Technology
Wave Bubble – Open source Wi-Fi, cellphone, GPS and Bluetooth RF jammer

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Some folks go caroling on Xmas, others release open source hardware projects, like this one… A RF jammer –

“This website details the design and construction Wave Bubble: a self-tuning, wide-bandwidth portable RF jammer. The device is lightweight and small for easy camoflauging: it is the size of a pack of cigarettes.

An internal lithium-ion battery provides up to 2 hours of jamming (two bands, such as cell) or 4 hours (single band, such as cordless phone, GPS, WiFi, bluetooth, etc). The battery is rechargeable via a mini-USB connector or 4mm DC jack (a common size). Alternately, 3 AAA batteries may also be used.

Output power is .1W (high bands) and .3W (low bands). Effective range is approximately 20′ radius with well-tuned antennas. Less so with the internal antennas or poorly matched antennas. “

Wave Bubble – Link.

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56 thoughts on “Wave Bubble – Open source Wi-Fi, cellphone, GPS and Bluetooth RF jammer

  1. Too bad the FCC regulates this type of thing :( This would be perfect addition in making a “Relaxation Bubble” :P

    Hell, put it in your car to keep people off the phone (although range would not be too great). On second thought… that would be bad – a bunch of people driving while trying to figure out why their call was dropped o.0

  2. Anyone got any experience with the “jammer” that uses a hex inverter(as in it has 6 inverters, not that it inverts hexadecimal) where you feed the output of each inverter into the input of the next one and then eventually bring it full circle? It’s a bit more than that cause you need a 1/4 wavelength piece of wire to act as an antenna for each input/output and I think you only use 3 of the inverters. In theory it would nullify a signal but I haven’t found a hex inverter that I think could handle the frequencies required. If you search you can find it pretty easily.

  3. This has many possibilities. The “TV B GONE” comes to mind. It does, however, seem a bit grinch-like.
    But if, for instance, you use it in your own space, like your car, to keep cellphones silent, I like the idea of it.

  4. Willful or malicious interference is not taken kindly by many (including the FCC). Is jamming someone’s 911 call the intent? Should this thing be promoted by Makezine.com?

  5. ehrichweiss,

    I’ve seen schematics for that “jammer”, and I’ve never been able to figure out exactly how that is supposed to do anything, it will generate a minuscule amount of noise sure, but it hardly has the power to compete with a cellphone

    even assembled a few with different inverters with my old college professor who was equally skeptical and tested them against my old college’s faraday room.

    conclusion we came up with, inverters aren’t “jammers”, faraday cages are fun, and 78 year old electronics engineers are crazy.

  6. I think Makezine.com should pull this one, I sure hope they do not advocate jamming devices.
    I think devices like this do not need to be on this website. Devices like this can be seriously dangerous when misused or when modified.
    I recall an event where someone took hostages in a church and the only way of emergence communication was a cell phone.
    So you can see where the use or misuse of devices could cost someone their life.

  7. krgroce – people who take hostages are really stupid, they’re not going to engineer rf jammers. if they want one, they’re for sale all over the place… and what if the kid nappers put people in a metal van, or a basement, etc, etc…

  8. Ahh, finally! The last piece in my kidnapping plot is in place. Plan B was to just take the cell phones from the hostages, but this adds an evil mastermind touch to it. The other pieces of the plot involve utility knives that have been advertised here, and a knitted tux beanie.

    In all seriousness though, I would be much more interested in the legalities of using such a device in your own home. I guess you can’t stop airwaves from flowing through your property any more than you’re allowed to prevent planes from flying over your field?

  9. http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Engineering_Technology/Public_Notices/1999/da992150.txt

    Summary: In America you can’t build, sell, advertise for sale or operate a device who’s purpose is to interfere with celluar communications. There is no mention about learning about how such a device works.

    After all, if you learned how this device worked you might actually come up with the idea of building an untuned receiver with a bandpass filter in the frequencies of interest coupled with a directional antenna. Then you could track down the source of interference and do something about it (I’d probably follow the culprit around while loudly singing the banana-phone song into a banana.)

    Then again, that would empower you to do something for yourself. You better just keep waiting for the FCC to return your emails full of conspiracy theories and dropped call complaints.

  10. Doesn’t this belong in “How to be a dick” magazine? Next they should post how to make tear gas and other great stuff.

  11. I think Make: magazine should stick to posting only things that can’t be misused by criminals, or used to learn about stuff that might be used to do something illegal, or even talk about doing anything remotely “bad”. With no more content coming in, I could un-bookmark the site and not worry about reading it anymore, since just about ANYTHING can be put to evil use by someone if they try.

    Or, you could keep posting stuff and let your readers exercise their free will to behave the way they want, and accept the consequences of their actions. What a concept.

  12. I don’t mean to sound like a prude, but I agree with some of the other posters here that this is illegal, and should not be on the pages (blog) of Make. At the very least it should include a disclaimer.
    I know all of us would like this gadget to shut off an annoying person using their cell, but if the tables were turned and some person was blocking my cell from getting an emergency phone call, I’d be P.O’d.

  13. What a dumb assed thing for Make to post. I am not a big fan of cell phones myself, but how would you feel if you blocked a 911 call, or messed up the GPS on a small aircraft?

    The good news is, as stated the FCC takes a very dim view of this sort of thing, and if you piss them off enough they might make you very happy by putting you in a place where nobody has cell phones, gps’s etc to bother you.

  14. Honestly no one in the Make magazine target audience is really capable of making this. It’s not exactly pic BASIC coding and LED soldering. It’s a hundred or two in parts and intensive soldering so if you can actually make this then imo you deserve a jammer.

  15. I wouldn’t get on a small aircraft if the pilot didn’t know how to get where he was going without GPS. And I wouldn’t take a GPS jammer on a small plane, either. 20-foot radius, remember – so you’d have to take it on the plane for it to have any effect. Or put it right at the end of the runway and watch the pilots panic as they can’t figure out what to do in that last 20 feet of final approach.

    Truly, folks, un-wad your panties. Or make better use of your time by posting on Road & Track or Car & Driver about how they shouldn’t advocate breaking the law. Tons more people speed than jam cell calls or GPS. Heck, they even take liquor and beer ads in their mags, too – drinking and driving!

  16. Assuming the gadget really works, operating it is malicious interference and is a felony in the USA.
    Not that a law would prevent Joe Terrorist from using one on a plane full of people. The “no kit available” disclaimer does not relieve the author of ethical responsibility. It’s sad to see this cloaked in the holy mantle of Open Source.

  17. Sad, I know the people that are behind this device. Adam is a licensed ham operator (N3RCS). I believe this stunt is worth of a revocation of said license. Damn shame and irresponsible to boot.

  18. There are many technologies that have been described from a statement of art that should never be employed en masse, or at least, are of questionable legality. A perfect example of which is the TV-B-Gone, which is as much a statement of defining personal space which may have legal implications as well as an excellent piece of engineering.

    — Dr. Adam J. O’Donnell

  19. As others have pointed out, this would be a boon to hostage-takers and other criminals.

    Now who will get busy and design a broadband but directional receiver for finding jammers? It would also serve as a thunderstorm locator (lightning detector), as well as a detector of unintentional broadband RF interference. Could be an interesting project.

  20. I took the time to review the M.Eng thesis of the author (convenient link). I’m appalled. Maybe I’m expecting too much from MIT, but that document appears to me to be little more than psychobabble, certainly not any discipline of engineering. I wouldn’t give it a grade above F.

  21. Maybe I’m expecting too much from MIT…

    MIT students are not known for writing skills, and MIT’s Media Lab projects are definitely not known for being useful for society!

    However, the inventor is fully aware that her device violates FCC guidelines. Not completely without sense, apparently.

  22. Acutally there are several terrorist groups that use cell phones to signal remote explosive devices. Wouldn’t that be a good reason to use a jammer. I also hate customers that can’t take the time to end thier conversations and give us the undivided attention that we deserve. Who wants to compete with someone on the other line, it’s rude, and very discourteous.

  23. Get real, folks. How many cell phone conversations do you hear that are to 911? Heart surgeons taking Important Calls? Moms hearing that Junior is in a hostage situation?

    Honestly. Too many cell phone users dropped their old manners together with their old tech, and now they’re surprised people hate them.

    I’d jam phone use in restaurants, classrooms, movie theaters, etc. in a heartbeat. It should be legal so that it could be posted. Then people with a real emergency — or an overwhelming need to ask someone “Whassup?” — could go outside the zone. (Yes, I know that wouldn’t work in a hostage situation, but in that case, as people have pointed out, the criminal would have lots of options besides jamming to stop calls.)

    The irony is that there’s at least a partial technical fix to the problem that does not involve jamming. If the phones were made with feedback again, so that people talked into them *quietly* that would solve one major problem. And the other would be to change the ringers to vibrate-only, with perhaps an option to ring to your bluetooth headset for the real addicts. The general principle being: it’s your phone, *you* deal with it.

  24. You people complaining about the legality and the safety of posting this stuff need to grow some nuts and stop your whining. 10 years ago none of you had cell phones, remember that? ‘but what if there’s a 911 emergency?’ Boo hoo what would you have done 10 years ago? The people at this magazine are trying to empower you with information but you are saying ‘no no please keep us stupid and don’t give us this information’…. may all your cell phones run out of batteries in a 911 emergency!

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