For some time now I’ve been looking for the best EMF meter to measure radio-frequency (RF) or cell phone radiation.
There are a lot of ‘average’ meters out there and a few good ones. It really depends on how much you want to spend and what you want to measure.
I’d heard about the Cornet ED85EX. For me the only way to find out was to go out and buy the meter and see for myself…..
What Does The Cornet ED85EX EMF Meter Measure?
The Cornet ED85EX EMF meter is designed to measure radio-frequency (RF) radiation over a very broad frequency range – this is it’s principal strength.
Here is the technical specification:
- Frequency range : 1MHz to 8GHz (useful to 10GHz according to manufacturer)*
- Wide dynamic range : 60dB
- Sensitivity : –55dBm to 0 dBm (25mV/m to 14.8V/m)
- Peak power density measurement : 1.5uW/m2 to 0.58W/m2
- LCD graphic Histogram and Bar display shows signal power level
- Color LED 8 segment level display for easy signal level indication.
- Continue wave (AM,FM) and High speed Burst RF(GSM,TDMA,,CDMA, Wi-Fi,WiMAX)
- External SMA connector : (50ohms) for external Antenna, attenuator, and filter
- Compact hand held design, 69mmX110mm.
- Takes 9V batteries
* below 700MHz and above 6GHz an external antenna is required (not supplied).
From What Sources Can The Cornet ED85EX Measure Radiation?
Typically this meter measures radiation from the following sources:
- Cell phones
- Smart meters
- Cell phone towers (base stations)
- WiFi routers and WIFI networks
- Cordless (DECT) phones
- Microwave ovens
- Spy cameras
- Digital baby monitors
- Digital TV
- /V Sender Receivers
- Wireless burglar alarms
- Wireless video games (Playsation 3 and the like)
- FM radio transmissions
What I Liked About This EMF Meter
There are two things that set this meter apart from other RF meters:
- its low price, it generally retails at under $200
- its exceptional range
A lot of RF meters only go to 3 GHz. But more and more wireless devices operate above the 3GHz range, which can be a huge limitation. But the Cornet ED85EX EMF meter is capable of measuring RF radiation all the way from 1 MHz right up to 8 GHz. In terms of the range of measurement this meter is difficult to beat.
How To Use The Cornet ED85EX EMF Meter
Here is how you can use the Cornet ED85EX EMF meter to measure radiation in 5 easy steps:
I found it very easy to use. It comes supplied with a 9 V battery you just insert in the back, screw the antenna on and press the power button and you are away. It has both an LCD display where you can see the RF levels moving up and down as numbers and an LED display using colored lights, going from green to red, depending on the radiation levels (with red being the higher radiation levels).
This meter can measure from 1.5 uW/m2 to 0.58 W/m2, just press on the top black button to select the mW/m² display.
How Do I Know When The RF Radiation Is At Dangerous Levels
There is much debate about what constitutes a dangerous level of RF radiation. It depends on which scientists you listen to. It also depends on whether your exposure is momentary, for instance when you go into a room with a lot of cell phones and wireless devices, or whether it is more long-term, as might be the case when you have a cell phone tower in close proximity to your home.
As far as long-term exposure goes, my own personal recommendation with this meter is that if the first yellow LED lights up when you take your readings then you should be looking for solutions to minimize your exposure.
What are the disadvantages of the Cornet ED85EX meter?
- it can only measure RF radiation
- the screen presents a lot of information which can take time to understand
- it doesn’t have an audio function, so you can’t “hear” the radiation (UPDATE August 2012: this meter now has an audio function – you can ‘hear’ the RF radiation emissions in your environment)
- it’s a single axis meter
It being a single axis meter is not necessarily a disadvantage for measuring RF radiation. It can allow you to determine where the radiation is coming from if you stand in one spot and turn the meter in different directions.
If you’re looking for a more multi-purpose EMF meter the Cornet ED78S might be a better choice for you. In addition to measuring RF radiation it also measures magnetic field radiation (in milligauss). The downside is that it measures a shorter frequency range than the ED85EX (the ED78S starts at 100MHz, so it can’t measure FM transmissions), the risk being that your true exposures are much higher than what your meter shows because the exposures are outside the frequency range of the meter. But the ED78S is a less expensive meter. Click here for my review of the Cornet ED78S meter.
Is This The Right EMF Meter For Me?
Start by asking yourself the right questions. Do you live near a cell phone tower? Or do you live in an apartment surrounded by other apartments equipped with WiFi, cordless phones and smart meters. Or is your car equipped with Bluetooth, which you don’t use, but you’re wondering if it’s still zapping you? Or maybe you’re interested in the health benefits of EMF mitigation? Or perhaps you’re displaying some of the symptoms of electrical sensitivity.
If you answered yes to any of these questions then the starting point is to take readings with an EMF meter which good measurement capability. If I had to put my finger on one thing that sets this EMF meter apart from other meters on the market it’s it’s very broad frequency range . This might sound like a small detail but it’s not.
If you take readings and your RF meter shows zero or near zero exposures because the emissions you’re trying to measure are above or below the range of the meter you’re just kidding yourself you’re in safe environment. The truth is you don’t know, which defeats the whole purpose of taking readings!
Where Can I Buy The Cornet ED85EX Meter?
At under $200 this EMF meter offers very good value. The Cornet ED85EX has been replaced by the Cornet ED88T, see my review here.
Updated February 2018.
*It’s actually the ED85EXS which is now being sold which is the same as the ED85 but it has sound and slightly better sensitivity.
Pritam Vachani said,
Can the Cornet E85EX EMF meter be used in India? We have 50hZ here.
Regards and Thanks – Pritam
The Cornet ED85EX meter measures RF radiation which is not dependent on the frequency of your electricity supply. It can be used anywhere in the world.
Is there another meter out there that will measure cell phone radiation, that is cheaper? In the beginning you say that there are a lot of average cell phone radiation EMF meters out there… could one of those possibly work for the same thing if you just wanted to test cell phone radiation? Also, how many GHz does a cell phone normally emit? Is it even necessary, when testing cell phones, that the meter tests all the way to 8GHz? Thank you!
There are cheaper meters which will measure cell phone radiation. You really have to ask yourself what you are wanting to measure. The Cornet will give you reliable measurements and it has a high level of sensitivity – the Cornet will pick up signals some cheaper meters won’t even detect. It depends where you live but cell phones are usually operating in the 850 to 1900 Mhz (that’s 0.85 to 1.9Ghz) but the frequencies used for these wireless technologies are going higher all the time, some new WiFi and cordless phones are operating in the 5.8Ghz range. With the Cornet you are covered.
I want to know if this RF Meter will disclose where the Smart Chips are in new appliances and other electronics to allow for their removal?
Yes this meter will tell you if your electrical appliance has an RF power transmitter fitted but these chips are an integral part of the machine. If you did manage to remove it your guarantee would be invalidated – better to test before buying.
Lloyd, thank you so much for your excellent work.
As an electrohypersensitive, I’d like to update my good old electrosmog meter (50MHZ – 3.5 GHZ) with an easily portable meter, able to catch up to 8 GHZ.
Both the Acoustimeter MW AM10 and the Cornet ED85E looked very interesting and promising.
However, when looking closer at your videos to try to figure out what was the minimum signal either meters were able to pick, I was not sure I could read or translate properly.
That is : I am comfortable with a (tri-directional) reading of 8 to 12 mV/m or 0.2 mu W/m2 or 25 mu A/m on my Electrosmog meter. I start perceiving some discomfort from 12mV/m on.
If I really have to (airport or public place), I can last about 2 hours in a 120 mV/m environment but it would certainly help to be informed also of these relatively low levels between (12 and 120 mV/m) exposures to optimize my autonomy and relocate quicker to a safer spot.
On the Cornet description it says :
The Cornet ED85EX EMF meter can measure from 1.5 uW/m2 (which seems much less sensitive than the electrosmog meter) to 0.58 W/m2, but the LCD screen on the video looked more like 0,001 mu W/m2 ? Which one is correct ?.
On the acoustimeter’s description, it says :
Sensitivity* (Peak Display): 0.02 V/m – 6.00 V/m
Sensitivity* (Average Display): 1 µW/m2 – 100,000 µW/m2
* audio may be produced at levels below 0.02 V/m
If that really translates to 20 mV/m , it should work for me outside of my home.
Would you be so kind to cross check this information and let me know your opinion ?
Many, many thanks
The minimum frequencies that can be measured by the meters I review are:
for the Acoustimeter: 200 MHz
for theCornet ED85EX: 1MHz
So the ED85EX can measure in a lower frequency range than the Acoustimeter.
You said:“I am comfortable with a (tri-directional) reading of 8 to 12 mV/m or 0.2 mu W/m2 or 25 mu A/m”.
The measurement sensitivity of both the meters I review is 20 mV/m (or 1.5µW/m2).
Going on what you are saying to me, you are reacting to an electric field strength (V/m) or PFD (μW/m2) of “12m/V on”, which is lower than what either the Acoustimeter or ED85EX are designed to measure. In which case I can’t see what you would gain by buying either the Acoustimeter or the ED85EX.
BTW: What you can see on the ED85EX video is 0.001mW/m². (0.001mW/m² (milliwatts) equals 1 µW/m2 microWatts)….when I compare the readings given by the Acoustimeter to those of the ED85EX at these extremely low levels, I have found the Acoustimeter to be more sensitive than the ED85EX.
Mr G said,
Ive been using this one for the last couple of years it works well. I have replaced the arial with a more robust one.
Les Gripkey said,
To get accurate cell phone radiation readings with this Cornet do you need some type of protected tray to place the phone in/on? If so, what should it be made of? If not, how do you get most accurate readings?
(And BTW, I got my Cornet through your recommended link and did get very good service).
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