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Old 08-10-2009, 12:17 PM   #1
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Default Dangers of RF antennas?

I want to start a disscusion on the dangers of RF signals when using high gain directional antennas as well as amplifiers. I figure it will be an interesting topic. Sorry if this is the wrong section but I figure it fits right in with WLAN. Discuss....
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dangers of RF antennas?

Well, I'm no doctor but I can give you a few hard calculations on the electronics side of things:

- In Europe anyway, the maximum power output on access points comes in at about a tenth of a watt. (A mobile phone on the other hand can pump out 2W no problem.)
- Double the distance from a normal antenna and the field strength drops by about a factor of 4. Even with directional antennas you can look at it dropping by a factor of 2 (and that's being generous!)

So, if you're 12m away from a directional access point for around 6 hours a day and worried, you better start getting paranoid about using a mobile phone against your skull for more than a second a day, because mathematically speaking that's around 10 times worse!

You can probably tell from the above I think the so called health risks associated with wi-fi access points and the like are quite simply a load of rubbish!
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dangers of RF antennas?

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Well, I'm no doctor but I can give you a few hard calculations on the electronics side of things:

- In Europe anyway, the maximum power output on access points comes in at about a tenth of a watt. (A mobile phone on the other hand can pump out 2W no problem.)
- Double the distance from a normal antenna and the field strength drops by about a factor of 4. Even with directional antennas you can look at it dropping by a factor of 2 (and that's being generous!)

So, if you're 12m away from a directional access point for around 6 hours a day and worried, you better start getting paranoid about using a mobile phone against your skull for more than a second a day, because mathematically speaking that's around 10 times worse!

You can probably tell from the above I think the so called health risks associated with wi-fi access points and the like are quite simply a load of rubbish!
Wow I thought the US's 1watt maximum for 802.11G/B was stupid! Is it honestly that dangerous? Ive heard of people getting RF burns from 1watt before but not cancer.....I'm pretty skepticle about those health risks as well, my biology teacher got cancer and warned us of sitting laptops on well our laps. I mean my house and I'm sure many other households contains allot of RF noise and no one has got cancer yet!
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dangers of RF antennas?

The tenth of a watt figure came from a reputable magazine in the UK which is where I'm getting that figure from, certainly seems about right to me. There is absolutely NO scientific evidence to suggest there is any link at all to mobile phone masts, mobile phones, wifi access points etc. causing cancer. Yes people that use phones and sit near access points will get cancer, it's a sad and unfortunate fact of life though - and personally I don't believe that it makes the slightest bit of difference whether you sit near an access point for a day or not.
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: Dangers of RF antennas?

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The tenth of a watt figure came from a reputable magazine in the UK which is where I'm getting that figure from, certainly seems about right to me. There is absolutely NO scientific evidence to suggest there is any link at all to mobile phone masts, mobile phones, wifi access points etc. causing cancer. Yes people that use phones and sit near access points will get cancer, it's a sad and unfortunate fact of life though - and personally I don't believe that it makes the slightest bit of difference whether you sit near an access point for a day or not.
Yeah I think its coincidental.....Although you can still get burns and I think I heard of some teen getting bad radiation poisoning from climbing a Cellphone mast and mounting a fake doll up there....Idk what that was all about. Besides once you step even centimeters away from the radiating source the signal becomes weaker and weaker.
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: Dangers of RF antennas?

Getting burns from climbing right up a mast or similar wouldn't surprise me, and yes if you stayed up there long enough or regularly enough I wouldn't be surprised if the chances of you getting cancer were significantly increased!

But I'm assuming 99.99% of people don't pull those sorts of stunts, and given normal usage I for one am pretty convinced they're safe.
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: Dangers of RF antennas?

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Getting burns from climbing right up a mast or similar wouldn't surprise me, and yes if you stayed up there long enough or regularly enough I wouldn't be surprised if the chances of you getting cancer were significantly increased!

But I'm assuming 99.99% of people don't pull those sorts of stunts, and given normal usage I for one am pretty convinced they're safe.
Yeah thats what I'm thinking. Most people don't have the equitment that would produce enough power to cause harm...I mean if your running a Router with a 1watt amp hooked to a parabolic dish with 10 degree spread aimed at you less than a few meters away you might have some cause for concern but the little netgear routers you buy at the store can't hurt you you could put a thousand of those in a room at once and not even worry.
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: Dangers of RF antennas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by berry120 View Post
Well, I'm no doctor but I can give you a few hard calculations on the electronics side of things:

- In Europe anyway, the maximum power output on access points comes in at about a tenth of a watt. (A mobile phone on the other hand can pump out 2W no problem.)
- Double the distance from a normal antenna and the field strength drops by about a factor of 4. Even with directional antennas you can look at it dropping by a factor of 2 (and that's being generous!)

So, if you're 12m away from a directional access point for around 6 hours a day and worried, you better start getting paranoid about using a mobile phone against your skull for more than a second a day, because mathematically speaking that's around 10 times worse!

You can probably tell from the above I think the so called health risks associated with wi-fi access points and the like are quite simply a load of rubbish!
Its not just the power output that you should be worrying about either its the frequencies . However im personally on the side of scientists saying that wi-fi antennas and phones are almost always safe and even if not im using them anyway something got to kill you after all

There are however people out there who have been proven to be extra sensetive to RF waves and can get headaches to unbearable levels when they are exposed to such rays
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: Dangers of RF antennas?

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Its not just the power output that you should be worrying about either its the frequencies . However im personally on the side of scientists saying that wi-fi antennas and phones are almost always safe and even if not im using them anyway something got to kill you after all

There are however people out there who have been proven to be extra sensetive to RF waves and can get headaches to unbearable levels when they are exposed to such rays
What specific frequency levels cause the most harm? I would think shorter wavelengths but honestly 800mhz at 6watt's and 2.4ghz at 6watt's are both similarly dangerous applications if you disregard there placement.
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Dangers of RF antennas?

The way I've always seen it is this - in this age of stringent H&S where it seems you can't cross a road without doing a risk assessment anymore, if there really was substantial cause for concern and evidence to back this up, they'd be on it in a shot.

Until then, anyone trying to convince me that they're not safe is going to have a pretty impossible task ahead of them!
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