In this article we review the electric and magnetic field meter ME3030B produced by Gigahertz Solutions.
The ME3030B from Gigahertz Solutions is an electric and magnetic field meter that is sensitive to AC fields in the frequency band 16 Hz - 2000 Hz. It has a single-axis, or monodimensional, magnetic sensor, and a single-axis electric sensor. The sensitivity to AC magnetic fields is of 1 nT (nanoTesla), which corresponds to 0.01 mG (milliGauss) or 10 microGauss. The sensitivity to AC electric fields is 1 V/m. The instrument is provided with a ground cord for correct electric field measures. The battery inside the instrument is a 9 V type.
The ME3030B is very easy to use, as explained in the short user's manual the measures of magnetic fields can be done in few seconds, while the electric field measurement requires to attach the ground cord from the instrument to a suitable point of ground contact.
The sensitivity of 1 nT for AC magnetic fields is more than enough for typical environments that may be affected by low frequency magnetic fields. Also the sensitivity of 1 V/m to electric fields is enough for typical environments.
The magnetic sensor is a single-axis one, so we can check the three spatial components of the magnetic field separately, this is better than having a compound measure for all the three components.
The instrument is robust and portable, can be carried in an handbag, or in a coat socket, of course paying attention to not drop it or shake it too much because it can damage the internal electronic components.
The price is very convenient for this kind of instruments since it is less than 100 €, and the instrument is both a magnetic field meter and an electric field meter.
The first limit of the ME3030B is that of the frequency range, it detects only AC fields in the very low frequency band, from 16 Hz to 2000 Hz, so it can't be used to measure the emissions of AC lines due to higher harmonic components, or electromagnetic noise generated by switching power supplies and compact fluorescent lamps.
The secondary limit of this instrument is that the sensitivity to AC magnetic fields is 1 nT, which is a very small value of magnetic field but sometimes we may need to distinguish lower values, for example 0.1 nT.
In conclusion, the ME3030B from Gigahertz Solutions is a good instrument for checking homes and workplaces for low frequency magnetic and electric fields like those generated by AC power lines and electric motors or generators. Because of the strict low frequency range of course the user must remember that the measures shown by this instruments do not include any middle or high frequency fields. For example when the ME3030B shows 1 nT of magnetic field that is the value only for the sum of AC magnetic fields with frequency between 16 Hz and 2 kHz, but there could be other AC magnetic fields of higher frequencies in the same place, which need other types of instruments to be detected. The ME3030B is perfect for the cases where we already know that the electromagnetic field has a frequency spectrum entirely in the interval 16 Hz - 2 kHz.