Don’t Worry, This Box Will Protect You From 5G!

As part of an investigation into opposition to 5G mobile phone networks in the English town of Glastonbury the BBC reporter [Rory Cellan-Jones] shared details of a so-called 5G protection device that was advertised as casting a bubble of 5G-free space around its owner. This set [The Quackometer] writing, because as part of his probing into the world of snake-oil, he’s bought just such a unit and subjected it to a teardown.

What he has is a plastic project box with a graphic on top, a switch and green LED on the side, and a battery compartment on its rear. Opening the battery compartment reveals a standard 9 V alkaline cell, but the real interest comes when the cover is removed. There is a copper cylinder with a coil of wire round it, though the wires from the coil to the battery have been cut. The active part of the device is simply a battery powering an LED through a switch, as he puts it the device is a £50 ($61) poor quality torch (flashlight). Of more interest is the copper cylinder, which he identifies as a short piece of copper water pipe with two end caps. He doesn’t open it up, leaving us to expect that whatever mystical component deals with the RF must be concealed within it. This is not the usual Hackaday fare, but we know our readers are fascinated by all new technologies and will provide plenty of speculation as to how it might work in the comments.

The BBC story is worth a read to give a little background. If you are a non-Brit and you have heard of Glastonbury it is probably for the famous summer music festival held on a neighbouring farm, but the town is also famous for its connections with Arthurian legend and in recent decades for having become a centre for New Age mysticism. It has also become something of a hotbed of activism against the spread of 5G mobile networks, and has made the news this week because of concerns over the impartiality of a report condemning the technology released by its local government. If you have an interest in the 5G saga then brace yourselves for this document being used to lend a veneer of official credibility.

We’ve spent a while covering 5G issues, and given that some aspects of the story are shaping up to be a gift to technical journalists that keeps on giving, no doubt we’ll bring you more in due course. Devices such as the one featured here could even supplant audiophile products as a source of technical wonderment!

Thanks [Deus Ex Silicium] for the tip.

128 thoughts on “Don’t Worry, This Box Will Protect You From 5G!

  1. Cut wires? I would’ve though the writers at hackaday would recognize a dual-line spark gap stabilized RF discombobulation crystal, even if its clearly an older model. Be better guys.

    1. It is NOT a dual-line spark gap stabilized RF discombobulation crystal, it IS a uni-directional parasitic inductor!
      Weren’t you in RF 101 the day that was covering in class?

  2. Wonderful. Thanks. I heard people are destroying towers in Europe

    My feed and farm store tried to talk me into an animal injection that someone said cured them of Covid-19 symptoms. I passed. Not enough cash on me for snake oil.

    But don’t let me stop you!

          1. No. That’s the joke. But the people who think that 5g is dangerous are not the most intelligent people. So they destroy the towers thinking they are 5g towers….

          2. “live facebook streaming, cut out ….”… Hahahahahahahahahahahhah! That will probably be the funniest thing I will read all weekend!!!!

    1. Probably ivermectin, it’s used to treat certain infections in livestock (I have a vial and syringes on hand in case my goats get worms, etc..) but it’s been shown to be effective against sars-cov-2 *IN A LABORATORY* it’s not recommended or approved for use in humans against the virus (it’s normally used to treat certain types of intestinal worms)

  3. How quickly this product is dismissed!

    I can’t find any evidence, any study that disproves it.

    Maybe instead of being so critical, we should consider that it could be true that in the presence of 9V LEDs, 5G does not cause COVID-19.

    1. Specially if the sealed copper pipe contains a sample of the virus. The coil around is meant to make it resonate at the frequency of the virus which in turn is out of phase with the 5G signal, cancelling it :P

      1. So all we have to do is hook this up to a new phone, reverse the polarity of the tachyonic couplings, deplenerate the unilateral phase detractors at the towers, and create a GUI interface in Visual Basic to transmit the antivirus signal to all IP addresses simultaneously, and we can make the 5G network CURE COVID-19 instead of causing it! It’s so obvious!

      1. This got a chuckle out of me.

        I wonder if we could make a list of different things that makes 5G not cause COVID-19. Things like LEDs, CFLs, WiFi signals, x-ray machines, chairs, fridges, chemtrails, mind control satellites etc.

        1. yes, but we have to scientifically approach this. Is it the 9v battery, or the led, that stops 5G from causing COVID-19? In fact, could it actually could be the special plastic box (which could have been made from scrap of an alien crash landing – unless you can prove it hasn’t been) doing all the hard work!

          And you can tell this box works – take a 5g phone, travel the country side with this box turned on – and you will see you don’t have 5g coverage! It’s working! Even if you turn it off the 5g won’t come back as it’s scared of the box!

          And if you block 5g, you can’t get COVID-19!

          My last comment: human stupidity is one of the few infinite resources in the universe…

  4. But wait, how fast does this contraption drain it’s batteries? You know how things are – follow the money, right? Just what IS it that BIG NINE VOLT doesn’t want us to know??

  5. You simply flip the switch on and off at whatever frequency you want to jam, for instances if you flip it 2.4 million times per second you can transmit on wifi. The coil and unconnected line is a combination RF filter and antenna. The RF Filter prevents interference with the old Radio Shack 2 way headsets that he uses. Who needs 5G.

    1. I was just thinking, well, legions of electrical engineers are stuck at home with time on their hands and looking for extra income right now. I bet they could optimize this design for much better price/performance ratios. Hm. I should make that performance/price ratio so I don’t have the possibility of a divide by zero error.
      But: copper pipe with no end caps and BLUE LED’s INSIDE THE COPPER PIPE would surely do a far better job. That way it’s a directional antenna and emits short wave radiation that disrupts viral genetic material.

      1. They can also take inspiration from the Pringle’s can Wi-Fi and put the blue LED near a capped end of the copper pipe. Care must be taken that the LED’s leads are not shorted by the copper, and the reflective cavitity of the LED cathode is oriented properly for maximum effect. The rest is left as an exercise for the student.

  6. The thing is that you can make a lot of money with this kind of devices. If marketed right, there is a huge market for this (no, I’m not joking, never underestimate human stupidity).

    1. Fear and stupidity are closely connected. As is ignorance.

      It’s funny, but it’s easy to fool people in general, educated or not, when they are afraid and exploiting the “right” weakness/doubts.

      It wouldn’t feel right to abuse that “power”.

  7. Ima order some PCBs covered in new-agey looking fractal and spiral antennas with a sensitive detector diode and a low power LED and sell them with claim “Soaks up 5G signals and turns them into harmless red light” … hole in the top to dangle off windchimes, dream catchers, sun catchers etc and I’ll sell a million…

  8. I am not sure if this was meant as satire, but this is definitely a hoax, and a poor one at that. In times like these we should refrain from posting/sharing stories like this, there are stupid people that believes these things and it makes it that much harder to get to the truth.

    And it only takes 4th grade education to determine that this is fake, there is absolutely no tin foil in this design. You cannot stop a virus without tinfoil, any scientist worth his salt knows this…..

    1. Reminds me of the “gas mileage booster” that came in a box of free crap from one of the auto parts stores when I worked at Subaru, it was a thing that plugged into your cigarette lighter socket and was supposed to “regulate the voltage to the ECU for better mileage”… We took it apart and it was a resistor an an LED.

      1. Whoa!
        Stop the presses!
        Is that all I _REALLY_ need for better mileage?
        Some of the miles I currently drive are SOOOOO boring!
        Having a device that will make them better is just what I’ve been seeking!

      2. Damn. I discovered something like that by mistake – one of the injector bank’s resistor packs had come disconnected. Only realised after 30min or so that the ‘oomph’ wasn’t quite there… and that one of the exhausts was blowing cold air!

        1. That works surprisingly well on some 6 cylinders, mostly single exhaust ones though when the first O2 sensor is near the Y and the “hot” exhaust stream will dominate over it. I mean rigging a cut out on one bank deliberately to use less gas. Only much good if your highway speeds are 50-65 mph, otherwise forget it.

    2. Apart from the irony in the title, the article itself is pretty straight.

      > so-called 5G protection device
      > world of snake-oil
      > the device is a £50 ($61) poor quality torch (flashlight).

    3. Hoax-schmoax, one guy made millions on fake bomb detectors:

      Got jailed for it, but only because it’s a sensitive matter and people died for real. Nobody is going to die by using a fake “5G protection device”, so you’ll hardly even get a slap on a wrist for helping the morons to part with the money they don’t even deserve in the first place. I’d say it’s rather a noble deed to fool the fools even further.

  9. There’s similar devices all over Amazon. One “product” that seems to be a bestseller is a replacement 3-prong plug end filled with epoxy for $50 that will protect you from all they evil waves…

  10. Copper wire wrapped around copper pipe = jumper across the switch. The maker probably discovered he couldn’t turn off the LED until he cut the wires. One of them would have done the trick.

    1. He could have put a diode in series, or a LED one in revese and amended the instructions to say – if this LED lights up, the 5g signals are too strong and over powering the device and to move away from the area as fast as possible.

  11. This story has inspired me to share with you all this simple but infallible design for a politician lie detector:

    It consists of an LED, a resistor, and a battery, wired in series. This is how it works: If the LED is on, the politician is lying. If the LED is off, the battery is dead.

  12. I feel this story has hit a now low on Hackday, needs to be removed and leave the space for some real science. I read this site everyday, this is bar far the worst story they have ever written. Dam snake oil

    1. “a now [sic] low on Hackaday”?

      You appear to be new here, may I direct you to the Search box near the top of this page?
      When you find it, enter “Benchoff” into the box and hit Enter.


      1. It would still be hilarious if this kind of stupidity in humanity and actual real migration of the giant hornets from asia in America right now weren’t both real, but unfortunately both are actually real.

        I’m having trouble telling if some of these responses are sarcasm or they genuinely believe there is something to this the voice because it’s complete utter BULLS***!

        Title of article needs a new title that reflects its actual status as a hoax device- because it seems like a couple people here are going beyond sarcasm and actually believe this can do something, and Jenny’s extremely dry tone in her write-up doesn’t really reflect this well.

        I am still absolutely amazed there are people in Europe burning down 5G Towers because they believe this idiocy- I am absolutely stunned by the power of human stupidity for the last 4 years the world over and what people are willing to believe with no scientific evidence or critical thought!

  13. This device has very limited efficiency.
    To achieve full protection, it must be combined with a very, very strong light (UV preferably) and regular injections of disinfectant (Purell works fine). As side effect it can dramatically reduce lockdowns and bring back jobs, jobs, jobs again.

  14. The problems with pseudoscience are varied. The gullible can be misled: any attempt to counter with real science only gets shouted down, frequently with cries of ‘conspiracy!’

    At best, it can be seen as amusing, but frequently the fears of the public lead to them being fleeced out of real money.

    At worst, pseudoscience, and its propagation can cost lives. It is dangerous indeed.

  15. the only thing worse then this XKCD-like sarcastic humor is when people go around calling “heavy-duty” batteries alkaline. it ruins any credibility to the idea that this website is normally for facts, and that the majority of usual visitors to this site think 5G is just as harmful/harmless as any other cell service.

    PS: for anyone visiting HackADay for the first time: HEAVY DUTY MEANS NOT 100% DUTY, as the duty is a PERCENT and alkaline IS BY DESIGN 100% DUTY COMPATIBLE.

    when heavy duty / super heavy duty is used as a marketing term, the only reason it is not false and misleading advertising is because they are heavy duty COMPARED TO LIGHT DUTY, which are no longer available in AAAA AAA AA C D 9V or any other “modern” format, at least not at a normal store. they do have special applications however (shelf-life?).

    1. Unlike this contraption, if you were to look into the action of hydroxychloroquine you will find it useful in the treatment of many types of inflammatory reactions. For example, rheumatoid arthritis. Incidentally, the primary cause of mortality from COVID-19 is an excessive inflammatory response, which points to a reasonable medically consistent mode of operation for the drug. Hence railing against hydroxychloroquine is an indication of narrow mindedness, perhaps brought about by political convictions, rather than basing ones opinions on scientific facts and observations.

      1. The problem with taking an immunosuppressant as a preventive medication is that you don’t yet have an immune response to mediate.
        The timing on using those drugs, and the dose you administer, is key and the use of an immune suppressant is not always indicated. It’s usually after the original infection has run it’s course and is caused, we think, by an unmediated immune response to the original infection.
        Not smart to take them prophylactically and it endangers the supply for those that truly need that medication. Makes me wonder who owns what stock.

        1. I believe the original post referenced “healing” rather than “preventive” and in my post I used the word “treatment”, so I’m left scratching my head about your reading comprehension abilities.

          While concerns for prophylactic use are real, this is a drug that has been in use for decades with well known side effects. It’s also not OTC, but must be prescribed by a physician who should be aware of individual risk factors.

          Anyhow, your comment about “who owns what stock” is probably the most ignorant one of the day, given that hydroxychloroquine is not patented and happens to be incredibly inexpensive to manufacture. Here’s just one article on topic:

          Further, due to its simple production process, supply can be, and has been, ramped up massively. With a 4-8 week delay — which has already passed — production can meet almost any level of demand.

          I suggest that those who advocate against hydroxychloroquine are the ones who are narrow minded, politically motivated, or for other reasons would rather push drugs costing up to 100,000 times more per treatment, with far less efficacy.

        1. That is not the takeaway of the VA study at all, and implies a marked lack of subject matter knowledge on the part of whoever is promulgating such misinformation. The VA study used cases that had already progressed well beyond the initial phases during which an immunosuppressant is most effective. While it has bearing on late stage treatments, it is useless for any broader reference.

  16. Sadly, I do know someone who’d be all over such a device like a rash (a person who also disagrees with the science regarding the ellipsoidal shape of the planet).

    I’ll admit right now, I’m against 5G, but not because of non-existent health effects. I’m against it because it barely outperforms WiFi in terms of range. It makes sense in highly densely populated areas like Europe and many parts of Asia… it might work great in a stadium.

    Here in Australia though, we barely get anywhere near the population density seen overseas. 5G cells are tiny, barely 100m across… whilst in Europe you might have dozens people living in range of that cell, here in Australia you’re likely to see maybe 10 people at most.

    The handsets also perform very poorly when exposed to temperatures above 29.5°C:

    How many days did we exceed that temperature last summer? There are parts of this country that NEVER get below that temperature. I’m not that far north in Brisbane, however I have known days where that’s been a minimum temperature, not a maximum.

    You’d get better value for money deploying wide-scale outdoor WiFi with WPA2-Enterprise security and running ZRTP-based VoIP over it for the telephony service. It’d be widely compatible with existing hardware already in circulation and would require minimal set-up.

    1. I mean yeah, but it’s gonna part less money from fools than the business side of 5G. I don’t think that stuff causes cancer, certainly not corona either. But they are doing some shady public-private partnership shenanigans and heavy lobbying to basically force the public to pay for it price and the worst companies in the universe—telecom—will somehow still own it. That sure sucks.

      Plus it’s just gonna be used to more effectively surveil and automate away people’s livelihoods but that’s none of my business. I can download a movie on my phone in four seconds! Who cares!

      The older I get the more I hate networked tech. I miss the nineties.

  17. All joking aside. You don’t feel ionizing radiation either, and it still damages your body. Without knowledge and experience, fear of radio waves is not that irrational.

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