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Cell phone oddity; any physicists out there?
Old 05-02-2016, 10:21 AM   #1
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Cell phone oddity; any physicists out there?

Here's an odd one:

Just about every day that I drive through a certain area, my cell phone reboots. It just shuts itself off and restarts. It doesn't happen any other time except when I'm on that street and happens within 100 yards of the same place each time.

DW (who is sitting right next to me in the car) has an identical phone (Samsung S3), bought at the same time and we're on the same carrier and plan. Her phone doesn't do this.

This does occur within 3 miles of a major airport which is the only thing I can think might set it off. I'm thinking some sort of EMF blast or something.

Anyone?
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:27 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marko View Post
I'm thinking some sort of EMF blast or something.
Those EMF blasts are worrisome, but I'll take one any day over the AMF variety...
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:41 AM   #3
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Those EMF blasts are worrisome, but I'll take one any day over the AMF variety...
Should have been more clear: Electro Magnetic Field or Pulse
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Old 05-02-2016, 11:37 AM   #4
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Put your phone in a Faraday cage (metal box) and carry the cage through the area you describe. If this time the phone does not reboot that suggests some sort of electric field is triggering the reboot, perhaps the airport's radar sweep.
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Old 05-02-2016, 11:40 AM   #5
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Time to straighten out your tinfoil hat!

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stingray_phone_tracker
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Old 05-02-2016, 12:06 PM   #6
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I would guess it's one of the airport approach radars. If the center of the beam happened to hit your phone, it could have that effect, and would indicate to me that one of the chips in your phone might have a defective ground which negates its shielding. Nothing to be concerned about apart from the nuisance factor.
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Old 05-02-2016, 12:13 PM   #7
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I agree. It sounds like a defective phone.
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Old 05-02-2016, 12:13 PM   #8
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Had some random reboots for a while, could also be triggered by changing cell towers in combination with faulty firmware.

Did you try updating it?
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Old 05-02-2016, 12:22 PM   #9
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I would say highest probability, if it really is tied to a particular location, is if the road is bumpy there and that a bumpy ride triggers a reset due to a bad or less-than-optimally-connected battery.
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Old 05-02-2016, 01:12 PM   #10
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Old 05-02-2016, 01:34 PM   #11
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Your phone is either haunted or telling you that you need to buy an upgraded model.
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Old 05-02-2016, 01:39 PM   #12
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DW (who is sitting right next to me in the car) has an identical phone (Samsung S3), bought at the same time and we're on the same carrier and plan. Her phone doesn't do this.
This would make a great plot for an episode of "The Twilight Zone".
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Old 05-02-2016, 01:54 PM   #13
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This would make a great plot for an episode of "The Twilight Zone".
....as would my entire life....
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Old 05-02-2016, 02:28 PM   #14
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I would say highest probability, if it really is tied to a particular location, is if the road is bumpy there and that a bumpy ride triggers a reset due to a bad or less-than-optimally-connected battery.
My Samsung Android phone powers off more than I like, and I figure it's a bump or a light toss onto the passenger seat, or jostling it in my pocket. The battery looks to be locked in ok and I've taken it out and reseated it and blew the connectors clean, but who knows? I also notice that sometimes it takes a toss as some kind of input, like going back, so I lose my navigation. I have all the motions and gestures turned off. I just try to be more careful with it, and check periodically that it's not off so I don't miss calls or messages.
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Old 05-02-2016, 04:13 PM   #15
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Have all you guys forgotten about gremlins? They cause stuff like that all the time. There is no cure.
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Old 05-02-2016, 04:24 PM   #16
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Perhaps Rachel from Samsung will call you with the recommended updates. All they need to access and update your phone is your SSN, mothers maiden name, a credit card number (just for verification), and your birthdate.
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Old 05-02-2016, 05:03 PM   #17
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I spent some years in the radar business in the Air Force, and visited a great many military radar installations. Many were extremely high power, and it was always amusing to hear the buzz on the car radio as you drove near. A search radar turns at 5 RPM, so every 12 seconds the radio would develop a loud hum as the beam swept past.
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Old 05-02-2016, 06:58 PM   #18
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I would say highest probability, if it really is tied to a particular location, is if the road is bumpy there and that a bumpy ride triggers a reset due to a bad or less-than-optimally-connected battery.
Strangely, the road here is fairly smooth; in fact right when it reboots it's very heavy traffic and I'm usually stopped or just rolling.

The rest of the roads here in Mass are horrible; I've seen better roads in India so the bouncing doesn't seem to be the issue as 80% of the time I'm almost losing an axle.
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Old 05-02-2016, 09:45 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by GrayHare View Post
Put your phone in a Faraday cage (metal box) and carry the cage through the area you describe. If this time the phone does not reboot that suggests some sort of electric field is triggering the reboot, perhaps the airport's radar sweep.
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:35 PM   #20
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It' probably easier to wrap it in aluminum foil for a cheap "faraday cage" test.

There appears to be a lot of complaints about random rebooting for s3's out there.
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