Tag Archives: electricity

SmartMeter Anxiety –Part 1

A YouTuber from Ontario, Canada has come to the “scientific” conclusion that a SmartMeter is somehow killing off a shrub. For we all know that evil shrubs can only be killed off by modern technology. Garden pests, dehydration, flooding, over-fertilization, under-fertilization, or strangulation by other plants just won’t do the job. It’s electromagnetic fields that are the bane of gardens everywhere.

Out of nerdy curiosity, I downloaded the PDF instructions for the very model of meter this concerned citizen is utilizing, the HF-35C RF Analyzer. The audio “alarms'” from the meter give the false impression that some sort of dangerous overexposure is occurring, like a Geiger counter frantically clicking away. The reality of the RF meter is not so dramatic.

The RF meter can be set to produce audio, indicating the type of  RF signal. But the instructions are deliberately vague on this point and don’t tell the user which devices produce which audio, and suggest that users test it on various electrical sources to get the feel for themselves. So we are left wondering if the user in the video has the experience to match the audio we hear with the SmartMeter being tested.

This is made so much more relevant when we take into account the directionality of the signal. The RF meter detects cellphones, cordless phones, microwave ovens, 3G, and Bluetooth. The instructions are clear –multiple measurements from different directions should be taken in order to determine from where the strongest signal originates. It could, in fact, be coming from behind the user. But he doesn’t turn in a circle, he only gently arcs his arm in front of the SmartMeter.

We also don’t know if all the other potential sources of RF in or around the homes have been turned off.  Is there WiFi in the neighbor’s home, or a cellphone, or 3G? A modern, suburban street is an RF, “music festival.”

What places this video is real doubt is that SmartMeters don’t broadcast a continuous signal. Why would they need to? They’re only measuring electrical usage, which isn’t complex data. We’re not talking about uploading JPEG’s or video files. It’s just a set of numbers. And according to the utilities, SmartMeters only broadcast every 15 minutes for a about one second. So whatever is being measured here, it probably isn’t a SmartMeter.

My baloney detector is going off. It sounds a lot like a cow stomping on a pig. It’s not pretty.

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