fob for the FJ has a bit of range to them! :)
 

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Catalyst
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
...Not sure if you noticed but the key fob for the FJ has a bit of range to them! :)
Indeed.
This past weekend, we went for a hike with a friend at Rabbit Mountain, and when we were about 1/4 mile away, up on the overlook, I tried it..........and we heard it. The others weren't so sure at first (hearing not quite as sensitive as mine). So, then I said, OK, here goes one beep (i.e. lock)....did you hear that?....yep....and here go two beeps (i.e. unlock)....did you hear that?....yes indeed they did.....So, at that point, I figured there was no reason to set off the panic alarm. :)

A bit of range indeed. :rocker:
 

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Good range indeed! :rocker:


Here's some technical info on the keyless entry that I've compiled... The keyless entry is KeeLoq-based (a Microchip hopping code technology). I've used some of the line's products before, but they're employing a custom solution (utilizing programming instead of the drop-in IC's). Also, it uses a 434-MHz TX/RX frequency, as identified by a spectrum analyzer (CanadaFJ, you were close!). This makes sense, considering many reference designs also use 434-MHz. That's all for now! :wave:
 

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Catalyst
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Good range indeed! :rocker:


Here's some technical info on the keyless entry that I've compiled... The keyless entry is KeeLoq-based (a Microchip hopping code technology). I've used some of the line's products before, but they're employing a custom solution (utilizing programming instead of the drop-in IC's). Also, it uses a 434-MHz TX/RX frequency, as identified by a spectrum analyzer (CanadaFJ, you were close!). This makes sense, considering many reference designs also use 434-MHz. That's all for now! :wave:
Ok, cool.
Thanks, bud. This stuff is very interesting to me.
 
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