Sunday, July 10, 2011

Radiation Protection in Asheville

On a recent trip to Asheville, NC, I encountered something odd. (Those of you familiar with Asheville might find this obvious, but I am talking about something other than the people). On the street was a traffic signal control box with an odd switch on the side.

An oddball switch in an oddball town...
Is it on or off? I don't know, does anyone?

While I don't have a picture of it, an ~800MHz Yagi antenna was mounted on the top of a traffic signal pole close by. Note that the switch is completely unprotected. Anyone can operate it. Note, also, that there is no label on the "RF ANTENNA DISCONNECT SWITCH" to indicate its state. In the picture, is it on or off?

Anyone know that is going on here? Any theories? My only guess was the odd folks of Asheville felt that people should have a choice about whether they are bombarded by electromagnetic radiation as they cross the street. Of course, this makes little sense, but I haven't come up with anything better.

(By the way, as odd as Asheville is, I did find things to like about it. It was a pleasant place with mostly pleasant people and the neo-hippy zeitgeist, while generally as affected as any urban culture, had some decent values as part of it. So, Asheville: odd but nice.)

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