Skip to content

Uh-oh. New warnings on cell phone radiation…


We know that the recent rumors about popping corn with cell phones were a hoax. But today there are fresh stories in the media about health risks from cell phone radiation (1, 2). It would be useless for me to rant about how most people talk too much on their cell phones. But as a Steampunk, I am going to rant about cell phone design.

It amazes me how quickly our telephone culture moved from the beautiful, classic design of an old Bell System telephone handset — which actually fit the human hand, mouth, and ear — to the absurd design of today’s cell phones. I guess this is because people want something small that they can carry in their pocket and whip out in an instant for a good hour of useless conversation anytime, anywhere. But these phones don’t fit the hand, or the mouth, or the ear. Even worse, the antenna is right against the skull. So it is certainly true that even though cell phones deliver a small amount of radio frequency energy, this energy is concentrated in one of the worst possible places — right up against the ear and skull. The only place that could be worse would be the eye.

There are alternatives, but there’s not much market for them except from communication nerds like me who demand good design. Also I don’t spend half my day talking on the thing. I’ve posted previously about this phone from the perspective of a ham radio operator who demands a good transmitter, a good receiver, and a good antenna — even on his cell phone.

Here are two photos of my Motorola M900 digital bag phone. Note that the antenna is completely separate from the rest of the phone. There’s also a warning sticker near the antenna telling the user to keep at least 10 inches from the antenna. This cell phone has a separate handset which contains only the earpiece and mouthpiece. The handset fits the hand, the ear, and the mouth pretty well:



Also note that I can easily attach an external antenna to this phone, giving a much better signal in rural areas like the area I live in. I can also use the external antenna when the phone is in the car. Here’s the external antenna perched on top of my travel trailer:


I’m guessing, though, that Americans will rethink their insane cell phone designs around the same time they rethink their insane freeways.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *