MadSci Network: Engineering

Re: Phone Interference caused by microwave leakage?

Date: Mon May 2 19:47:52 2005
Posted By: Saad Qaisar, Grad student, Electrical Engineering (communications), Michigan State University
Area of science: Engineering
ID: 1111181353.Eg

Microwave ovens may leak due to a variety of reasons, including normal wear
& tear. Grease & food particles may also contribute to microwave leakage
around the seals and hinges.
The interference caused to your phone can be due to multiple reasons, and
can depend upon the exact operating frequency
of your Microwave (MW) oven. Microwave ovens have also
been found to interfere with some Wireless Local Area Networks (Wi-Fi), which
operate in the same band as MW ovens .
The probability of your MW interfering with phone is raised when you say the 
sound goes louder when you take your phone near it. However, since microwave 
ovens operate around 2.4GHz, the probability of interference, even
if there is leakage, is drastically reduced.
A good way to find the amount of leakage is to use a microwave leakage tester. 
You can use your microwave oven manual to find out specifications/operating
frequency of your MW and then a little search online (use google) can help
you find many good testers, ranging from $8 to $50.
In answering this, I am assuming that there is no other electronic
equipment being used near your phone that operates near that frequency(900 MHz)
including wireless Local Area Networks(though they may not interfere with
900 MHz). Also, there is no signal passing your area in the range of 900 MHz,
or some harmonic(multiple of some other frequency) equivalent to 900 MHz. If
there is someone operating on the same 900 MHz freq as the user, and
microwave's body parts, assuming some of them to be picking up the nearby
signals at 900M , can cause interference as well due to oscillations thus
Following web references can also be useful for you:

Regards and best

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