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Exploring an EMF/EHS "White Zone"
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Prof Trevor Marshall
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 Posted: Fri Sep 18th, 2015 21:45

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After our study of the "sleeping caps," there has been a lot of discussion about the effects of non-ionizing radio waves on molecules. One theme which keeps repeating is "what is a White Zone," the very definition of how EM radiation might exacerbate chronic illness.

UK's Guardian wrote a review of the West Virginia exclusion zone, where the journalist documented illicit use of WiFi at boarding houses, and even eating houses. That didn't seem what we needed to study. Similarly, the camps in the French wilderness appeared a bit too rustic to support the science I wanted to check out.

I remembered reading an article about a local council on UK's Dartmoor defeating an attempt to build a tower there, and when I took a closer look at that area I found it would likely indeed be fairly pristine (with respect to waves). Indeed, I chose to hire a small cottage just 300 yards from the proposed antenna mast.

When we arrived, I switched on the Cornet ED85EXS, and saw a -65dBm reading both inside and outside the Shippon (which has 18" thick stone walls, but normal glass in its windows, and a non-attenuating slate roof).

When I used my cellphone, standing outside the front door, I was able to connect to Three (T-Mobile) at -100dBm RSSI, one bar, and at -95dBm RSSI, two bars, with Vodafone. The spectrum sweeps (below) validate that cell signals are close to zero (typically. -111dBm) from the other carriers as well. That is far below the -75dBm that I am currently using as the level to which a bedroom's shielding has to reduce cell-tower signals.

But there is a huge tower ten miles away at Princeton, erected in the days when the Moor preservation societies were more easily swayed :) It carries many signals.

Signals can be seen just below 240MHz (Digital Audio Broadcasting) and just below 400MHz (TETRA) as well as two 160KW FM transmitters at around 90MHz. The digital signals were both below -70dBm outside, and around -75dBm inside. The FM signals were stronger, at about -63dBm, but probably less bioactive. When I had been staying in Bonn for the EPMA conference the FM signal strength in our room was an excessive -32dBm from the FM antennas towering over Bonn. So we had 1000 times less than that, a good starting point, at least.

The tower's Digital TV signals can be seen below -80dBm, between 700 and 800MHz.

Over the next few days I will be answering your questions, and posting more details, but Yonder Shippon is clearly one place in this world which has managed to escape the flood of waves which beset us in city environments. After days of observations and measurements, I concluded the biggest problem with white zones is that you have to leave them for food, and companionship. Hotels and shops have to provide free-WiFi these days, don't they?... The mesh clothing shielded well, wherever we went.

..Trevor..

First the sweep from 1MHz to 800MHz with the 20" telescoping antenna:



Now from 800-1800MHz, with only one section of the antenna:


At higher frequencies all signals were below -90dBm. This includes a weak WiFi signal from the farmhouse, about 150yds away.

Using my 16dB amplifier module and 2.7GHz LPF in front of the Cornet allowed me to validate that the all-signal levels (with only one antenna segment) were below -70dBm. As the antenna is extended it picks up more and more signal from the FM stations, of course.

What was interesting was that the Cornet gave me higher readings during the  evening. I finally figured out that the LED lighting in the Shippon roof, which fortunately can be totally switched off, radiates a surprising amount of energy at Very High frequencies (VHF, just below Microwaves). Here is the Spectrum Analyser data taken with the LEDS on (red) and the LEDS off (yellow).




the TETRA signal was lower in this chart. probably because it was measured indoors. The spikes at higher frequency might include radiation from my laptop :X In a White Zone you can hear EVERYTHING, even the stuff which appears negligible in a city :X

Here is an image of the offending LED bulbs, a tiny GU10. There were a dozen of them downstairs, and about 8 upstairs. Luckily there were 4 table-lamps which can take standard incandescent bulbs. You will have to provide bulbs yourselves, as the fittings are currently using compact fluorescent bulbs :)


wirion
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 Posted: Sat Sep 19th, 2015 06:34

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Wow awesome, thank you!

A few questions (as usual ;)):

1. How did you feel inside the zone (IP, mood, mental clarity)?

2. What spectrum analyzer did you use? Was this the RF Explorer?
It would be useful for me to step up my measuring game when I head to the Effelsberg radio telescope.

3. On the graphs: why is there a slope down from 0 to about 200MHz?
It's like all the low frequency power bunches up the closer to 1Hz one gets.
Similarly from 1200 to 1650MHz there is a (much shallower slope) going up.



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Prof Trevor Marshall
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 Posted: Sat Sep 19th, 2015 08:06

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Wirion,
Answer 1: About the same feel as in my well-shielded home in California :) I get the impression that the body can tolerate VHF FM broadcasts at levels higher than it can tolerate 4G and 802.11N transmissions, which are in the microwave frequency region.

Answer 2: I used a Triarchy USB dongle as it is smaller and lighter than the RF explorer when I am traveling.
It is important to understand exactly what is in your microwave environment. Otherwise you tend to think you are 'allergic' only to power lines when it is actually the WiFi at your local Starbucks which is providing the majority of your daily exposures...

Answer 3: Slopes? Yes... Well, slopes are generally measurement or antenna artifacts. Remember that this is a display of an amazingly wide frequency range, containing the spectra used by a lot of individual wireless services. I did measure with no antenna connected (just a dummy load) before connecting the antenna. The 1200-1650 ramp is on the sweep with only a dummy-load, so it is an artifact of the measuring dongle. The lower frequency slope/peak is a combination of the limited size of the antenna, as the sensitivity of the 20" whip falls away below 150MHz, together with natural and man-made atmospheric noise -- which becomes dominant at lower frequencies. So the "peak" is a combination of rising noise levels and a falling antenna sensitivity as the frequency drops into the short-wave region. Wikipedia's CCIR 322 graph shows the typical ambient noise level (vs frequency) in the UK.

The spectrum analyser has a flat response below 800MHz, with a Noise Figure of about 17dB, so the rise you are seeing below 200MHz is real --  natural and man-made signals  in the atmosphere.

Remember that the spectrum analyser is measuring with a 500KHz bandwidth, in 500KHz chunks. So there are only 20 measurement-buckets below 10MHz :) The noise floor in a 500KHz bandwidth is -117dBm, so the Thermal Noise Floor of the spectrum analyser could go to -117dBm, but there are 17dB of losses in the dongle circuitry. So the lowest level it can indicate is -100dBm. Looking at Wikipedia's CCIR 322 graph you can see that the noise floor at 1MHz should be around -50dBm above thermal noise, and my measurement peak confirms this. Close enough in any case, as measurements of low-level RF signals are typically of lower accuracy (matching the non-linear response of biological systems).

Figure 2 of the ITU document can provide more insight into noise levels in the Short Wave region of the radio spectrum.

I know this all seems complex, but Radio Frequency ElectroMagnetics (RF EM) is not complex, just a lot of simple concepts all strung together. What science used to be -- before we understood how complex everything really is :)

wirion
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 Posted: Sun Sep 20th, 2015 10:05

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Thanks so much! :)

I'm happy to hear that your home's isolation compares favorably to a true whitezone, it gives me hope that I might stay close to civilization and yet able to heal.

I'd love to make neat graphs like that when going out to measure, but for now the Triarchy is a little out of my league.

Thanks also for the extensive and detailed information on the "slopes", and the CCIR and ITU references. It's good to know what to look out for in such graphs - measuring artifacts (antenna adequacy, circuits), man-made noise, atmospheric noise, man-made signals. I will take this as a starting point when I get to spectrum analysis. Hmm... my birthday is up in November, maybe I can convince some family members to chime in for a Triarchy.



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Prof Trevor Marshall
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 Posted: Mon Sep 21st, 2015 02:23

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Wirion,
Actually my bedroom is a little quieter than Yonder Shippon. Less FM signal strength, same cell strength. When we finish repainting all of the house then hopefully the other rooms will be quieter, too. Currently they are good, but not quite "white".

The advantage of places like Yonder Shippon is that they allow people to quickly evaluate how much waves play a role in their, or their family's symptoms. Useful to convince skeptics too, I guess.  No painting of walls, no attaching of aluminum sheeting, just spending a few days on vacation there. But a good job can be done shielding the average house, provided it is not situated too close to transmitting towers, and the neighbors are not too close.

Spectrum Analyzers are expensive because they are really high-tech devices. I spent yesterday trying to find a lower-cost solution for you, but failed. The RFexplorer seems the best solution for most, with the Triarchy useful for the really sophisticated measurements :)

..Trevor..

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 Posted: Tue Sep 22nd, 2015 16:15

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Tevor,
good to know, that gives me further hope.

Thanks for looking to find a cheaper spectrum analyzer. I guess the RF Explorer has the advantage of being much more portable than the Triarchy, which needs a laptop.

Can the RF Explorer record data to be later transmitted to the PC over its USB connection? I'd like to keep records of the places I analyse, to compare afterwards.

Also, which version of the RF Explorer is the one to get? I see there are 3GHz and 6GHz models, and I remember you saying the new version wasn't as good as the old one? And that one of the RF Explorers "invents" some signals due to software compensation?

François



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Prof Trevor Marshall
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 Posted: Tue Sep 22nd, 2015 22:13

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The "3G Combo" model does everything you need. It doesn't go above 2.7GHz, which means that when the new 3.5GHz and 5.8GHz 4G bands come on line you won't be able to see activity there. 

The new 6GHz model of RFexplorer does not cover the 3.5Ghz band either, so it is best to stay with the 3G combo at present.

The PC software can display the data, and you can save screen images, but it is not well-designed for this. You have to coax it gently :)

wirion
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 Posted: Thu Sep 24th, 2015 13:55

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Thanks for the additional advice. Being blind to the new 3.5GHz and 5.8GHz frequencies will be unfortunate, but I think the mobility of the RF Explorer (in addition to cost) is what will make me choose it over the Triarchy.



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Prof Trevor Marshall
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 Posted: Thu Sep 24th, 2015 14:28

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You can always "freeze" the RFexplorer screen, and take a photo of it :)

wirion
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 Posted: Thu Sep 24th, 2015 14:29

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Oh yeah, good point. :)



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 Posted: Thu Sep 24th, 2015 20:27

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I'm pretty sure that the US-based home improvement store, Lowe's is using 5G on their guest wireless access. Do you have one nearby to check Prof. Marshall?



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Prof Trevor Marshall
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 Posted: Thu Sep 24th, 2015 20:33

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5.8GHz is currently in use worldwide with WiFi, primarily as 802.11a but also as 802.11n (newer and more nasty OFDM)

What is being mooted by TPTB is that cell phones will receive 4G signals on the 5GHz bands, not using WiFi, but using the same frequencies. Also an ISM band near 3.5GHz is being allocated. It is lunacy, but that seems to be the way that TPTB acts these days...

http://www.tmonews.com/2014/12/t-mobile-could-launch-unlicensed-5ghz-lte-as-soon-as-next-year/

By the way - if your ROKU box or Router is using 5GHz, switch it off by selecting 802.11b, the least harmful of all WiFi the protocols. Actually, with the ROKU box, just toss it. Along with Chromecast, Fire TV, and all the other TV boxes. Not one of them is controllable into a safe mode any more.

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 Posted: Fri Sep 25th, 2015 00:46

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Is there recognition of electromagnetic sensitivity as a disability under the ADA?

http://www.electrosmogprevention.org/smart-meter-resources-links/ada-accommodations-info/recognition-of-the-electromagnetic-sensitivity-as-a-disability-under-the-ada/

The link for the report:
http://web.archive.org/web/20060714175343/ieq.nibs.org/ieq_project.pdf

From Report (page 11):

Electromagnetic Fields


For people who are electromagnetically sensitive, the presence of cell phones and towers, portable telephones, computers, fluorescent lighting, unshielded transformers and wiring, battery re-chargers, wireless devices, security and scanning equipment, microwave ovens, electric ranges and numerous other electrical appliances can make a building inaccessible.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) notes that scientific studies have raised questions about the possible health effects of EMF’s. NIOSH recommends the following measures for those wanting to reduce EMF exposure – informing workers and employers about possible hazards of magnetic fields, increasing workers’ distance from EMF sources, using low-EMF designs wherever possible (e.g., for layout of office power supplies), and reducing EMF exposure times (11).



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 Posted: Sun Sep 27th, 2015 01:51

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Hi Trevor ,

What about Apple TV module hard wired with an ether net cable into a router with the wifi mode turned off . Is this a successful fix vis a vis radiation exposure ? . Thanks , SteveM .



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Prof Trevor Marshall
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 Posted: Sun Sep 27th, 2015 03:24

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Steve, even if you connect them with ethernet cable, and turn the WiFi networking off, the TV boxes will keep their transmitter running, so that they can receive files directly from any PC or iPhone in the vicinity. They all do this now. The Cornet meters will show you their high-power transmissions, even if you think you have disabled the incoming WiFi :X

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 Posted: Mon Sep 28th, 2015 19:59

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Dear Trevor ,
As a serious cinephile and longtime Netflix ( and now Hulu , iTunes and Amazon streamer ) is what your saying that I have to go back to the old DVD hardcopy service and stop streaming entirely to be safe ? Or is there a way to rig the hardware ... FYI my Apple TV " hockey puck " is an older model , maybe 5 years old but running current updates . I'd appreciate any insight into this as my television watching is exclusively limited to one ( usually foreign ) film a night . Thank you . Best , SteveM .



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 Posted: Tue Sep 29th, 2015 04:09

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The only way to really test your setup out Steve would be to do the measurements.




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Prof Trevor Marshall
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 Posted: Tue Sep 29th, 2015 22:20

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I use an (wired) android-based tiny computer for TV streaming. Connected to a wired Internet cable, the android apps stream Netflix, Hulu, etc to my TV monitor :) I described the device in a thread here about 6-9 months ago. All this without any wireless signals at all. Can you look for it, please, I am at a conference at the moment...
 
 

Last edited on Mon Oct 19th, 2015 22:00 by Prof Trevor Marshall

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 Posted: Mon Oct 19th, 2015 19:20

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We use an android based phone to stream Netflix etc.  Luckily a member of our family happened on an unlimited Verizon data plan ...:cool:



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Prof Trevor Marshall
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 Posted: Mon Oct 19th, 2015 22:07

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Lee,
Netflix streaming with an android phone is (almost) the very worst thing you could  be doing to those watching the movies.

I have modified my post above to emphasize that everything must be over a wired connection if you are to give your body a decent chance. Phones typically send wireless signals over the air, with data at an intensity and repetition which most definitely will affect the immune systems of anybody in the house.

I am back in California, so here is the link I was trying to suggest:

https://www.marshallprotocol.com/forum43/16323.html

..Trevor..


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