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Disabling mobile phone antennas

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paranoid Newbie

Joined: 10 Aug 2015
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:37 pm    Post subject: Disabling mobile phone antennas Reply with quote

Hello there! Could you please help the paranoid? For privacy reasons I want to disable all wireless connectivity on my Samsung Galaxy Note N7000 phone and keep it fully disconnected from any wireless communications.

Basically I have two questions:

1. Would there be health risk? Getting cancer is not part of my plan. Like phone's modem would keep trying to connect to cell towers and thus emit lots of radiation into my pocket because antenna is no longer connected and phone circuitry would try compensating 'low signal' by pumping more energy into the remaining transmission circuitry?

2. Would there be residual privacy risk? Like if I get really close to cellular tower - would the remaining circuitry be enough for GSM transmission even with antenna disconnected / removed? Any experience with phone's internal wiring being sufficient as tiny antenna at close range to GSM tower?

2.a. Same goes to wifi I guess. With even higher transmission frequency - is the risk bigger here that remaining metal lanes on board will be able to act as wifi antennas? It is way easier to get really close to wifi station so is this risk avenue more likely?
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E Kafeman
Antenna Theory Regular

Joined: 04 Feb 2013
Posts: 25
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. EM radiation is emitted from your phone. It is same kind of radiation that is also emitted from an electric bulb. Main part of radiation that reaches us from the sun are also of same kind of radiation.
There is a definitive health risk with this radiation and it is related to how powerful it is.
Radiation from sun can reach more then 1000 watt per square meter and it can kill you in hours if unprotected, due overheating.
Too little amount of radiation is just as deadly. Without sun radiation will whole earth be a deep frozen place where nobody can survive.

A electric bulb emits typical 10-60 Watt EM radiation. Its frequency is mainly in IR range, and 1-2 % is emitted in visible frequency range.
A cellphone can radiate up to 10 Watt during use. Main radiation source is display and its background lightning. The most powerful transmitter in the phone can radiate up to 0.2 Watt in average at 1800-1900 MHz but at a cost of 2-3 Watt IR radiation. Both power emitted at 1800 MHz as well as IR radiation, will be absorbed by human body equally well. Your skin will react for this kind of radiation as heat. For higher frequencies can we also detect it with our eyes, if in visible frequency range.
For radiation below 10 MHz do human body react very poor. The human body is too small to act as an absorbing antenna for these lower frequencies.

Human body is constantly depending on that its surrounding emits EM waves in the frequency range where the body can absorb enough heat.
Human body do also emits EM waves, typical in rest 100 Watt and during heavy work 600-800 Watt. If this emitting not should result in temperature loss are we depending on absorbing same amount of power from our surroundings.
A cellphone is not enough to give you that amount of heat so it is a health risk to not add much more radiation or you will die in few minutes in an radiation free environment.

Extremely high frequencies, above visible range such as UV can cause cell-death if energy level is high enough. Even higher frequencies do we have thing like X-ray, Gamma-radiation. This kind of radiation is also known as ionized particle radiation. There are known health risks with particle radiation such as cancer but this kind of radiation is also a part of our natural surrounding at lower levels. Higher doses of radiation such as X-ray at hospital can be used to increase your life-length but do increase cancer risk.

2. It is very hard to remove the antennas as it most likely will be metallic remains at PCB that can act as antennas and it will cause heavy mis-load for the radio transmitters. As result of this mi-load will a radio transmitter will emit more heat and increase battery drainage.

It is much simpler to select flight mode, setting all transmitters inactive.
Same thing for WiFi, just disable it in software and it will keep quit even if close to other WiFi sources as well as reducing power consumption.
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paranoid Newbie

Joined: 10 Aug 2015
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Airplane mode would be first thing I would apply. That is for sure.

But I do not have any effective control over the phone hardware so there is no reliable way to confirm that "Airplane mode" really means anything. I have no way to prove that so I assume otherwise just to stay on safe side.

So I though I would go with physical disconnection of all the antennas from some Android phone _and_ enabling Airplane mode - because I do not need any transmission anyway and do not want phone to waste energy on any wireless transmissions - could do the trick.

The idea was that for GSM signal after removal of phone antennas the _length_ of the remaining PCB wirings would be too short for the phone to use as antenna for GSM 900/1800 wavelength.

Apparently this is not the case?
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E Kafeman
Antenna Theory Regular

Joined: 04 Feb 2013
Posts: 25
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Removing GSM antennas will increase local radiation in active, non flight mode.
The phone adjust its output TX power level between few microWatt up to 2 Watt peak depending on how well base station is able to receive signal from your phone. If base station finds that your signal is received unnecessary strong to maintain communication is your phone ordered by base station to reduce its power to a lower level.

With a good antenna is all by TX circuit produced RF power emitted to the air.
Assume that you remove the antenna. It will result in that your phone will try to get contact with a celltower by transmitting at its highest possible power level, but it will not succeed. As there not is any antenna, will produced TX power not be able to be emitted in the air. Only way for the produced TX power is to reflect back to the radio-chip where all power will be transformed to heat.

Removing antenna, is a bit like running a car at full power with handbrake fully engaged. Car will not move and a lot of power is produced, but energy is wasted by producing a lot of local heat in engine and brake-drums.

Total radiated power from a cellphone is less then power emitted from a small burning candle. Comparison is simple. Hold your hand close around a cellphone and your hand will collect all emitted power for all frequencies and produce heat in your hand. Do same thing with a burning candle. Which one was warmest?

The candle emits its radiation at higher frequencies including a small amount of radioactive radiation, besides UV, IR and visible light.
Add that gases from a burning candle are known harmful (weak burnt petroleum) and can cause asphyxiation due to CO-gases, and its ash particles mixed with emitted gas are known to cause lung-cancer.
A cellphone is much less harmful for your health from that view even when phone is active transmitting.

Main health problem related to cellphone is related to effect of your environment due to how phone is produced and recycled.
A phone is known to become real dangerous if combined with other risk factors. Combination driving a car and use a phone, is causing a number of deaths every year.
Using headset listening at the phone while walking along a railroad did a few weeks ago kill a mom and her child in my neighborhood.
Combining phone with poor chargers causing overcharged and burning batteries have happen a number of times.

TX power from a phone do affect human tissue.
It is easy checked with aid of an egg. It is a good comparison as human tissue main content is albumin. Take a cellphone with external antenna. Put antenna in the egg and wait for it to fry. It will fry but due to limited amount of power will it take weeks. It is much faster to fry a egg in strong sunshine, it can be done in minutes due to that amount of radiated power is so much higher.
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