Review 3 - Axis RF radiation tester - Electro Smog Measurement

Discussion in 'Gadgets and Consumer Electronics' started by JD666, May 2, 2016.

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  1. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    After reading up a bit about how Electro Smog, or Electronic Smog is the new pollutant in our lives, I got myself a 3 Axis RF Field Strength meter to test and understand further.

    First up, some background information and history.

    Electromagnetic radio waves or microwaves or how you want to address them, are everywhere. In the good old days before electricity, we were exposed to natural cosmic EM/RF Waves. However as technology has progressed, nearly every electronic device around us has some form of radiation emitted from it. This could be radio waves from a cell phone, or Micro waves from a Microwave over, or from your display, or from the cordless telephone unit, your Wi-Fi Router, laptop, charger, Bluetooth Headset.

    The output can be Electrical wave, magnetic wave, or visible light, like from your TV/Monitor/Sunlight.

    The list is endless. But how do we know what are the safe limits. For e.g. Mobile phone manufacturers have guidelines on power emission that their Cell Phones can put out. To meet these guidelines, they need to design their handsets in a particular way, so that they do not exceed the maximum power output, and at the same time can provide a good enough reception from the cell phone tower. This has been expressed in SAR or Specific Absorption rate.

    Moving on, similarly for houses/indoors/offices/schools etc, certain agencies and authorities have issued guidelines for what is considered safe limits for radiation. These are specified in uW/sq. mt. or Micro Watt per sq. meter.

    Here's giving you an idea first -

    1 Watt = 1000 MilliWatts = 10,00,000 MicroWatts

    To put it into perspective, the Sun's radiation received on earth is between 1100-1300 Watts per Sq. meter.

    The safe ranges are as follows -

    No concern - < 0.1 uW/Sq. Mt.

    Slight concern - 0.1 - 10 uW/Sq. Mt.

    Severe concern - 10-1000 uW/Sq. Mt.

    Extreme concern - > 1000 uW/Sq. Mt.


    Here's the tester I got for measurement -

    IMG_4323.JPG

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    Safe ranges according to the Australian College of Environmental Sciences has been set as -

    - Living space - Less than 10 MicroWatt
    - Sleeping space - Less than 5 Microwatt

    To put that into perspective, here's a reading on my device, while I'm sitting at my desk, with the following devices around me -

    - 24 inch monitor
    - Laptop
    - Cell phone
    - Cordless phone
    - HDD (external powered)
    - USB Hub (external power)
    - keyboard
    - mouse

    IMG_4488.JPG
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    The reading fluctuates since it measures the power on all 3 axis. however a reading of 900-1200 Micro Watt goes right above the extreme concern area.

    I tested more and found my sleeping area to be around 500 Micro Watt, which is still way above the recommended safe ranges.

    Wanted to share the start of some home testing and how I'm going to work on making my sleeping area (at least) Electro Smog free.
     
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  2. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Interesting finding after I switched off everything around me, shifted the cordless away, and put the cellphone (iPhone 6S) into Airplane Mode. The readings dropped instantly, and went to sub 100 MicroWatt levels -

    IMG_4491.JPG

    IMG_4492.JPG

    So there is an impact that can be recorded on a measurement device, but cannot really be felt by us as humans.
     
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