RF in the walls?

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RF in the walls?

CaptainProton
Hi everyone!

Recently I have discovered that I am sensitive to EMF radiation, so I ordered the TF2 meter, and it has helped me tremendously. However, there is something I have just realized that confuses me. I was hoping you could help me figure it out.

I live in an apartment, top (5th) floor. Most problematic for me was the Electric field from the wall behind where I sit while I work. Therefore, I covered it entirely with aluminum foil as a proof of concept to see what will happen until I decide to go with the shielding paint. The effect on the electric field was huge - I got it down from at least 1000 V/m to around 30 with TF2 pressed directly on the wall.

However, the field RF value is still at least over 1.500 mW/m2 when I press TF2 directly on the surface while holding it, which I believe is even more than it was before I applied the aluminum foil to that wall. Moving the TF2 away from the surface to about 3 cm distance drops the value to around 0.900 mW/m2.

What is more strange is that the other (unshielded) side of that wall only shows readings of field 0.350 mW/m2 when pressed directly against the surface, and around 0.250 mW/m2 with 3 cm distance.

Here are some key points:
- The wall is grounded to a radiator pipe.
- The WiFi is turned off.
- There are antennas on the top of the building, but placing TF2 close to a ceiling doesn't show any extreme - values (they are around 0.200 mW/m2).
- No microwave.
- The cellphone was outside of the room.
- No smart-meters.
- This is the only wall that is currently shielded in the apartment. The other side of the wall is not.

I also did a little experiment on the building I live in. I went downstairs from the top floor and measured the RF while leaning TF2 against the walls, one floor at a time. The levels were progressively getting lower and lower, and when I reached the basement, it was flat zero.

My experience is shallow in this area, but my best guess is that the walls are conducting the RF field. I don't even know if that is possible, though. But why would the shielded wall produce the highest RF reading?

What do you think? Do you believe that shielding the entire room would drop those levels? Right now, I am worried that if I shielded the other walls as well that it would only boost the RF even more, and that wouldn't be very good. Then on the other hand, maybe shielding all the walls would exactly be the solution. I don't know.

One more thing!

Currently, I have a steel sit-stand desk in that room that I got from Ikea and even though it has a particleboard top, placing a TF2 on top of it produced HUGE field values of up to 3.000 mW/m2! The most active hotspots are where the steel touches the board. Could it be that the desk is acting as an antenna? Could it also be why the aluminum on the wall is producing such high readings?

I am looking forward to your thoughts!
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Re: RF in the walls?

casper
I think the more curious question is what is creating this 1000 V/m electric field? This is an enormous field in my opinion. On my old Trifield meter it means the needle is basically pegged at max in the electric field setting.

I only see such fields on my meter if I place it directly on top of an AC line, charger, lamp, motor or similar.
If this field was present on the full wall, and not just on a specific spot, then it is even more strange.

I think you cannot analyze this further without figuring out what is producing this field. Is there something on the other side of the wall? Something IN the wall?

Btw. the specifications for the TF2 says the RF range is 20 MHz - 6 GHz. I don't have experience with this meter, but that range includes a lot of stuff, like FM transmissions. It's therefore not that easy to say what it is picking up.

You may want to get an additional meter with audio output, to narrow down the source. I would start with just a simple analog AM radio. An AM radio is an excellent way to figure our sources for near-field electric and magnetic fields. Just listen to what it sounds like, and maybe you can get a clue where it is coming from. I use a  < $10 Chinese radio from eBay. Choose a silent AM frequency, and then wave the radio in front of troublesome spots and listen to what you hear.

For RF detection something like the Esmog Spion, Acousticom, or the Cornet with audio (I have the Cornet ED85EX) could also help you. The Cornet is for 1 MHz to 8 GHz, but the supplied antenna makes it tuned to microwaves, and the audio really helps to understand what sort of signal it is picking up. The Esmog Spion is on my wish list, an all-round audio analyzer, but unfortunately it is quite expensive.