Some may laugh at this topic, but many customers want to know how to use TitanRF™ faraday supplies to provide radio frequency shielding for their... restroom?! Read on to learn why.
In this day and age, most people carry a cell phone on them at all times... that includes while they're in the restroom. This means countless games, social media platforms to peruse, and personal messaging at their fingertips during "restroom breaks." It's no surprise that people often take advantage of their unsupervised restroom breaks at work, by enjoying a bit of entertainment on their phone. Although these extended restroom breaks may provide a quick stress relief for the employee, the boss may view this time as unproductive and against policy.
We've consulted with business owners who have expressed this complaint, and want to take matters into their own hands. The overall goal being to increase productivity and cut down on exceptionally long restroom breaks in whatever way possible.
If enforcing a no phone in the restroom policy doesn't seem to work, the next step is to ensure that devices cannot receive or transmit signals such as cell and Wi-Fi. One way to do this is by building a faraday cage around the room in question, whether it be a restroom, break room, private conference room, or other type of room.
Signal Jamming Devices VS Faraday Cages
This may come across as a controversial issue, since it can be compared to "jamming" the signal (which is illegal)... but building a faraday cage into your building is not actively blocking cell signals in the same way that jamming devices do. Electronic jamming devices work by actively blasting out an electromagnetic signal that stops someone from receiving radio waves. Faraday cages don't break the law because they passively filter out cell signals.
Adding an RF shielding layer to any room can be accomplished by using special shielding materials and proper construction techniques.
Of course this extreme action will likely not be taken well by the employees who can no longer enjoy internet and cell service inside the restroom stall.
On a related scenario, a UK pub owner even faraday-ed his entire bar "in an attempt to force his customers to actually talk to each other instead of just staring at social media all night."
- Read the full article in Science Alert
Before you Begin Building a Faraday Room
Initial steps to try before committing to building a shielded bathroom:
1) Restrict access to Wi-Fi
2) Move the internet router far away from the restroom to decrease Wi-Fi signal strength
3) Enforce harsher penalties for breaking the "no personal devices in the restroom" policy
- If these steps don't persuade employees not to bring their phones into the restroom, an RF shielded bathroom may be right for you.
*Try simple ways to reduce Wi-Fi connection
Before you jump into the project, be aware that it is quite difficult to build a shielded room. Incorporating shielding materials into a bedroom or bed canopy is likely much simpler than adding it to an industrial restroom or corporate office. For this, we recommend consulting with a local construction company in order to be up to code and properly built. Building a high-shielding faraday cage would require you to use shielded doors, vents, windows, etc. This is likely not financially feasible or necessary for the mere task of decreasing time spent in the restroom. Many businesses just want the signal to be reduced enough in a certain area so that cell and Wi-Fi don't transmit or receive signal well.
*Consult with a construction company
Due to the complexity of the project, determining the best RF shielding materials, design, and physically constructing a faraday cage in your employee bathroom should be your last option... preferably only if all simpler attempts to deter personal phone use have failed.
What Materials to Use
TitanRF™ Faraday Fabric and Tape can be used for constructing signal proof rooms and tents. In order to create a fully shielded room, there cannot be any opening or holes, otherwise signal may penetrate. We recommend using two layers of fabric on the floor, ceiling, and walls, ensuring that the material is overlapping on all sides and seams. Construction instructions are highly dependent on your specific application, and will vary depending on the size and type of room.
Examples of How to Use TitanRF™ Faraday Fabric and Tape for Construction Projects
You can use various construction methods to line the walls of your room or enclosure with TitanRF™ Faraday Fabric. Methods include placing the fabric between drywall, gluing it with a general contact adhesive (apply a thin layer and avoid using heavy adhesive), using TitanRF™ Faraday Tape to tape it in place or connect multiple fabric sheets, etc. Driving screws through the fabric may or may not be acceptable (use sparingly).
The images above show how you can use the fabric to cover building materials such as dry wall. Use the TitanRF™ Faraday Tape to create/maintain a conductive seal and repair fabric punctures.
Visit the Faraday Supplies page to learn more about construction materials and techniques.
Other Applications for a Faraday Room
- Digital forensics lab
- Private / secure meeting room
- Software testing
- EMP protection
- Device isolation
- Electromagnetic interference free zone
- Harmful radiation / EMF reduction
Please be aware that these construction tips are only general. Many factors will effect the shielding effectiveness of your faraday room. We recommend building a miniature room model beforehand to test your shielding materials and construction methods, then using the Mission Darkness testing app or a signal analyzer to determine if the design is effective. Contact us for additional tips tailed to your application and to further discuss the entire scope of your plan. We can provide full TitanRF™ Faraday Fabric rolls or custom lengths to meet the needs of your construction project; send us a message using the box below for a quote.