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EMP for cars Answered

So, if cops had a thing to shoot at cars, that sent an EMP through them, would it turn off the car? Would it harm the people in the car? Is it a ridiculous idea?

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jj.inc (author)2011-03-19

Newer cars yes, older ones with carburetors no. Not all cars have the on-board computer that some need to run but, most cars now-days do.

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egwillfriedel (author)2011-01-05

If it all worked right it should permanently disabled the car by frying all the micro controller and/or semiconductor based circuit boards (IE. the sensitive stuff), It most likely would not harm the people inside unless they had some kind of implant such as a pace maker. And no its not a ridiculous idea.

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robbtoberfest (author)2009-02-07

Maybe a microwave system?

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abadfart (author)2009-01-30

i dont know if it would work on my car

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FrenchCrawler (author)2008-04-17

I suppose you mean something like this

I guess it is possible, since they've run tests on it....

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Kiteman (author)2008-04-13

There was talk a few years ago, and tests seemed to indicate it was feasible, of using high voltage to knock out the electronics in a car. In a test video I saw, they strapped what was basically a big taser on the back of a small RC car, then ran it under an "escaping" car. The jolt fragged the engine-management computer, and shut the car down.

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NachoMahma (author)Kiteman2008-04-13

. I saw the same (or similar) video. It seemed to work well, but I can see having a lot of problems with aiming the thing once they get off of a closed track. Wonder what would happen if they set it off under the gas (petrol) tank?

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Kiteman (author)NachoMahma2008-04-14

It should be safe - cars are designed to cope with the static discharges encountered at petrol stations, plus the charge will flow around the fuel, not through it, and certainly not through the vapours.

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NachoMahma (author)Kiteman2008-04-14

. I'm thinking the pulse could travel into the tank via the fuel pump power and level sensor wiring. Maybe not.

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Kiteman (author)NachoMahma2008-04-14

It would have to arc inside the tank - only an incompetent fool would design a fuel tank where that was possible.

I think

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NachoMahma (author)Kiteman2008-04-14

. Well, the wiring is only designed (and insulated) for 12V. Not sure what kind of differential can be had with a small EMP, but to knock out the engine control, I would guess it would require 50V or more. In this case, the EMP source is fairly weak, but it is also very close.
. But I'm just guessing. I haven't seen any studies that address this.

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Kiteman (author)NachoMahma2008-04-14

We're talking at cross-purposes - I'm talking about a direct zap with a high-voltage supply (like a tazer). An EMP device would generate low voltage / high ampage currents in the whole car, particularly the bodywork and chassis (which may even act as a Faraday cage and protect the wiring from the EMP, like it protects from an over-head lightning strike).

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NachoMahma (author)Kiteman2008-04-14

. I know you think you disagree with me, but what you don't realize is that what I said is not what I meant. heehee . I'm gonna keep my eyes open for any experiments/studies that may have been done. A quick search only turns up articles dealing with the ignition system and EMP. Not very much at all on tasers and cars (other than the fact that somebody has done it - no details). If I run across anything, I'll let you know.

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okoshima (author)2008-04-12

i think someones been watching too much fast & the furious... and if you dont know what im talking about they have a sort of fork that they fire into the car and it sends a emp into them... sorta... not 100% sure as i havent seen it in a while but yea...

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Strikah (author)2008-04-12

I don't think they have it yet, first of all they will need to tune it in this way it doesn't backfire too and secondly it could be a potential dangerous weapon if the thief/badguy has a pacemaker or some kind of electronic device which he needs to stay alive.

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Weissensteinburg (author)Strikah2008-04-12

Pacemakers shouldn't be a problem, they're made to withstand high electric shocks (like tasers and defibrillators) .

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LasVegas (author)2007-04-30

It would also be too large and heavy to carry in a police vehicle. So far there are only two ways of producing a significant EMP. One requires a lot of copper, the other results in fallout.

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Brennn10 (author)2007-04-30

I am assuming you are talking about an Electro-Magnetic Pulse. So, I read a while ago in Popsci that war ships would send off some magnetic pulse which would nausiate(sp?) anyone nearby who might be spying on the ship or something of that nature. So yes, it might effect the human, and definitely the car because there will probably be some voltage surges from the pulse as well as the heat from the pulse which might melt the circuitry.

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Brennn10 (author)frank260801152007-04-30

The thing I saw was on a boat. But that was definitely similar.

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frank26080115 (author)2007-04-30

Did anyone watch the episode of Future Weapons on Discovery when they tested a car driving under a test EMP device? The car needed to be pretty close to be affected.

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