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SAR and EVDO Cards (Specific Absorption Rate)

 
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Michael
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Joined: 13 Jan 2005
Posts: 6206
Location: Cary, IL

PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:56 pm    Post subject: SAR and EVDO Cards (Specific Absorption Rate) Reply with quote

I have seen some discussion about SAR or Specific Absorption Rate recently, so I thought I would start a discussion on EVDOforums.

When purchasing a cell phone or EVDO card, do you even look at the SAR, does it matter? For those that are purchasing an external antenna, are you doing this to reduce SAR or to increase signal?

Here are the current cards:

Novatel v620 1.33
Kyocera KP650 1.17
Audiovox PC5740 1.26
Sierra PC5220 1.34 (probably same for AC580)

The LOWER the SAR level, the better for you

The US FCC mandates a Maximum SAR level of 1.6 W/kg for a phone


Here is everything you ever wanted to know about SAR

Quote:
CONSUMER INFORMATION ABOUT RADIO FREQUENCY EMISSIONS

Your wireless phone, which contains a radio transmitter and receiver, emits radio frequency energy during use. The following consumer information addresses commonly asked questions about the health effects of wireless phones.

Are Wireless Phones Safe?
Scientific research on the subject of wireless phones and radio frequency ("RF") energy has been conducted worldwide for many years, and continues. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") and the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") set policies and procedures for wireless phones. The FDA and the FCC have created a joint website, "Cell Phone Facts - Consumer Information on Wireless Phones," which states that "[t]he available scientific evidence does not show that any health problems are associated with using wireless phones," while noting that "[t]here is no proof, however, that wireless phones are absolutely safe." You can access the joint FDA/FCC website at http://www.fda.gov/cellphones. You can also contact the FDA toll-free at (888) 463-6332 or (888) INFO-FDA. In June 2000, the FDA entered into a cooperative research and development agreement through which additional scientific research will be conducted. The FCC issued its own website publication stating that "[t]here is no scientific evidence that proves that wireless phone usage can lead to cancer or a variety of other problems, including headaches, dizziness or memory loss." This publication is available at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/mobilephone.html or through the FCC at (888) 225-5322 or (888) CALL-FCC.

What Does "SAR" Mean?
In 1996, the FCC, working with the FDA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other agencies, established RF exposure safety guidelines for wireless phones in the United States. Before a wireless phone model is available for sale to the public, it must be tested by the manufacturer and certified to the FCC that it does not exceed limits established by the FCC. One of these limits is expressed as a Specific Absorption Rate, or "SAR". SAR is a measure of the rate of absorption of RF energy in the body. Tests for SAR are conducted with the phone transmitting at its highest power level in all tested frequency bands. Since 1996, the FCC has required that the SAR of handheld wireless phones not exceed 1.6 watts per kilogram, averaged over one gram of tissue. Although the SAR is determined at the highest power level, the actual SAR value of a wireless phone while operating can be less than the reported SAR value. This is because the SAR value may vary from call to call, depending on factors such as proximity to a cell site, the proximity of the phone to the body while in use, and the use of hands-free devices. For more information about SARs, see the FCC’s OET Bulletins 56 and 65 at http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Engineering_Technology/Documents/bulletins and http://www.fcc.gov/oet/fccid, or visit the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association website at http://www.ctia.org/wireless_consumers/health_and_safety/index.cfm/AID/152. You may also wish to contact the manufacturer of your phone.

Can I Minimize My RF Exposure?
If you are concerned about RF, there are several simple steps you can take to minimize your RF exposure. You can, of course, reduce your talk time. You can place more distance between your body and the source of the RF, as the exposure level drops off dramatically with distance. The FDA/FCC website states that "[h]ands-free kits can be used with wireless phones for convenience and comfort. These systems reduce the absorption of RF energy in the head because the phone, which is the source of the RF emissions, will not be placed against the head. On the other hand, if the phone is mounted against the waist or other part of the body during use, then that part of the body will absorb more RF energy. Wireless phones marketed in the U.S. are required to meet safety requirements regardless of whether they are used against the head or against the body. Either configuration should result in compliance with the safety limit." Also, if you use your wireless phone while in a car, you can use a phone with an antenna on the outside of the vehicle. You should also read and follow your wireless phone manufacturer’s instructions for the safe operation of your phone.

Do Wireless Phones Pose Any Special Risks to Children?
The FDA/FCC website states that "[t]he scientific evidence does not show a danger to users of wireless communication devices including children." The FDA/FCC website further states that "[s]ome groups sponsored by other national governments have advised that children be discouraged from using wireless phones at all. For example, the government in the United Kingdom ["UK"] distributed leaflets containing such a recommendation in December 2000. [The UK] noted that no evidence exists that using a wireless phone causes brain tumors or other ill effects. [The UK’s] recommendation to limit wireless phone use by children was strictly precautionary; it was not based on scientific evidence that any health hazard exists." A copy of the UK’s leaflet is available at http://www.dh.gov.uk (search "mobile"), or you can write to: NRPB, Chilton, Didcot, Oxon OX11 0RQ, United Kingdom. Copies of UK’s annual reports on mobile phones and RF are available online at http://www.iegmp.org.uk and http://www.hpa.org.uk/radiation/ (search "mobile"). Parents who wish to reduce their children’s RF exposure may choose to restrict their children’s wireless phone use.

Where Can I Obtain Further Information?
For further information, see the following additional resources (websites current as of January 2005)

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
FDA Consumer magazine
November-December 2000
Telephone: (888) INFO-FDA
http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2000/600_phone.html

U.S. Federal Communications Commission
445 12th St. S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
Telephone: (888) 225-5322
http://www.fcc.gov/oet/rfsafety

Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones
http://www.iegmp.org.uk

Royal Society of Canada
Expert Panel on Potential Health Risks of Radiofrequency Fields from Wireless Telecommunications Devices
283 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1R 7X9
Canada
Telephone: (613) 991-6990
http://www.rsc.ca/index.php?page=expert_panels_rf&lang_id=1&page_id=120

World Health Organization
Avenue Appia 20
1211 Geneva 27
Switzerland
Telephone: 011 41 22 791 21 11
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs193/en/

International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection
c/o Bundesamt fur Strahlenschutz
Ingolstaedter Landstr.1
85764 Oberschleissheim
Germany
Telephone: 011 49 1888 333 2156
http://www.icnirp.de

American National Standards Institute
1819 L Street, N.W., 6th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 293-8020
http://www.ansi.org

National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements
7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 800
Bethesda, MD 20814-3095
Telephone: (301) 657-2652
http://www.ncrponline.org

Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, Committee on Man and Radiation (COMAR), of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
http://http://ewh.ieee.org/soc/embs/comar/

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Michael
Site Admin


Joined: 13 Jan 2005
Posts: 6206
Location: Cary, IL

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2005 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are a few more SAR ratings:

XV6600 1.47
PPC-6700 0.88
RAZR V3 0.89
7130e 1.36
i730 1.31
Treo 650 1.5
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SL10
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Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 394
Location: Denver, Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aircards and SAR rates? I wouldn't worry about it, unless you put the aircard to your ear and talk on it like you would a phone? lol.
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rmbracalente
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Joined: 22 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I don't know about putting it in your ear, but how about "on your lap" (as in the pcmcia slot on your notebook, while the notebook is sitting on your lap)? I would say ~that~ is something to be concerned about.

I would be curious to know how they arrived at these SAR values for the aircards. For instance, in the docs for my Moto E815, it lists two SAR values...one for "near the head" and one for "on the waist", since it's possible to operate the phone from either position these days, what with hands-free kits and all.

The "on the waist" number is a bit higher than the "near the head" number, I presume because (allowing for some conduction through your ear canal), the microwaves would otherwise have to pentrate through your skull. No such barrier at your waist. And I'm sure the quoted SAR value at the waist is as liberal as it can be...I'd bet the SAR is a lot higher when, say the phone's antenna is crushed up into your obliques while it's under your coat, you're driving in the car or leaning over a little bit while the phone is off-hook.

So, it would be interesting to learn where on the body they simulated these measurements to gain this SAR value. In any event, I try to take as much advantage of the inverse-square law as possible when using this thing without a desk between it & my "sensitive" organs.
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SL10
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Joined: 18 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rmbracalente wrote:
Well, I don't know about putting it in your ear, but how about "on your lap" (as in the pcmcia slot on your notebook, while the notebook is sitting on your lap)? I would say ~that~ is something to be concerned about.

I would be curious to know how they arrived at these SAR values for the aircards. For instance, in the docs for my Moto E815, it lists two SAR values...one for "near the head" and one for "on the waist", since it's possible to operate the phone from either position these days, what with hands-free kits and all.

The "on the waist" number is a bit higher than the "near the head" number, I presume because (allowing for some conduction through your ear canal), the microwaves would otherwise have to pentrate through your skull. No such barrier at your waist. And I'm sure the quoted SAR value at the waist is as liberal as it can be...I'd bet the SAR is a lot higher when, say the phone's antenna is crushed up into your obliques while it's under your coat, you're driving in the car or leaning over a little bit while the phone is off-hook.

So, it would be interesting to learn where on the body they simulated these measurements to gain this SAR value. In any event, I try to take as much advantage of the inverse-square law as possible when using this thing without a desk between it & my "sensitive" organs.


It also depends on where the card slot is. My Dell has its slot toward the back of the unit, whereas some of the newer units have the slot towards the front of the unit. But, either way I am not to concerned over it.. Confused
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Scott
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Joined: 18 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahh... yet another reason for providers to deliver a USB EVDO modem device. For those concerned with microwave absorption: 6ft USB cable>USB EVDO modem>less SAR (assuming that the user has actually stretched out the cable).

Given, directionality of signaling is a factor, but for those queasy about a PC card essentially laying in your lap one foot away from 'the plumbing', it has to provide some reduction of SAR and a little peace of mind.

</USB device pleading> Wink

On another note, this is why I don't really love the idea of repeater type amplification methods (antenna>amp>antenna) for use at close proximity (car/plane/boat). I'm all for gain, but don't really want to be stuck in the signal path, if you know what I mean.

Getting the main tower broadcasting antenna on the vehicle roof (above a metal ground plane) is one step... but I'd still rather have a cable attached to my EVDO radio on the inside too when boosting.

I feel the same about boosting any kind of microwave wireless device, be it EVDO or WiFi. Analogy: do you crank the stereo in the den to provide an even volume of music for the whole house? No. Makes more sense to use a quantity of lower volume speakers throughout the house, creating good coverage.

And funny how we rarely hear or read about SAR related to the ISM band: 802.11b, bluetooth headsets, or home phones using 900MHz/2.4GHz/5.8GHz, or even the market of wireless headphones quickly picking up steam. There's a lot of microwaves around us lately. Some closer to our heads and other important 'parts' than others.

Its hard to to have a realistic discussion about potential effects of microwaves without sounding like a tinfoil-hat-wearing nut. The thing with wireless signals is that we can't see or hear them. Out of sight... out of mind. Since they don't 'bother' our senses, we think there is no harm. Does something have to negatively impact our nerves or 'bug' our senses to hurt us?

Ever notice how your big-headed friends or relatives sap all the signal strengh of your new modded WiFi access point? LOL. "Hey... radius from the access point, will ya... I'm down to one bar!"

To which their only reply is, "Hmmm... what IS that damn crackling sound?"
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