Walker EMF measuring instrument (C) Daniel Friedman RF Measuring Equipment
Guide to Selecting & Using Electromagnetic Field Measurement Instruments for RF Radio Frequency Surveys

  • RF RADIO FREQUENCY DETECTION METERS - CONTENTS:Description & Evaluation of several low-cost RF (radio frequency) measurement instruments - measuring cell phone & cell tower or TV or radio signal tower or signal strength & field exposure - Special tips for using individual electromagnetic field survey RF measurement devices. BK RF Measurement Test Equipment. Mobile Design Shipboard RF Measurements. Safe Living RF Meters - Radio Frequency Detectors. Zap Checker Radio Frequency Detection
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about choosing an RF electromagnetic field measurement survey instrument or tool.

InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

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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RF Radio Frequency Field Strength Measurement Instruments - Examples

Cell Tower (C) Daniel FriedmanSpecific RF measurement tools (radio, TV, cell tower, microwaves) are described and their sources listed here - instruments suitable for radio, TV, cellphone, microwave, and similar signals.

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.

BK RF Measurement Test Equipment Models & Manufacturers

  • BK Precision 103 - 1MHz to 3.0GHz Handheld Frequency Counter/Strength Meter for measuring RF radio frequency strength
  • BK Precision 104 - 10Hz to 3.0GHz Handheld Frequency Counter/Strength Meter for measuring RF radio frequency strength
  • BK Precision 106 - 30MHz to 2.8GHz Handheld Frequency Counter/Strength Meter for measuring RF radio frequency strength

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:

RF Field Strength Meters detect the electric field of radio and microwave signals and measure the electric field strength. Field strength meters provide field technicians and engineers with a cost-effective measurement tool for basic signal investigations at only a fraction of the cost of a full-featured conventional spectrum analyzer.

Handheld RF Field Strength Analyzers are ideal tools for field testing, installing and maintaining Mobile Telecommunications systems such as Cellular and Cordless Phone, CB Paging, Paging, Cable and Satellite TV Systems and performing antenna site measurements and maintenance.

Website: http://www.bkprecision.com/products/categories/15/rf-test-instruments.html

Mobile Design Shipboard RF Measurements

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

Website: http://mobiledevdesign.com/hardware_news/radio_handheld_instruments_aid/

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 RF Meters - Radio Frequency Detectors

  • Safe Living RF Meter - 27 MHz - 6 GHz, detecting cellular telephone signals, Wi-Fi signals, bluetooth radio signals, GSM, Radar,DECT, UMTS, WLAN, and all other wireless communication signals

Safe Living Technologies Inc., 34 Queen Street P.O. Box 72 Morriston, Ontario N0B 2C0 Canada Phone: 519-240-8735 Fax: 519-821-5724

Website: http://www.safelivingtechnologies.ca/contact.htm

Zap Checker Radio Frequency Detection

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:

All Zap Checker models are easy to use, small, handheld products with internal fixed antennas which require no adjustments. All models employ linear (regular) as well as logarithmic (compressed) amplification and detection. Each model has an analog meter and LED display. (The LED displays are visible from a distance and at night time.)

Most Zap Checkers have an audio output to hear signal strength levels and identify sources by their characteristic sounds. Some products have a switch enabled silent vibrator. The more professional models employ specialized external antennas and, in the case of the ABC 126, a high frequency band that filters out noise and interfering signals to allow for the highly sensitive detection of signals above 1.5 GHz. The ABC 126 also has a USB output connection for distant monitoring, remote powering and accessory switching.

  • Zap Checker Model ZC 185 - 3MHz to 5 GHz
  • Zap Checker Model ZC 190B - 1MHz to 8 GHz
  • Zap Checker Model ZC 300 - 1MHz to 8 GHz with connector for special filtering antennas, directional logging
  • Zap Checker Model ZC 126 - 1 MHz to 14 GHz bandwidth professional RF testing instrument, omni directional, high sensitivity, -90 dBm @ 2.4 GHz, -80 dBm @ 5.8 GHz, -60 dBM @ 12 GHz

Website: www.zapchecker.com/

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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