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LS 460 Levinson FM Reception and Garage Opener Signal Strength

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Old 01-10-11, 11:58 AM   #1
aklein2
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Default LS 460 Levinson FM Reception and Garage Opener Signal Strength

I get very poor FM reception in Washington DC and Alexandria, Virginia on my 2010 LS 460 Levinson audio system (which was great on my old LS 430). I also have trouble getting the garage door opener to work without being right on top of the door (also worked at a considerable distance from the door in my old LS 430). Can anything be done to improve either of these situations? The dealer's service department says nothing can be done. Any suggestions to the contrary out there?
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Old 01-10-11, 01:09 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear about your reception issues since I live in the same area and am about to take possession of a new 2011 LS 460L with ML audio. If you do a Google search for lexus diversity antenna, you'll see some suggestions. You might also try this.

When I go to Pohanka to pick up my new car later this week, I'll check to see if the FM radio works properly. If it does, I'll let you know. You might have a connection issue between the radio and the antenna.
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Old 01-10-11, 02:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by aklein2 View Post
I get very poor FM reception in Washington DC and Alexandria, Virginia on my 2010 LS 460 Levinson audio system (which was great on my old LS 430). I also have trouble getting the garage door opener to work without being right on top of the door (also worked at a considerable distance from the door in my old LS 430). Can anything be done to improve either of these situations? The dealer's service department says nothing can be done. Any suggestions to the contrary out there?
As for your garage door opener, there are several things to consider. If your car will open your garage door, even if it must be in close proximity, then your car is probably okay. There are some simple ways to verify that but we need to consider the more likely source of your problem first. The most common problem for apparent shortened range is Radio Frequency Interference. Fluorescent lighting is a very common source of RFI especially bad tubes or defective ballast and those sources are characterized by flickering lights of noisy (audible noise) ballast. Try operating your opener with any fluorescent lighting in your garage or adjacent area turned off. The same thing applies to sodium vapor lights and arcing on nearby transformers and power lines. Another thing, along the same lines, is the light in your lift mechanism. You must not use Compact-Flourescnt bulbs in your garage door lift mechanism. All of the devices that I mentioned generate broadband radio frequency noise and that seems to decrease the sensitivity of the receiver although what is really happening is that you must decrease the path loss by decreasing the range to get the signal strength up enough to be above the noise.

If you think that you are not having RFI problems then let us know and I will suggest a way to evaluate your car.
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Old 01-10-11, 03:05 PM   #4
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Hmmmmmmm. I have 100 W, fluorescent bulbs on the garage door opener and in the garage. The garage door can be opened from at least 200 feet away on all three cars. Guess I'm lucky, for a change
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Old 01-10-11, 03:35 PM   #5
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Hmmmmmmm. I have 100 W, fluorescent bulbs on the garage door opener and in the garage. The garage door can be opened from at least 200 feet away on all three cars. Guess I'm lucky, for a change
Most of the CFLs have very low RFI emissions when they are new but as they age then they can become a problem. All of the garage door opener manufacturers caution against using CFLs and the CFL manufactures caution about them interfering with electronic circuitry - read the label, this is what it usually says: "This product complies with Part 18 of FCC rules, but may cause interference with radio, televisions, wireless telephones and remote controls. If interference occurs, move the product away from the device or plug it into a different outlet." And of course they are usually not a problem when opening in response to a remote signal because the lights are not on and the doors are frequently opened using the wall control for exiting. However some people use theirs in different ways.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Will_Compa...ener_receivers
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Old 01-10-11, 05:23 PM   #6
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Hmmmmmmm. I have 100 W, fluorescent bulbs on the garage door opener and in the garage. The garage door can be opened from at least 200 feet away on all three cars. Guess I'm lucky, for a change
I do understand that you are referring to a 100 W equivalent CFL, but for those who don't understand: you should not use a lamp that dissipates more than about 50 watts. 100 watts dissipation under the lamp shade on the lift mechanism will probably damage it.
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Old 01-10-11, 05:56 PM   #7
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jmcraney "If you think that you are not having RFI problems then let us know and I will suggest a way to evaluate your car."

Thanks for the response. No fluorescents in or around my garage. No nearby transformers or power lines either, though I do have a battery charger plugged in out there, if that counts. Sounds like I may not have an RFI problem. My old car, as I noted, still opens the garage door at a distance without difficulty. What's next?
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Old 01-10-11, 06:01 PM   #8
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OBRon: Thanks for your response. I look foreward to hearing about your experience. The station I am missing is the Baltimore classical station, WBJC, at 99.5 FM. Comes in on my old car, but not very well on this one.

Last edited by aklein2; 01-10-11 at 06:02 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-10-11, 06:29 PM   #9
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jmcraney "If you think that you are not having RFI problems then let us know and I will suggest a way to evaluate your car."

Thanks for the response. No fluorescents in or around my garage. No nearby transformers or power lines either, though I do have a battery charger plugged in out there, if that counts. Sounds like I may not have an RFI problem. My old car, as I noted, still opens the garage door at a distance without difficulty. What's next?
Well, you have a couple of choices. If you have access to another garage door opener - mother in law, son, daughter, sister, cousin etc - you can try your car on it. You would have to teach the new opener you code but that is easy. Or you can reset your car and try a different button, also easily done. You may have to reset your opener and start over.

After that you would have a pretty strong case for getting the dealer to replace the HomeLink. gs400jon is right on with the 200' range being reasonable.

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Old 01-10-11, 07:24 PM   #10
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aklein2,

The HomeLinks are ubiquitous and if you satisfy yourself that you are not the problem, then if your dealer will not help you, go to a Toyota dealer. They should have a test-set to check your HomeLink and likely they will test it for you for free.

If you are unsure how to reset your HomeLink I can direct you to the instructions on this site.
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Old 01-11-11, 06:02 AM   #11
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aklein2,

After thinking some more about the information you have provided, I have some better advice.

You told us the your other car works fine with your garage door opener. That pretty well assures that there are no interfering RF sources and that your door lift electronics are in good shape.

And you have been to your dealer with this problem and they very likely checked your HomeLink system with their test set. I think all dealers have a HomeLink test set. They would not be able to tell with their equipment if the HomeLink in your car will operate your garage door opener because the HomeLink is a "universal" device and it has to be trained for a specific task.

So, I think that if you reset the HomeLink in your car and set it up correctly it will operate your garage door satisfactorily.

A word of caution, and this is where the whole process can run off the track: you must have a handheld remote, that is capable of operating your garage door opener, to train the HomeLink in your car. To be sure that you have this base covered, take the handheld remote that you are going to use to train your car, verify that it has a fresh battery, and then verify that it will operate your opener from a distance of about 100 feet.

Using the known-good-remote, reset and train the HomeLink in your car and then synchronize your door opener electronics with your car.

If you don't understand how to do some of these steps just let us know and I am sure someone will help you.
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Old 01-11-11, 12:14 PM   #12
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I do understand that you are referring to a 100 W equivalent CFL, but for those who don't understand: you should not use a lamp that dissipates more than about 50 watts. 100 watts dissipation under the lamp shade on the lift mechanism will probably damage it.
I removed the shade on the opener when I started using the fluorescents.
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Old 01-11-11, 12:16 PM   #13
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My opener works at the end of the street so that the garage is wide open by the time I get to the driveway
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Old 01-12-11, 08:54 PM   #14
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Picked up my new 2011 LS 460L from the dealer today. No FM reception issues and I was out in Chantilly.
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