Speak EV - Electric Car Forums banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
As per title, these things clearly exist and are available to buy from China.

Eg [Hot Item] 6W GSM CDMA 3G 4G All Cell Phone Jammer WiFi Gpl L1 Signal Jammer /Blocker

Are some people (who I'm sure would never openly admit to it) using these to block Ecotricity chargers mobile connections enough to force them into giving a free vend?

PS: Not it's not something I condone or would ever consider doing. I'm sure there's a hefy fine / sentence involved for doing something like this if you got caught.
 

·
Registered
ZE50 GT Line R135 CCS, Mar '20
Joined
·
167 Posts
I'm sure there's a hefy fine / sentence involved for doing something like this if you got caught.
Fraud, abstraction of electricity just off the top of my head.
In theory it's a terrorist offence; mobile signals are part of national infrastructure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
Section 13 of the Theft Act 1968: A person who dishonestly uses without due authority, or dishonestly causes to be wasted or diverted, any electricity shall on conviction on indictment be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years

Also worth thinking about before taking advantage of any socket without explicit permission.
 

·
Registered
2019 Renault Zoe R110 (ZE40)
Joined
·
992 Posts
These jammers are highly illegal, as has been made clear many times above.

While it would jam the mobile signals, it doesn't stop the charger unit from logging activity. Someone who regularly did this at Ecotricity chargers would eventually get caught. I'm sure they would investigate a charger going offline and then instantly starting a free charge, followed by mysteriously reconnecting straight after.

It's also worth noting that you're not just blocking the signal of the chargers, but of many other peices of cell-connected hardware as well as plenty of other people's phones around you. In an emergency situation these actions could stop someone from being able to call 999 for urgent help. Some of these devices can be really powerful and cause interference across a surprisingly large area.

Why risk 2 years in prison and a large fine to save a few pounds on charging, especially when Ecotricity's poor quality hardware can already legally save you the money more than half the time anyways?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Just to re-iterate - I have no intention of doing this. I was just wondering if this may be the reason so many end up going offline.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Just to re-iterate - I have no intention of doing this. I was just wondering if this may be the reason so many end up going offline.
I think you idea is interesting, but I doubt it is true. If people were using mobile signal jammers to get free vends at EH chargers, surely the effect would be temporary while the miscreant was getting their stolen charge, as they would take the jammer with them and the charger would reconnect once the jamming device was switched off or went out of range?

Also, as others have pointed out, using a mobile jamming device to steal a few quids worth of electricity makes no sense. The potential penalties for committing two criminal offences for such a small gain must deter even the most desperate criminal.

Can I suggest a more plausible set of reasons for the occurrence of lost comms & free vend on the EH network?

1. The EH DBT chargers are not the best or most robust piece of equipment, being a fairly early version of DC rapid charger technology. They need replacing with more reliable chargers.

2. Most EH chargers are located at motorway service areas. Most MSAs are in rural locations (as they could be built on cheap land). Perhaps the mobile phone signal is not very strong around certain MSAs, leading to poor comms.

3. Perhaps EH weren’t too bothered about servicing chargers that had lost comms in the past. I started with an EV in 2018 and free vends on EH were fairly common then. However free vend seemed to be much rarer in 2019. It’s as if they started being more proactive about fixing chargers to stop losing revenue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,084 Posts
As above, i think it would just knock it out short term.
However with the old DBT units i have a feeling this may lead to them going offline until reset by an engineer.
i have heard as well that some people are hitting the red button a few times to force them into FV mode but i've yet to see someone do this and am not willing to try it myself just for the sake of an FV.

Coincidentally i reckon almost all the EH network is operating correctly with only a small amount of units in FV currently as during a drive to london and back the normal FV units were all online and working bar just 1 unit at a motorway services. Previously i've been able to do this journey without having to use the EH app at all :D
 

·
Registered
2019 Renault Zoe R110 (ZE40)
Joined
·
992 Posts
As above, i think it would just knock it out short term.
However with the old DBT units i have a feeling this may lead to them going offline until reset by an engineer.
i have heard as well that some people are hitting the red button a few times to force them into FV mode but i've yet to see someone do this and am not willing to try it myself just for the sake of an FV.

Coincidentally i reckon almost all the EH network is operating correctly with only a small amount of units in FV currently as during a drive to london and back the normal FV units were all online and working bar just 1 unit at a motorway services. Previously i've been able to do this journey without having to use the EH app at all :D
No, you're right. It would only be short term. You might have noticed that the DBT units have their screen flash every so often. That's a refresh of the system where it communicates (or at least tries to communicate) with the server. Provided there is a signal, and there are no faults detected, it will then revert to paid vend.

Hitting the red button won't trigger a free vend, unless you repeatedly hit and twist constantly until its confused by so many commands and causes a full system reboot. That would then sit in free vend for about a minute while it does its self testing and re-establishes contact with the server. It's not unheard of for them to get stuck on the maintenance screen rather than rebooting after people do this though, and that then will require an engineer to attend and power cycle it.

What you've seen is pretty much the same across the country. All the chargers I've seen recently are communicating well and will require the app to start a charge session. Their maintenance team as of late seem to be doing a decent job of keeping their chargers working, and honestly if they can keep this up I have absolutely no objections to paying for each use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,084 Posts
Exactly that, Im happy to pay for EH units, i just wish at each site they would remove one of the DBT units and stick in one of the newer ones, it helps eek out a few more KW's of power and wont suffer from overheating like busy units do come the summer time and their new ones are very good and reliable.

The bugbear i have with them is that the QR codes are not recognised and they dont put the correct pump ID number on the setup. instead they jam in **** which is no use to anyone when their app doesn't show it located there. God knows what location they tag the units to when they deploy them but its not the site they are installed at :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
I wonder if someone has figured out how to damage/remove the antennas? Presumably that would leave it on free vend until repaired?
 

·
Registered
30KW Tekna (2017)
Joined
·
919 Posts
I wonder if any unique identifier of our cars is logged by the charge point when we charge? If so easy to spot and trace such as person.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,084 Posts
I dont often get to the ones out of the way as most of them for me are along main motorway routes and the only two that spring to mind as single sites are one near shrewsbury and one along the a55 into northwales.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,084 Posts
I wonder if any unique identifier of our cars is logged by the charge point when we charge? If so easy to spot and trace such as person.
For CCS it could easily be done but for Chademo and Type2 i dont think its currently possible though i've seen mention from nissan this can easily be done as the cars support it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Exactly that, Im happy to pay for EH units, i just wish at each site they would remove one of the DBT units and stick in one of the newer ones, it helps eek out a few more KW's of power and wont suffer from overheating like busy units do come the summer time and their new ones are very good and reliable.
Adding additional chargers is good, but not removing them.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top