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Thread: Is it possible to scale down Alfa's AWUS036H power to somewhere 200mW or bellow?

  1. #1
    BouncyBall
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    Default Is it possible to scale down Alfa's AWUS036H power to somewhere 200mW or bellow?

    I'd really love to get this adapter, considering what you get for merely $60 this is the best bang for the buck out there, but the constant radiation of 500mW has me a bit spooked, (is it constant?) While I know the drivers allow you to play with the transmit power settings anywhere from 0-35 via 'iwconfig wlan0 txpower <value of 0 to 35>', with the default being set at 5, it still however does not display the dbi and mW ratings correctly.

    So I guess my question is just how much does this adapter radiate with the default settings enabled, is it 500mW? If so then what in the bejesus name will something like 35 get you? What about 0, would that completely turn off the transmitter? Anyone know? Otherwise I think I'll just go with the lower powered 300mW AWUS036EH one so I don't bear fruit to mutant children in the far off future...

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Archangel-Amael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BouncyBall View Post
    Anyone know? Otherwise I think I'll just go with the lower powered 300mW AWUS036EH one so I don't bear fruit to mutant children in the far off future...
    There are several threads here that talk about the same things as you are asking. While some believe that it will not hurt you ( if it is used correctly) others may disagree. Have a search here and you will find more info.
    To be successful here you should read all of the following.
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    Failure to do so will probably get your threads deleted or worse.

  3. #3
    BouncyBall
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    Quote Originally Posted by archangel.amael View Post
    There are several threads here that talk about the same things as you are asking. While some believe that it will not hurt you ( if it is used correctly) others may disagree. Have a search here and you will find more info.
    Yep, I've read them all previously and one way or the other no one can prove anything concretely. However with the antenna sitting only a couple feet away from my head, if even, and transmitting 24/7 I'm more inclined to stay on the safe side of things. If I could position the antenna somewhere else I wouldn't be worrying about this, but as things are now I'd just rather not roast my eyeballs.

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    Senior Member Thorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BouncyBall View Post
    Yep, I've read them all previously and one way or the other no one can prove anything concretely. However with the antenna sitting only a couple feet away from my head, if even, and transmitting 24/7 I'm more inclined to stay on the safe side of things. If I could position the antenna somewhere else I wouldn't be worrying about this, but as things are now I'd just rather not roast my eyeballs.
    What's to "prove"? It's a matter of doing the math.; that's where the proof lies. It radiates 500mW. Calculate the near field for that and whatever the antenna is on the device. If you're within the near field, you've got a problem, otherwise you're OK.
    Thorn
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  5. #5
    BouncyBall
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thorn View Post
    What's to "prove"?
    The exact hazard to your health I suppose. I know that I'm going to be within the field at all times so that's why I want to reduce the power (if possible), but at the same time I want to have an option to turn up the juice every now and then as required.

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    Senior Member Thorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BouncyBall View Post
    The exact hazard to your health I suppose. I know that I'm going to be within the field at all times so that's why I want to reduce the power (if possible), but at the same time I want to have an option to turn up the juice every now and then as required.
    There is a lot of evidence to prove that there is a health hazard within the near field. That's why you have shielding on a microwave oven.

    The question isn't so much "is there a health hazard?" but rather, "are you really going to be within it?" Do the math. The formulas are easy to find on the Internet.
    Thorn
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  7. #7
    BouncyBall
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thorn View Post
    There is a lot of evidence to prove that there is a health hazard within the near field. That's why you have shielding on a microwave oven.

    The question isn't so much "is there a health hazard?" but rather, "are you really going to be within it?" Do the math. The formulas are easy to find on the Internet.
    The microwave oven also cooks food at hundreds and sometimes even at over a thousand watts, so that's not too surprising, compare that to something that is less than a watt. And yes yes, I know, I seem to be answering my own question here, but my main concern is long term. Also I've been googling for over half an hour now and can't seem to find anything, know of any links to the formulas?

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    Senior Member Thorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BouncyBall View Post
    The microwave oven also cooks food at hundreds and sometimes even at over a thousand watts, so that's not too surprising, compare that to something that is less than a watt. And yes yes, I know, I seem to be answering my own question here, but my main concern is long term. Also I've been googling for over half an hour now and can't seem to find anything, know of any links to the formulas?
    Exactly, you are starting to answer your own questions. That's how we learn. Understand though, that a microwave oven does accomplish some of that power by using a specialized antenna system, as well as pure RF power. The RF is also in the same band as 802.11b/g, so the analogy does hold somewhat. It's just and extreme case to illustrate my point.

    Here's a calculator for you:
    W4/VP9KF - Enter - Power Density Calculator

    If you want to search for more information, the words I used to google are:

    rf near field formula

    and

    rf near field calculation

    Essentially, if you are outside the near field, you're safe. Just remember though that the near filed may not be spherical, and will be shaped more like an elongated balloon (or the path of a firing shotgun) in the case of directional antenna.
    Thorn
    Stop the TSA now! Boycott the airlines.

  9. #9
    Very good friend of the forum Virchanza's Avatar
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    Get an extension lead for your Alfa. Mine is 5 metres away from me via a USB-extension lead, and I've got a 9-metre lead for the antenna. Stick the Alfa to the ceiling if you need to.
    Ask questions on the open forums, that way everybody benefits from the solution, and everybody can be corrected when they make mistakes. Don't send me private messages asking questions that should be asked on the open forums, I won't respond. I decline all "Friend Requests".

  10. #10
    My life is this forum Barry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virchanza View Post
    Get an extension lead for your Alfa. Mine is 5 metres away from me via a USB-extension lead, and I've got a 9-metre lead for the antenna. Stick the Alfa to the ceiling if you need to.
    Wait a minute. You have a 9 meter jumper between the alpha and your antenna?
    Of course, if you really wanted to have some fun, go to Wal-Mart late at night and ask the greeter if they could help you find trashbags, roll of carpet, rope, quicklime, clorox and a shovel. See if they give you any strange looks. --Streaker69

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