Solved Will wireless devices emit radiation in full power when no driver?

jronald

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Will wireless devices emit radiation in full power when no driver? (Need a 100% sure answer)
I got this question because I feel some headache when I installed FreeBSD 12 on my notebook šŸ¤£

Info about the devices (I bought the notebook 2 years ago)
1. Bluetooth USB Module (Qualcomm Atheros Communications)
2. Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter
 
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badbrain

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Will wireless devices emit radioation in full power when no driver? (Need a 100% sure answer)
I got this question because I feel some headache when I installed FreeBSD 12 on my notebook šŸ¤£

Info about the devices (I bought the notebook 2 years ago)
1. Bluetooth USB Module (Qualcomm Atheros Communications)
2. Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter
What!? I also suffer from the same headache when using my Ralink usb dongle on MX Linux. Should we all go back to Windows to use Wifi? o_O
 

OJ

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(Need a 100% sure answer)
I've had headaches for other reasons. It might be worth investigating more likely possibles, like perhaps diet or lack of sleep.

I'm not the expert on wireless radios, but I'd think that it's probably doing some pings or something as long as power is on. The best way to get a "100%" answer is to measure radiation output. You can do that with a cheap meter made for the purpose nowadays.
 

PMc

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sysctl -d hw.pci.do_power_nodriver

See https://people.freebsd.org/~bcr/laptop_article.html (chapter 4.4.4)

Problem here is, this concerns the PCI bus functionality. So in order to activate it with USB devices, one would have to remove the USB driver, i.e. cannot use any other USB hardware.

But, in reverse, the existance of such a switch might mean, that by default at least the PCI devices are powered up without driver. What each USB device does might then depend on the USB protocol and/or it's specific firmware.
There are almost certainly also energy-saving features provided in the USB technology - so it might be somehow possible to tell the generic USB driver what to do with it's attached devices. But I don't know that protocol in detail.

BTW: doesn't that notebook have a physical radiation-OFF switch somewhere?

I've had headaches for other reasons. It might be worth investigating more likely possibles, like perhaps diet or lack of sleep.
That can be verified by staying away from the device. Another possibility related to computer-usage might be a need for eyeglasses.
 
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jronald

jronald

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What!? I also suffer from the same headache when using my Ralink usb dongle on MX Linux. Should we all go back to Windows to use Wifi? o_O
If you feel good when using Windows, there might be evil things by the default things of some hardware.
 
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jronald

jronald

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I've had headaches for other reasons. It might be worth investigating more likely possibles, like perhaps diet or lack of sleep.
I think my habit is quite steady.

I'm not the expert on wireless radios, but I'd think that it's probably doing some pings or something as long as power is on. The best way to get a "100%" answer is to measure radiation output. You can do that with a cheap meter made for the purpose nowadays.
OK, I'll try when I feel sick about Windows again and install FreeBSD again.
 
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jronald

jronald

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sysctl -d hw.pci.do_power_nodriver

See https://people.freebsd.org/~bcr/laptop_article.html (chapter 4.4.4)

Problem here is, this concerns the PCI bus functionality. So in order to activate it with USB devices, one would have to remove the USB driver, i.e. cannot use any other USB hardware.

But, in reverse, the existance of such a switch might mean, that by default at least the PCI devices are powered up without driver. What each USB device does might then depend on the USB protocol and/or it's specific firmware.
There are almost certainly also energy-saving features provided in the USB technology - so it might be somehow possible to tell the generic USB driver what to do with it's attached devices. But I don't know that protocol in detail.
Too pro for me, not quite understand.

BTW: doesn't that notebook have a physical radiation-OFF switch somewhere?
Maybe, Fn+F3 for WIFI, none for Bluetooth, I don't think it'll work because of the keyboard driver.

That can be verified by staying away from the device. Another possibility related to computer-usage might be a need for eyeglasses.
Staying away from the device periodically is absolutely a good idea, and no need for eyeglasses then. However sometimes I'd like to stay there for a long time.
 

OJ

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Maybe, Fn+F3 for WIFI, none for Bluetooth, I don't think it'll work because of the keyboard driver.
Good point. However, I do believe that many laptops have a physical switch (on the side, usually) for turning off the wifi.
 

Phishfry

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FreeBSD 12 gives me a headache too.

Seriously I don't think that a unconfigured wireless card would transmit nor receive any signal.
The module might consume a small amount of power in standby (lp) mode.
Same with Bluetooth. It doesn't transmit or receive unless configured. It has such low coverage I doubt any health issues possible.

AJ: That physical switch is tired to rfkill command. Mine is configurable in BIOS. Can have OS ignore it.

I tested a couple of cards in 'debug mode' as the Country Code and they do full blast. Not without configuration obviously.
 

Phishfry

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How about this: Download an app on your cellphone for spectrum analysis and see what it shows.
I understand that cellphones work well for this.
 
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jronald

jronald

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How about this: Download an app on your cellphone for spectrum analysis and see what it shows.
I understand that cellphones work well for this.
Will you try it? I have only Windows on my notebook now.
 

Phishfry

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I was looking for a Wireless Analyzer but couldn't find one.(Showing All Wireless Signals Present)
Something broader than just a Wifi Signal Analyzer.
These programs only show device names. If you have no device configured they are useless.

I have a flip phone so no app store for me !!!
 

PMc

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Maybe, Fn+F3 for WIFI, none for Bluetooth, I don't think it'll work because of the keyboard driver.
At least some thinkpad have a real hardware switch somewhere that switches all radio transmitters off. It's a security feature for regions where these are not allowed, e.g. airplanes.
 

Elazar

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Just power down all devices that have no driver attached. No power consumption, no electricity, no radiation.

echo "hw.pci.do_power_nodriver=3" >> /boot/loader.conf

This should work for your wlan device.

The bluetooth device is usb, not pci. So if you post the output of usbconfig, we should be able to power it down as well.
 

ronaldlees

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I was looking for a Wireless Analyzer but couldn't find one.(Showing All Wireless Signals Present)
Something broader than just a Wifi Signal Analyzer.
These devices get real expensive when they're fast (otherwise, you have junk). I have always wanted one, but until about 6-7 years ago they were north of $20,000 each. Recently, I came across the Signal Hound USB-SA44B at <$950. I'm saving my pennies for it!

@Wozzeck.Live One day a well known french mobile carrier mounted a brand new cellular antenna on the roof of a building (not for saying that cellular antenna are 1000 times more powerful than a home Wifi stick.)
This is common misconception. The phone towers typically transmit only 50 - 100 watts, so unless you climbed the tower, you'd probably get more RF from the 1W phone held touching your head! :

Power density = (P * G) / (4 *pi * D2 (squared)), where P=Power,G=Gain,D=Distance. Run this equation thru with 100 watts at 50 feet versus 1W (your smart phone) at one inch. The phone itself has a *MUCH* more intense power density. It's why the little thing can hypnotize you! Easily!
 
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jronald

jronald

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Just a little funny story :
One day a well known french mobile carrier mounted a brand new cellular antenna on the roof of a building (not for saying that cellular antenna are 1000 times more powerful than a home Wifi stick.)
An association of residents brought a lawsuit claiming that this could cause danger. Some people complaining of headaches.
Yes... H E A D A C H E S !!!! Could it be possible that their brains could suffer of some "microwave burning"

You know what ?
They lost their lawsuit, the company simply answering that at the moment of the lawsuit they did never activate this antenna.
No evidence that the company didn't lie, power on/off is very easy.
On YouTube, there is a video about high voltage radiation and health relations, in taiwan, NGO do investigation for many years, and show a report with disease statistics,
enough to prove that the radiation cause big problems, but the official side doesn't agree for no reason. It's sad.
I should pay more attention to radiation, because it can't be seen, heard even felt.

Neverthless, being able to shut off wifi radio is useful for :
- notebook power consumption
- to limit radio interferences

I live in a little flat. When I use a notebook with 2.4 ghz Wifi, my proxy bluetooth devices tend to go crazy (mouse, speaker ....).
The solution here is to change when possible the Wifi card for a dual band card and connect to Wifi in 5 Ghz
When there is a driver, the radiation is under control, little radiation when idle. Without the control of a driver, it may always emit radiation in full power.
 

olli@

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The transmitter of an unconfigured Wifi device runs in standby mode and does not transmit anything. It doesn't even transmit periodic ā€œpingsā€ (these are called beacons in Wifi terms) because they require an SSID to be configured. Any higher-level network activity requires the Wifi device to be fully configured. You can read about all of that in great detail on Wikipedia and other web sites.

Apart from that, as several others have pointed out above, you can power-down PCI devices and USB devices. See the description of hw.pci.do_power_nodriver in the pci(4) manual page, and the description of power_off in the usbconfig(8) manual page.
 

aragats

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Power density = (P * G) / (4 *pi * D2 (squared)), where P=Power,G=Gain,D=Distance. Run this equation thru with 100 watts at 50 feet versus 1W (your smart phone) at one inch. The phone itself has a *MUCH* more intense power density. It's why the little thing can hypnotize you! Easily!
Whereas this is true for smartphones, the power density for WiFi adapters with 100mW at 0.5m distance is approximately the same as one of the cell tower at 50 feet.
 

olli@

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Whereas this is true for smartphones, the power density for WiFi adapters with 100mW at 0.5m distance is approximately the same as one of the cell tower at 50 feet.
It should also be noted that the antennas of a cell tower are mostly transmitting sideways (typically club-shaped), but not that much downwards. For that reason, it is better to have cell antennas on the roof of your own house, instead of your neighbor's house.
 

aragats

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the antennas of a cell tower are mostly transmitting sideways
Right, whereas laptop's WiFi antenna is supposed to have a uniform radiation pattern. It is hard to imagine that 100mW can cause any harm in such conditions.
 

ronaldlees

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Right, whereas laptop's WiFi antenna is supposed to have a uniform radiation pattern. It is hard to imagine that 100mW can cause any harm in such conditions.
A smart phone at one inch can project as much as 25 mW/cm2 power density (exact amount depends on the manufacturer). A Bluetooth headpiece (like an ear/mic set) can have as much as 2.x mW/cm2 (since it - like the smart phone - is very close to the head). Neurological effects (such as microwave "hearing" effects) are noted with as low as .5 mW/cm2. (Note the .5 mW/cm2 figure comes from Wiki page on microwave "hearing"). Only 5 percent of people report they can hear microwaves at .5 mW level. That's because 95 percent of your head involves subconscious processing. Thus - the microwaves are much more likely to result in some form of hypnosis rather than overt "hearing" effects for most people.

My opinion is that it's a very bad idea to have any of it close to the head. Note all math is approximate - and assumes levels of power, gain, etc, which vary from vendor to vendor.
 

shkhln

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On YouTube, there is a video about high voltage radiation and health relations
Youtube? High-voltage? (What does that even mean?)

in taiwan, NGO do investigation for many years, and show a report with disease statistics, enough to prove that the radiation cause big problems
Did you just offer a link to a chinese-english dictionary as a proof?

I should pay more attention to radiation, because it can't be seen, heard even felt.
Regarding Taiwan, I would be more concerned about air quality or potential mercury poisoning (seafood).
 

Phishfry

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These devices get real expensive when they're fast (otherwise, you have junk). I have always wanted one, but until about 6-7 years ago they were north of $20,000 each. Recently, I came across the Signal Hound USB-SA44B at <$950. I'm saving my pennies for it!
I keep my eyes peeled on ebay for a cheap Rohde & Schwarz 5kHz-3GHz Spectrum Analyzer...
They do hold their value.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-NqaG0ljK0
 
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