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Radio Frequency (RF) Field Measurement Instrument Choices: this article describes low-cost RF radio frequency electromagnetic field survey measurement instruments useful for performing electromagnetic field RF field detection and level measurements either by engaging a professional or by consumers using low-cost instruments which measure radio frequency level and direction.
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Specific RF measurement tools (radio, TV, cell tower, microwaves) are described and their sources listed at Radio Frequency RF Detection Meters suitable for radio, TV, cellphone, microwave, and similar signals. Also see Cell phone Radiation Hazards. Specific ELF measurement tools (power lines, electrical wiring, appliances) are described and their sources listed at Electromagnetic Field EMF Measurement Instruments.
Before buying an EMF or RF test instrument, in order to make sure that the device you are buying is the right one for the hazard you are trying to measure, see EMF RF FIELD & FREQUENCY DEFINITIONS for a simple explanation of different types of radio frequency (RF) and electromagnetic frequency (EMF) types and where they are found.
The information provided here is for research and study purposes. The author makes no representation of unique expertise on this topic, other than having field experience in EMF measurement, having studied technical literature and having conversed with other experts and authors in the field for a number of years. This information is has not been sanctioned nor technically reviewed by the American Society of Home Inspectors nor the American Industrial Hygiene Association - AIHA. Use it at your own risk.
Radio frequency or RF detection equipment has a more extensive list of applications than the low frequency electromagnetic field EMF detection equipment described separately at Electromagnetic Field EMF ELF Detection Instrument..
What's the difference between radio frequency (RF) and electromagnetic frequency (EMF)?
While EMF or electromagnetic field low frequency 60 cycle or 60 Hertz signals are associated with power transmission lines and household wiring or appliances, higher frequency RF equipment includes radio and television signals, radio towers, TV towers, cell towers, cellular telephone signals, Wi-Fi signals, bluetooth radio signals, GSM, Radar, DECT, UMTS, WLAN, and all other wireless communication signals.
The cell phone tower in our photo (left) is located in Westchester County, New York. Exposure of electromagnetic radiation from cell towers is normally a separate question from EMR exposure from use of cellphones themselves.
The devices listed just below are for detection and measurement of higher frequency RF or radio frequency detection and measurement. For low frequency EMF (power line type) electromagnetic field detection and measurement, see Evaluation of Low-Cost EMF Instruments.
Where to Buy RF Radio Frequency Monitoring or Measuring Equipment
In these articles we list manufacturers and suppliers of RF and EMF measuring equipment. These devices are readily available from many electrical equipment and home inspection equipment suppliers. Don't contact InspectAPedia to buy equipment - we do not sell anything.
See Evaluation of Low-Cost EMF Instruments This article describes several low-cost and reasonably accurate EMF measurement devices that are readily available suitable for measuring EMF from power transmission lines or home electrical wiring and appliances. See Radio Frequency RF Detection Meters This article describes several low-cost and accurate radio frequency or RF detection and measurement devices suitable for radio, TV, cellphone, microwave, and similar signals.
B&K Precision offers a variety of instruments to test and characterize RF and microwave devices operating from DC to 8.5 GHz. Here is the company's general product description:
Special difficulties ensue in making microwave measurements on Navy ships, including cramped space, multiple RF sources, and many sources of RF interference.
Hand-held instruments for shipboard RF measurements are provided by Mobile Design at
We agree with the company's instrument use advice, in particular using the instrument in a consistent, standard, repeatable manner, and taking into account background signals and other sources of interference.
Sources: Zap Checker - http://www.zapchecker.com/ - Alan Broadband, 751 Laurel St #12, San Carlos, CA 94070 USA Ph: 650-345-9627
Safe Living Technologies Inc., 34 Queen Street P.O. Box 72 Morriston, Ontario N0B 2C0 Canada Phone: 519-240-8735 Fax: 519-821-5724
The Zap Checker - a series of hand-held ultra-sensitive instruments intended to detect and display radio frequency (RF) signals over varying spans of radio frequency range. Instrument prices range from around $160 to $2800. (March 2010). The company describes the Zap Checker as a counter surveillance, bug detector, field strength meter. Here is the company's general product line description:
Instead of contacting us with a request to perform RF Radio Frequency Field Strength measurements, in most cases it is more economical and convenient for a property owner to purchase their own instrument, making measurements under varying conditions. In this series of articles we describe how to make measurements using a consistent approach and using good documentation. See Recommended EMF Measurement Procedure for details of how to collect RF and / or EMF measurement data.
Following good procedure and using instruments properly are two steps towards making accurate, repeatable RF measurements. But because the signal transmission for RF sources is not under control of an individual property owner, and because the field strength varies as the signal transmission activity varies, it is important to have an idea of that condition as well when attempting to characterize RF exposure at a specific location.
Please do not contact us with a request buy electronic measuring equipment. We do not sell anything. To do so would be a conflict of interest for this website. These devices are readily available from many electrical equipment and home inspection equipment suppliers.
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