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Thread: Weaponized street lights

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    Canada Avalon Member Ernie Nemeth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaponized street lights

    It occurred to me that people might not understand the basics of electronics and what makes it work. Most probably think electronics is some completely magical collection of devices that do mysterious things. It is not.

    Electronics is programming, pure and simple. Instead of code symbols that one types into a computer, electronics are physical code elements arranged into a matrix of interconnected pathways that perform a computation. The computation can have many layers and many functions but each acts as an element in a linear chain - just like a computer program.

    So if you know the language, you know how to create a circuit board that can perform a preset function. The devices are the words of the code.

    Just like in computer programming you have different words that do different things, like loop, go to, or sort...electronics has device components that do the same, like triads, transistors, capacitors and diodes. These are the words in electronics! And with those words, anything at all can be accomplished, if the components can be made to express the function...

    Hope that helps.

    Sorry for the derailment.
    Last edited by Ernie Nemeth; 20th November 2019 at 15:16.
    Forget about it

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  3. Link to Post #22
    UK Avalon Member Nick Matkin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaponized street lights

    A secret weapons circuit board would not have all the components accessible for examination. Neither would it have any of the components marked with values or ratings. At the very least it would be smothered in a resin for security and long-term reliability.

    That circuit board could be examined by anyone with significant electronics skills to see what it's capable of.

    Electrolytic capacitors are not used for RF, but they are used in power supplies when they contain mains voltages. UK AC mains is 240 volts RMS, so that's 340 volts peak. Add a bit of a margin and a capacitor working at (rectified) mains voltage could easily be rated at 400 volts.

    I don't know where the phrase "all electronics works at under 6 volts" comes from because it's clearly incorrect. But if you mean LEDs are low voltage devices, then yes, that bit is true. Each one needs a forward voltage of 1.5 to 3 volts. But they are often in series parallel and can work up to full mains voltage if you have enough in series.

    If you look up various designs for switched-mode power supplies you'll find circuits will all sorts of values and voltages of capacitors. The first one I found clearly shows (below) a 10uF 400V capacitor across the rectified mains for the design to produce just 12V 5A output. How scary is that? Er... not scary at all. This stuff is easy to fact check.

    As Ernie says, that antenna is not directional. It looks like a basic stripline quarter wave vertical where the frequency of operation could be approximated. It doesn't look like anything near microwave operation, more like 800 to 900 MHz.

    Circuit of a typical SMPS circuit with a scary 10uF 400V electrolytic capacitor!


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    Canada Avalon Member Ernie Nemeth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaponized street lights

    Hi Nick.

    Input understood.

    Circuit is still a 12volt supply that will again be split into forward and reverse bias of 6volts.

    Would love to pick your brain more though. You have info I don't.

    edit: those capacitors are rectifying the AC wave, are they not? And the smaller ones are taking the peaks and valleys out of the DC signal. With this circuit I bet you get a pretty smooth DC signal.
    Last edited by Ernie Nemeth; 20th November 2019 at 17:36.
    Forget about it

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    UK Avalon Member Nick Matkin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaponized street lights

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    Hi Nick.

    Input understood.

    Circuit is still a 12volt supply that will again be split into forward and reverse bias of 6volts.

    Would love to pick your brain more though. You have info I don't.

    edit: those capacitors are rectifying the AC wave, are they not? And the smaller ones are taking the peaks and valleys out of the DC signal. With this circuit I bet you get a pretty smooth DC signal.
    The 12V supply output is not split. It's just single-rail 12V.

    The capacitors don't rectify, that's done by the 1N4007 silicon diodes. The 10uF capacitor smooths the 100Hz rectified mains pulses. The electrolytic caps elsewhere are mostly for smoothing. The lower values for stability and the 10n 500V looks like it's resonating part of the inductor winding.

    But I think the detailed workings of a SMPS are probably straying off topic for a thread about some pull-it-off-a-lamp-post secret weapons system!

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    Default Re: Weaponized street lights

    So I was shoveling the snow from my driveway a couple of days ago...
    I glanced up during my work and my eye landed on a light pole down the road.
    It focused on something sticking up at the top of the pole.

    I immediately thought of this thread.
    Then I looked at a few other poles on my street, in particular the pole
    standing right out in front of my home.

    The lights are almost identical to the one discussed in the video above.

    Lo and behold, I've got a weaponized street light just 20 meters from my front door!

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    UK Avalon Member Nick Matkin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaponized street lights

    Well apparently if you believe stories the effects start by killing off insects, then birds, then plants, then domestic animals, then...

    Scour your local media (traditional and social) for the increasing number of the above deaths in your area. Be afraid, be very afraid...

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    Canada Avalon Member Ernie Nemeth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaponized street lights

    Remember that almost all street lights have a 'thingy' sticking out the top. That's the photo cell. It determines when it is dark enough to energize the light. The photo cell is typically cylindrical and squat, small and barely discernible. Quite distinct looking. Not like the antenna on the unit discussed above.

    Can you determine if it is in fact a photo cell or an antenna?
    Forget about it

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    UK Avalon Member Nick Matkin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaponized street lights

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)

    Can you determine if it is in fact a photo cell or an antenna?
    Despite the rumours, the antennas are not going to transmit anything much - if at all. They're used for receiving timing data from the phone network, plus possibly updated software if they're dimmed when no one is nearby.

    If the antenna does transmit, simple measuring equipment available on ebay for about £30 will allow anyone to walk up to one and measure the field strength and frequency and see if it's doing anything unexpected. But it won't be.
    Last edited by Nick Matkin; 6th December 2019 at 12:09.

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  17. Link to Post #29
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    Default Re: Weaponized street lights

    No weapon is going to be this easily accessible for anyone to just climb up a lamp post and retrieve.
    No weapon is going to contain identifiable components that can be bought from Radio Shack and the like.
    No weapon is going to be constructed in such a way that anyone with electronics knowledge can trace out the circuitry.
    No weapon is going to be constructed in such a way that it can be connected to a power supply to see how it works and what it does.
    Military electronics is built using military-grade components. The components are not marked and any devices that just might fall into enemy hands are also completely covered in a very tough, opaque potting compound.

    This is not a weapons system. It is a street lamp. A street lamp with a motion detector for dimming when no one is within a preset distance.

    But I guess that's nowhere near as exiting as constructing a narrative about local councils contriving to kill off its tax payers with death rays...

  18. Link to Post #30
    UK Avalon Member Nick Matkin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaponized street lights

    Quote Posted by Satori (here)
    I find the man quite convincing, but I am not qualified to evaluate his conclusion that this brand of street light is a weapon or can be weaponized. It would not surprise me if he is correct. It would be interesting and worthwhile if other qualified people weighed in on this.
    That's how these people spread their fear-porn. They rely on a scientific word salad, point convincingly at mains-voltage rated electronic components and shout "WEAPONS SYSTEM!"

    It would really help if he actually showed his followers what it does by plugging it into the 240V mains, or used his skills to trace out the schematic from the clear board layout and marked components. Or at the very least got someone qualified to confirm his findings.

    He doesn't seem to recognise what he's looking at, hence my posting (#post 22) of the schematic of a completely innocuous SMPS similar to that used in the device he's got, with the components of the same power and voltage rating.

    Not sure what he's up to here. What happens when he's asked to provide actual proof of what he claims?

  19. Link to Post #31
    Canada Avalon Member Ernie Nemeth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weaponized street lights

    Finally, got you to say what you mean:

    Quote No weapon is going to be this easily accessible for anyone to just climb up a lamp post and retrieve.
    No weapon is going to contain identifiable components that can be bought from Radio Shack and the like.
    No weapon is going to be constructed in such a way that anyone with electronics knowledge can trace out the circuitry.
    No weapon is going to be constructed in such a way that it can be connected to a power supply to see how it works and what it does.
    Military electronics is built using military-grade components. The components are not marked and any devices that just might fall into enemy hands are also completely covered in a very tough, opaque potting compound.

    This is not a weapons system. It is a street lamp. A street lamp with a motion detector for dimming when no one is within a preset distance.

    But I guess that's nowhere near as exiting as constructing a narrative about local councils contriving to kill off its tax payers with death rays...
    Should have just said it like that from the start...but thanks
    Forget about it

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