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Old 06-13-2019, 05:46 PM   #41
RyanW
 
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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Originally Posted by doctorevilbrain View Post
A burgler's tool for melting locks.
It's a fancy taser. It might start a fire if it hits something really flammable, but it isn't going to melt metal.

And now I sound like a 9/11 truther.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:17 PM   #42
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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It's a fancy taser. It might start a fire if it hits something really flammable, but it isn't going to melt metal.

And now I sound like a 9/11 truther.
And if you wanted to melt locks with an electrical arc (another plan not terribly well suited to burglary), what would you need the laser part for? Needing to melt locks that you can't reach is an extremely unusual problem.

(If you want to physically destroy locks, a power drill or perhaps some thermite is going to work much better than an electric current.)
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:12 PM   #43
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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Needing to melt locks that you can't reach is an extremely unusual problem.
Perhaps for shorting out security cameras instead.
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:32 PM   #44
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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Perhaps for shorting out security cameras instead.
I point back to my post #33.
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:15 PM   #45
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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Originally Posted by doctorevilbrain View Post
More importantly, how dangerous are they? They seem to me to be too dangerous to stop criminals. The though of being zapped by them scares me. I would be worried if criminals got them.
There's always been something about the electrolaser concept that 'feels' impractical to me.

For one thing, local conditions seem like they'd affect these things more than they would most weapons. Rain, humidity, etc. What would happen if you fired one in a blizzard? Would thick fog do anything?

What happens if the user's aim is a little off and the ionized path intersects something electrical with some serious juice in it? Or something that is more flammable than it looks?

What happens if there's an exchange of fire and your ionized paths intersect when they fire? That sounds unlikely, but the perversity of the universe, etc., etc.
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:21 PM   #46
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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I point back to my post #33.
The bright light and ignitability part? How bright? How ignitable? In any case, burglars also use blow torches if they have to, so I don't see it being all or nothing.

Or the exposed FPS-style exposed security components bit? Security cameras are exposed. Other bits, it depends, I guess. But being able to target distant fuse boxes or control panels with an EMP pulse sounds pretty useful.
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:25 PM   #47
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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What happens if the user's aim is a little off and the ionized path intersects something electrical with some serious juice in it?
If you managed to tag a seriously high voltage, uninsulated conductor I imagine something bad might happen.

But fighting near uninsulated high voltage conductors is pretty weird, and already an invitation to bad things happening whether you use electrolasers or not.

Do not shoot it at Reincarnated Mad Scientist Edison's definitely unironic giant Tesla coils, though.
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Or something that is more flammable than it looks?
An electrolaser probably isn't really a great firestarter, but it could start a fire, sure.
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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
What happens if there's an exchange of fire and your ionized paths intersect when they fire? That sounds unlikely, but the perversity of the universe, etc., etc.
Probably not much? You're basically poking a pair of tasers together, except with more resistance in between.
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:33 PM   #48
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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The bright light and ignitability part?
No. Why would you ask that?
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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
Or the exposed FPS-style exposed security components bit? Security cameras are exposed. Other bits, it depends, I guess. But being able to target distant fuse boxes or control panels with an EMP pulse sounds pretty useful.
If an electrolaser did that, maybe it would. But it doesn't. It's a fairly modest electrical discharge that's only remarkable for being wireless, not a huge field pulse that induces destructive currents in conductors all around.

Security cameras don't usually feature exposed electronics. You hit the casing, and either send a little current through a little patch of it (if it's metal) or fail to send any appreciable current (if it's plastic). Either way, you probably don't do anything to the actual electronics, which are inside the casing. Same deal on control panels. Shooting a fuse box has the same problem in the likely case that its door is closed, and if it's open...might blow a fuse? It's not going to make the fuse box explode in a shower of sparks unless somebody rigged it with pyrotechnics first.
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:54 PM   #49
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
No. Why would you ask that?
Because I couldn't parse what you were referring to.
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If an electrolaser did that, maybe it would. But it doesn't. It's a fairly modest electrical discharge that's only remarkable for being wireless, not a huge field pulse that induces destructive currents in conductors all around.
I was referring to Luke's write-up about an EMP mode:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remote Electroshock Stun Guns
http://panoptesv.com/RPGs/Equipment/...hp?TL=10&HR=0]
EMP: Parallel conductors can act as a waveguide for microwave frequency fields. This setting produces a microwave-frequency pulse which is directed by the ion channels. Any machine, equipment, or character with the Electrical disadvantage will be disabled if it fails its resistance check at the same penalty a living being would have for resisting stun. If it fails by 5 or more, it will require major repairs before it will work again. Otherwise, flipping circuit breakers, replacing fuses, or just powering down and powering back on will suffice to bring it back to working order (this will take one minute and a successful Electronics Repair + 5 or IQ roll).
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Old 06-14-2019, 12:08 AM   #50
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
For one thing, local conditions seem like they'd affect these things more than they would most weapons. Rain, humidity, etc. What would happen if you fired one in a blizzard? Would thick fog do anything?
Anything thick enough to appreciably affect visibility would also interfere with the laser. Wet air might actually make it work better, it's generally easier to ionize. A chain link fence would stop it cold, though.
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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
What happens if the user's aim is a little off and the ionized path intersects something electrical with some serious juice in it?
Probably nothing. An electrolaser operates at way higher voltages than anything it's likely to encounter, it just has an extremely short duration.
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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
Or something that is more flammable than it looks?
Possibly a fire, but hardly a unique risk of electrolasers.
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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
What happens if there's an exchange of fire and your ionized paths intersect when they fire?
Probably nothing, chance of one or both shorting out.

A thing to bear in mind for weapons is that, well, they're expected to be used in combat. A lot of risks are tolerable due to being smaller than ordinary combat risks.
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