When considering the effectiveness of shielding applied to Smart Meters, the attenuation level of shielding material should take a priority over field measurements.
We use highest-quality Flectron 3055-233 Ripstop as the shielding agent. It is manufactured and tested to the US Military's MIL-STD 285 specification. For your inspection, each device comes with an official attenuation level data sheet that confirms the attenuation of over 99.95% of emitted radiation down to safe level.
Our shields are the only ones made with military approved shielding material.
Measuring Radio Frequency radiation generated by Smart Meters.
False radiation level indication.
The only valid measurement of pulsing, digital radiation generated by Smart Meters is the measurement of its strength (amplitude) in units of volts per meter (V/m). It is a measurement of instantaneous jolts of radiation that we are subjected to. These are spikes of radiation that disturb our nervous and immune systems.
It is a common misconception that the average value or density of RF radiation, which is displayed on the meter in units of milliwatts per square meter (mW/m²) or similar, represents the level of exposure to radiation generated by Smart Meter. This, however, is incorrect, as it is only a measure of thermal effect of exposure to RF radiation. This measurement of density of radiation does not take under consideration the strength of the instantaneous radiation pulses and their impact on one's health.
Smart Meters are wireless devices that use a digital system of communication to transmit data between themselves and to the utilities’ transponder. The data carrying signals are generated by a Smart Meter’s transmitter. They are turned on and off at a very high rate of speed and sent out. To distinguish between the individual packets of information, these very short bursts of radiation are separated by much longer time gaps. This process produces non-continuous radiation, which is known as ‘pulsing’. The typical length of the radiation pulse (size of the data pocket) is between 0.0001 sec and 0.1000 sec. The gaps between transmissions could be as long as a second.
The extremely short duration of these radiation pulses makes it almost impossible to capture all of them by any measuring equipment. Radio frequency test meters of high sensitivity and very fast sampling rates are needed to have any chance of capturing these short pulses (radiation spikes) emitted by the meter.
The best affordable instrument on the market has a sampling rate of 0.35 sec (3 times per second) and processing rate of detection signal of 0.005 sec. This means that every 0.35 seconds, the instrument measures the strength/amplitude of the pulse and if the pulse is shorter in duration than a 0.005 second, the instrument will not recognize it. Furthermore, when the pulse occurs during the time between samplings it will not be seen. Only in the event that the sampling period and transmission of the pulse coincide in time will the pulse be recorded.
The inability to capture all of the radiation pulses makes the true average or radiation density measurement (in mW/m²) unreliable. The instrument will read low. The low reading could give a false sense of security in the surveyed areas.
In summary, any pulse shorter than 0.005 of a second will be ignored and any pulse shorter than 0.35 second will not be measured, if this pulse occurs when the meter is not sampling (the gap between sampling).
Once again, a Smart Meter's pulsing, digital radiation is different than a modulated, digital radiation generated by cell phone towers, radio station's transmitters, etc. Smart Meter’s radiation is characterized by radiation pulses that are extremely short in duration and of high amplitude.
The strength or instantaneous values of those radiation pulses (measured in V/m) is regarded as the measurement of critical “biological effects” of radiation. It represents the momentary energy spike generated by a radiation source; this energy is absorbed by the human body in the form of very short electrical jolts.
The proper functioning of the human mind and body depends on the movement of tiny electric charges, bio-currents, within and between our cells. Those charges accommodate electro-chemical reactions that allow the transmission of vital information inside and throughout our brain and body. Those electrical jolts generated by a Smart Meter can disturb our bio-currents. Depending on a person’s sensitivity, this could have devastating health effects.
- Any measurement of RF radiation should be conducted from the distance of at least 3-wavelengths of a specific frequency. Measurements are not reliable when performed from a distance closer than 3 wavelengths from the radiation source (the “near-field” effect). In the case of Smart Meter, the frequency is between 902MHz and 928MHz; in other words, the wavelength is about 1 foot. It means that the measuring distance should be no less than 3 feet.
- There is always a question of the test meter’s accuracy. A meter’s accuracy is usually indicated in units of dB (decibels). Unit of decibel is a logarithmic scale with the base of 10. When the instrument has an accuracy of +/- 3 dB, it means that the true measurement could be up to 100% higher or 50% lower from what you see on instrument's display. For 6dB accuracy, true value could be 400% higher.
- For RF radiation emitted by Smart Meter, there is no conversion between the peak value of the pulse (instantaneous) in “V/m” and the average value or power density in “(mW/m²)” . This conversion loosely applies only to modulated analog signal.
Do I need to ground my shield?
There are 2 kinds of RF shielding material: reflective and absorbent.
Grounding is required when absorbent RF shielding is installed. Unfortunately, residential properties are not equipped with isolated grounding circuits that are essential to properly ground absorbent shielding. The lack of IG circuits renders absorbent shielding useless or even harmful in residential applications. For this reason, we use reflective shielding in our devices. They don’t need to be grounded.
Absorbent shielding needs to be grounded because of its saturation properties. The grounding is necessary to dissipate the energy absorbed by the shielding. The size of the grounding wire should be sufficient to drain all RF energy to the earth; otherwise, the shielding material will quickly become saturated. There are cases where the already grounded absorbent shielding absorbs radiation faster than it is able to discharge through grounding and becomes permeable and leaky, negating any benefit shielding may give.
You can’t use a regular residential electrical receptacle to ground absorbent shielding. You will just introduce RF radiation into your entire house wiring. The 920MHz radiation emitted by your Smart Meter will ride on the top of your 60Hz domestic power frequency, creating so called “dirty power” in your home. Only using insulated ground receptacles to ground the shielding can prevent it. Insulated Ground receptacles (IGR) are identified with an orange triangle on the face of the receptacle.
For the previously mentioned safety reasons, our company doesn't use absorbents as shielding agents. We wouldn't want to create false sense of security.
We use reflective shielding which does not require grounding and never becomes permeable. Our shields reflect 99.95% of the radiation emitted by smart meters. The remaining residual radiation is sufficient to carry the signal to communicate with utilities.
In case you have already grounded your absorbent shielding, please remember the basics.
- The ground needs to be an Insulated Ground receptacle with an orange triangle!!!
- Make sure that your insulated ground is not shared with the household power ground.
- Isolated ground wire has to be continuous and originate at the ground point of the power source.
- There must be a solid connection made between bare, unpainted, cleaned, and degreased metal surfaces for proper grounding.
- A grounding bolt’s threads are not considered a sufficient grounding connector.
- Prevent rusting of connected metal surfaces by applying an anti-rusting compound.
- Different metals have different expansion properties. Check for loose connections periodically.
Federal Communication Commission's standards and radiation emitted by Smart Meters.
1. The FCC standards take under consideration only the thermal effects of RF exposure. The Standard for Maximum Allowable Radiation Exposure applies mainly to analog, modulated signals whose strength can be interpolated and averaged to be presented in units of power density (watts/m²). Power density is a measurement of the amount of heat generated by radiation and absorbed by a person's body.
In the nutshell, according to this standards, if exposure to radiation does not increase your body temperature above a temperature level where the heat cannot be dissipated trough perspiration, there is no danger posed by radiation.
Those standards do not apply to exposure generated by Smart Meters unless the Meter's duty cycle is close to 100%. Please see "Our Exposure" page for an expanded explanation of the "Duty Cycle" concept.
2. The short bursts of RF radiation, typical for digital, pulsing transmission of Smart Meters, are not considered to be harmful per FCC standards. The biological and neurological effects of exposure to RF radiation are totally disregarded in spite of thousands of studies proving that RF radiation negatively affects our well-being.
How powerful are these radiation bursts? Up to 2500 milliwatts of electrical shock could zap our nervous system for up to 6,000 times a second. This pulsing radiation was measured from the distance of about 2 feet from the meter. You have to remember, the closer to the meter, the higher the radiation exposure.
3. The FCC standards are very dated. The agency still employs the 1991 standards, which have been modified only slightly since their implementation, and do not include any studies conducted after 1986. One can ask why, despite of all the talk about RF radiation, is the FCC still using standards created 20 years ago, established before the dawn of digital communication?
Because of the FCC inaction or, as some suspect, delaying tactics, it is up to individuals to ensure that our exposure to RF radiation is as short as possible and radiation is as low as possible.
Installing the Smart Meter Shielding could be a simple, yet effective, step in the right direction.