RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling
2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed
formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit
design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at
the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps
while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got
Mail" when a new message arrived...
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Communications' Range-R handheld radar unit is capable of
'seeing' through building walls to detect a building's contents. It was evidently developed for military operations
when conducting house-to-house searches for jihadist Muslim terrorists in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. Like
much military technology, though, it is being adopted for use by civilian police, federal law enforcement agencies,
firefighting, and search & rescue teams.
Range-R's ability to "detect and measure the distance to moving and near-stationary personnel through walls constructed
of common building materials" makes it an ideal tool for looking for survivors inside collapsed buildings, for finding
incapacitated and/or trapped people within burning homes, and for allowing law enforcement personnel to determine
the presence and whereabouts of suspected 'perps' within homes and buildings.
Weighing less than 1.5 pounds and operating off 4 AA batteries, Ranger-R displays a 160-degree field of view
using Doppler radar technology, which implies the targets must be moving in order to be detected; however, L3 claims
the sensitivity is great enough to detect breathing. The frequency band is only listed as being with a standard
radar band in order to "not interfere with most non-radar electronic systems." It can penetrate walls up to a foot
thick with a range up to 50 feet. At a mere $6,000 each, they are very affordable -especially to a government that
runs up $18 trillion dollars of debt to pay for whatever
it wants. Lots of details can be found on the FCC registration website:
YKD-25TWD3000 - "The RANGE-R cycles through a sequence of 120 frequencies in 2 MHz increments from 3.18 GHz
to 3.42 GHz. At each of the frequencies, it transmits a maximum 32 mW power level with no modulation"
(this is S-band).
civil rights advocates are concerned that police departments will use the device in ways that might 'catch' someone
in the act of committing a criminal activity behind closed doors that might not have been suspected otherwise -
such as growing pot, processing chemicals, producing bootleg music and software, committing acts of physical violence,
etc. Others are of the opinion that if you are not guilty of anything illegal, then you have nothing to hide and
therefore should not object to this or any other means of search - that is until they are the victims of such an
One practical solution to anyone concerned with the invasion of privacy is to build a new house and have a thin
layer of foil wrapped around the perimeter. Per the L3 FAQ page, "The RANGE-R signal is a radio frequency, therefore
it will not penetrate metal surfaces, regardless of thickness." Foam insulation sheets with a foil backing are available,
but you have to be concerned with proper vapor penetration properties. There is at least one perforated foil product
being made that will do the job. It goes by the trade name
Super R Plus®, and is manufactured by
Innovative Insulation as a 'radiant shield.' There might be a growing market for such material. There are a lot
of people out there who have already taken measures to 'snoop-proof' their homes if you are looking for tips. A
Google search for "paranoid rf signals"
will do the trick.
Google's Project Ara: The 'Spiral' Modular Smartphone
Posted on January 21, 2015
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