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Volumetric Radio Activity Wand

A tool that answers: Where should you sit? Where should you place your head? Where should you pace whilst on the cordless phone?
  [vote for,

A black metallic wand.

Two black sticks.

A wireless adapter for your computer.

What does this rapidly growing aethereal world look like?

Place one of the black sticks on a good vantage point. It is similar to the Nintendo Wii's motion tracker, and watches your wand, as you wave it too and fro, and hither and thither.

Inside the wand is a radio receiver, tunable to a range of frequencies. As you dance about the house, the location and type of radio interference is run through a spectrum analyzer and plotted.

Yes, it is wireless itself, but it tracks and nullifies its own usage. Optionally, and for more accuracy, a wired adapter is available.

Want to plot around the corner? Press a button on your second black stick, and holding down the button, move it to another vantage point where it can see the first. Let go of the button and it initializes location. Once this is done the first black stick can be moved. In this way an entire house can be mapped, without using GPS.

But the main result of all this is a 3D volumetric map of all radio interference within an abode. Each voxel is an interpolated sample from the wand. This will allow you to know where to place your laptop, store your magnetic data, hang your wireless phone, rest your weary testes -- and be confident and safe while doing so.

The plotted map would be transformable in 3D and colored by radio frequency and strength. The volume could be sliced along any axis and each voxel could be selected for more information. It would most likely reveal startlingly artistic patterns.

A poor man's 2D version of this is walking around your house with an analog cordless phone and a pencil between your toes. Every time you hear loud static or a screech, make a big circle (assuming you have papered your floor). Quieter screeches get smaller circles and silence gets a dot.

I'm assuming a variant of this has been baked (specifically volumetric radio interference maps) but I wasn't able to find anything, and so here it is!

mylodon, Jun 18 2008

Wikipedia: Spectrum analyzer http://en.wikipedia...i/Spectrum_analyzer
What one might use in the real world to gather this data. [jutta, Jun 18 2008]

Non-wireless section, please Non-wireless_20section_2c_20please
Mark my words! [phoenix, Jun 18 2008]

Description of various spectrum analyzers http://4.iydbbdwa.com/3q
More information then anyone could ever understand. [mylodon, Jun 18 2008]

A WiFi Spectrum Analyzer. http://www.thinkgee...ts/electronic/80ce/
Find the best spot to put your antenna, and the best channel to use, in your house. [Amos Kito, Jun 18 2008]


       So, not a novel by Aleksandn Solzhenitsyn, then?
calum, Jun 18 2008

       Um, electromagnetic fields don't necessarily give you cancer ......   

       Smoking causes Cancer. Drinking causes Cancer. Sugar and fat cause Cancer. Driving causes Cancer. Watching TV causes cancer. Using electricity generated by a nuclear power station causes Cancer (somewhere)(probably). Dumping toxic waste in third world countries causes Cancer (but only to poor people a long way away, so that's all right). Oxygen causes Cancer (if you inhale oxygen, you stay alive, the longer you stay alive, the higehr your risk of getting Cancer).   

       Apart from microwaves and UV, the evidence that low intensity E-M fields in the RF band cause cancer is unproven. Besides, if you're more than a metre or so from an device, you're well into the far field ....   

       However, just in case, it's best to wrap yourself in aluminium foil before you put your clothes on in the morning. It's crinkly and sweaty, but it may stop you getting cancer (unless of course the Aluminium was refined using electricity generated in a nuclear poer station).   

       Don't forget the Aluminium foil hat; this has the added benefit of stopping the CIA reading your mind with their secret brain wave machine.
8th of 7, Jun 18 2008

       //with their secret brain wave machine//   

       ...which causes cancer.
theleopard, Jun 18 2008

       I changed the name and did some edits.   

       When setting up my wireless network recently I desperately wanted one of these, if just to sniff what channels were the ones to avoid.   

       Also I do find myself, during long conversations on a cordless phone, beginning to pace in an interference-free area. I would love to see the pockets and lines of interference in 3D...   

       [jutta] spectrum analyzers -- they don't gather data do they? they just analyze it. The radio receiver in the wand would be gathering the data. [edit] Nevermind, you are right, that is the name for the combined gizmo.   

       [8th of 7] Cancer and sterility by radio wave is a popular idea. I'd rather capitalize on it then debunk it.
mylodon, Jun 18 2008

       You need to find the spots that have the highest intensity signals. At these points, gather data using various antenna lengths, covering the radio spectrum. You also need to check for transmissions that are horizontally as well as vertically polarized.   

       Another option is to have a head-shaped antenna.
Amos Kito, Jun 18 2008


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