After our last ride in the 26 speedster in the fall my wife didn't feel well; chest felt funny. She had just had a pace-maker put in two months earlier. The next day the cardiologist was adjusting the device with wi-fi when I asked what other things could change the settings. She was told to stay away from arc welders and automobile generators. Slap me in the head.... the magneto!. My question: How can I shield her from the magnetic waves? Faraday shield? Remove the mag. and run a distributor? Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks: 1oldwrench
I have heard jokes for years about old cars and health, but this one is for real ! 8^O
Even without a mag, your 26 will still have a generator. But I think when this subject came up a few years ago some doctors were quoted as saying a passenger is unlikely to be close enough to either one to be affected. Maybe one of our medical members can give a more definitive answer.
My solution would be to get an electric or a Steam car. Or maybe the electric would be a problem. %;?
I think this has been brought up before. It seems the general analysis was that that being the the Model T mag is encased in cast iron there was no effect on such devices.Now I am no Dr and strongly advise that you not take anything I say for the of god. But I think there could be a test to find out. On the other hand removing the mag would sure solve the issue.
I don't think the car was your problem. I have had a Boston Scientific pacemaker/defribillator for the past 5 years. I have had no problems from driving a Model T or being around an arc welder. I have not arc welded myself.
In today's world, how can you stay away from "Automobile Generators"? All modern cars have one. What about the hybrid cars? A unit that can be adjusted with wi-fi worries me, as there are so many wi-fi signals out there; how do they keep "hackers" from messing with the device (accidentally, of course)?
There must be some meter that could be put in the Model T to see if it's generating an emf or other signal that would effect the pacemaker. Did you ask the doctor about this, or consult the pacemaker manufacturer?
I think this is an important question that needs to be answered definitively for all of us. I don't have a pacemaker, but my brother does--can I not give him a ride in the T--or maybe he can only ride in the back seat?
See my post last month on Pacemakers and Welding. I brought the subject up with my heart doc telling him I missed using my home arc welder. He said using a home welder should not be a problem but if I did sense something to just stop welding. He said the main concern is with industrial welders with very high magnetic fields. Now this advise was for me with "MY" pacemaker (w/o a defibrib.)so check with your doc. Results may vary. Next time I'll ask about Model T mag.
Is the cast iron block not already sort of a faraday device anyhow?
And another thing. As many old farts as there is playing golf using electric golf carts,I would think that would be a problem to would it not? I think your device would have to be within a foot or 2 of something to get affected.
The hogs head and crankcase are a Faraday shield. It is completely grounded and the radiated AC waves should not go past it, however, you might get some from the coils and spark plugs.
What I understand from conversations with my neighbor the cardiologist, a very strong magnetic field could momentarily affect the pacemakers function but the patient would feel a sensation and likely get away from the source. Most would suffer no lasting effects once away from the magnetic field, he says.
On the subject of changing the settings or turning the device off by accident, his opinion was that it was not likely as all the modern devices require a specific encrypted data command/hand shake to change the settings.
I am not a pacemaker user so my enquiries to him were based on my innate geeky curiosity... for this reason I don't think he had any reason to spin his information.
If I were a user, I would definitely do my homework and then consult with my cardiologist. I don't think I would put much faith in the lady down the street who's second cousin's garbage man had a problem...or... me for that matter!
I did read, with interest, the post by Gary W. and the welders but this was not the issue. The generator or alternator would be too far from the passenger seat to be of concern. It would be nice if the hogs head were enough to stop the emf's from escaping. My wife's first thought was that it was a cool day and the ride less then smooth. I hope she was right. John
I'm not a cardiologist but would be surprised if the magneto would have any effect on a pacemaker. We are talking a small magnetic force enclosed in a virtual Faraday cage and your pace maker is what 6 feet away for the magneto -So the actual force experienced is 1/36 of what you would get on top of the magneto -Karl
In fact, I know nothing about how a pacemaker works. In theory, a rotating/alternating magnetic field could have some effect. In reality, there are so many things (both natural and man-made) today that if they were seriously vulnerable to them? We should be hearing of many more problems.
One consideration I would ask about. As Mack C mentions, the hogshead should attenuate the magneto's effect. But not so much if it happened to be an aluminum hogshead.
You say your speedster is a '26? I would imagine it has a starter and is a cast iron hogshead. I would think that an aluminum hogshead would be much more likely to be troublesome.
A lot of people driving and riding in model Ts do have pacemakers. Very few have any problem from them. I would imagine that if the pacemaker were slightly maladjusted to begin with, it could be much more susceptible to any sort of interference. I know that when my father got one (about fifteen years ago) that it needed to be adjusted a few times in the first several months. Then it was fine for several years.
Good luck and best wishes!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Several years ago I came upon a tour in our local area. Pretty much all A's and T's. I was driving a modern car and met the tour coming in the opposite direction on a 2-lane road. With my AM radio playing, I noticed that I could hear ignition noise from some of the cars as we passed abreast. After a couple of cars passed, I realized that I could hear the T's, but nothing at all from the A's.
Now, does this mean that a T is dangerous to a pacemaker ? I have no idea. But that experience did indicate that a T radiates a lot more electromagnetic energy than some other cars. And since the magneto is metal encased, it seems more likely that the noise would be coming from either the coils or the plugs/wires. Further considering the possibilities, most T's have their coils contained in a metal box. So it comes down to the plugs and hi tension leads as the most likely energy emitters. But if that is the case, why would a T transmit more energy than an A ?
A lot of info being tossed around. The noise in an AM radio that is in rhythm with engine speed is RFI or Radio Frequency Interference and is NOT electromagnetic wave. The magneto itself is not a source of RFI but could be a source of magnetic waveform since the AC frequency is too low to radiate much energy via RF. The T's ignition system is not really shielded much at all with regard to RFI since the back side of the coil box is open with only wood to cover it and wood does not shield in any RFI. The spark plug wires are long and solid conductor so good antenna device for transmitting and the plugs don't shield very well either. If the car has a steel firewall that might help a bit with regard to RFI leaving the engine compartment but the coil box is on the people side of the dash for many T's and the coils themselves are good radiators of RFI. If a pacemaker expert could tell me what signals they are concerned about, I have a rather expensive device called a Radiated spectrum analyzer that I have left over from doing FCC part 68 computer radiation measurements and it has the ability to look at an entire spectrum of frequencies that might be coming from a T but using that device for accurate measurements requires a screened in room or some location about 50 miles from no where to make clean readings. If there is a serious issue here then I would volunteer the equipment to make the readings but it is a ton of work to get un- corrupted accurate measurements and I would find it difficult to near impossible to do any readings where I live since we gave up trying to do it without a screen room because of local RFI noise generating equipment in the Chicago area. I would also point out that since so many T's have been modified one would not want to count on one test of a generic T as being a definitive test. There could be a ton of variables that would only come to light once the testing begins. My father-in-law has a pacemaker but since he makes our voltage regulators for you guys - don't want to offer him as our guinea pig I suggest a rational beginning would be to find someone who actually designs and manufactures pacemakers since they would know what issues might be problematic for their product. With all due respect I don't think the really important questions can be answered by the medical profession other than for them to parrot what the manufacturers instructions say NOT to do. I don't think doctors are trained in electrical engineering and I sure don't feel qualified to be anybody's cardiologist.
I do find that interesting, as a stock A ignition uses uninsulated bronze straps to distribute the high voltage to the plugs!
Well what I am thinking about is a similar situation to the old garage door openers and Cb Radio Linears tripping them open or shut.1000+ watts would trip alot of stuff.
The grounded metal coil box of a 17-27 T should help protect from problems but the wooden coil box of a older car would not.
The power unit for our sawmill is a 1950 De Case 4 cylinder with a Fairbanks Morse magneto on it. It is about 400 feet or so from the house and when it is running I can not watch tv or listen to the radio here in the house. and the plugs and mag are on the opposite side of the engine from the house. So the engine is not blocking to well.
Electric golf cart,forget listening to a radio once you hit the go peddle.So there is something there,but if it affects pacemakers is hard to tell.
You know if Marconi woulda had his way, Pacemakers woulda never had a chance. He wanted to transmit electricity wireless. So we would be surrounded by 10's of zillions of watts of power.
I started writing this over four hours ago. Seems I get interrupted a lot. Since then, John Regan has posted some similar (and some better) points. Mack also mentions a few important things. MAybe, after I relax a bit, I might add to what I already wrote. Meantime, I'll post as-written. Even if out of order.
It is called RFI; Radio Frequency Interference. To some extent, it is generated by almost anything electrical. It is the second biggest reason for the use of capacitors/condensers in automobile ignition systems (the biggest reason was to reduce the burning of the points). It was the biggest problem in the development of automobile radios, and its solution made the company Motorola a huge success and very wealthy in spite of the great depression that hit at about the same time.
In the early days of television, interference from older cars was a huge problem. If you have neighbors still getting direct broadcast on a roof-top antenna (or worse, rabbit-ears) from what few VHF stations still exist, they may lose reception entirely when you drive the T down the street (digital broadcast responds differently than analog, it holds up longer, but when it does crash, it crashes completely). A model T coil transmits quite a bit of RFI. But the fact is, it is barely more than nothing compared to all the cell phone towers and local radio station transmitters near every major city.
Knowing what I know, and working with voltage "very sensitive" equipment years ago? I once measured the voltage on a damaged wire (I needed to repair the wire). The wire, isolated from anything else electrical, had 36 volts on it because of a radio transmitter a couple miles away. I could not use the more accurate TDR I wanted to use, and had to use the voltage isolated TDR instead. (TDR stands for "Time Domain Reflect-o-meter")
Many millions of people live in areas that have higher RFI voltage than your T can produce for two inches away from the coil points or outside the "iron" hogshead. Again, an aluminum hogshead ? I am not quite so sure? It would be interesting to have it measured. That piece of equipment? I do not have.
Regardless! If anyone is feeling symptoms of problems with a pacemaker? Check it out however you can!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Well, all I know about radio frequency is that my old girl can control me with the TV remote, puts on the crap see likes to watch and I'm asleep!!
As a Dr I can't agree more with what John said.
Doctors are not trained in electrical engineering and companies that produce pacemakers tend to try and cover ever potential source of getting sued. Some testing would be useful
Well I was just thinking. Would it be possible to find a university that trains people on pacemakers as part of being a doctor? Then ask if they have a way of testing it's operation outside the human body when it is around a T?
I once did a test using an AM portable radio with the Model T running on coils. I found it jams the AM for about 1/8 mile. I have no idea what it would do to a pacemaker. The microwave does not jam the AM radio but is said to cause problems with pacemakers, so maybe it is the frequency that causes the problems.
RF is weird stuff. It is as close to pure magic as anything firmly rooted in the laws of physics and mathematics can possibly be. I worked with RF for over 30 years. Only people that have really worked with it can even begin to understand what cannot be simply explained. Wave-form phenomenon can result in some of the strangest results that could ever be imagined. Frequency is everything. How that frequency relates to the size, shape, and angle of everything around it is important. Frequency harmonics greatly complicate the issues.
A model T coil, whether running off a battery or the magneto, is a low frequency, broad spectrum RF. It is relatively near the AM radio band. It can cause a considerable amount of interference to AM radio.
Steel firewalls and hoods cannot be expected to provide any shielding against these RF energies. Quite the contrary. Unless they are securely connected, sealed, and properly attached and grounded ALL THE WAY around, they can become effective frequency filters and directional broadcast antennas sending concentrated signal bursts. A steel firewall and a metal coil box actually resemble something called a "slot antenna".
Sound scary? Shouldn't. The size alone of a pacemaker should make it nearly invulnerable to the frequencies of a model T coil. Being implanted within a body also should protect it quite a bit. The human body does NOT resemble a slot antenna. I would worry a lot more about a cell phone, cell phone tower, or microwave oven than I would a model T. And I don't see many people dropping dead from those.
The rotating magnetic field? I don't have enough proper background to even begin to expound on that. My feeling, and belief, is that I wouldn't worry about it unless I was laying against an aluminum hogshead with the engine running. Even then, I would probably do no more than be slightly more aware of how I felt than usual.
I do think that some good studies should be made concerning the susceptibility of pacemakers to outside magnetic and radio interference. I also think that serious investigation into exploding gasoline stations may be in order. They warn about cell phone usage also. And I don't see them going for the sky very often either. But I see lots of people using cell phones in stations. Including me.
Those studies need to be done to solve potential problems and help protect people from potential dangers. First, society needs to make the decision that solving problems is the goal. Not covering @$$. Which is of course the main reason for all kinds of unwarranted warnings.
Well, I have probably put my foot firmly into it again. So time for me to shut up and wander off to more pleasant forum readings.
Drive carefully, and do enjoy, W2
Thread drift alert!
One silly little way off topic side-note. Writing all that, and some of what I wrote previously, bothered me. In an odd way.
My use of the "shorthand" "RF". Simply, it means "radio frequency". But, notice that "radio frequency" is not capitalized. My general education tells me that whether an initialed notation should be capitalized or not, depends upon whether the full words in proper usage are capitalized or not. Because "radio frequency" is not capitalized? The notation should be "rf", not capitalized as "RF". But over 30 years in the business. Many dozens of seminars I have attended, put on by foremost experts in the cutting edges of the new technologies. Thousands of pages of technical journals I have read. At one seminar, somehow discussions got side-tracked onto this very question. Is it "rf", or "RF"? Not always, but mostly, usually, within the industry, it is written "RF". Even though it is grammatically wrong.
The same is true for the TDR.
Funny how conflicting educations can make your skin crawl. Even eight years after being out of the business.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
26 Speedster? Is the coil box mounted on the engine and not using an earlier coil box, and if the speedster has a steel firewall I would think the coil's effect would be non existent am I wrong?
If you are worried about electromagnetic radiation, and do not have sufficient foil wrop in the kitchen ... may I suggest a review of this site:
Text from the site states ... Holland Shielding Systems BV Anti-EMI/RF E-Smog personal protection is functional, effective shielding against electromagnetic fields. This shielding clothing may be worn while working in an environment with high electromagnetic radiation but can also be used for personal protection against electromagnetic radiation.
WOW George! I can see those suits on sale now in the gift shop of the MTFCA Museum! Just add the MTFCA logo.
Medtronic recommends that pacemakers be kept away from chainsaws due to the EMI from the spark plug:
The relatively long cabling to the spark plugs in the T will make it worse than a chainsaw - the longer the cabling, the better an antenna it makes.
Spark gaps were among the first radio transmitters used. They made a very wideband signal, making it hard to filter out (and to test EMI protection systems). Cell phone transmissions are much higher frequency and very narrow-band (making them easier to test against).
I would like to thank all of you for giving serious thought to a serious problem. I have been lurking on this site for a couple of years now and appreciate all of the information put forth by so many. Best site in the hobby. Thanks; John
Dick asked "why would a T transmit more energy than an A"?
The cabling to the T coils is probably longer than to the A coil.
Also, the A coil will generate a single spark per cylinder cycle. The T coils generate multiple sparks per cycle. If I understand correctly, I believe each coil is supposed to generate four sparks per cycle on magneto power, and more if battery powered. (See http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/6/1746.html?1123195619).
E Smog? Dang, never heard of that term before.
A friend of mine that had heart trouble used weed eaters and chainsaws all the time till he died. No insurance and no retirement he was struggling and would work as much as he could to pay medical bills.He had a pacemaker. Now this thread makes me wonder if trying to work and pay his bills best way he could might a killed him? You tend to hold a weed eater engine closer to you than a chainsaw.
And something else that bothers me. I am sure there is not alot of room in the body for a electronic box but it looks like if E Smog is that big of a issue with pacemakers there would be more shielding on the device it's self.
To not do something for this is basically shielding people from the lifestyle they enjoy. Or just plain making the life the machine is saving miserable.Be it cars or taking care of their gardens and lawns.
Yes E-Smog. Certain countries do not consider electromagnetic radiation a problem. Ever read the warning for your mobile telephone?
""Electronic Smog, or eSmog as it is more commonly known, is the accumulation of electromagnetic fields emitted from all sorts of electrical appliances, wiring, mobile phones and satellite based communications, for example. Described as ‘smog’ these fields create a blanket effect around us which, if visible, would look with a fog over almost everything, with particularly dense patches hovering around the sources such as cordless phone bases, Wi-Fi routers, mobile phones and computers to name but a few.""http://www.lifewaves.co.uk/10501/4901.html or http://emwatch.com/
The human body has a resonance of around 450 mc. low end microwave. Articles are are on line about radar techs in the 1950 warming up in the arctic by standing in front of the radar domes.
But then again every day the earth is bombarded by electromagnetic energy from a multitude of sources.
On a day with nothing to do, if you have access to a portable frequency meter, place one close to the coil box and/or the rotating magneto. See what electromagnetic frequencies are being generated.
John Serbin, I doubt your mag is the problem. Maybe you should check for exhaust leaks. If that isn't the problem you can quickly remove all RFI from the mag by shorting the mag post to battery while running on battery. That will demagnetize your magnets. If the mag were the problem you would know right away by doing this.
Of course you might get the same result by just telling your wife you killed the mag and not doing it. Since your wife is not the one who pinned the blame on your car the placebo approach is unlikely to work.
I'd suggest that if you want to get away from RFI, you might want to consider doing any experiments in Central WI around the City Point/Mather/Warrens area. I have a friend down that way and it is about as far from civilization as you can get. Would cell phone towers mess up any experimental results or not? Of course, if you're planning on being up my way I'm at least 60 miles from any major urban areas and have access to guys with several Model T's of various years. When the weather gets more tolerable, we'd be happy to help.
Wife or T ,,,,, Wife or T,,,,,,,humm. I noticed my T runs faster, more power, and a is much more quiet when I take it out solo.
Terry: I Have an open speedster so I doubt it could have been exhaust leaks. To demagnetize the mag. I assume I short the mag. post to ground. Also; is RFI the same as the EMF coming from the magneto? Thanks. John
Subject has been discussed on this Forum many times. I had the same question when I read the manufacture's literature prior to having the implant. Recommend keyword search for "Pacemakers". The thread entitled "Can running on Mag cause problems with a pacemaker?" Thread is dated 8 Feb on the 2013 FORUM. Note the post by Dan Treace wherein he quotes a manufacturer. I queried my cardiologist and was told this warning about avoiding microwaves, welders, etc applied in the early introduction of pacemakers and they have not been revised or eliminated because of the potential for liability-if no warning they would be sued for everything imaginable. He said, In actuality, modern equipment is so well shielded practically nothing would have an effect. He also said for the sake of caution, don't lay down beside the magneto when running - keep your chest at least three feet away (normal driving position). I have a Biotronik pacemaker/defibrillator combination and have experienced no problems.
Thanks James. First hand experience always trumps guess work I appreciate your input. John
Just to reply John, this discussion isn't limited to any implant patient riding in Model T's or using hand held tools like chainsaws or arc welders. There is also other designers of products that may be used in close proximity of someone with a pacemaker.
So this magnet company has done a neat chart showing how far in inches the implant device needs to be from a magnetic field of greater than 5 gauss. That is the magic number that appears can affect a pacemaker.
Here is the chart:
Looking at it, a huge neodymium magnet, on the bottom of the chart, that they make is 4" diameter and 3" thick! That would surely be larger than the magnet power in a T magneto....and that huge magnet should be at least 25" away from a pacemaker to prevent any affect.....so riding or working around a T magneto 2' front the front of your chest should be more than safe.
Thanks Dan. Looks like you have done some research on the subject and I appreciate you sharing it. With all that has been said here my wife is feeling more confident in trying it again in the spring. I'm working on my 2nd 26 speedster but I think I will remove the mag and run a dist. since everything is apart. Thanks. John
That is a interesting chart and artical. I learned along time ago not to walk up to the tv with a magnet in my pocket or lay 1 on the top. It would distort the picture. You had to use a degaussing coil to deal with the problem. Most boob tube tv's had 1 built in.
Well that page that could bring in another entire new subject for a new thread. How to replace the large magnets in a T mag with new Neodymium magnets to increase amp output!
Don't ask for it...new subject that is....
Bill Stipe has done that!