Is The Philly Cellphone Jammer A Hero Or A Jerk?

A man in Philadelphia decided he’d had enough with listening to his fellow bus passengers blab away on their cellphones. But instead of buying himself some noise-cancelling headphones or politely asking people to pipe down, he chose to fight back with a handheld device that jams their signals.

“I guess I’m taking the law into my own hands,” he told NBC10, which caught him red-handed with the illegal jammer, “and quite frankly, I’m proud of it.”

Those who ride the bus with the man say he should be ashamed, not proud.

“How dare you decide that I can’t speak to somebody or I can’t use my cellphone?” asks one passenger who spotted the man using the jammer on her way to work. “He’s blatantly holding this device that looks like a walkie-talkie with four very thick antennae. I started to watch him and any time somebody started talking on the phone, he would start pressing the button on the side of the device.”

Experts tell NBC10 that there is a good reason the FCC has made it illegal to jam cellphone signals: “With cellphone jammers you are limiting all types of communication tools that use the radio frequencies. You have the potential to cause a public safety disaster. Cutting off communication by not only our public officials to their dispatch centers but also cutting off the public’s communication to 911 can be a dangerous thing.”

When confronted by a reporter about the illegality of the device, the jamming gent said he believed it was “more of a gray area,” but hours later contacted NBC10 to say that after further research he would get rid of the jammer.

View more videos at: http://nbcphiladelphia.com.

Rider Jams Cell Phones on Septa Bus [NBCphiladelphia.com]

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

    I’ll buy it for three fiddy. I’d love to prank the people who use their cellphones to price stuff at the flea market with this.

    • Portlandia says:

      Why, because people shouldn’t be informed consumers or take advantage of arbitrage?

      • RevancheRM says:

        Nah. Because he wants to prank people, per his post. I’m not saying it’s mature, but I think it’s safe to say he isn’t angry about the search for knowledge.

    • deathbecomesme says:

      lmbo I was just thinking what an a-hole anyone has to be to own and use one of these. You’ve just changed my mind lol

    • Sham03 says:

      you can get your own at DealExtreme.com

    • Jawaka says:

      I may be an asshole for saying so but I support this guy. However I don’t think that I’m any more of an ass then the people who are speaking so loudly on their phones that I can hear them load and clear with my headphones on.

      • Charmander says:

        He’s a hero in my book. I can’t stand it when trapped on a bus, in an elevator, in line somewhere…..and I”m forced to listen to people squawk LOUDLY about their sex lives, family squabbles, operations, etc. etc.

        Guess what, people – I don’t want to hear to you talk!!

      • BlkSwanPres says:

        I would totally support it if you could only jam the assholes, but you also jam the people listening to pandora on their phones, the people quietly IM’ing people on their phones, the people playing words with friends, and the people just using their phone like a human being. I know its annoying to listen to them, but you can’t punish everyone, it would be like us executing all the suspects in a murder to ensure the murder received justice.

    • Pigfish99 the randomly insane says:

      You know, it would also be good for any type of auctions, too.

    • Jack T Ripper says:

      $30 bucks and you can have one just like it. They have about a 30 foot range and are awesome for getting a bubble of silence around you when you want it. They make higher powered ones you can do other crazy things to, like say…. power it in your vehicle and secure it in your trunk with a remote to create a 100 meter bubble of silence around you. Damn it must suck to drive anywhere near me if you are trying to have a phone conversation…

  2. TurboWagon00 says:

    I’m sure we will all have a reasonable and polite dialogue on this topic and arrive at a mutually agreeable solution.

  3. Agent Hooter Enjoys Enhanced Patdowns says:

    I’m going to hire this man to come to the movies with me.

  4. Upthewazzu says:

    I’ve never really been bothered by people using their cell phones on short bus rides. This guys is just as bad as the driver that sits in the left hand lane blocking everyone behind from passing.

    • gttim says:

      I think you have nailed this one.

      • tbax929 says:

        I hate that driver in the left lane. Freaking asshole.

        • axhandler1 says:

          Oh god, when we were kids on car trips, my Dad would sit in the HOV lane and go the speed limit. We would have a line of cars behind us and people risking 2 point tickets to cross the HOV barrier, pass us while flipping my Dad off and/or yelling at him from their window, and then cut back into the HOV lane so they could continue on their way at more than 50 mph. So embarrassing.

          • gttim says:

            I always wondered what the wives of these guys thought.

            • axhandler1 says:

              After a few years (these were yearly summer trips) she just started taking her own car and grabbed one of us kids and the dog for company.

    • Quake 'n' Shake says:

      How do those short bus kids hear their phones while wearing their helmets?

    • cparkin says:

      So what if you’re like me and your bus ride is 20-30 minutes and you have to listen to some inane speech vomit for the entire ride? I understand why this guy is annoyed. Is it the right way to go about things, no, but some days I wish I had a jammer on the bus too.

      • kc2idf says:

        Noise-cancelling headphones: $50. Middle-of-the-road generic MP3 player to go with them: $50. Total: $100.

        Illegal cellphone jammer: $230. Fines for using one: $17,500. Total: 17,730

        ‘nuf sed.

      • msbask says:

        I don’t get it. What’s the difference between having to hear two people behind you having a conversation, or one person behind you talking on their phone?

        • Kate says:

          I agree – get a life. The bus ride isn’t all about you.

        • Charmander says:

          Usually, two people talking together will talk TO each other, not so loud, and I can easily tune them out. But some people, when using a cell phone, think they have to talk 10 times LOUDER than normal – that’s what is annoying.

          Also, I think they’ve done studies on this, but there’s something disconcerting or disorienting about hearing only half a conversation. Something about how it affects your brain.

  5. Torchwood says:

    It’s not a grey area. The FCC has put the issue in black and white: Cell phone jammers are illegal.

    Unfortunately, the FCC can’t legislate civility or manners.

    • cowboyesfan says:

      Jammers are legal.

      Using jammers is illegal.

    • sirwired says:

      Agreed. Who knows WHAT wacko website he was surfing to suggest the FCC has left any wiggle-room here.

    • thaJack says:

      Wow. FCC makes laws? Who knew?

    • Jawaka says:

      I’ve found that the best way of dealing with people who talk loudly on their phone in public is to respond to them as if they were talking to me. If they ask the person on the phone a question I’ll answer it to the best of my ability. And when I get a confused look I respond with “well you were speaking to all of us weren’t you?”

    • Kuri says:

      I wonder which cell phone company asked president Andrew Jackson to make sure that was the result.

  6. VectorVictor says:

    Movie theater usage? Yes, I can get behind that, as long official usage had exceptions for emergency personnel (e.g. Doctors, Police, Firemen).

    On a bus? Sorry, but no. For some people, that may be the only chunk of time they have during the business day to conduct personal business, sad to say.

    • darklighter says:

      A cell phone jammer can’t make those kinds of exceptions, since cell phones all use similar frequencies.

    • Difdi says:

      So if someone on the bus is having a heart attack, tough luck?

      What happens if your jammer passes within range of someone on the sidewalk who is trying to dial 911?

    • baristabrawl says:

      And by “personal business,” you mean, “pooping.” I understand.

  7. octowussy says:

    “politely asking people to pipe down”

    Sounds like the author has never been on a bus, let alone a Philadelphia bus. Asking someone to “pipe down” while they endlessly prattle on about meaningless horseshit is an easy way to get assaulted.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

      Unless they know the Vulcan neck pinch.

    • aloria says:

      So let’s just inconvenience every responsible cell phone + ereader user on the bus because a handful of people are jerks. Good idea.

      • Liam Kinkaid says:

        A cell phone jammer would not interrupt every e-reader.

        • VintageLydia says:

          Many e-readers double as tablets. My step-father often reads books from the cloud so jamming his signal will interrupt his reading.

          • Liam Kinkaid says:

            aloria didn’t say “tablet”, he/she said “e-readers.” He/she also said it would interrupt “every … e-reader user.” This is demonstrably false. So, while you can go ahead and say “well, my car has a built in cell phone, so it breaks my car”, you’d be wrong.

            • aloria says:

              Sorry for not adding the “e-reader or tablet that utilizes 3g functionality” caveat. I figured people could read between the lines, but I guess missing the point for the sake of nitpicking is just too darned fun.

              • Liam Kinkaid says:

                Again, even if the e-reader has 3G functionality, if the books are on the e-reader already, the jammer doesn’t do anything to the e-reader. It’s not some EMP device that fries electronics.

                • TheHalfWit says:

                  Have you thought of the possibility that someone might finish their book while riding the bus and might want to download another one?

                  Of course not because you have to be right, and arguing with you is like talking to a brick wall if the rest of this chain is any indicator.

    • Difdi says:

      So do your duty as a citizen and defend yourself.

  8. az123 says:

    I get the guy’s point and do somewhat agree that people on phones can be irritating, however a device like that does not just impact phones on the bus, but anything within its radius. Regardless of that how does he know if someone is making an emergency call on the bus or nearby… that little device could cost someone their life in the worst case.

    • Razor512 says:

      the model that he has is only really effective within 10 feet, unless you are in an area with very weak coverage, then probably 20+ feet.

      A proper cellphone jammer uses a very high output power (eg 10-15 watts) and has a high gain antenna, or more common, a biquad antenna to cover a large room.

  9. drjayphd says:

    I hope this guy enjoys never being able to ride the bus without being beaten severely. (The sad thing is that’s me trying to be civil.)

    • balderdashed says:

      While I’m not in favor of beating anyone, a little long-term public humiliation might be in order. This self-styled vigilante arrogantly chose to put his needs above the needs and safety of scores of other passengers. His argument that he didn’t know his behavior was illegal is not plausible — if you have the ability to purchase and employ such a device, you should easily be able to determine its legality (in about 10 seconds via Google). It’s too bad he didn’t end up with a fine and jail time, as provided by law. In the slammer, he might experience some jamming of a different sort.

  10. Jelly says:

    Doing this on the bus is ridiculous and obnoxious. Dude, get a car if you don’t want to listen to people.

    In college I really really wanted to do this in the library though. I don’t get why some people can’t figure out when it’s inappropriate to answer their phone.

    • Hoss says:

      I don’t think it’s about people talking — it’s about screwing with strangers It’s the kind of thing a 12 year old lives for — to be able have control and not be confronted about it

      • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

        Yeah, one of my first electronic devices I built was a TV jammer. Back in the days of rabbit ears it was a hoot to mess with people trying to adjust the TV. Change the channel while I’m watching? I don’t think so.

    • StarKillerX says:

      Library? That’s nothing, I’ll never forget being at my son’s school for some little musical/play/skit thing his 1st grade class was doing. It was just a little thing done in the classroom with all ther chairs in a big circle so the parents could sit and watch it. Well 1 minute into it out comes this one guys cellphone and he started yammering in the standard pinhead loud cellphone voice “No, I’m not busy I’m just at my grandson’s play. It just started but it wont be much longer? Yeah we can go to lunch where do you want to go?” Since he had already brushed aside two people who tried to tell him to quiet down I decided to get involved and at this point I walked over behind him and whispered in his ear that if he didn’t get off the phone this instant that I would gladly shove it up his ass and if asked I bet everyone in the room will testify that in court that you did it yourself!”

    • teamplur says:

      So somehow that’s different from talking to someone in person? Just because you can’t hear the other half of the conversation? Oh wait, ya, that is it. Only hearing half a conversation causes a persons brain to freak out. Not gonna bother finding the data on this but there was a cracked.com article that mentioned it a while back.

      • witeowl says:

        You can’t whisper into a phone. You’re supposed to whisper in a library. It’s not complicated.

  11. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    Those little handheld units have very limited range or very limited battery life. Jamming requires a bit of power, and the batteries won’t last long if it’s set up to have decent range. A guy had one at a convention I went to a couple of years ago, and it didn’t work worth a crap if you were outside reaching distance. Might as well just grab the phone at that point.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      I have one. It’s main use is for inside (not outside over hundreds of feet). Also, it will work if you’re stopped at a light, turn it on, and watch someone not being able to jab on the phone next to you. I tested this and it works however I only use mine in movie theatre’s otherwise it stays packed away.

  12. galm666 says:

    If were the driver doing the jabbering, sure. But it’s other people, and he doesn’t really have a place to jam their signals. Plus, he may be jamming other signals of other devices. What’s worse is that if there’s an emergency, that hammer may keep live-saving services from being contacted.

    He may be proud of it, but we’ll see how he feels about comms being jammed when he’s in dire need of emergency aid.

    • cowboyesfan says:

      its amazing that anyone survived in the pre-cell phone era.

      • Agent Hooter Enjoys Enhanced Patdowns says:

        Thank you! Everyone seems to act like there was total death and anarchy before the cell phone. No, most stores still have landlines, pay phones still exist, and if there was a REAL emergency, pretty sure he’d turn the jammer off. Your discussion with your girlfriend about what movie to see, what groceries to get, or did you hear about so-and-so is NOT important nor emergency worthy even if your distorted ego thinks so.

        • MattSaintCool says:

          And yet, that does not give you the right to use a device illegally to end my conversation in a public space, even if your distorted ego thinks so.

          • Such an Interesting Monster says:

            What makes you think you have a right to be a nuisance and irritant to everyone around you?

            • RayanneGraff says:

              Not everyone who uses their phone in public is loud & obnoxious. I always make sure that I speak in low tones and I never use it in inappropriate places like libraries, plays, movies, etc. I don’t think anyone has the “right” to prevent me or anyone else from having a quiet, polite conversation on a boring bus ride. They should mind their own damn business.

        • RayanneGraff says:

          Amazing what people did before modern medicine, cars, and grocery stores too. Stupid, useless things that improve & simplify our lives, who needs em, right?

        • Anna Kossua says:

          The problem there is he might know he’s blocking someone in an emergency situation. He could be on a bus at a stoplight just outside a shop or home, and a guy inside might be on with 911. Or just talking to a friend — a guy inside his own house doesn’t deserve to have his call jammed because of some dude on a bus.

    • Firethorn says:

      In many areas it’s now illegal for a bus driver to use a cell phone while driving. So ‘report him’ is a valid move.

      My vote is the guy’s a Jerk. Ear plugs, noise cancelling headphones, whatever.

  13. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    It theory, it’s amazingly awesome. I don’t talk on my cell phone in public places, ever. I hate when people do it. They loose all sense of manners and social niceties, especially when they are pushing shopping carts. Many, many decent people become narcissistic, self-centered jerks when they talk on the phone in public.

    As I said, it’s good in theory, but if someone were calling 911 on their cell b/c of an emergency, it could be an absolute disaster.

    He really should have been smarter with this and hid it in a backpack when he was using it. He could have opened it enough to push the button and been nonchalant about it. Idiot.

    • Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

      I know right….what ever happened to good ole pay phones and land lines. How did people ever call 911 or contact someone before cell phones.

      • Dr. Shrinker says:

        Umm……they’re gone? At least pay phones. Tell me the last time you even SAW a pay phone.

    • eezy-peezy says:

      Or just keep it in a pocket.

    • aloria says:

      Why are people so darned passive-aggressive nowadays? If someone is being loud or rude, grow a pair and tell them to quiet down.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        In some places, you could get the crap beat out of you for asking someone to quiet down. We had a lady at a bookstore scream at us b/c we very nicely asked her to quiet down her call. You could literally hear every word she was saying a good 50 feet away. Many people don’t respond kindly to being asked to have some couth and to respect social norms.

        • djshinyo says:

          I saw a lady slap a co-worker on the hand, while he was waiting on an entirely different customer, because he had refused to wait on her because she wouldn’t get off her phone.

          I believe it defined “bitch slap”.

  14. Platypi {Redacted} says:

    If he used this on Keanu and Sandra’s bus, I think it would have blown up.

    Why doesn’t he just use a tazer on the worst offenders, instead of screwing with the guy just trying to make his moves in WWF?

  15. powdered beefmeat says:

    I would have not been as obvious, kept it low key and acted as if my phone worked just fine. Illegal yes, but it sure sounds like fun!

  16. dolemite says:

    I miss the days of people just riding in silence…staring out of the window, or simply reading a book. Now they are so self-obsessed, every inane detail of their lives must be broadcast at all times.

    Seriously…think about it. How many people on cell phones at any time MUST be on the phone in public? .01%, maybe.

    • SBR249 says:

      So just because someone is offended that people talk on their cell phone (which is not illegal that I know of) they automatically have the right to be a vigilante and break the law to stop it? What about people who just want to surf the internet? That doesn’t generate any noise yet they are being punished too. And really, why is it that people should only be allowed to do stuff that they MUST do according to someone’s arbitrary standards? I can’t chat with a friend in public if I want to? Being rude is one thing, but being rude to others because a minority of them may be rude is also offensive.

      • Coleoptera Girl says:

        You’re reading too far into dole’s comment… All I saw was bemoaning the loss of quiet public transportation, not a justification of this guy acting like a jerk.

  17. StarKillerX says:

    I’m torn on this one. Yes they are clearly illegal BUT people need to realize that a cellphone is a tool and not a life or lifestyle.

    If your not a doctor being called in top perform emergency brain surgery then get over yourself, you call is not more important then paying for your items so the people behind you in line can pay for theirs and get going. It’s also not worth blinding everyone in the area inside a darkened movie theater because you just so you can text one of your idiot friends (often two seats away from you) to tell them what you think of the movie.

    • zerogspacecow says:

      This is a bus, not a check out lane or movie theater. Nobody has the right to decide what is “important enough” for a phone call. If people want to chat on the phone, that’s their choice. Rude? Maybe. But still no one else’s call.

      • StarKillerX says:

        That is why I’m torn, if it was a theater or similar he would definately be a hero!

        As for the bus, yes you can have a conversation, if you’ve ever been on public transit you would know that your average cellphone user tends to talk into their phone in a volume normally reserved for notifications of fires, ax wielding maniacs or superbowl touchdowns!

        • jeb says:

          There was once where I took a call on a public transit bus. It wasn’t life or death, but it was addressing a possible business lead (didn’t pan out).

          However, I did have common courtesy and tried to talk as softly as possible without sounding strange on the other end, and tried to keep it short.

          At least attempting common courtesy can go a long ways, imo.

  18. Clyde Barrow says:

    I bought one of these and use it at a local movie theatre whenever I go. It works great.

    And to the passneger that said, “How dare you decide that I can’t speak to somebody or I can’t use my cellphone?” asks one passenger who spotted the man using the jammer on her way to work.

    The street travels both ways. How dare YOU impose US to listen to your contant babble.

    • VintageLydia says:

      You’re in public where it’s generally socially acceptable to talk when you’re on a bus. You’d have no issue with passengers talking to each other, would you? What’s the difference? If you can’t deal with people, don’t ride a bus!

    • jessjj347 says:

      But what about people are are using apps on their phone or are in other ways using 3G in a quiet manner?

      • elangomatt says:

        In a movie theater, using a cell phone even silently is still annoying and rude. Do you really think that the bright light of the cell phone backlight stops when it leaves your seat area? Anyone using a cell phone for texting or anything else is a big beacon that says “I’M USING MY CELL PHONE” to anyone sitting behind you. It is still very distracting.

    • j2.718ff says:

      “The street travels both ways. How dare YOU impose US to listen to your contant babble.”

      Freedom of speech does not include the right to silence others (no matter how annoying they may be).

      • Theace26 says:

        FYI, there are established limits on freedom of speech.

        When your freedoms infringe upon mine, do i have the right to demand/ask that you cease and desist infringing upon my freedoms? When that doesn’t work, then, we get the government, involved; That’s generally when everyone else will suffer because we couldn’t be adults and respect each other, so authority had to force us to.

    • SeattleSeven says:

      Sucks to be the person having a heart attack or being raped in the hallway behind the theater you are in.

    • BillB says:

      And what about the doctor sitting in the movie theater with his family who can’t receive the frantic texts from the nurses about his patient’s deteriorating condition because your self-righteous self has that jammer on? Or the OB/GYN who doesn’t know his patient’s in labor because you killed his pager.

      He would exit the theater to call them to issue orders (or go to the hospital) but he doesn’t get the message because you bricked his phone. People’s lives can actually depend on these devices… you have no right to endanger others so you can watch your movie. You hate crowds that much, go to matinees.

    • WarriorKitty says:

      Um, my husband is US service member. I lived by my phone while he was deployed. I would leave the theater to take my call- which always came in on vibrate. I was polite about it.

      He was ultimately seriously injured, which is news that usually comes in by phone call. You’re a fucking asshole for deciding that people don’t deserve to receive life-changing information.

      And if you tell me I shouldn’t go to the movies if I need to keep my phone on, I’m just going to reply that you’re completely irrational and need to quit going out in public until you can accept that people are going to be loud, use their phones, etc. You’re a bigger jerk than they are.

  19. smartmuffin says:

    HUGE Jerk. While it’s safe to assume everyone is having pointless, meaningless conversations, there’s no way to be sure.

    What if he’s sharing the bus with a doctor who is on call? Or a police officer? Or someone in the military? Some people NEED to be able to have access to their communicatoin devices on very short-notice. It’s not likely, but it is possible that this could *literally* kill someone.

    • StarKillerX says:

      Yeah, what if a doctor, who just happened to be riding home on the bus, got a call saying he was needed to perform emergency brain surgery?

      Well let’s be honest, if the guys riding the bus your probably better off with a different surgeon anyways. lol!

    • eddison72 says:

      Yeah I agree! I was just on a city bus yesterday with a neurosurgeon who was doing an operation remotely on his blackberry. He was seated directly across from S.E.A.L. Team 6.

    • mcshaggin says:

      What did people do before cell phones? I’ve been wanting a jammer in my car. I can always tell when that car slows down in front of me and you see the car glowing because they are texting or talking. Some people need cellphones implanted in their heads. Ridiculous!

  20. Straspey says:

    Guaranteed –

    If the guy tried doing that here, in NY City, with its high-profile, anti-terrorism and post-9/11 climate — he’d be arrested, most likely be turned over to the Dept. of Homeland Security, and would probably never see his little jammer device again.

    And – you know what ?

    Every day when you and I go out in public, we are faced with any number of behaviors and actions of other people which we find overwhelmingly annoying and grating and upsetting and inappropriate — because we don’t like them.

    Remember the thread here about women breast-feeding in public ?

    I think it was Camilla Paglia who said — “The definition of being out in public is having to tolerate the behaviors of others which you can’t stand.”

  21. Hoss says:

    He can’t hear calls with his earphones on… He’s a child that wants to screw with adults and not be confronted. It’s hi tech itching powder…

  22. Razor512 says:

    while there are some people that I wish would stop using their cellphone, (eg the ones that cant help but talk extremely loudly on their phone, even worst, when they are talking loudly with their mouth facing you and spit flies out)

    in which case you have to yell at them, but jamming cellphones is not good because it goes against peoples freedoms.

    if you want to be free, you have to allow others to be free.

    An area where I would support it’s use, is a is a movie theater. it is private property so they get to impose additional rules. Furthermore, an in place system can have bypass features added, like an emergency button that activates an alarm but allows a phone cellphones to work

  23. AnonymousCommenter says:

    When i encounter people talking loudly in public on their cell phones I treat it as an invitation to join in the conversation.

    • Coleoptera Girl says:

      You’d better make a video next time. I want to see it.
      I work retail and there have been so many times that I’ve answered a customer who was talking on their cell while shopping… Thankfully, they have so far either not noticed or pretended not to notice.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      When I am in the bathroom and people are talking on their phone, I start coughing and making really loud noises like I am clearing phlem out. I have yet to have a person not stop or leave. I tolerate it in stores and what not, but I am not going to be forced to listen to someone talk on the phone when I am doing my business.

      • BooCackles says:

        I would have loved to had a jammer when I took my (then 4 year old) daughter to the bathroom and this woman in the next stall was using a cell phone to have a nasty break up with a person I am assuming to be her boyfriend. The crying and yelling, “It’s over!!” I could explain to my daughter. I really didn’t think she needed to hear about whores, b!tches and f–k you. I get that she was upset, but this wasn’t a conversation for a tiled bathroom where her already loud voice carried.

    • framitz says:

      Just yesterday my 4 year old grand daughter saw a young woman talking on her phone loudly and waving her hands in the middle of a store. Her response was to point and say ‘Why is that girl so RUDE?!”

      My wife and I nearly laughed our selves senseless.

  24. homehome says:

    He was opening himself up to a lawsuit.

    Why does this site have an obsession with the word confronted? How about say when he was asked, they make everything seem like an aggressive move.

  25. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    I would love to have my own personal jammer that jams cell phones a nice 50 foot radius around me. Then again, I’m still waiting for Star Trek transporter…oh well…

  26. Juhgail says:

    Hero!

  27. winstonthorne says:

    If he’s looking to get rid of it, I live close by and will pay cash….

    How awesome would this be in movie theaters!?

  28. humphrmi says:

    He’s not a hero or a jerk. He’s just a criminal.

  29. zerogspacecow says:

    Um… Jerk. In what world is he a hero? I guess people talking in public can be annoying, but it’s effing public. That means you don’t get to decide who things other people can do there. If you want to jam calls in your house, go for it.

    I’m not even going to get into all the potential safety issues.

  30. APCO25guy says:

    What he doesn’t understand is he is violating FCC rules, can be subject to $10,000 fines per day per violation, and can even be convicted of a Federal crime for it. What he also doesn’t get is these wideband jammers also have the potential to affect other radio services that are in the same bandwidth, including 800MHz which is used by many police/fire radios. The potential for his jammer to interfere with police/fire radios in urban areas (including Philadelphia, which uses an 800MHz digital trunked system for police, fire and EMS) is great.

    I’m sure he wouldn’t feel so hip if his bootleg jammer locked up a cop or firefighter radio nearby and caused them to get hurt or worse yet killed.

    There is a reason why the FCC rules prohibit the use of these devices, public safety being the prime reason. and yes, any interference to public safety radio services are given top priority and taken VERY SERIOUSLY.

  31. StatusfriedCrustomer says:

    There are more creative ways to draw attention to the problem of cellphones. How about getting lots of little noisemakers that intermittently play recordings of cell phone rings, and hiding them all over the bus, like under the seats, etc.

    That’s fun, probably not illegal, and makes people notice the problem.

  32. eddison72 says:

    “How dare you decide that I can’t speak to somebody or I can’t use my cellphone?” Oh what a self-absorbed narcissistic society we are. Hats off to this guy for standing up to the self-righteous antisocial personality-disorder crowd. It is sad that people have such high regard for their own “rights”, and yet have zero regard for any other person’s. This is what we get for raising entitled prima donna children who grow up being made to believe that they’re “special” as they face-plant themselves in their phones all day and night . An entire generation now gloatingly advertises itself electronically thinking that other people actually give a damn about their personal lives. Reality: You’re probably the only one who cares about your Facebook page or Twitter account. $350 gets you one of these magnificent devices shipped directly to your door from the PRC. Don’t leave home without it.

  33. SavijMuhdrox says:

    i would love this device on the bus. So many obnoxious morons on their phones. i’m surprised how many people are defending their right to be rude jerks. and then you get the morons driving on the road on their cellphones.. everywhere..

    unfortunately its only a pipe dream as the threat of interfering with fire and life safety services should far outweigh my own personal discomfort (and would be the reason its illegal, not some personal freedom rubbish)… grrr..

    but i can dream.. as my wife passes yet another moron on his cellphone on the highway, i lock eyes with him and push the button… and his cellphone call ENDS.. muhahahahaha!!!

    • jeb says:

      “not some personal freedom rubbish”

      Yes. How dare someone have the right to use their legally-obtained cell phone in a public place! Your right to your perfect world is supreme!

      All hail Lord SavijMuhdrox!

      /snark

      • SavijMuhdrox says:

        you can’t quote your right to use your legally obtained cellphone in a public place as the reason it is illegal to jam said signals.

        its like making something illegal simply because it frustrates you personally. oh, i guess its illegal to yell fire in a crowded theater because it interrupts my viewing of the film.. hmmm.. no wait..

        /double snark

  34. jrzygrl72 says:

    Is this guy listening to be sure he’s only cutting off chitchat calls, or is he simply cutting off every phone? Dude seriously needs a new hobby.

    I understand why they are illegal. In a city like Philly, all types take the bus. My fiance is a physician and took it when we lived there. Sometimes he is on call overnight. If he gets on the bus to work and gets an emergency call (which has happened), he gets off at the next stop so he can speak privately about the health issue. But he listens to the report from the hospital until that happens. If this guy jammed his phone, he’d lose the call. If you’ve ever had to navigate a hospital phone system, then you know that getting that caller back on the line could be really difficult for him and cost the patient some time.

    There are other less life-or-death reasons that one might properly use the phone in public. Jamming phones doesn’t correct anyone’s behavior. It just makes poorly behaved people become angry, poorly behaved people. And it could also jam a nearby EMT or police phone that has a legitimate, serious reason to be used in public.

  35. Lyn Torden says:

    Actually, it is legal to disrupt cell phones from working … as long as you do it without transmitting, and do it on your own property. That’s why it’s legal for theaters to put up radio blocking shielding. That, and the other reason is to keep the signals they do transmit inside the theater (for people using the special headphones they sell) from leaking outside.

  36. GJaunts says:

    Honestly, I have no idea what the difference is between talking on a cell phone and talking to another passenger. I’ve never noticed a big difference in volume.

    I read… something… somewhere… where a study showed that hearing one end of a conversation REALLY, REALLY annoys us. Apparently our brain freaks out when it can’t put the pieces of a conversation together, so that’s why we’re distracted by cell phone usage. A normal conversation barely registers because our brain doesn’t have to process what’s being said, but a one-way conversation throws us off.

    • dolemite says:

      Any time I’ve seen people on the phone, they are talking way too loud. Like if they speak up, they might be able to hear the other person better.

      • VintageLydia says:

        It’s possible you’re only noticing the loud talkers and unintentionally ignoring the soft talkers. It’s amazing what we do and do not remember based on our annoyances and pet peeves.

      • bonzombiekitty says:

        AFAIK, part of the reason people tend to talk a little louder on cell phones is because cell phones don’t do a good job of relaying what we say back into our own ears. So we hear ourselves as softer than we typically perceive on a land line, so we raise our volume a bit to make up for it.

        Though, I really haven’t noticed people talking on cell phones being incredibly louder than normal conversations – a slight volume increase, yes, but nothing crazy. I think that probably what makes it so annoying is that we are only hearing one side of the conversation, so our brains take more notice than we would to a normal conversation.

        I’d be pissed off at that guy had he been jamming my cell phone signal. I keep my conversations to a minimum, sticking mostly to texts or just surfing the internet. I don’t see how that is a bother to anyone else.

  37. Andy Dufresne says:

    Give me one of these, and the remote to change the stop light at intersections, and I will assume absolute power over this country in a matter of weeks.

  38. DonnieZ says:

    When you take public transportation, those are the breaks. You deal with the PUBLIC, and some of those people have differing manners, priorities, and responsibilities than you do. If you want your own cell-phone free environment, get a car.

    I know sometimes I’ll take the train into the city and they have “quiet cars”, in which cell phone use is severely frowned upon. If you get a call you’re supposed to walk to another car or accept the scorn from fellow passengers in the quiet car.

    Creating an RF blackout because you just don’t like hearing cell phone calls is just plain irresponsible. Do I think it would be interesting to try or even moderately humourous in certain situations? Sure.. but you never know what people are talking about. What about the person who may be taking their last call from a loved one? What about someone having a legit emergency? The thing about cell phone jammers like this is it creates a “sphere” of jamming, which interrupts not only those you want to jam but others as well.

    Their use is highly irresponsible and shelfish and I’m glad they aren’t legal.

  39. El_Fez says:

    I agree with the fellow – I’d LOVE to have a phone jammer – but why would you flaunt something like that in their faces? Just keep it in your pocket and hit ZAP on the sly.

  40. mcgyver210 says:

    This guy should get his wish, He should be put in solitary while he serves his time in prison for the terrorist act he has been committing.

    Seriously I believe he was UN-remoseful & knew he was caught committing a crime so he tried to play it off. He needs to pay for his crime & it would be funny if he was sued by anyone that he caused to loose a call.

    Two Wrongs Never Makes a Right Period.

    • eddison72 says:

      “He should be put in solitary while he serves his time in prison for the terrorist act he has been committing”.

      Yeah, that guy was even worse than the 9/11 hijackers!

      Newsflash: When someone responds in kind to your obnoxiousness in public and your hopelessly selfish limited view of the world that leads you to believe that your “right” to blast off in public on a cell phone supersedes the rights of others to enjoy peace and quiet, that is not a terrorist act. What a hopelessly selfish and stupid comment.

  41. Edacious says:

    When in public, I generally like to text; however there are times when I do need to answer the phone. I work on call, so not answer means I am out of work. It can range from a few hours to well over a month of shifts. If that were to happen to me, I would sue the guy if I ever found out for the money I had just lost. Cell phones are a fact of life right now. Employers have adapted to workers carrying cell phones. As I never know when I am going to be called, I need to carry my cell phone with me all the time. Generally it is on silent, or on vibrate so it does not annoy anyone. I know how to use a cell phone correctly.

  42. pengajim says:

    Since he’s trapped on the bus, everyone should just fart on him.

  43. oldtaku says:

    I don’t know about hero or jerk, but he’s definitely an idiot.

    Why not just paint ‘MY CELL JAMR’ on it in big red letters?

  44. ancientone567 says:

    If you get a powerful enough linear amp you can jam police radar from you speeding car lol but they will be very upset with you lol.

  45. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    Make this guy do at least a year in prison.

  46. mjcboston says:

    I am 100% in this guy’s corner. I take a bus (private company, not a city bus) to work everyday. Each way is about 1 to1.5 hours. The bus company has a policy to only use cells in emergency, or to get picked up. Seems every other day, I have someone behind me that talks on the phone the whole time.
    Sometimes the bus driver makes an announcement when he hears them, but it is ridiculous. You have people that get up at 5am to go to work, and would like some peace and quiet. If you ask them politely, they just glare at you, like you are the one interrupting them.

  47. Bog says:

    It is actually a federal felony to use a jammer anywehre in the United States. He can get an $11,000 fine every time he turned it on, plus prison time.

  48. dwfmba says:

    a jerk, there’s a reason they are illegal.

  49. zombie_batch says:

    The outraged, entitled comments making up the majority of replies to this post are really well thought out. Congratulations everyone.

    Now go learn some etiquette so people won’t feel compelled to jam your phone for being an entitled, obnoxious ass.

  50. jaysapathy says:

    Let’s be honest here: if people weren’t so inconsiderate with their phones, devices like this wouldn’t have to exist. Is it really so hard to ask people to behave themselves?

    Thinking I’m going to buy one of these for myself now.

  51. dolemite says:

    Why can’t he be a hero and a jerk? He’s both to me.

  52. NumberSix says:

    “How dare you decide that I can’t speak to somebody or I can’t use my cellphone?”

    How dare they decide that I have to listen to it. Go for him.

    • RayanneGraff says:

      How dare you impose your will upon others? Jeez, I will never understand the bullying, entitled attitude of people who think they can control everyone else.

      • NumberSix says:

        Your trapped on a bus. It’s not like you can just move away. That’s the justification. There is science behind just how invasive hearing half a conversation is.

      • NumberSix says:

        I see it like this: I support everyone’s rights and liberties until they begin to infringe on MY rights and liberties.

        • drjayphd says:

          And you think the person intruding on civil liberties here is the one talking and not the one with the fucking cell phone jammer, which disrupts everyone’s phones. Do the world a favor and remove yourself from polite society.

          • NumberSix says:

            It seems I already have. As soon as you can tell me where polite socienty is, I’ll move TO it.

  53. Senator says:

    everybody pipedown!

  54. Jim K says:

    I have one. I use it 3 places: at the store, when the person in front of me is on the phone instead of answering the questions asked by the clerk (take the phone away from your ear and pay attention); in the theatre, whenever somebody answers a call during a movie and remains seated (take it outside, douche); on election day, when somebody tries to stay on the phone while they are actually in the voting booth (illegal).

    If only 1 person in the world can save a life VIA PHONE, then Mr Darwin is on your voice-mail right now

  55. WyomingGunAndHuntingEnthusiast says:

    I gotta get me one of these, would be the perfect accessory to take to the movies! Since they lowered rating of movies to PG13 and very few are now rated R I’m stuck watching movies with a bunch of tweens and teens that have no respect.

    • WarriorKitty says:

      I’m the wife of a US service member who was very recently deployed to Afghanistan. People like me live by our phones. I always but it on silent, on dim, and left the table/theater/etc. whenever his call came in.

      He was ultimately seriously injured, news which usually comes in BY PHONE. Don’t get one of these things. You could really be fucking with people’s lives.

  56. Theace26 says:

    There are established limits on freedom of speech.

    When your freedoms infringe upon mine, do i have the right to demand/ask that you cease and desist infringing upon my freedoms? When that doesn’t work, then, we get the government, involved; That’s generally when everyone else will suffer because we couldn’t be adults and respect each other, so authority had to force us to.

  57. Theace26 says:

    When your freedoms infringe upon mine, do i have the right to demand/ask that you cease and desist infringing upon my freedoms? When that doesn’t work, then, we get the government, involved; That’s generally when everyone else will suffer because we couldn’t be adults and respect each other, so authority had to force us to.

  58. KyBash says:

    Cell-phones should have to recognize a low-power signal on a certain frequency and respond by not allowing calls except to local emergency numbers.

    That would allow schools, restaurants, theatres, and other venues to install such a transmitter so people don’t have to put up with obnoxious beasts.

    There could be different frequencies for:
    no voice or text
    no voice, texting allowed
    no voice, incoming texts only

    Such transmitters are cheap (they’re often used by real estate agents so people can listen to recorded pitches about a house without having to get out of their car).

  59. BigDragon says:

    This guy is actually making Philly a safer place to ride the bus. Anyone remember that story from last year where a Philly bus got shot up by the friend’s of some lady who couldn’t keep her child under control on the bus? She used her cell phone to tell them to attack the bus and its passengers. I don’t blame this guy at all for using this device.

    • WarriorKitty says:

      There are always life-important reasons why someone has their cell phone with them at all times, under the assumption it is going to work. Mine was having a husband deployed to Afghanistan. I was a very polite user- on vibrate, on dim, and I left the area or whispered whenever he called when I was in an “inappropriate” place- so I think I never did anything that deserved someone jamming my phone and potentially fucking with my life.

      He was ultimately very seriously injured, news which usually comes in by phone. So yeah, not okay at all. In any way.

  60. Sad Sam says:

    I hate cell phone blabbers as much as the next gal. I don’t understand the folks that blab away in loud voices about nothing while they shop, order lunch, etc. I would love to get some of my personal calls out of the way when I’m driving or shopping, etc. but I don’t do it b/c I know I can’t drive and talk on a cell phone at the same time and I don’t do it when shopping b/c its rude.

    But if I was on a bus, that might be the perfect time to take care some of those personal calls. A bus is not a quiet car on a train, nor is it a movie theater or some other quiet space like a library. So I vote jerk.

  61. Sparkstalker says:

    It’s a good thing he wasn’t on the bus I was behind/beside on Valentine’s day…I was on my way to my grandmother’s house and on the phone with 911 because she had a stroke, and couldn’t call herself.

  62. Cor Aquilonis says:

    Geez. If you don’t want to hear someone else’s conversation, ear plugs are way cheap.

    • Charmander says:

      Why should I have to buy earplugs? Why can’t you just keep your voice down, or text? Why do I have to change, not you?

  63. Dukie9713 says:

    When I’m on the bus commuting or at the movies, the last thing I want to hear is some loud obnoxious ass yapping on his/her cell the entire time (usually it’s the guys). This happens way too often. So everyone else has to suffer the high volume ramblings of some inconsiderate prick? Illegal or not, I would not be against use of the device to screw with the loser under those circumstances.

  64. BradenR says:

    He was a very poor shopper. There are much better and smaller units on the market which are pretty much invisible. I love my quiet luncheons and movies where cells would be intrusive. Go out to the lobby if you must use one.

  65. nelamvr6 says:

    He’s a complete douche-bag! He should be dragged off the bus and beaten to within an inch of his life with his cell phone jammer.

  66. RayanneGraff says:

    Not a hero, just another entitled jerk who expects the rest of the world to change to suit him.

    If you don’t like the noise around you, that’s what earplugs or headphones are for. He could have caused someone to miss an important call. I have a sickly, elderly father who’s in the hospital a lot, if I miss one of his calls it could be life or death. What if someone else on that bus has a similar situation? How selfish of him.

  67. WarriorKitty says:

    My husband is in the military. He was seriously injured this past September, notification of which is usually done by a phone call. It is the second worst nightmare of any military spouse. We live with our phones, awaiting a much-wanted call and fearing the worst at all times. I am a respectful cell phone user- goes on silent/vibrate, lower the light, leave the theater/table/whatever whenever I accept a call in an inappropriate place. Having a cell phone jammer is one of the most selfish things I have ever heard of. Because of assholes like this, a spouse might miss a very important call from his or her deployed service member. I can think of at least a hundred other dire circumstances where a cell phone is vital to someone. Quit fucking around with other people’s lives and learn to live in this world. It does involve the public, which is full of all types of inconsiderate folks. Just deal with it.

  68. scoopjones says:

    There was a story recently about a major airport where planes coming in for a landing were experiencing interference with their GPS navigation systems. The authorities tracked it down to a local trucker who installed a GPS jammer in his truck to keep his boss from tracking his rig. Every time this moron would drive by the airport, planes would suddenly experience problems landing. These jammers are easily available on the Internet, but they’re illegal for a reason.

  69. nacoran says:

    He’s not taking the law into his own hands. There is no law against talking on your cellphone on a bus. He is taking something he doesn’t like and breaking the law to curb it. I’m not a big fan of people talking loudly on their cellphones, but he is trying to create a form of vigilante legislation where people can make up laws against anything they don’t like. In the process, he’s jamming people who are texting their boss to let them know they are going to be late, jamming calls that someone’s wife just went into labor, jamming police calls…

  70. mdoneil says:

    He is a criminal and should be prosecuted.

  71. Jay911 says:

    The radio system that Philadelphia fire, police, and ambulance uses to do lifesaving work every hour of every day is in the same chunk of radio spectrum as cell phones (and hence, cell phone jammers).
    That enough of a reason to stomp on that stupid device until it’s in a million pieces?

  72. donopolis says:

    I rode the train between Dallas and Fort Worth for years, this Loud talking Cell phone user problem is a common one…my defense was to fill in the other half of the conversation as if the person was talking to me….

    It usually worked, they would either talk quieter, or move cars, or My seatmates and I would have a good time laughing at them.

  73. Cagey says:

    He’s a vigilante in the purist sense. Based upon the video I find his deeds righteous and clearly, under Federal law, illegal.

    The TV station gave us a very self-interested spin on the issue: we see the vigilante at work but we are never shown the situations where he deploys his device. Did he engage it because someone was merely placing to taking a call or was that whiney TV station employee droning on and on? From what I saw his use of the device was tactical, not constant.

    Consumerist really needs to create a tag for “technology manners” for this post because that’s what’s at stake. I’m sure the Philly transit authority has rules about “disruptive behavior,” but transit drivers are not teachers in rolling kindergartens, our vigilante could hardly nag the bus driver about this. I know from experience in another big city that some folks won’t get off their phones on the bus even when police tell them to stop, much less another passenger. Raising your voice on the bus over an obnoxious cell phone user, while amusing and effective, is infantile.

    So what’s our guy to do? Unless the folks in this forum who object to his behavior believe that manners in public places are optional they need to account for how best to stop inappropriate or intrusive cell phone use. In the absence of that, the tactical use of a cell phone jammer doesn’t look like the worst option.

  74. Jack T Ripper says:

    Yeah, I’ll bet he did some more research. Like the kind that told him he wouldn’t be too hard to find after law enforcement finds out he is proudly breaking the law. Not just any law… FEDERAL laws. He doesn’t have to be a dick about it and let everybody know he is the reason their cell phone doesn’t work. Just keep it in your pocket and leave it on. It doesn’t need a clear line of sight to create the 3 meter bubble it will create.

  75. damageddude says:

    A jerk. I use my phone to read the paper on the way to the city some mornings, not to talk. And wouldn’t this screw up the driver’s radio/phone (NJ Transit commuter buses have a phone that dispatch uses to contact a driver directly)?

  76. LabGnome says:

    Don’t really have a problem with people on cells in most places. What irks the hell out of me is when friends/people come over or out and then just play with their cell phone the whole time. I would love to jam their internets.

  77. zibby says:

    He’s keeping that thing, and I don’t blame him. He just learned he needs to be more discreet.

  78. 2 Replies says:

    Where I live, (the opposite side of the nation from Phili) there are actually laws about excessive noise on public transportation (which includes excessively loud cell phone use, and other more obvious things like music etc).
    The bus is a privilege, and breaking those rules can get you immediately kicked off.

  79. ZukeZuke says:

    I would love to buy one of those if they were legal…

  80. BigFoot says:

    I’m surprised at the number of people that think it’s OK to “share” with fellow travelers on public transport. No wonder everyone else hates using it. For the most part, the offenders of of an age that cannot recall A Time Before Cellphones. Poor things. Out of touch for an hour and in distress.

    These jammers work, but only in a limited area. There is no way one of these portable ones could cause a “public safety disaster” unless the only person with a phone was trapped underneath the guy with the jammer. Really.

    I think he has just as much right to peace and quiet as the next person. I don’t get on a bus to listen to some loudmouth yell down their phone for 20 minutes. Sit down and shut up.

  81. ganon446 says:

    Thanks Consumerist I’ll be getting one for my rides on the Red Line

  82. consumerd says:

    I have one for the movie theater…. after all if I am paying $15 to watch a movie I sure in the hell am not going to have some spoiled teenage brat from disrupting my peace and movie watching experience. I will ask politely once, after that it is fair game!

    I have one and I am proud to deploy it there. Mine has a pretty good 100ft radius and is rather effective.

  83. consumerd says:

    I have one for the movie theater…. after all if I am paying $15 to watch a movie I sure in the hell am not going to have some spoiled teenage brat from disrupting my peace and movie watching experience. I will ask politely once, after that all bets off!

    I have one and I am proud to deploy it there. Mine has a pretty good 100ft radius and is rather effective.

  84. consumerd says:

    I have one for the movie theater…. after all if I am paying $15 to watch a movie I sure in the hell am not going to have some spoiled teenage brat from disrupting my peace and movie watching experience. I will ask politely once, after that all bets off!! I have one and I am proud to deploy it there. Mine has a pretty good 100ft radius and is rather effective.

  85. RedShirt says:

    Definate Asshole that should be locked away for many many years… what happens when someone has a heart attack and can’t call 9-1-1?? HUH?? ASSHOLE, definate… endangering the public is never cool… Hope he spends at least 10 years behind bars.