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We're developing software for bluetooth devices. We'd like to test the case when the device gets out of range, but don't want to carry the device to the other end of the office for each test.

What is the easiest solution to block/shield bluetooth signals? Are there any containers that can be purchased off the shelf which bluetooth will not penetrate?

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Maybe you could just lower it out the window on a string? –  ioSamurai Mar 16 '11 at 17:49
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...great until it gets stolen by a passer-by! –  Linker3000 Mar 16 '11 at 17:56

4 Answers 4

Yes, enjoy the biscuits first, but make sure they come in a metal container rather than a plastic one.

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If you have, say, a Bluetooth dongle on a USB extension lead, just cut a hole large enough for the cable to pass through the metal tin and put on the lid. You could block around the cable hole with metal foil too, but the overall signal attenuation will still be very high without this.

Conversely, you may be able to just place your device in the metal tin.

Even simpler, wrapping the transmitter (or receiving device) in metal foil will work - maybe try a nickel-coated antistatic bag:

enter image description here

Edit:

A colleague has just suggested putting the device on a 'variable distance transportation system':

enter image description here

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yep, the metal container was the first thing we tried, but the device still works. will try the tin foil... –  gabor Mar 16 '11 at 17:43
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If it's still working when in a metal container then there may be just enough leakage to give a signal - maybe even round the inside rim of the lid if its plastic coated to make it easier to take it off. You could also try a metal/nickel foil antistatic bag - one of the shiny ones. –  Linker3000 Mar 16 '11 at 17:48
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...make sure the device inside the tin is not actually touching the inside. –  Linker3000 Mar 16 '11 at 17:54
    
@gabor Try connecting the metal container to the same ground which is used by device. That should help a bit. –  AndrejaKo Mar 16 '11 at 18:01
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+1 for the 'variable distance transportation system' –  N_Lindz Mar 16 '11 at 18:27

Place it next to a microwave oven and make popcorn. (Most microwave ovens emit very strong 1.4GHz noise.) You might need to combine this with the Faraday cage (tin foil etc.).

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the microwave oven also blocks wifi and other devices nearby. plus it's kinda inconvenient in the office –  gabor Mar 16 '11 at 17:48
    
@gabor Get an old microwave oven and place the device inside. If you carefully drill holes for cables, oven's shielding shouldn't be too damaged. –  AndrejaKo Mar 16 '11 at 17:59

Try, if you can, with a Class 3 Bluetooth dongle. Here's one for example. It should have range of about 1 meter (I haven't tested that one, it's just the first Google found).

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To use a metalic can as an RF shield, you must first ground the can through a thick short wire ground to the RF source, and then also solder the can lid at several places to provide and effective signal shield.

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