2017-02-26 Smeters have Infrared ports that can share data with strangers

[Data Collection / Consumer Profiling – Dental Amalgams Mercury Release – Elster – Fires – Higher Bills – Itron – Oscilloscope – Privacy – Radio Off / Transmitter Off – Steve Kurmas, DTE – Surveillance – Wi-Fi Devices – William Bathgate, Electrical Engineer | Canada – Manotick, Ontario – Michigan, USA] & (videos) & PowerPoint

1)    A wonderful response to the testimony by the utility executive that was in last night’s update:

This article was inspired by the idiot DTE executive in Michigan who gave false testimony in this video:


From a recent peer-reviewed industry article [1], here is what is stated about the issue of privacy and smart meters for the “end user” of electricity:

“Conventional meters were only capable of measuring and displaying the aggregate consumption. The data was collected manually in intervals defined by utility company for billing.  Smart meters however, are capable of collecting information with higher frequencies, i.e., every 15 min.  Initial AMI deployed projects in Ontario, Canada, sustain readings at intervals of 5 to 60 min.  Current technologies even allow for measurements every minute.  By analyzing smart meter’s data, it is possible to perform ‘consumer profiling’ with an alarmingly high accuracy.  Examples range from how many people live in the house, duration of occupancy, type of appliances, security and alarming systems, to inferring special conditions such as medical emergencies or [a] new born baby.

For more, refer to:


2)    More smeter fires, these in Ottawa where they have Elster meters. It doesn’t matter what brand of meter is being used. All of them have many of the design flaws.

“Hydro meters catch fire at two Manotick homes”


3)    William Bathgate, an Electrical Engineer in Michigan, has shared his recently revised PowerPoint, and is happy to share. In slides 36-39 he explains some of the reasons that bills increase with smeters. Please give credit for any part that you use.  Below in letters is an email he sent with this.

“Evaluation of the ITRON Open Way AMI Meter”   (AMI is the 2 way communicating meter that is used by BC Hydro and FortisBC)



4)    One of our members told me that he has a smeter with the transmitter turned off but “The meter is visible on my security camera. When the camera switches over to night vision in the evening it revealed a pulse of light of energy emitting from the top of the meter at a frequency of about every four seconds non stop.  He asked if this might indicate his transmitter is signalling (he had one that was not disabled.).  I checked with one of our technical members and was told this:

“Several YouTube videos on this:


Supposedly the flashes are just the new way of telling if the meter is operating the same as that spinning wheel ion the old meters which turns once every watt/Hour.   It’s that not much of an issue except the pulsing light could be used to spy on people from aerial surveillance and even from the ground.  If one were fully equipped they could have equipment count the flashes and know how much energy you are using, something tells me their use is for more than just a spinning wheel replacement in the current surveillance state.  Essentially the light is flashing out your personal energy use to anyone that wishes to spy on you.

5)    Another member sent in this important article.

Wi-Fi Devices Increase Mercury Release From Dental Amalgams




I have had a lot of people ask me regarding this update.

What’s New?

I added a section that everyone had asked me to explain why many report higher bills with the AMI meters. That is not the only thing raising the bill, a lot of people were surprised with how much it costs just to run meter with your own nickels. Also I fixed a spelling error – I spelled Phishing as fishing, I must have been thinking of spring!

It is important to note that these units are not meters. They are full fledged computers. As I experienced with the similar products I was responsible for we had to program the computers to figure out how to attenuate the real time measurement to keep the digital display to not continuously display a rolling or flashing digit at a very high refresh rate that would not be human readable.

So you had to pick a sample size of time, average all the readings in that window and then record it into memory and display that reading on the LCD display. The example I have used here is 0.5 second sample window over a ten second time period which would pick up the typical surge in amps required to get an electric motor from a dead stop to full speed which is around .5 to .6 secs. This surge in amps is well known in the industry and it is typically between 60% to 80% above what is called its normal steady state “running” current. This running current is printed on the manufactures nameplate affixed to the motor case but no startup current is ever printed on the label.

Take a look at the two different methods that are possibly being used by the utility. One is to do the same as the analog meter is to “totalize” the readings. Another way it average all the peak readings as a way to normalize the readings, but that average will typically result in a higher number. It depends on what time period is used to average the peaks, in my example I used a time period of 10 seconds. That is not certain what the utilities are using, my selection is purely fictional.

The only way to verify what is going on is with a storage oscilloscope to compare what the meter is registering and the scope readings. This requires equipment I no longer have access to.

The Itron meter states an accuracy of 1% which it likely does, but only likely with a steady state resistive load of several light bulbs over a 10 hour period to get the kWh used. Since light bulbs do not create much of an amperage surge so you can get a solid reading. Now however when you get a bunch of motors also starting and stopping all the time, like an energy star refrigerator that cycles a lot to keep the food at a very consistent temp and you get a very different situation. If the utility is averaging the peaks as I suspect they are, you would be better off leaving the Fridge door open a crack and just let the motor run continuously.

We would not likely truly get to the bottom of the whole thing without an enormous effort and a lot of equipment and a lawsuit.

William Bathgate


Sharon Noble
Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters

“But what we need above all is criti­cal citizens, who can spot the difference between technical progress and consumer foolishness: citizens who, as both voters and consumers, remember that democracy once meant rule of the people, not ruling the people.”
~ Dr. Karl Hecht