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Author Topic: "Poor man's ray gun" - would it work?
Pseudo_Croat
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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I read an article in another forum about possible futuristic weaponry and someone mentioned something called a "poor man's ray gun." He described it thus:

quote:
magnetrons to cook someones brain on the inside. There was a sick little publication called "The Poor Man's Ray Gun"* you might want to do a search for. Place this inside a large video camera casing and you could get past gunpowder dogs. A BATF man probably won't know one bunch of wires and components from another.

You get a press pass--and you put your weapon on a tripod--and it hums a bit loudly. You aim a bit high--for the head shot--and you keep the beam on target. The target--a political official--stands still at the lectern, of course. You make sure the invisible beam never hits any metal mikes or pins--or you will see an arc that will give you away.

The target gets red and falls. To everyone around--it just looks like he had a stroke. Silent but deadly.

I have two questions about this:

1. Would such a weapon work?

2. If it did work, and it was used on a world leader, what forensic evidence would be left behind?

- Pseudo "brain fry" Croat

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"At all events, people who deny the influence of smaller nations should remember that the Croats have the rest of us by the throats." - Norman Davies, Europe: A History

God wants spiritual fruits, not religious nuts.

Posts: 4578 | From: Sunrise, FL | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Paul Ortego
I Saw Three Shipments


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You're not planning anything, are you...?

Anyhow, it's kind of hard to say if it would work because that snippet gives very little information on the device itself. I googled "The Poor Man's Ray Gun" but didn't get much. Do you happen to have a better source than that?

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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The primary reason I don't think this would work is...if it did, it long ago would have.

A maser strong enough to cook a victim's brain would be fairly large, and require a lot of power. As the OP notes, it would function slowly.

If you were really in the assassination weapon biz, I can think of some applications for compressed air guns that would be comparatively quiet (not silent, but quieter than a gun) and have a decent range. Sherlock Holmes and "The Empty House," anyone?

Silas

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abbubmah
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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It's a microwave beamer. Yes, you could make one from your microwave in the kitchen. The two biggest problems to overcome are power, and beam spread.

Sustained power requires some big honkin' batteries, and a way to step up the voltage. Keeping the beam narrow requires some kind of directional guide. The longer, the more directional.

Making one small enough to sneak into someplace would probably result in a one-shot device. Effectiveness all depends on how close you can get to the target, but yes, you could cook somebody with one - in theory.

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Fundamentally Unfundie since 1975

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Finite Fourier Alchemy
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Ole Pappy:
It's a microwave beamer. Yes, you could make one from your microwave in the kitchen. The two biggest problems to overcome are power, and beam spread.

With the related problem of intensity falling off sharply due to water vapor absorption.

There's also the fact that direct exposure to intense microwave radiation may cause serious pain and deep-skin burns, and even blindness if eyes are exposed, but microwaves will not cook brains unless you keep yours in a microwave-safe bowl.

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Thinking about New England / missing old Japan

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emperor_genghis_khan
Deck the Malls


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Seeing how long microwaves take to actually cook and accounting for the pain caused the would be victim would probably get out of the narrowly focus beamed aimed at him.

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Excuses satisfy only those who offer them. Your enemies won't believe them and your friends don't need them.

Posts: 211 | From: Ponce, Puerto Rico | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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