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There’s nothing worse than some jerk blabbing away on their mobile phone while you’re trying to enjoy a movie in a theater, meal at a restaurant, or a nice quiet nap during your commute on mass transit. You can try to send the offending mobile blabbermouth a few evil looks or the old “courtesy cough” but those passive-aggressive gestures rarely work. If you really want to shut down a dopey chatterbox, then you’ll need a cell phone jammer. Is a cell phone jammer illegal? Are they worth both the price tag and the risk involved with using them? Keep reading to find out.
NOTE: Both owning and selling cell phone jammer technology is illegal in countries like the United States. The information in this article is for people who can legally use this technology in your area or who plan to use it in International waters.
What Is A Cell Phone Jammer?
Although they often called different names, including cell signal blockers, text stoppers, or GPS jammers, a cell phone jammer is any device that creates a temporary “dead zone” to all cell phone traffic in the immediate proximity.
Cell Phone Jammer Portable Models
Traditionally, jammers were large antennas mounted on trailers that had to be pulled behind a truck. But advancements in technology have resulted in a cell phone jammer portable model that’s only about the size of a regular cell phone.
Because cell jammers now come in much smaller sizes, they are very easy to carry around. Portable personal jammers will fit into the palm of your hand or easily slip into your coat pocket.
How To Use A Cell Phone Jammer
Using a cell phone jammer is easy. You basically just need to turn it on to create a temporary “quiet zone.”
The alure of being able to force people to put their smartphones down is strong for a lot of everyday locations like in restaurants, and churches. Just imagine being able to reach into your backpack and turn on a temporary “dead zone” with your jammer the next time you’re riding mass transit and someone refuses to get off their phone.
NERD NOTE: Humans naturally pay more attention than normal when only hearing one side of a conversation. Our brain expects information from both sides of a conversation, and it will instinctively try to fill in the blanks.
Range And Frequency Of Cell Phone Jammers
Most portable cell phone jammers will only have a range of up to about 50 feet. Someone who encounters a dead zone will just think they’ve hit a dead spot in their cell phone company’s coverage until they leave your immediate vicinity.
Stronger jammers are available that have the strength to cover larger structures like office buildings, movie theaters, and churches. They look like a metal box with wires sticking out and are usually mounted on walls or ceilings. These larger models are also WiFi jammers too.
Is A Cell Phone Jammer Illegal or Legal?
The legality of civilian use of a cell phone jammer will depend on the local laws of your country as well as your job. Police and military personnel are often allowed to purchase this equipment even if the technology is illegal in their country. Also note, laws change all the time and the information in this article may be out of date by the time that you are reading this. Please do your research before attempting to make or acquire cell phone jamming technology.
One notable country that has banned civilian use of cell phone jammers is the United States. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has outlawed the sale and use of phone jammers. Why? Cell phone jammers are typically used by the police and military to control or disrupt communication during situations like hostage standoffs, bomb threats and to prevent the detonation of cell phone triggered roadside bombs. Also, jammers have the potential to aid in criminal activity and disrupt medical equipment like pacemakers.
|LOCATION||LEGAL FOR CIVILIANS TO OWN?||LEGAL TO SELL?|
|United States||No||Not to US civilians. Only to US government agencies or countries with US State Department approval.|
|Europe||No||Not to civilian customers in any European Union country. Only to government personnel.|
|Asia||Mostly yes, but it may vary from country to country||Mostly yes, but it may vary from country to country|
Where To Buy Cell Phone Jammers
Depending on what country you live in, you might be able to purchase a cell phone jammer without any issues. Although it’s illegal to sell cell phone jammers here in the United States, authorized US personnel, like Police and Military, can easily purchase them online from other countries. eBay has a good selection of jammer technology. Here are some helpful search links that should help you find what you are looking for from international sellers:
How To Make A Cell Phone Jammer
If you’re handy with electrical equipment, then you can make your own cell phone jammer. There are plenty of tutorials online that will tell you exactly how to make a cell phone jammer. Again, you’ll need some intermediate knowledge of electrical systems to complete a project like this.
This YouTube video claims that you can make a cell phone jammer from an old TV remote control. Honestly, the science here doesn’t make any sense. I doubt it works. I’ve included it in this article purely for entertainment purposes.
How To Link A Cell Phone Jammer With A Cell Phone Detector
Can a cell phone jammer be traced? Yes. But triangulating the exact position of someone with a jammer will require some fancy hi-tech tracking gear and a group of people. If don’t want to give out a continuous jamming signal that attracts unnecessary attention, then you can link a cell phone jammer to a cell phone detector. This way the jammer is only active when a cell phone signal is detected.
You can also connect this system to an alarm if you want to be alerted the next time someone is snooping around your location. Great idea, especially if you’re a James Bond villain trying to protect your secret base.
Cell Phone Jammers: A Nice Idea, But Probably Not Worth The Trouble
People are rude. It still amazes me how many people will “forget” to turn off their ringer or even answer a phone call in the middle of a crowded movie theater or at church. I’ve even encountered someone who felt it was appropriate to answer and talk on their mobile phone in a funeral home. Honestly, some people can’t even cross a street without texting and walking.
When we are surrounded by such rude and selfish people in the world, the appeal of using a cellphone jammer is so strong. How many times have you wished that you could force rude people to observe a “quiet zone” at church, school, theaters, restaurants, funerals, and even mass transit?
However, banning the sale and civilian use of cell phone jammers in places like the US and UK certainly has its reasons. You certainly wouldn’t want someone’s jammer blocking a 911 phone call that you’re trying to make. For example, a jammer hypothetically could be used by criminals who break into homes and want to prevent any calls for help.
Maybe someday governments will relax their restrictions on jammers. Until then, it’s probably best to just invest in some noise-canceling headphones for your commute and continue to shame people who refuse to put their phones down in other situations.