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License plate spray to emulate (PhotoBlocker) existing products Answered

I want to learn how to make my own photoblocker spray so I can use the tollway without my plates being photographed. I know PhotoBlocker already works but wondering if you geniuses can come up with an at home, DIY for this purpose. MANY thanks!

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Chicken2209 (author)2008-12-09

mythbusters disproved all the commercial plateblockers so i dont know if its worth it

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8bit (author)Chicken22092008-12-10

Mythbusters is entertainment masquerading as science. It is at it's best sloppy science and at worst science-like goofy fun. Take anything they do with a grain of salt. Or a few more. Though, I wouldn't be suprised if the plate blockers actually didn't work too well.

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zachninme (author)8bit2008-12-10

If you don't mind me stealing something from another "entertainment masquerading as science" -- xkcd makes an excellent point.

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kelseymh (author)zachninme2008-12-10

Hear, hear! Adam and Jamie do get the details wrong, but the process is the key, and (at least in the first two seasons) they hammered home the process very effectively.

I don't just play a scientist on TV, I really am one

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KentsOkay (author)kelseymh2008-12-11

Are you suggesting you were in that documentary?

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Lithium Rain (author)KentsOkay2008-12-11

I wondered who that guy was when I watched it the other night...it's surreal to actually meet him...

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KentsOkay (author)Lithium Rain2008-12-11

Like... Meting Bill Nye.... or Brian Greene...

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kelseymh (author)Lithium Rain2008-12-11

Bill Nye the Science Guy, I presume.

As opposed to Bill Nye the Pirate of the Carribean (among other roles)

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Lithium Rain (author)kelseymh2008-12-11

Yes, I watched Bill Nye since I was tiny-I literally can't remember a time when I did not watch his show.

Pirates of the carribean? He was in that? Hmm...I didn't see the movie, I'll search youtube for a clip...

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kelseymh (author)Lithium Rain2008-12-11

Different actors :-) Bill Nighy played Davy Jones in the second and third. I just like phonetic puns :-)

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Lithium Rain (author)kelseymh2008-12-11

Oh! I see. Heh.

For a minute there, I was all excited that Bill Nye was starting a career on the big screen!

Sorry, you're dealing with a bit of a pop culture illiterate...

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Goodhart (author)Lithium Rain2011-06-29

I know this is late and all, but I saw Bill Nye recently on....Dr. Oz :-)

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Lithium Rain (author)Goodhart2011-06-30

Yeah, it's a LITTLE late... :p

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kelseymh (author)KentsOkay2008-12-11

Yes. Skip ahead to the last ten minutes. Three of us at SLAC were used in the filming of bits about "how relativity is used today" (ack), me, a grad student from accelerator division, and a theory postdoc. We all also wrote essays for the Web site (under "The Equation Today"),

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KentsOkay (author)kelseymh2008-12-11

That's cool!! I can't wait until my station airs it again (I have seen it already)

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8bit (author)zachninme2008-12-10

Ahh, yes. The only comic strip that really makes one think. Thanks!

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Chicken2209 (author)8bit2008-12-10

thanks for my daily laugh its always fun to hear people saying stupid things

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mdenham (author)2011-06-29

Why not rig a string of ultra-bright LEDs above your plate and flip them on when you pass a light with an interior mounted toggle switch. They would have to be pretty bright, but if they were bright enough, it would be enough to wash the pic out.

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Kiteman (author)mdenham2011-06-29

As with any other attempt to obscure your license plate from official "eyes", this is illegal.

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mdenham (author)Kiteman2011-06-29

It's only illegal if it's an obvious attempt to keep your plate from being photographed. One can say, if questioned, that your light was out and it is merely a work-around to light your tags at night. :)

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Kiteman (author)mdenham2011-06-30

Any cop that falls for that excuse should hand in his badge and go back to kindergarden.

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caitlinsdad (author)mdenham2011-06-29

that excuse wouldn't even fly with the k'nexers around here.

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cmobaz (author)2009-08-08

why don't you geniuses try buying a bottle of AquaNet Aerosol hair spray. Spray it on your plates set up a cam in the aprox. position that a red light cam would be 22 degrees I believe then check your own results I always thought that it was pretty simple. And Yes it does work. It is Illegal isn't it. have fun and this is just for Information purposes. don't try this at home.

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kelseymh (author)2008-12-11

:-( How come? It's just a little self-aggrandizement :-)

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Lithium Rain (author)kelseymh2009-01-02

WHAT?!

They removed our Monty Python quotes!! How dare they!

SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM! Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!

You cultural illiterates, you.

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kelseymh (author)Lithium Rain2009-01-02

Did you actually "FLAG" my original comment (with my personal links), or just follow up with MP? I didn't delete it, or at least I don't remember doing so...

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Lithium Rain (author)kelseymh2009-01-02

Nope! I just followed up with the apparently not-so-very-funny lines. I don't remember deleting my comments either. $20 says DJ flagged them all. :-\

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kelseymh (author)Lithium Rain2009-01-02

You may be right, but why not the rest of our postings as well...I'm loathe to accuse someone without direct evidence.

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Lithium Rain (author)kelseymh2009-01-02

Very true. Someone does seem to be following me around randomly rating innocuous "That's cool!" comments of mine 0.5 stars (using Zach's script). Although, as we're on fairly good terms and I doubt he has it installed, that would point away from him. On the other hand, my posts to him are often low rated also. Hmm.

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whatsisface (author)Lithium Rain2009-01-03

Can you give me an example of a randomly low rated comment like that?

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Lithium Rain (author)whatsisface2009-01-03

Believe it or not, I deleted them because I thought "maybe they do sound stupid." :-\

Two examples I can recall (both as I said gone) are one on the "How to make your pregnant partner happy", where I said something like "I've never been pregnant but you're spot on!", and one on the robot art contest in a conversation with kiteman where I said "Oh hey, 40k is pretty good, there are lots of people who live on much less," or something along those lines. Both were rated 2. something for no reason.

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NachoMahma (author)Lithium Rain2009-01-03

. I think posts (or anything else) can only be deleted by admins or the poster. As far as I can tell, flagging has no effect on a post unless it is acted on by an admin. If you didn't delete them, then TPTB think y'all were being naughty. ;)

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Lithium Rain (author)kelseymh2008-12-11

Haha, not really, I just couldn't resist the chance...I love that skit...

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kfarrell (author)2009-01-02

Well I figured if anyone could help me with this it would be you guys here. You are the best! I am quasi-moronic when it comes to detailed science apps. I just know that Illinois has made the plate blocker stuff illegal. So, if it does NOT work as mythbusters suggests, then why is it illegal? :) I was wondering is all. I still may purchase some to see if it works. As you are aware our Illinois Governor is corrupt beyond comparison, and his name, very lengthy one, is displayed on a huge metal sign on every tollgate in Illinois. I don't remember the part about being asked if we wanted his name, or if we wanted to pay for it everywhere. :) This is intended as my own personal lil FY to all of the corruption in my state. Since they hiked the toll fee 100% if you use cash! Eg: a $0.40 toll is now .80 but if you buy their big brother box (transponder) then its still only $0.40. We get bohica'd (bend over, here it comes again) on every corner here in this state and so anyways I appreciate your help. You guys rock and I truly appreciate all your efforts on all your projects! Kevin

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kelseymh (author)110100101102009-01-02

I think he means the FastPass (in CA) or EasyPass (East Coast) transponder box. It's a large RFID box that is triggered when you pass through a toll gate and the toll is automatically charged to your account. There are tollroads in Southern California with triggers spaced along them, and you get charged fairly precisely for the distance you've used.

Back east, there are even (at least one) McDonald's set up with triggers in the drive thru, so you can charge your McNuggets to your EasyPass account!

The Big Brother aspect is that triggers can be set up along any road (we have them on several freeways in the Bay Area) to track the movements of the transponders, either statistically or individually.

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11010010110 (author)kelseymh2009-01-02

the rfid is technically easier to read than the number plate so it justifies the lower price when using it the issues with number pltes are to shoot a good enough image of your car (at any weather) + to locate the number plate + to reliably OCR it the rfid is way simpler and is more reliable on the said road you can be tracked equally with the plate or the rfid outside it you can place the rfid in a faraday shield box and you're done in israel we have only one paid road known as highway 6. it opened around 2003. it uses cameras that scan your number plate. some people manage to ride for free by faking the plates so i guess the number plate is the only way used to identify cars

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kelseymh (author)110100101102009-01-02

In California, the bridges' toll booths are set up with both RFID and plate cameras. We can register the plate in our account so that if the transponder doesn't go off (mine has a 10-20% failure rate :-( ), my account will still be correctly charged --- otherwise I'd get mailed a ~$50 fine for "running" the booth, and I'd have to call up and give my transponder code. They also mailed everyone a Faraday "bag" (basically an anti-static pouch, but with a fine wire mesh sandwiched between mylar layers) to use if we didn't want to participate in the traffic-speed monitoring program. The toll roads in SoCal are RFID-only. They didn't want the expense (about $15K per camera per lane) of setting up cameras all along the route.

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kelseymh (author)kfarrell2009-01-02

What's illegal is the attempt to evade (i.e., "resisting arrest"). It doesn't really matter whether the stuff actually works or not, the use of it is legislated as prima facie evidence of attempting to evade traffic control. Similar to having a radar detector in your car. Whether you have it turned on is irrelevant to its (il)legality.

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Kiteman (author)2008-12-09

Anything you apply to the plate to block it being seen by cameras will also block it to the eyesight of passing policemen.

I would investigate devices like camera slave-flashes, that direct a flash of IR back up at the camera when they detect a speeding camera's flash. It's not enough to dazzle following drivers, but it is enough to wash out the image of your plate.

They're probably illegal as well.

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Weissensteinburg (author)Kiteman2008-12-10

I think some of the plate blockers are based on reflecting the camera's flash back at it. I don't think they work, but it's a similar concept.

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Weissensteinburg (author)2008-12-10

I've heard of putting the tail gate down on a pick up truck. They also make a type of glass that gets tinted when electricity runs through it. Some kid ordered a piece the size of his license plate to fit on front of it. Whenever he wanted to run a stop light, he simply turned the glass on. But beware, the cops caught on to his doing it regularly, and set up a sting to catch him.

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