Smart Meters & Amateur Radio RF
There’s a serious issue connected with smart meters that the anti-smart community has completely overlooked or has been ignored. What a lot of people don't know, there are over 700,000 amateur radio operators / stations in the United States, with RF / EMF capabilities that can emit up to 1500 watts of continuous RF over a multitude of radio frequencies, the RF from these amateur radio stations can and will disrupt the ability of smart meters to accurately record and report data back to the utility data center, in some cases could damage the smart meter devices. The ARRL (American Radio Relay League) and FCC are well aware of this and the ARRL has actually stated that amateur radio RF can desensitize smart meter devices.
Why is this so important?
First, there are thousands of individuals across the United States that have reported sudden increases in their utility bills after a smart meter was installed on their property.
Second and more serious, there could also be disruption in service affecting utility customers in areas where amateur radio stations are operating. Remember, not only can RF from operating amateur radio stations desensitize smart meters, high levels of emitted RF can damage or disrupt the electronics in the smart meter, causing it to suddenly disconnect service to a property, or a number of properties, simply put, desensitizing a smart meter means that it can malfunction. A disruption in electrical service or other malfunction in the device now becomes a critical health and welfare concern.
There are millions of elderly and disabled people in the country that depend on electrical service that’s critical to maintain the operation of their medical apparatus, such disruption could be cause for life threaten events. Here’s an actual quote from the ARRL: The ARRL (American Radio Relay League) published and has stated: “Yes, amateur operation nearby can desensitize smart meters so they can’t hear commands. The smart meter is operating under Part 15 of the rules, which stipulates that Part 15 devices are not protected from interference from licensed radio services, such as Amateur Radio.” (Reference:http://www.arrl.org/smart-meters
Licensed radio services such as Amateur Radio receive unconditional protection from harmful interference from all Part 15 devices, including smart meters. In addition, Part 15 devices, such as smart meters, receive no protection from interference resulting from licensed radio services. Smart meters are not properly shielded to prevent them from being affected by high level RF emissions thus desensitizing smart meters.
Amateur radio operators are legally licensed to operate in and on the following frequency allocations: 902.0 - 928.0 (Including Smart Area) Mhz, 2300 - 2310 Mhz, 2390 - 2450 Mhz, 3300 - 3500 Mhz, 5650 - 5925 Mhz, 10.0 - 10.5 Ghz, 24 - 25.25 Ghz, 47 - 47.2 Ghz, 76 - 81.0 Ghz, 122.25 - 123.0 Ghz, 134 - 141 Ghz, 241 - 250 Ghz, and everything above 275 Ghz. Amateur radio operators are also legally licensed to operate in and on the 160, 80, 40, 30, 20, 17, 15, 12, 10, 6, 2, 1.25 meter bands, additionally amateur radio operators have privileges in 902.0 – 928.0 Mhz (Includes Smart Meters), 2.3 - 2.390 Ghz, and 2.390 – 2.450 Ghz frequencies (Includes Smart Meters). This is of major concern, since Smart meters are operating in the 900 Mhz and 2.4 Ghz area of frequencies.
Regardless of the band and frequency, one must also consider emitted harmonic RF that could severely disrupt smart meters in a strong RF fields. Power levels used in amateur radio can be substantial, so there should be serious concern about desensitizing smart meters affecting their ability and reliability to report accurate data back to the utility; once again, smart meters are not protected under part 15 of the FCC rules.
We’re not talking about minimal milliwatts of RF, amateur radio can emit up to 1500 watts of RF. APS (Arizona Public Service & the Arizona Corporation Council) and other utilities know that RF emissions from amateur radio stations can severely disrupt smart meters, if they don’t, then their engineering staff would have to be considered incompetent. Smart meters located in and around amateur radio stations emitting RF can desensitize smart meters affecting their ability and reliability to report accurate data back to the utility which could affect subscriber’s utility bills. This interference may well be one reason why there are so many reports of incorrect and over-billing issues.
The blame for this oversight doesn’t fall to the amateur radio operator or his transmitting apparatus, it falls to the utilities that failed to properly design and shield their equipment properly before delivering it to the general public. If there’s any risk of liability affecting the health and welfare of the general public, then it must again fall to the utilities who are providing the smart meter apparatus.
I have little doubt that APS, or any other utility for that matter, will make an earnest effort to blame amateur radio station owners / operators for desensitizing smart meters, and possibly attempt to hold them liable for damaging the meters for affecting their ability and reliability to report accurate data back to the utility, however, the utility won’t have a legal leg to stand on given the simple fact that smart meters are not protected devices under Part 15 of the FCC Rules.
This just adds to the already serious issues involving security, health and welfare, and reliability of these devices. How could anyone, in their right mind, with any engineering and design commonsense, conclude that smart meters would be of any positive benefit to utility subscribers, including APS. There’s a term for this kind of screw up in the military, however, I won’t use the colorful language here. You might want to read the RF Exposure section on the Tombstone Smart Meter Network website at:https://www.ebidpal.com/smart/
The anti-smart meter community must incorporate the substance of the issue I have outlined here, if we fail to do so, then we are part and parcel in failing in our responsibility to address the health and welfare issues associated with smart meters. Just because we aren’t knowledgeable on the subject amateur radio and how it affects smart meters and the general population, we have a responsibility to inquire and learn, then incorporate that knowledge in the fight against smart meters.