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How Do GPS Jammers Work

How Do GPS Jammers Work – 3 Simple Steps!

You’ve just clocked out from work, but your boss still can track your vehicle even during your off hours. Why? Because he has a GPS tracker on the work truck. It feels intrusive, knowing that your every move is monitored well after your workday has ended. Therefore, you decide to fight back by purchasing a GPS blocker. But how do these devices actually work? In this article, we’ll explore the question, “How Do GPS Jammers Work?” unraveling the technology behind these gadgets. We’ll provide insights into how they can interrupt GPS tracking, making sure your off-hour movements are free from unwanted surveillance.

What Is A GPS Jammer?

Testing GPS Jammer

A GPS jammer is a device designed to block or interfere with global positioning system (GPS) signals. Utilizing radio frequency technology, it produces a signal that matches the frequency of GPS satellite signals. By emitting this matched frequency, it overwhelms the GPS receiver, confusing the navigation system. This jamming process effectively blocks GPS signals, making it difficult for the GPS device to determine its position.

Jammers are not only designed to block GPS signals but can also interfere with other radio signals. Examples of these types of products include cell phone jammers or wifi jammers. The primary function remains the same: to obstruct a specific type of signal. But why would someone want to invest in jamming devices? Below, are 3 common examples of why you might want a jammer or GPS blocker:

  1. Vehicle Tracking Concerns. For personal privacy or company vehicles, gps blockers can prevent tracking systems from monitoring the location.
  2. Avoiding Vehicle Repossession. Individuals late on auto payments might employ GPS jammers or GPS blockers to hide the location of their vehicle from repossession agents.
  3. Driver Safety and Privacy. Drivers using GPS jammers in company cars may want to block GPS tracking during off hours to ensure privacy outside of work.

GPS Jammers: A Three-Step Breakdown of Their Functioning

Do you know how GPS jammers disrupt satellite signals? In three steps, you’ll understand their function. First, we examine GPS satellite signal transmission. Then, we’ll see how jammers emit interfering radio noise. Finally, you’ll learn the consequences on GPS receivers. This insight is crucial for understanding the impact of GPS jammers on navigation technology.

GPS Satellite Functionality

Signal Transmission from GPS Satellites

Understanding signal transmission from GPS satellites is key to grasping how GPS jamming works. This step revolves around how satellites in space communicate with devices on Earth. Let’s break it down:

  • Satellites Orbiting Earth. The GPS system relies on a group of satellites orbiting the Earth. At any given time, multiple satellites are positioned in such a way that they can send signals to large areas of the Earth’s surface.
  • Continuous Signal Transmission. These satellites are constantly sending out signals. These signals carry essential information like the satellite’s location and the exact time the signal was sent. This timing is crucial and is maintained accurately with the help of atomic clocks onboard each satellite.
  • Signals Reach Earth. The signals, traveling at the speed of light, reach GPS receivers located in various devices like smartphones, car navigation systems, and other tracking devices. These receivers use the time it took for the signals to travel from the satellite to the receiver to calculate their exact location on Earth.

The core of GPS functionality lies in these signals sent from satellites to receivers on Earth. By understanding this transmission process, you’ll see how GPS jammers, in the next steps, can interfere with this finely tuned system.

GPS Location from Trilateration

Jammer Emits Interfering Signals

In the second step, let’s focus on how a GPS jammer functions. These jammers are usually small and portable, making them easy to use in various situations. They operate by emitting radio signals at frequencies identical to those used by GPS satellites – specifically, 1.2 GHz and 1.5 GHz. This is where the disruption begins.

The jammer’s signals are deliberately strong, overpowering the weaker signals sent from satellites far away in space. Think of it as a loud noise drowning out a conversation. By emitting noise on the same frequencies, the jammer creates a sort of signal chaos for any nearby GPS receiver. This interference makes it difficult, if not impossible, for the receiver to pick up the correct satellite signals.

What you need to understand is that the jammer doesn’t need to be sophisticated to be effective. Its sheer power in proximity to a receiver is enough to disrupt the delicate process of GPS signal reception. As a result, devices that rely on GPS for location and timing information are left unable to function properly.

GPS Receivers
GPS Receivers

Disruption of GPS Receiver Function

In this final step, we’ll understand how GPS jammers disrupt receiver function, a crucial aspect of understanding their overall impact. Here’s how it unfolds:

  • Interference with Reception: When a GPS jammer is activated, it emits strong signals that create a dense “noise” environment. This noise directly interferes with the GPS receiver’s ability to pick up faint, precise signals from distant satellites.
  • Confusion for Receivers: This interference confuses GPS receivers within range. Imagine your car’s navigation system or smartphone’s GPS trying to lock onto a satellite signal, but instead, it encounters a barrage of overpowering noise. This is the effect of the jammer.
  • Loss of Signal Clarity: The jammer’s noise makes it challenging, sometimes impossible, for the GPS receiver to isolate and process the correct signals from GPS satellites. The receiver struggles to distinguish the satellite’s whisper-like signals amidst the jammer’s loud disruption.
  • Impact on Functionality: As a result of this confusion and loss of signal clarity, the GPS receiver’s ability to accurately calculate its position or time is compromised. This can manifest as slight inaccuracies in location data or, in more severe cases, a complete loss of GPS capabilities.

Understanding this disruption of the GPS receiver function is key. GPS jammers don’t just block the signals; they create a disruptive environment that prevents receivers from performing their primary function: accurate location and time determination. This disruptive capability is what makes GPS jammers a significant concern for systems relying on GPS data.

Understanding the Components and Functionality of a GPS Jammer

  • Oscillator. The oscillator generates an RF signal (radio frequency signal) that matches the frequency used by global positioning system (GPS) devices.
  • Amplifier. This boosts the RF signal, allowing it to overpower or jam the GPS signals within a specific range.
  • Antenna. The antenna transmits the amplified RF signal, thereby creating interference with the GPS signals in its proximity.
  • Control Circuit. The control circuit manages the oscillator’s frequency and the amplifier’s power, adjusting them for specific jamming needs.
  • Power Supply. Often plugged into a vehicle’s cigarette lighter or another energy source, it provides the required energy to the jammer.

Below, we will go over each of these components in a more detailed and technical so you have a better understanding of how each works.

Related Article: Who Invented GPS?

Homemade GPS Jammer
Homemade GPS Jammer


The oscillator is the heart of the GPS jamming device. It generates an RF signal (radio frequency signal) that matches the frequency used by global positioning system (GPS) devices. This mirroring is crucial in disrupting the normal functioning of a GPS system. By producing a signal that resembles the genuine GPS signal, it confuses the receiver, hindering its ability to determine its position. In a transportation industry scenario, this could mean rendering fleet tracking platforms ineffective.


Once the signal is generated, the amplifier steps in. It boosts the RF signal, allowing it to overpower or jam the GPS signals within a specific range. This amplification is vital for the jammer’s effectiveness, as the strength of the signal determines how far and how successfully the jammer can interfere with GPS tracking devices. The amplifier can be adjusted to various levels, offering flexibility for different applications, such as managing a tracking platform for delivery drivers.


The antenna is the transmitter of the amplified RF signal. It broadcasts the signal, thereby creating interference with the GPS signals in its proximity. The antenna’s design, size, and type can greatly influence the range and effectiveness of the GPS jamming device. In the context of fleet management, the correct antenna ensures that the jammed GPS signals cover the desired area.

Control Circuit

The control circuit acts as the brain of the GPS jammer, managing the oscillator’s frequency and the amplifier’s power. By adjusting these components, the control circuit can fine-tune the jamming effect to specific needs. Whether it’s monitoring company news on missing trips or implementing vehicle solutions for asset tracking, the control circuit helps in customization.

Power Supply

Providing the required energy to the jammer, the power supply is often connected to a vehicle’s cigarette lighter or another energy source. The design and compatibility of the power supply need to be considered, especially for applications like route planning or jam detecting. A stable and suitable power source ensures that the jammer operates effectively without interruptions.

By understanding these components and how they work together, you can appreciate the intricate process of GPS jamming. From fleet management in the transportation industry to ensuring driver privacy, the technology’s application varies. However, always be mindful of the legal aspects, especially when considering areas like air traffic control, which may be unintentionally affected.

Why GPS Trackers Do Not Work Without Cell Service

How Do GPS Jammers Work – Frequently Asked Questions

What are the potential consequences of using GPS jammers for personal privacy?

The use of GPS jammers for personal privacy may seem appealing, but it’s generally illegal. The penalties can include hefty fines, legal repercussions, and potential damage to other essential services. Want to protect your privacy? There are legal alternatives to consider, such as opting out of tracking services or using privacy-focused apps and settings. Always choose legal paths to ensure compliance and peace of mind!

Are there any industries where GPS jammers are legally used?

No, there are generally no industries, including oil and gas, where GPS jammers are legally used. Even in sectors that might benefit from signal jamming or GPS spoofing for legitimate reasons, the legal constraints usually outweigh any potential advantages. Always consult with legal experts in your jurisdiction to understand the laws and potential penalties.

Is it legal to use GPS jammers in my vehicle?

No, it’s typically illegal to use GPS jammers in most jurisdictions. Laws vary by country, but the usage of signal jammers is often prohibited due to their potential to interfere with critical services such as emergency calls or air traffic control. Penalties for using this technology may include fines or imprisonment, depending on the jurisdiction. Therefore, you should always consult local laws before using any device that blocks signals.

Can GPS jammers interfere with other signals like Lojack or cell phones?

Yes, some GPS jammers can indeed interfere with other signals such as Lojack or cell phones. Many signal jammers are designed to block a variety of frequencies, including those used by Lojack systems. This can be useful for certain applications, but again, the legality must be considered. Are you trying to block a specific signal? Make sure to check local regulations first!

Ryan Horban
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