iPhone, the GSM buzz, ferrite shield and static bags

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by yagrax, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. yagrax macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2007
    I gotta let this out of the "bag"...

    As you may know, me and quadzillion other iPhone and advanced GSM phone users are pissed off at this GSM buzz issue.

    When more people start buying GSM equipped cell phones (as they use in Europe), this issue will be bigger.

    The GSM buzz is caused by interference with primarily the speakers around you, like in your car, your office, on your deskphone wired headset, etc.

    The ferrite filters, as I had heard a rumor about, I bought from Radio Shack don't seem to work.


    So I searched again on the 'net looking for any snake-oils that would do the trick. I stumbled upon a guy "reselling" static bags (the ones that memory chips and sensitive electronics come in) as "a buzz shield".

    Not wanting to wait 2 weeks and spend $5 to see if that worked...I went searching for a used static bag in the building here. With Bob and Tom out (the most likely geek candidates for miscellaneous parts) I asked Paul who suggested the 3rd floor lab.

    I quickly had a static baggie to play with…

    I put my baggie on my desk, and then simply sat my phone ontop the bag…AND IT FREAKIN' WORKED! NO GSM BUZZ - GONE!!!

    Things this simple don't happen…

    However, there are a "few" drawbacks to this.

    1) You do lose some signal strength (my 5 bars went down to 3), so it is "blocking" something.

    2) You have an unsightly bag laying around (although you could probably make it more attractive by putting it in a pencil holder or something that you stick your phone in).

    3) You'd have to come up with something if you dock your phone in it's docking station, like I do, next to my attached computer speakers out of my laptop at work.

    4) For the car, you'd have to somehow wrap it in a cupholder and put your phone in the cupholder, like I do.

    5) I'm not sure this would work for the 3G phones that have the plastic shells - I've only testing this on my original iPhone 8gig that is made of metal.

    I did verify, at least in my situation, that I can still receive phone calls while it's on the bag, and that the Edge network works, but it is definitely slower - but normally you'd pick up your phone from the baggie if you did websurfing, reading mail, etc.

    This is a "free" solution to an issue that's been driving me absolutely crazy!
  2. wonderboy macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2008
    Anti Static Bags Kill the GSM Buzz

    If you cant find an anti static bag lying around then go to http://www.stopthebuzzin.com This is where you can get the buzz shield. As
    yagrax says it really works.
  3. StoneColdSober macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2008
    In regards to the iPhone 3g, if the phone is getting and using a 3g signal than the buzz is a non-issue as this is caused by GSM bands and 3G is using WCDMA bands. However, if the iPhone 3G kicks back over to EDGE or GPRS then the buzz will be an issue.
  4. jkozlow3 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2008
    Yep, I've been using an anti-static bag for awhile now at work to eliminate the buzzing on my Cisco desk phone's speaker. Works great.

    As StoneColdSober said, 3G frequencies do not cause interference. Unfortunately, only EDGE penetrates into my office building and the GSM intereference is BAD on my desk phone without the anti-static bag.
  5. Dr. Cabrera macrumors 65816

    Aug 25, 2008
    Los Angeles
    if you put it in a static bag, do you still get reception

    I ask this because if you put any cell phone in a faraday cage it loses all reception
  6. Knolly macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2007
    FYI Tin foil works exactly the same. Fold it into a little rectangle and you're good to go.
  7. wonderboy macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2008
    Inside the Bag Still Works

    You can put your phone inside the anti static bag. Signal will drop a little but phone is still fully operational. From what I have seen placing the phone on top of the bag will not reduce your signal. Has anyone else seen this? If you have an anti static bag that is translucent you can see the phone while its in the bag and be able to use it. Foil will not work for this.
  8. yagrax thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2007

    I'd concur with wonderboy.

    I halfhazardly folded up a baggie and just placed it behind my iPhone while it's on my Apple iPhone original dock and kinda crunch it between the back of the iPhone and my monitor on my desk. This works blocking the GSM buzz from some cheapie harman/kardon speakers that came with my Dell laptop.

    I can also say this static baggie technique works in my car (truck). Ford F350 stock stereo with an inline antennae modulator to pipe iPhone tunes out the headset jack on channel 88.5. Before I had to switch to Airplane mode on the iPhone, but no longer.

    And even if the signal drops, I still seem to get incoming phone calls just fine with even one bar or no bars but with the ATT logo which indicates it's communicating with the cell towers.

    I'm going to try on my wife's 3G 16g white tonight. We've turned off 3G on her iPhone due to the "dropping calls issue when 3G turned on". Guess she's the 2% Steve Jobs talks about. She called ATT the other day and "re-homed" her tower. Not much difference that made though. So she's primarily on EDGE now.


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