Acoustimeter AM-10 Radio Frequency Meter

For most people, we recommend the Acoustimeter AM-10 to measure the radio frequency (RF) fields.   It has several important features including (1) an audio function to help you determine sources, (2) detection of frequencies up to 8 GHz, and (3) high sensitivity, accuracy and reliability.

“This is the RF meter I usually recommend for my clients, the best choice for most people.” (Michael Neuert, EMF Test Engineer)

Key Features and Specifications…

  • Name of Meter:  Acoustimeter Model AM-10.
  • Certification: Every meter is individually tested by our staff for proper operation.
  • Test Meter Measures:  Radio frequency (RF) fields.
  • Frequency Range: 200 MHz up to 8.0 GHz (±3 dB).
  • Type of Antenna: Single-axis
  • Type of Fields Detected:  Both digital and analog RF/microwave fields.
  • Audio Feature: Special sound function helps determine and distinguish specific RF sources.
  • Measurement Modes:  Peak (instantaneous), peak hold (max peak), and average types of RF measurements.
  • Units of Measure:  Microwatts per meter squared (µW/m²), or volts per meter (V/m).
  • Sensitivity:  Peak mode ranges from 0.02 V/m to 6.00 V/m, and average mode is from 1 µW/m2 to 100 000 µW/m2.
  • LCD Display: “Peak” levels in V/m, “peak hold” levels in V/m, , and “average”  levels in µW/m².
  • LEDs Display: “Peak” levels in V/m, and “average” levels in µW/m².
  • Battery:  Uses two AA batteries (included).
  • Advertised Battery Life:  20 hours.
  • Size: 190 mm x 102mm x 33 mm (LxWxD)
  • Accessories: Michael’s own easier-to-understand instruction guide and safety level recommendations, manufacturer’s instructions, and carrying case.

Important Feature #1 – Up to 8 GHz:  The Acoustimeter measures RF/microwaves from 200 MHz up to 8 GHz.  This is important because some RF meters can only detect up to about 3 GHz, completely missing the 5.0+ GHz frequencies of newer cordless phones and Wi-Fi routers.  The AM-10 detects the RF emissions from all cell towers and cell phones, all cordless phones, all microwave ovens, all Wi-Fi routers, Bluetooth, smart meters, TV channels 12 and up, and most other digital devices in the modern wireless world.   (Please note that the frequency range of this test meter does not include frequencies below 200 MHz, such as AM, FM and some TV broadcasting, and some ham radio frequencies.   A special meter with a lower frequency range would be needed for this, such as the Alpha RF Meter.)

Important Feature #2 – Special Audio Function:  The Acoustimeter has a special audio feature that can help you determine and distinguish various RF sources.  In addition to a speaker with volume control, it has an audio output socket for headphones or to feed to an audio recorder).  With a small amount of practice, you can learn to recognize the distinctive reproduced sound patterns from different types of RF sources.  For example you can learn to distinguish a cell tower signal, from a Wi-Fi router, from a smart meter, etc.

Important Feature #3 – High Sensitivity to Digital Signals: The Acoustimeter is one of the best RF meters available today for capturing the relatively “difficult to detect” peak pulses from low-level digital RF signals.   Thus it can detect relatively weak digital signals that many other meters miss.   This makes it an ideal RF meter for highly sensitive individuals.

Important Feature #4 – Peak Hold Function: This is a very helpful function.  You can turn on the test meter meter, then sweep around the entire room with the meter, and it will record or “hold” the maximum peak measurement it has received since it was turned on.   This maximum peak level is perhaps the most important number to consider when measuring and comparing radio frequency exposures.

Important Information from the Manufacturer:

The Acoustimeter reads differently from some meters as:

  1. It has a very fast response (up to over 8 GHz and reacts to very short pulses)
  2. Peak readings are what they say – the highest sampled reading – though the sampling and processing rate means that there are some gaps and it will not always react to a SINGLE VERY short pulse (less than about 5 microseconds duration) – though it will react correctly to much shorter pulses that are regularly transmitted (such as from WiFi). The peak-hold reading on the LCD screen can be higher for some types of signal than the highest LED seen flashing as the Peak LED display does not show all the pulses in order to make it easier to see. The LCD peak-hold is the highest measured since switch-on. It is cleared by switching the meter off and on again.
  3. The Average reading is a true mathematical time-averaged reading of about the last 1000 samples. This gives the correct reading for DECT and WiFi and is much lower (DECT average power is about 0.01 of the DECT pulse power) than many other instruments which use the highest peak reading and then translate that into an equivalent average power. That is not correct as power is measured as total energy used/delivered per second and not the energy in a short pulse of say 10 milliseconds followed by a 990 ms gap. It is important that we understand this as most international standards are based on true average power (actually usually averaged over 6 minutes!).