Smart Meters

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by VE3JCJ, Mar 7, 2019.

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  1. VE3JCJ

    VE3JCJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a question about smart meters, if it's been asked before, my apologies:

    This is on behalf of a friend of ours who made some points and I don't have enough knowledge to answer true or false. She read somewhere where these smart meters give off high levels of (in her words) "Radiation" In my words I think she means RF. In our area I'm sure all the smart meters are daisy-chained together and she's paranoid about stuff she doesn't understand. Her daughter is autistic and both of them suffer from migraine headaches. She blames the smart meters and other electronic devices. I try to explain to her that she's using the wrong word in context of RADIATION although we all know that RF transmission is, of course, a form of radiation, but not the way she thinks. She's thinking of the old Si-Fi movies and Flash Gordon etc. I tried to explain to her that physics factor of Inverse Square law especially the Inverse Square Law of microwave appliances. Her husband is a retired cop and think she's full of 'hooey'. I even mention the use of a Faraday cage, but then, if they use a Faraday cage how would the Daisy Chain work? It wouldn't.

    I have heard all kinds of controversy on the subject but, really, what is the truth. I'm thinking that the RF transmission between the daisy-chain of RF is only measured in micro-volts or millivolts at best. I can't ask the manufacture because I'll get all kinds of biases at best. I do know that microwave units in the kitchen do emit or leak but somewhat at a safe level. Using hand gestures is how I explained the Inverse Square Law to her.
    Please help me to explain to her the truth. Plus I might even learn something
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's so much fun to just agree with them and recommend one of these. They come in many styles now.
    N8EKT likes this.
  3. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  4. VE3JCJ

    VE3JCJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Trust me, her husband already mentioned that. I knew she was serious so I didn't bother teasing her. I'll check out the other posts. It's hard to deal with a person who receives misinformation form others, then the whole world gets twisted. Thanks thus far
  5. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you tell her that smart meters are harmless, she will know you are either part of the conspiracy, or else a gullible person who has fallen for the lies told by those in on the conspiracy.

    I don't believe there is any way to win this game. Good luck trying, though.
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'd give her the tinfoil hat, and maybe a matching one for her cellphone, which undoubtedly runs more power in the same part of the spectrum.
  7. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is one of those things that is hard to explain in a couple of sentences and without any technical knowledge, but the pseudo-science scaremongers can yell "it will kill you, or give you xxxx sickness" in one short sentence - a big advantage, and tell a sad story about their uncle who got cancer right after a smart meter was installed. And today anyone with a little time and effort can make a slick and convincing YouTube video, even the flat-earth nutcases!

    Smart meters have been around for years and many millions have been installed. If they were causing some significant health problems it would have been noticed.

    Hundreds of thousands of people work in all sorts of electrical, electronic, and radio/RF fields for years and decades and don't have any more health problems than anyone else. The exception would be those who were exposed to clear hazards like getting into a high power radar beam or being shocked with a life threatening voltage.

    Another point is that there are now hundreds of millions of people on the planet who have been walking around with a cell phone to their ear and in their pocket for years and are just fine, plus all of us in developed countries for the last century have lived in houses with AC power lines and all sorts of radio and TV signals around yet life expectancies have increased, cancer rates have gone down, etc.

    There have been all sorts of academic and medical studies over the past 45 years or so trying to find a link between any sort of illness and electrical energy in the form of power line fields up to microwaves. So far nothing definitive has emerged except the already known effect of tissue heating. As one long time expert in the field said, IF there is a non-thermal effect, it's right at the noise level and very hard to detect.

    There are some interesting anecdotal data points, like a few people who developed rare cancers in the same areas of their body they had their cell phones next to all the time but a few cases don't prove anything because it could just as easily be due to random chance. In any case, a cell phone in your pocket is thousands or millions of times more RF radiation than you could ever get from a smart meter. (If you are really worried about your cell phone, only put it in your pocket when you need to and use the speaker feature instead of holding it to your head.)

    I have a relative who is attracted to all sorts of pseudo-scientific and pseudo-medical nonsense. I gave up trying to reason with her because the bottom line was that she didn't want to be reasoned with about it. For example I recall that she was very worried about the microwave oven in the kitchen and it's "radiation" I patiently explained that RF was different than nuclear radiation, and how the door seal worked ,and that the radio waves couldn't get out through it or the metal window screen because they "were too big for the holes" (non-technical). Her response was basically "I don't care, it just scares me and I don't like it!"

    I'm sorry to hear about your friend's daughter and their headaches. I have a close relative born with cerebral palsy and various deficits. There was no particular cause for it that was detectable. It's very tempting to look around for something to explain it or to pin blame on. But the hard truth is that a lot of bad things happen for reasons that we cannot (yet) understand, and some of them are simply random events. I think that some people just can't accept that and must have a reason, whether it's true or not.

    Good luck.
  8. VE3JCJ

    VE3JCJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you for the super words. I do have a bit of a tech background with ham radio, built many of my own antennas and obviously understood the theory. I also spent 25 years in the cable industry and more specially a " RF leakage detection technician". In my own mind I consider myself a student of RF, I don't claim to know it all, but like most I feel I know enough to thwart those conspiracy theories. These people are close friends of ours and obviously I don't want a pi$$ing contest and lose friends. She knows my background but does not understand my background. I did explain to her that an RF tech needs to go to college, plus many in-house courses (or an engineer to University ) to REALLY understand the RF world. Granted she does a lot of her own research, but we all know there are legitimate websites, then there are the "Alex Jones" type of answers.

    I agree with you about the cell phones but she went so far to buy new landlines for her house. She said something about "adapters for a European gigaset telephone". She said they're the same as regular phones but they do not put out 'radiation'. I told her that she's using the word radiation in the wrong way. Yes, she's thinking nuclear. Even a car's radiator radiates heat. It's how you use the word and you understand the use of the word... She's not buying it, so her mind is made up. I can only do so much. She hears me but she's not listening. She's getting radiation confused with RF. Yes, RF does radiate but not the way she thinks

    You are absolutely correct when you suggested that she is looking for blame. She has herself convinced and believes anything of technology are like politicians "They're out to get us" . Politicians are a breed on their own and not to be trusted...Not all, but too many of them. nuff said.

    I will copy-n-paste parts of these posts but remove the 'her' and 'she' parts. Your post got to the meat of what I was looking for..THANK YOU. However, we both know her mind is made up. BTW she has been to dozens of doctors and specialists and none of them know what causes these headaches. Psychosomatic or the real deal? I'm not a doctor, nor am I an engineer. AND, in my opinion not all doctors or specialist are knowledgeable on RF or other particular RF concepts.

    I, you, and we can only do so much to convince people that the fear they believe does not exist. Yes the fear is real, but it's Their explanation that needs to be realigned (gently).
    Thanks again
    N0TZU likes this.
  9. AA5CT

    AA5CT Ham Member QRZ Page

    The "real test" if she's RF Sensitive: Lightning strokes in the area should cause her to jump before the thunder gets there ...
    KP4SX likes this.
  10. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019

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