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From: Chuck Simmons
Organization: You jest.
X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.61 [en] (X11; U; Linux 2.0.33 i586)
Subject: Re: Any ideas on measuring radiation in the home ?
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2002 14:14:23 GMT
NNTP-Posting-Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2002 07:14:23 PDT
Chuck Simmons wrote:
> John Woodgate wrote:
> > I read in sci.electronics.design that News2020 wrote
> > (in ) about
> > 'Any ideas on measuring radiation in the home ?', on Fri, 27 Sep 2002:
> > >The responses so far :
> > Yes, you are getting some wild responses. The situation is that your
> > radiation detector picked up *something* when you unplugged the oven.
> > Inside the oven is a filter that prevents electrical noise, at much
> > lower frequencies than the microwaves. This filter is always connected
> > to the mains supply, even when the oven is switched off, and it draws a
> > very small current from the supply. When you interrupt this current,
> > there is a tiny burst of radio-frequency energy from the spark, and that
> > is what your detector is responding to.
> > The detector is misleading, because it is too sensitive; it is
> > responding to radiation at a very low level indeed, a level far less
> > than people have been exposed to over geological time from natural
> > sources.
> There is a diagram here http://www.hills2.u-net.com/electron/uwave.htm
> that shows a typical unit. It shows a line filter that you mention as
> well as a transformwr to power the panel.
> Noteworthy is the number of switches, relays and interlocks to keep the
> magnetron from being powered unless conditions similar in rarity to
> those at the parting of the Red Sea are met.
> The line filter in combination with the current draw for the panel
> controls make a spark likely on unplugging. The consensus is that such a
> spark produces a completely harmless level of radiation of any sort. As
> John has stated, considerably higher levels of radiation occur
> I should point out that most of the first 10 years of my working career
> was spent around high power radio transmitters and, for about a year,
> around souces of atomic radiation. In those early years, I got many
> times the exposure to radiation than an ordinary person gets in a
> lifetime. There is no evidence that this was harmful to me.
After I wrote the above, i got to thinking about real radiation hazards
that have existed in years gone by.
When I was a child, it was common for shoe stores to have a fluoroscope
that customers could use to check fit. You put your feet into the bottom
of the machine and you could see the bones of your feet and where they
were in relation to the shoes. It was eventually realized that these
useful devices were indeed hazardous and they vanished sometime in the
1950s (early 1950s I think).
In 1955, color TV became a commercial reality and I soon saw the sets in
hotels and prosperous homes. They were very expensive costing around
$500 (remember, you could get a pretty good car for less than $1000
then). The original sets had thick face plates for mechanical reasons
but it was soon realized that the sets presented a soft X-ray hazzard
for service personnel. Thus warnings were posted inside the set so that
service technicians would be alerted to the problem. The X-ray hazzard
was pretty much eliminated from the household scene until imported color
TVs showed up with thin face plate tubes and brought the problem back.
The soft X-ray hazzard now existed up to about 2 feet from the tube. The
thin face plates died as import rules made them impossible to import.
Microwave ovens presented a new problem in that door seals could fail.
It was not so much that injury was likely standing in front of the
device but more the possibilty of having a hand or arm in harms way
while waiting for that frozen dinner to heat. The seals today are well
designed and unlikely to create hazzrd.
Today, radiation hazzards have turned into a kind of witch hunt. People
with no understanding of the radiation involved succeed in creating
problems where none exist. And thus we have this thread.
... The times have been,
That, when the brains were out,
the man would die. ... Macbeth
Chuck Simmons email@example.com
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