- How can I measure the RF radiation of my “smart” meter myself?
- Can I shield my living space from the RF radiation from my “smart” meter?
- Are there any downsides to shielding the RF from the “smart” meter?
- Can I shield the RF from my gas meter?
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Q: Can I measure the RF radiation of my “smart” meter myself?
Yes, you can purchase a meter for relatively low cost and learn how to read it yourself. There are several consumer devices on the market that measure the radiation that “smart” meters emit.
One of the issues with ‘smart’ meters is that they have extremely short spikes of RF—usually just 2-3 milliseconds (2/1000th of a second). While your utility would have this sound harmless, it seems clear from the number of health complaints that the human nervous system has no trouble registering a signal that is that brief. In fact the electrical signals throughout our body go off in similarly brief periods of time. Some measuring devices built to measure conventional fields of RF may not have a “sampling rate” sufficient to pick up the extremely brief individual pulses. We are not experts in the RF measurement technology, but merely note one possible consequence trying to measure of this erratic new type of RF emissions, ‘smart’ meters.
Most electric “smart” meters are in the 800-1000 MHz (megahertz) range of the radio-frequency microwave band. Gas meters can be in the 400-500 MHz range, and in-home appliance networks (HAN) (including the 2nd radio in the ‘smart’ meter) are in the 2.4-2.5 GHz (gigahertz) range.
There are several online outlets for measuring devices. Search online using “RF meter” or “RF power meter.” Stop Smart Meters does not endorse or recommend any particular product or store (though we have small ads for a couple of alternatives on our website). Make sure the item you buy covers the frequencies you want to detect and measure. There is some relationship between price and quality, but good consumer-grade devices can be bought for around a hundred dollars. One citizen-scientist posts videos online showing how various meters work: http://www.youtube.com/user/NoRadBlog
Q: Can I shield my living space from the RF radiation from my “smart” meter?
It might be possible, but we don’t guarantee your results.
The idea of shielding is to place a RF barrier between you and the source of the RF. Several materials block RF radiation. Here is a basic explanation of how shielding can be set up: http://www.lessemf.com/faq-shie.html#smart. (Stop Smart Meters does not necessarily endorse the products on this website, but this is useful information.)
Aluminum foil, especially the heavy-duty type, in two layers, overlapping, can block a good deal of RF (shiny side toward the source of the RF). Aluminum mesh screening from a hardware store can effectively shield RF as well. Here is a video demonstrating this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJzBeUeXb0Q
However, we would like to make clear that shielding can produce unwanted or unexpected problems. Shielding without being able to measure the resulting effectiveness is not recommended. Shielding in the presence of multiple sources of RF is not recommended—a shield against one RF source can act to reflect and intensify the RF from another source. Some people harmed by “smart” meter installations have not found relief with shielding. So we recommend trying it with important several caveats:
–If your “smart” meter has made you sick, first disconnect all other wireless devices, wifi, cordless phones, microwaves, fluorescent light bulbs, etc. then shield with care, and pay close attention to how the change makes you feel.
–Get help doing it, because if you are sensitive, you do not want to be standing directly in front of the meter for any period of time.
–Consider hiring an EMF consultant to aid you in your plans.
–Buy an RF meter to measure the radiation in your environment, so you can shield in the right places and measure the results.
–Try several things before you give up.
–Document what you do—we are interested, and any successes can be shared here. Write info@StopSmartMeters.org.
–Make sure other sources of RF in your environment are removed or relocated, such as cordless phones or WiFi.
–Always ground your shielding. Ask an electrician for help.
We don’t recommend wrapping the meter in foil, as this may cause the meter to increase power to the transmitter, as it attempts to connect repeatedly. We say this after receiving several anecdotal reports to this effect, and so although we can’t explain how or why this happens, we can say that some people have felt worse around a wrapped meter.
Q: Are there any downsides to shielding the RF from the “smart” meter?
If your home contains other sources of RF radiation, such as cordless phones or WiFi, these will be bounced back into your living space. If you have multiple external sources outside your home, like cell antennas and other “smart” meters in the neighborhood, you must consider how shielding effects those radiation sources. Measurement is key for complex situations, but not hard for people to learn themselves. Basic RF meters run under $100. [link to question about buying a device, above]]
That said, shielding material between you and your “smart” meter can cut down the worst of it. However, we do not guarantee that this measure will help all persons made sick by their “smart” meters, because other electrical issues appear to factor into the illness these meters are causing. Grounding is always recommended for any shielding arrangement. At the end of the day, it is always preferable to remove the source of the radiation. (see section on changing a meter)
Q: Can I shield the RF from my gas meter?
Gas meters are often free-standing and thus it could be easier to cut the emissions from the “smart” module on your gas meter. We have information from a southern California utility customer who shielded her gas meter, so as to cut the RF going into her house, but not cut it off from communicating with the mesh network. She measured the RF before and after, and says the amount entering her home from the gas meter was greatly reduced. She used a flexible metal screening mesh from a big-box store and a stapler, wrapping the meter and stapling it in place, and then cutting an opening in the side furthest from her house, to let the signal out. This she says, appears to direct the RF away from her home. Stop Smart Meters! can’t assure your results, nor the safety of this arrangement.