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#4693823 - 03/13/18 07:15 PM How does my smart meter communicate?
sasilverbullet Offline


Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 1379
Loc: San Antonio, Texas
Here's the smart meter they just installed:



I'm curious what technology this thing uses to communicate with the power company? Built in cell phone? Radio? I searched the inter web, no definitive answer.

Anyone know? Inquiring minds want to know.
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#4693827 - 03/13/18 07:19 PM Re: How does my smart meter communicate? [Re: sasilverbullet]
mk378 Offline


Registered: 09/27/15
Posts: 1333
Loc: USA
Sideways. And it could be either, though technically cell phone is radio.

The older type uses a one-way radio with a range of several hundred feet. The electric company drives a car or truck around at least once a month to collect readings. Cell phone technology is used in newer ones. Those of course are readable without a local visit.

Googling "Silver Spring Networks" and that FCC ID number should tell you quite a bit.


Edited by mk378 (03/13/18 07:22 PM)

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#4693831 - 03/13/18 07:26 PM Re: How does my smart meter communicate? [Re: sasilverbullet]
cpayne5 Offline


Registered: 12/28/05
Posts: 583
Loc: Virginia
https://fccid.io/OWS-NIC714

Looks like it's using the 900mhz and 2.4ghz ISM frequency bands.

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#4693835 - 03/13/18 07:32 PM Re: How does my smart meter communicate? [Re: sasilverbullet]
Ducked Offline


Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 4076
Loc: Taiwan
Surprised they dont whisper down the power lines.

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#4693846 - 03/13/18 07:41 PM Re: How does my smart meter communicate? [Re: sasilverbullet]
OTCW Offline


Registered: 05/07/17
Posts: 49
Loc: Tennessee
Radio read for the most part. Some utilities have a cell tower system that can collect a bunch of the radio read signals and send them to a central location over cellular, and others just drive around with vehicle (s) that collect the individual meter radio signals.
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#4693848 - 03/13/18 07:41 PM Re: How does my smart meter communicate? [Re: sasilverbullet]
Vern_in_IL Offline


Registered: 06/25/14
Posts: 1831
Loc: IL
is putting a metal screen over these legal? I know of a product that just clips on the front and blocks comms. Some claim new meters are causing cancer.
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#4693873 - 03/13/18 07:54 PM Re: How does my smart meter communicate? [Re: Vern_in_IL]
Bluestream Offline


Registered: 09/13/03
Posts: 5751
Loc: Waterloo, ON
Originally Posted By: Vern_in_IL
is putting a metal screen over these legal? I know of a product that just clips on the front and blocks comms. Some claim new meters are causing cancer.


Yeah, I've been reading that too.. One more thing to worry about. Seems to be less and less caring about people health with these new ideas
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#4693875 - 03/13/18 07:56 PM Re: How does my smart meter communicate? [Re: Vern_in_IL]
ZeeOSix Offline


Registered: 07/22/10
Posts: 17218
Loc: PNW
Originally Posted By: Vern_in_IL
is putting a metal screen over these legal? I know of a product that just clips on the front and blocks comms. Some claim new meters are causing cancer.


Ask your power company ... by bet is the answer is no. These can't cause any more cancer than all the other things around us that send out signals, like cell phones. Besides, they are located outside the house. They all have to be FCC complaint.
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#4693897 - 03/13/18 08:09 PM Re: How does my smart meter communicate? [Re: sasilverbullet]
jhellwig Offline


Registered: 07/01/13
Posts: 1423
Loc: Ottumwa, Iowa
Most likely each smart meter is a repeater. They form a chain back to a base station to collect readings. Lots of wireless comms are working that way nowadays. Defeating it will just make the power company come and fix it and fine you for messing with it.

No more of a cancer hazard than you home wifi.
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#4693903 - 03/13/18 08:13 PM Re: How does my smart meter communicate? [Re: sasilverbullet]
mk378 Offline


Registered: 09/27/15
Posts: 1333
Loc: USA
A metal screen is OK if it doesn't impede the readings. The radio transmitter is a lot more powerful than it needs to be for most situations, so if the meter is close to the road it should be OK.

You would know if they start having trouble getting readings because your bill would say estimated rather than actual.

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#4693911 - 03/13/18 08:19 PM Re: How does my smart meter communicate? [Re: sasilverbullet]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20248
Loc: Upstate NY
I called electric company in DE to question bill as two bills were identical to the penny which I think is odd. They read it while I was on the phone.

In NY a truck drives in a reads the meter.
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#4693982 - 03/13/18 09:11 PM Re: How does my smart meter communicate? [Re: Ducked]
Nick1994 Offline


Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 9840
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Originally Posted By: Ducked
Surprised they dont whisper down the power lines.
With a soup can attached with a string?
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#4693986 - 03/13/18 09:13 PM Re: How does my smart meter communicate? [Re: sasilverbullet]
Cressida Offline


Registered: 10/16/02
Posts: 464
Loc: Joplin

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#4694060 - 03/13/18 10:22 PM Re: How does my smart meter communicate? [Re: sasilverbullet]
PeterPolyol Offline


Registered: 03/06/16
Posts: 1176
Loc: toronto
True. You could even go so far as to say that 'they' DO know what it does, and keep it under wraps for the sake of 'their' business profitability.

Elster 900MHz band around here at disconcertingly high power level of quarter Watt- that's 0.25W transmit power for every single meter- which adds up, effectively leaving us swimming in an inescapable field. Many health effects are associated with clusters of these meters such as in multi-dwelling homes.

900MHz RF travels well.
https://www.electricsense.com/1225/900mh...our-cell-phone/

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#4694085 - 03/13/18 10:41 PM Re: How does my smart meter communicate? [Re: PeterPolyol]
RamFan Offline


Registered: 05/09/10
Posts: 1962
Loc: Illinois, U.S.A
Originally Posted By: PeterPolyol
True. You could even go so far as to say that 'they' DO know what it does, and keep it under wraps for the sake of 'their' business profitability.

Elster 900MHz band around here at disconcertingly high power level of quarter Watt- that's 0.25W transmit power for every single meter- which adds up, effectively leaving us swimming in an inescapable field. Many health effects are associated with clusters of these meters such as in multi-dwelling homes.

900MHz RF travels well.
https://www.electricsense.com/1225/900mh...our-cell-phone/


So I read this and clicked around a bit...

Seems like I need a tin foil hat.
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