Smart Meter – DATA DUMPS and Radiation
The primary function of a SMART METER is to record the power usage in a home or business and then send this information to the power company to allow bills to be created and sent to the owner of the home or business. A good idea which has many benefits.
Most SMART METERS send this information by radio communications between the smart meter and a COLLECTOR. Each smart meter has a unique id/name. The smart meter’s receiver will be listening for a call from the collector to its id and then will send the kilowatt-hour (kWh) usage information by a transmission (radio broadcast) that will be picked up by the collector. This transmission is made up of a number of packets of data that contains the kWh usage and the times associated with this usage. These transmitted packets originating from the smart meter are high powered spikes of RFR (Radio frequency Radiation). This high powered RFR has been found to cause health problems in many individuals. This is the primary problem that many citizens and researchers have with the Smart Meters.
A secondary function of the Smart Meter is to host a low powered transmitter/receiver system called ZIGBEE that will allow the Smart Meter to communicate to other ZIGBEE equipped devices close to the Smart Meter. Thus, the Smart Meter ZIGBEE can “talk” to all ZIGBEE devices in the home and can record any data that the device wishes to share. And this data can be sent, along with the kWh usage, by the Smart Meter to the collector and thus to the power company. Apparently, this data can be sold to various companies for marketing and other purposes. The data from the house will be “Data Mined” and thus has a value to someone. Many citizens believe that this data mining is a security risk and are actively resisting the ZIGBEE function.
The timing of the transfer of the Smart Meter usage to the collector is of major interest and there are many theories and understandings of the timing of these transmission. The specific details seem not to be easily found on the web.
I have had the opportunity to borrow a GigaHertz HF59B HF-Analyzer that will detect the RFR and the strength of this radiation. Also, I have borrowed a GigaHertz NFA1000 which will record all of the readings of the HF59B. Using this setup I can print a chart that will show all of the RFR produced by a Smart Meter and hopefully will enable me to determine when the Smart Meter kWh data is sent to the collector.
I convinced my friend Sam to allow me to measure the RFR from his Smart Meter for 48 hours. The HF59B was setup in the below grade family room with the directional antenna pointing directly at the wall where the Smart Meter was located on the outside. The wall was not cement but wood, gyproc and plastic siding so the level of the RFR should not be decreased significantly.
Here is the graph of the 48 hour RFR recording. There is a lot of RFR noise from other sources especially from a wifi router in an adjacent room. There were 6 series of high RFR spikes seen, 3 initial sets of spikes (A,B,C) and 3 more sets (D,E,F) exactly 24 hours later. (click on the graph to expand)
Here is the detail recording of the B set of spikes. I call this DATA DUMP B. Notice that the graph has a top limit of 300 microwatts/m² (µW/m²). This is because of the RF meter’s limitation on the MED setting. The actual RFR level might be 400, 500 or more.
You will notice that most of the spikes in this DATA DUMP B occur exactly 20 seconds apart (with a few exceptions noticed). There are 21 spikes showing. The total time is 7.5 minutes.
Summary of data dumps:
- # – Start time – packets – duration
- A 15:33 20 6.3 min
- B 23:32 21 7.5 min
- C 05:07 21 7.0 min
- D 15:33 20 7.0 min
- E 23:33 20 6.0 min
- F 05:07 21 6.5 min
- Data Dumps occur at the same time each day: 15:33, 23:33 and 5:07
- Data Dumps contain approximately the same number of data packets: about 20-21
- Data Dumps last for approximately the same time: 6.0 – 7.0 minutes
- There was lots of RFR noise from many sources recorded at 150 µW/m² and below: Other smart meters near by, WiFi routers, cell phones.
- There was another Smart Meter close to the Smart Meter observed. This may account for one of the additional sets. Unknown.
- There were 4 additional Smart Meters about 25 feet away from the observed Smart Meter in the direction of the antenna. (4 meters at end of 4 townhouses). The Data Dumps from these smart meters were recorded at low RFR levels due to the distance and difficult (impossible) to see in the noise.
- I have performed several 24 hr Smart Surveys over the last several years and they have revealed very similar results. In a survey in the BC Okanagan valley 2 years ago the data dumps were about 4:20 am and 4:20 pm each day and contained a similar number of packets (spikes). In these recordings there were no close smart meters or wifi routers to cloud the issue and the ZIGBEE had been turned off by BCHydro (my request).
- The recordings may have recorded ZIGBEE transmissions from the Smart Meter but the levels were too low to be seen above the noise threshold.
- I observed no transmissions from the Smart Meter that may be attributed to Grid Maintenance. These would have been strong spikes of 300 µW/m² or more and not in a series of packets in a defined DATA DUMP
- I cannot account for reports by others that they have detected Smart Meter transmissions numbered in the 1000s per hour or per day. I have measured and observed 2 or 3 DATA DUMPS per day from this Smart Meter (and possible an adjacent smart meter). This accounts for only approximately 21 x 2 = 42 packets (spikes) per day.
- If a collector collects 2 DATA DUMPS from a single Smart Meter each day and each DATA DUMP takes about 8 minutes or so then each COLLECTOR can service only 90 Smart Meters which seems very low. Maybe the COLLECTOR uses more than one frequency/channel to service more Smart Meters.
- Several years ago I requested readers of the Smart Meter Updates edited by Sharon Noble in Victoria that they tell me if they were awakened in the night and not know why. One couple said that they were wakened every night at 3 am and they did not know why. I found out that the smart meter was located very close to their bedroom and I suspected that a smart meter Data Dump happened each night at 3 am. I suggested that they sleep in another room far away from the smart meter. They changed their bedroom and problem was solved. Several other people reported similar occurences.
Testing and analysis by Ted@stopsmartmetersbc.com – 2017-11-03.