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How to make a cheap Taser-proof vest
by WSQT Guerrilla Radio Friday, Dec. 21, 2007 at 2:06 AM

I was sickened watching CNN footage of people being pepper sprayed and Tasered (the combination can set you on fire!) in battle before the gates of City Hall today. Pepper spray defenses are well known, but Taser defenses are less well known, so here's one concept nearly certain to work.

A Taser-proof vest is simply any ordinary vest with aluminum window screen or any other elecrically conductive material sewn to the outside(so the vest keeps the wires off your skin). You would probably then want to sew a shirt to it to conceal the protective layer so cops don't just aim the Taser elsewhere like a gun at someone in a bullet-resistant vest.

As a pirate radio transmitter builder, my electrical and electronic knowledge can help me explain how a Taser works-and how a Taser-proof vest works,

A Taser works by shocking you with a very high voltage, low current series of shocks. As a result, the diversion of even a small amount of current through anything but your body "hogs" the available current, lowering the voltage effectively to zero.

Unlike house current, the voltage is applied between the two probes and not between either probe and ground. If you held one prove in your hand, you would simply force that side to zero voltate while the other goes to full voltage over ground, with no current flowing.

As a result, there is no way for good, solid contact between the probes and your metallic layer to give you a worse shock, unlike, say, a lamp cord. This makes the vest safe to use.

As your enemy fires the Taser at you, the darts pierce your clothing, and possibly your skin. The attached wirtes then deliver that low current, high voltage shock.

When you are "vested up," however, those probes must pass between the wires of the screen and probably will tough them directly, causing all the current to pass through the screen and none through your body. Even is one probe somehow manages to pass perfectly between the screen wires, it will take very little voltage to jump such a tiny gap-too low to give you anything like a normal Taser jolt. You might still feel that(and the needles!), but it won't take you down. In any event,using two layers of screen will prevent that.

Foil would work in your vest too, but would rapidly break up as you wear the vest more than once. I use it in homemade thermal bags for food, and it cracks up pretty fast.

Just imagine all those cops at City Hall next time if everyone is wearing vests and has googles and breathing protection at the ready!

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A cheaper way
by WSQT Friday, Dec. 21, 2007 at 11:50 PM

I just realized that if you cut aluminum foil to match the front and back of a common T-shirt, then coat the foil on both sides with duct tape, you get a very cheap and very conductive Taser-proof vest, though like the heavy vest best suited for cold weather.

In WET weather, the duct tape/foil rig will double as a raincoat! Shit-tin hats may be the symbol of UFO nuts, but tin VESTS could become a useful tool of war against the cops and their gentrifying masters, so long as they continue to rely on Tasers.

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Do No Harm??
by Concerned Medic Saturday, Dec. 22, 2007 at 11:39 PM

HAs this been tested Or is this just another urban myth about how to defend yerself from the cops? If you haven't actually tryed this please don't suggest it to others to try first.
don't be a wanker throw rocks from the frontlines

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Why not test locally
by WSQT Monday, Dec. 24, 2007 at 5:25 PM

I have volunteered to test this, but nobody I know in DC has a Taser or a stun gun to test it against.

The electrical theory here is utterly obvious(I build electronic stuff all the time). It has NO ability to increase harm according to any electical theory known at this time.

Still, someone should make and test one-borrow a stun gun and try it-then you can ue it in confidence. Whatever you test should then be mass-distributed. The lower powered civilian stun guns are much less likely to cause heart trouble, but the tester must still be free of known heart trouble.

With tasers getting more and more common, we need to develop defenses. What I described is what I will be wearing if the cops in DC ever start carrying Tasers, and next time I have to go to Alexandria.

I have no funds to travel and am simply trying to help with ideas, radio coverage, and the inspirational youtube video made with stills and clips from this site.

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Gah Will Wah Way Dee Oh
by Wuke Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2007 at 2:42 AM

Oh course it works, so does WSQT Gah Will Wah Way Dee Oh

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by 8l; Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2007 at 7:35 AM

I agree that this should be tested before it's put into practice on large numbers of demonstrators, but I seriously doubt it has any potential to make getting hit with a taser any more dangerous than it already is. At the worst, using this method would probably be the same as not using it.

It's very obviously true from an electrical standpoint that if you short-circuit the two probes, you don't get shocked, but I wonder about the physical design of the probes. Maybe they're designed so that only the very tip - which penetrates the skin - conducts the electricity? If this was true then the metal screen wouldn't short circuit the probes, and would be pretty much worthless except for possibly preventing the needles from sticking you in the first place.

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"taser-proof" material
by hhr54 Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2007 at 7:51 AM

an alleged commercial anti-taser material:

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just butch up and take it
by pointer Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2007 at 11:36 AM

just butch up and take it

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Probes cannot be insulated against shorts
by WSQT Sunday, Dec. 30, 2007 at 2:59 AM

The entire needle and the wire it is on are hot. To insulate them against short circuits would require the same materials and diameters (about 8mm)used in automotive spark plug wires, which handle about the same voltages, Any insulating material that would fit could impose a minimum voltage of a few hundred, but once the arc formed needle-to-screen, the voltage would drop to a few dozen as the arc path became conductive.

Given the rarity of Taser defenses in use and the physical requirements to insulate a 50,000 volt circuit, I cannot imagine Taser even attempting such a feat. If they manage to do this the automotive spark plug wire industry, the electric motor industry(to allow higher voltage, more efficient motors), the makers of MOSFET transistors(static electricity can destroy their insulated "gate"), and so many other industries will beat a path to Taser's door seeking to buy the secret of this new insulating material.

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by MW Wednesday, Apr. 15, 2009 at 4:10 AM

What if you laid out the vest to be put on over the head and strapped around the sides. Lay out the pattern with several layers of tin-foil, and first duct tape the outside layers. Before finishing off the inside, obtain some thicker tough plastic layer like you might find in binders or of the likes, still minimally flexible but perhaps dense enough to catch the probe penetration, thus ensuring the probes create the primary arc through the tin foil. Apply the durable plastic on either inside of the vest and finish off the duct taping job. Wouldn't that technically keep the voltage from affecting you as there is nothing conducive against your body?

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Great idea
by naturalthinker Friday, Sep. 11, 2009 at 4:20 PM

As far as i'm concerned your theory is sound, just wanted to check my thoughts with you if i may? According to various sources the taser probes have to be at least 2inches apart for it to work, or the current will simply jump the gap between the probes and therefore give no shock (hence why the probes arent fired straight but at an angle to acheive the minimum 2inch gap when target is hit). Therefore in theory, even if the probes pass between the mesh NOT touching the metal, as long as the distance between the probe and the mesh is less than 1inch at each probe and therefore less than 2inches in total (which it easily will be) then the current will arc onto the mesh anyway giving no shock?
Also, it shouldnt matter if the darts penetrate the mesh and your skin, as the body is a relatively poor conductor compared to a metal mesh therefore the electrons will take the path of least resistance and travel across the mesh and not your body meaning no shock? I'd still have the mesh sandwiched between 2 layers of kevlar though as i would imagine the mesh would get very hot!!! Also, how thick would the mesh wires have to be and what material, as i would imagine that some materials would simply act like a 'fuse wire' and melt as the current passes across it and within milliseconds the short circuit effect will disappear and you'll be getting a full force taser shock! Am i on the right lines here? Thanks all :)

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by Ruggy Wednesday, Sep. 23, 2009 at 11:52 PM

The idea is sound and very good. I have zero doubt this would work.

I wonder if nickel-plated plastic could be used - the kind commonly used to pack integrated circuits and hard drives. It is conductive to high voltage, durable and very flexible.

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Electricity and Heat
by Don Monday, Nov. 23, 2009 at 9:19 PM

For the poster that worried about the mesh heating up, the possibility of that is pretty low as heat through a resistor (in this case, the wire) is determined by the square of the current times the resistance. As the resistance is pretty low in a wire (<1 ohm) the current would have to be staggeringly large to generate heat. Given that the goal of a taser is to be "less than lethal" they rely not on current but on voltage to wreak havok on your body's electrical system. The mesh would conduct that voltage away from your body and should do so without any heating.

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by al k jordan Friday, Apr. 01, 2011 at 9:47 AM

they also make metalic tape for hvac applications...should go off use nicely

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by texaslink Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011 at 11:43 PM

Guys, if you short those leads, there is a chance that the battery/capacitor will discharge faster than designed (ok, it will). If that happens, that power cell could explode. Think of those cheap cell phone batteries. You could be charged with assault of a public servant.
A simple brine solution on any absorptive clothing will provide a bypass path for the charge.

Make sure you use enough solution.

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by Benjamin Pitkin Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 at 1:11 AM 0420 525 351


Considering that the assailant that is attacking with a tazer, which is a potentially leathal weapon. If the countermeasure where to cause explosion of the tazer powercell. Any injury caused to the operator of the tazer could be justified as self defense.

If that tazer operator where a law enforcement officer, and provided that the wearer was being compliant. The use of a tazer should be seen as an inappropriate use of force.

The right of an officer to enforce the law does not nullify the right of a citizen to defend their own life. The use of defensive countermeasures could only be considered unlawful when combined with non-compliance or illegal activity.

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by Benjamin Pitkin Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 at 2:02 AM

Considering everything above. The safest option would be to defeat the probes without completing the electrical circuit path. By using a stab proof vest. This would effectively nullify electrical discharge, as well as preventing injury from the probes. While at the same time protecting the tazer operator from explosion of the powercell.

However, if a law enforcement officer deployed a tazer while I was wearing this. I would want to make darn sure I was compliant. Because the next weapon they will use is the gun.

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by Kenshi Saturday, Jul. 13, 2013 at 2:47 AM

I had an idea, instead of messing with foil, spray both sides of a vest with a thick layer of aluminium spray paint, best to wear layers under and over it though. Get it looking good enough and people could just think it's a thermal/fashion thing.

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hvac tape
by joe Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 at 2:40 PM

I work in hvac and was just thinking the metal tape would work mayby put down aluminum foil covered in the mteal tape on both sides and then covered in duck tape on both sides as well sewn into a shirt!!

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