Keep fairy lights in their boxes?

There have been a few light-hearted comments in the media about fairy lights slowing down ones wifi connection, and a new Ofcom app that can check for electromagnetic radiation interference – and there is a very interesting piece in The Guardian.

It could be why Jodrell don’t string fairy lights all around the Lovell’s infrastructure each Christmas – and maybe the Ofcom app could be modified for JBO to check if any households are creating stray radio interference…. !

“Are Christmas fairy lights really ruining your Wi-Fi?

Internet in the home lives and dies by the strength of your Wi-Fi, but lots of things cause interference. Here’s why, and what to do about it.

Why do fairy lights cause interference?

It’s all to do with electromagnetic radiation. Everything from light to microwave ovens and deep space radios use electromagnetic waves either to carry information or to impart energy.  Wi-Fi uses electromagnetic waves to send information to and from your broadband router and your mobile device or computer.

But everything that has electricity running through it also generates an electromagnetic field, and this causes interference to the electromagnetic waves attempting to travel through it.  Fairy lights are a mass of wires carrying a current which creates a small electromagnetic field and thus a little interference. ” Read the whole article here:  The Guardian 1st Dec 2015.

And the technical side…OFCOM’s role in protecting the radio band widths used by radio astronomy, highlighting the problems caused by terrestrial interference:

http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/astronomy/main/

http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/wireless-telegraphy-devices-2/responses/UK_Radio_Astronomy.pdf

 

 

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