RF all around us

Infra Red Remote Controlled Helicopter (c) The Register

Infra Red Remote Controlled Helicopter ©The Register

At Protons for Breakfast we talk a lot about the different frequencies of elecromagnetic waves and how they are used in different ways. Over at the computer-tech site The Register, they have published the answers to a competition asking people to specify exactly which frequencies are being used in a variety of devices. The answers are entertainingly written and so probably worth a look, but the summary is below. It shows how we routinely exploit electromagnetic waves with frequencies from   130 kHz to 340 THz – frequencies which differ by a factor of over 2,415,000,000 – more than 2 billion!

  • Toy Helicopter with infra red remote control 340 THz
  • Oil Tank Depth Gauge: 433 MHz
  • Bluetooth Mouse: 2.4 GHz
  • Pet Radio Tag 130 kHz
  • GPS device with a bluetooth link. GPS reception is between 1.1 and 1.5GHz but Bluetooth broadcast is at 2.4GHz
  • Remote control thermostat 433.9 MHz
  • Baby Monitor 50 MHz
  • Car Key with remote locking 418 MHz
  • Oyster Card – read at 13.56 MHz
  • DECT cordless phone 1.9 GHz
  • 3G Femtocell: 2.1 GHz
  • Sky TV dish receiving at 12 GHz
  • Microwave Relay at 5.8 GHz
  • Analogue TV aerial 600 MHz to 800 MHz
  • Satellite Broadband dish receiving at 14 GHz
  • Bluetooth video sender broadcasting at 2.4 GHz
  • Wireless remote controlled light switch 433 MHz or 868 MHz
  • Device for reading household power consumption 868 MHz


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