Modern Aurora

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Posted by w0ep on January 11, 2020 at 3:59 pm

[Today’s run: 5 miles – to the Casey’s store in the snow]

I found my spectrum analyzer interconnect cables today! So my rack of test equipment is in pretty good shape.

I recorded this video of the 2.4 GHz spectrum using a rubber ducky antenna. I believe this is a signal from our wifi router which was about 5 feet away. It reminded me of pictures of the Aurora Borealias.

I still need to rig up a GPS antenna for the GPSDO.

Filed under Ham Radio
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6 Comments

  • On January 12, 2020 at 6:43 am Sue said

    What is your opinion of the 5G controversy? I also understand 6G is on the way.
    (Sorry to muddy up your blog with an unrelated question.)

    • On January 17, 2020 at 5:59 am w0ep said

      I didn’t realize there was a 5G controversy! So I went and googled it. It looks like some folks think there could be health problems of some sort. (Is that the one?)

      Radio energy causes health problems pretty much in proportion to the power output. Fortunately the newer cell phones and cell phone systems are generally looking to lower power output. So I would be inclined to worry more about an older phone than a newer one as far as energy output.

      I could see some difficulty if iOT devices all sprout 5G cell interfaces. If your eyeglasses and your credit cards suddenly are also cell devices… but for that I would generally follow the batteries: if a thing doesn’t have batteries it isn’t participating… if it has a small battery it can’t do as much.

      Personally, I think it would be much better to run fiber to everybody’s house rather than go to cell service for heavy data / fixed path loads. The radio spectrum is of limited capacity and we are filling it with noise for which the easiest solution is to ratchet up the power levels. That’s the wrong way to proceed. Radio should be for the cases either where there is one-to-many broadcasting or where mobility demands wire-less connectivity. But the various government initiatives to increase internet connectivity have allowed radio solutions to count; I think that is a mistake.

      https://www.fcc.gov/engineering-technology/electromagnetic-compatibility-division/radio-frequency-safety/faq/rf-safety#Q5

      https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/we-have-no-reason-to-believe-5g-is-safe/

      (He switches argument between 5G issues because of 5G specific features and just because 5G is planned to be much more of the same old thing.)

      https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/5g-is-coming-how-worried-should-we-be-about-the-health-risks/

      (He points out that the newer technology actually attempts to use less power by directing the energy to/from the handset.)

  • On January 19, 2020 at 7:21 am Sue said

    Interesting articles, thank you!

    Over the last year or so I have noticed concerns popping up in the media about 5g and its possible human-health issues.

    Generally, I figure if it proves to be a problem we’ll all find out eventually (after many people have suffered a-la the radium girls), but the fact is we are all in the process of dying and will eventually cease breathing for one reason or another so it makes no real difference how that end is achieved.

  • On January 19, 2020 at 10:24 am Jonathan Howard said

    The “radium girls” situation that I anticipated but hasn’t happened – and maybe never will – is career flight attendants. I understand that every time they fly they are exposed to so much cosmic radiation that the CDC classifies them as radiation workers. A longer flight about half the amount of a chest X-ray.

  • On January 19, 2020 at 7:54 pm Sue said

    I’ve never heard that about flight attendants before, but I suppose the same goes for pilots. That’s interesting and I’d like to know more so may just follow up a bit.

  • On January 20, 2020 at 9:30 am Jonathan D Howard said

    Pilots don’t fly as much. I think 1000 hours a year. Flight attendants over twice that. (Also, I wonder if pilots retire after fewer service years but can’t find anything on that.)

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