Do not know what to make of this…

My car has one of those common remote lock gizmos - no more than a little radio transmitter that sends a weak coded signal. Around here (densely populated southern California) the range is only about 20-40 feet (at most). Given all the other electronic gadgets in this area, the level of electromagnetic noise is likely quite high, and the limited range is not a surprise. Ditto for the remote to open the garage door from the car - I pretty much have to be directly in front of the house for the remote to work. When out in less densely populated areas, the car remote works from 100-200 feet away. Pretty much what you would expect.

Now comes the part less easy to figure out.

In the past several years there are stretches of time when the range of my local wireless network drops radically. Sometimes the drop is only for a few hours. Sometimes the drop lasts for weeks. Could be due to some noisy electronic gadget used by one of my neighbors, but no way to be sure - at least without somewhat-fancy laboratory-type gear.

There is another possibility.

My neighborhood is up in the foothills, with a view covering much of southern Orange County. Millions of people down there, as well as many electronic and defense-related businesses. Atop nearby hills there are some left-over odds & ends - clusters of antennas and the like. Some might be left-overs from the Marine base that was once nearby. Some might still be in use. There is some chance that my area could be in a “spotlight” or beam of what amounts to electromagnetic noise from somewhere down below the hills - a beam meant for some other purpose, but with the effect of raising the local noise level.

Just an idle speculation - nothing more.

Yesterday I hit the car remote from about a hundred feet away - and it worked! Odd. As we approached the house I (prematurely) hit the garage door opener from the end of the street (much too far away) - and it worked. Now wait just a second ….

Nothing proved, just curious.