Wireless Gas/Electric Meters

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I just got a new, spiffy, wireless gas meter that has an FCC ID on it.
HTH do these things manage to have a battery life of "20+ years" when
I'm 70+ yards from the hub and have about 6 CMU walls in that line of
sight?

It's an ingenious scheme, really.  With the help of the wireless
electric meter, they are sniffing everything in my neighborhood and
uploading it to more powerful supercomputers that are busy crunching
all my top seekrit data 24/7.  I notice my new meters didn't come with
a Privacy Statement.

OK, so I didn't look for kook sites yet, but when I was looking for
info on the meter (mine is
http://onrampwireless.com/applications/gas-utilities /) I did see one
site screaming about "exposure", but I'm not sure to what.

-sw

Re: Wireless Gas/Electric Meters
On 6/22/2012 5:09 PM, Sqwertz wrote:
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They just tweet out the reading. It is not like the gas meter is spewing
out continuous data. So the power of "duty factor" and long life lithium
gives them long operating life.

That was the explanation I read when we first got them. The electric
meter has an easier time. ;-) I think the electric meter is around
1.2GHz or so. I see something pinging out there on the spectrum analyzer.




Re: Wireless Gas/Electric Meters
On Fri, 22 Jun 2012 17:47:48 -0700, miso wrote:

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It's 2-way so it can't sleep *too* deeply.  I suppose it could wake up
every week or so and when phoning home ask if there's anything it's
supposed to so (upgrade firmware shut off gas etc...) rather than
being on constant standby to receive.

It's interesting to note that the meter still seems to be analog cogs
and sprockets on the dials.  I wonder how/when that gets translated
into digital.

-sw

Re: Wireless Gas/Electric Meters
wrote:

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Good Lithium Thionyl Chloride battery,  low self-discharge, low duty
cycle, and low power consumption:
<http://www.tadiranbat.com/pdf.php?id=metering_international_20_years


--
# Jeff Liebermann 150 Felker St #D Santa Cruz CA 95060
# 831-336-2558
# http://802.11junk.com jeffl@cruzio.com
# http://www.LearnByDestroying.com               AE6KS

Re: Wireless Gas/Electric Meters
On 6/22/2012 9:04 PM, Jeff Liebermann wrote:
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I see it has a FCC ID on it. I'll have to see if my meters have FCC ID
numbers visible to the outside world.

So the Star meter is one way, that is no receiver. In general, that
isn't a good scheme. ACK is your friend.



Re: Wireless Gas/Electric Meters

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They do.  Locally, PG&E uses Silver Springs smartmeters:
<http://www.pge.com/smartmeter/
<http://www.silverspringnet.com/products/emeters-ge-I-210+.html

<http://www.pge.com/myhome/edusafety/systemworks/rf/faq/
   PG&Es electric SmartMeters operate in the 902-928 MHz
   frequency-band to communicate customer electricity-usage
   to PG&E. PG&Es gas SmartMeters operate in the 450-470 MHz
   frequency-band to communicate customer gas-usage to PG&E.

The 900MHz stuff is spread spectrum.  The 450MHz is NBFM.

   SmartMeters communicate intermittently, with each RF-signal
   typically lasting from 2 to 20 milliseconds. These intermittent
   signals total, on average, 45 seconds per day. For the other 23
   hours and 59 minutes of the day, the meter is not transmitting
   any RF.

I pointed a yagi antenna at my electric power meter, and threw
together an RF amp, filter, detector, and data logger to see how often
it really transmitted.  I'm rather far away from the network node, so
mine only belched bursts of RF 1-3 times per day.  However, when I did
the same at a customers location, closer to the node, the store and
forward traffic was substantial, resulting in 20-50 transmissions per
day.  I screwed up and didn't log the total transmission time per day,
only the number of transmission bursts.  It is my understanding
(possibly wrong) that the battery life is calculated on the basis of
one bursty transmission per day and might be rather optimistic.

I gave a short talk on the alleged RF hazards of smartmeters to a
rather hostile audience a few months ago.  I'm still recovering, so no
more questions about biological RF effects please.  Just read the RF
FAQ above.

Now, go away.  It's Ham Radio Field Day weekend and I'm somewhat busy.

--
Jeff Liebermann     jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann     AE6KS    831-336-2558

Re: Wireless Gas/Electric Meters
On Sat, 23 Jun 2012 08:35:59 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

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That's a lot of communicating of pretty boring data, IMO.

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We expected no less.

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And I was being pessimistic thinking maybe it wakes up every week.

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Don't forget your decked-out helmet.

Cheers :-)

-sw

Re: Wireless Gas/Electric Meters
wrote:

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Data is boring.  However, when enough data has been accumulated and
massaged, it becomes information, which is far from boring and often
quite valuable.

45 seconds per day is 273 minutes per year.  That's about half my cell
phone use in one month.

Over the 20 year life of the meter, you would be exposed to about 91
hours of RF, which certainly qualifies as useless information.

If you're really worried about RF exposure, I suggest gifting with
orgonite.  That should also keep you busy for a while:
<http://www.orgonite.info/what-is-orgonite.html
<http://www.orgonite.info/how-to-make-orgonite.html

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I won a free dinner because if this test and a few others I threw
together.  I was also thinking of making a "Smartmeter Meter" that
would detect and log emissions from smartmeters.  There are plenty of
paranoids out there with money.

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I'm able to download hourly electric usage from my house.  Here's a
sample screen for 3 days ago:
<http://802.11junk.com/jeffl/crud/PGE-daily-2012-06-22.jpg
The big peak is my morning use of the bathroom electric wall heater. I
can also download monthly CSV and XML data since June 2008.  What's a
little brain cancer when you can obtain such nifty data?

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The one with mouse ears or the propeller on top?  I brought my
aluminum foil wrapped plastic helmet (with the ear muffs for chain saw
work), but nobody was interested in taking my photo.  Sniff...

--
Jeff Liebermann     jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann     AE6KS    831-336-2558

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