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General Chat Thread, Head asked to block mobile phone signals in school... in General; I have been asked to look into mobile phone 'blocking' in our school, to prevent mobiles working in classrooms etc... ...
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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Head asked to block mobile phone signals in school...

    I have been asked to look into mobile phone 'blocking' in our school, to prevent mobiles working in classrooms etc...

    As far as I'm aware, 'jammers' would be illegal (pretty obviously). So, the only other option would be basically to turn the building, or classrooms into faraday cages to prevent signal penetration.

    There is, however, a practical problem with this - we heavily use wireless.

    EDIT: We also have CB radios being used by our FM team, and by out SMT and other users.

    So, has anyone else had this come up?
    Last edited by localzuk; 15th May 2012 at 08:36 AM.

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    36Degrees's Avatar
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    Not in a school environment but I know it was considered for a while at one of the companies I worked for. I'm not 100% sure but I think there is a way of doing it as the company were going to have a system where only "authorised" mobiles could be used. These would have been used within the offices and factories so I assume there is a way to block the standard frequencies used for mobiles but allow wireless to work and have the internal phones on a different frequency.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36Degrees View Post
    Not in a school environment but I know it was considered for a while at one of the companies I worked for. I'm not 100% sure but I think there is a way of doing it as the company were going to have a system where only "authorised" mobiles could be used. These would have been used within the offices and factories so I assume there is a way to block the standard frequencies used for mobiles but allow wireless to work and have the internal phones on a different frequency.
    I seriously doubt it. How would that work, as jamming is illegal, and faraday cages just stop everything.

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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    I have one of these, purely for experimental purposes of course, and the kudos of owning one as a geek: LINK

    I must hasten to add that I have never used this illegally. Fun device though with drunk people at parties

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    And what happens when the Ambulance crew arrives to deal with a serious incident?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laserblazer View Post
    And what happens when the Ambulance crew arrives to deal with a serious incident?
    This is one of my points.

    I would not be happy doing this myself, as the law is pretty darn clear. As it stands, all I can find is:

    1. Jammers are illegal
    2. We have a giant building and signal blocking paint costs £250 per 5 litre pot, but we also use wireless and CB radios so this wouldn't work.
    3. Instead of blocking, institute detection - ie. get some scanners and confiscate phones when they're found.

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    If Wi-Fi blocking wallpaper exists, there must be something similar for mobile phone signals?

    Anti-WiFi wallpaper lets cellular and radio through « Ars Technica

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    If Wi-Fi blocking wallpaper exists, there must be something similar for mobile phone signals?

    Anti-WiFi wallpaper lets cellular and radio through « Ars Technica
    Put the paper on backwards?

  9. Thanks to Danp from:

    tech_guy (15th May 2012)

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    If Wi-Fi blocking wallpaper exists, there must be something similar for mobile phone signals?

    Anti-WiFi wallpaper lets cellular and radio through « Ars Technica
    Lol, that'd work... Oh wait, none of our walls are plastered...

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    How about a detector? Mobile Phone Detector

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    This is a very expensive hammer to crack what is a basically a disciplinary walnut. @localzuk, I realise that yours is one of the more challenging schools, but surely the budget would be better spent on teachers that are able to enforce school policy?

    If there was a simple, legal, cheap solution, every school (and prison) in the country would be doing it.

  13. 2 Thanks to elsiegee40:

    Flatpackhamster (15th May 2012), GREED (16th May 2012)

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    This is a very expensive hammer to crack what is a basically a disciplinary walnut. @localzuk, I realise that yours is one of the more challenging schools, but surely the budget would be better spent on teachers that are able to enforce school policy?

    If there was a simple, legal, cheap solution, every school (and prison) in the country would be doing it.
    Indeed. It is looking for a technological solution to a non-technological problem.

  15. Thanks to localzuk from:

    DrCheese (15th May 2012)

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    We get the kids to put their phones in the classroom safe in the morning and collect them at the end of school. They seem ok with this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    There is, however, a practical problem with this - we heavily use wireless.

    EDIT: We also have CB radios being used by our FM team, and by out SMT and other users.

    Wouldn't everything inside the cage still work?

    It just stops signals getting in and out.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    We have a giant building and signal blocking paint costs £250 per 5 litre pot
    I think "magnetic" whiteboard/blackboard paint should do the trick - basically paint with iron filings in. I think places like homebase sell it for a bit less than £250, and you're bound to be able to get it in bulk somewhere. You might also be able to mix your own by simply adding some iron filings to some paint.

    but we also use wireless and CB radios so this wouldn't work.
    You'd need to have a wireless access point in every classroom, but it would cut out any interfering signals and would probably reduce the signal strength needed on each access point (because each one now only has to transmit in one classroom). You could switch your communications to VoIP handsets.

    --
    David Hicks

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