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As many of you are aware, I haven't posted here since November of last year. As slightly less of you are aware, I had been working on a large project since the end of summer 2008. My ambitious goal was an electrothermal-chemical gun which could exceed 3000m/s muzzle speed with a 3.5g steel ball. Predictably, some less-than-legal propellants were involved in this endeavour. My previous understanding of the situation had been that if I left everyone alone, they would return the favour - such had been the status quo for about two years by that point, and my testing was becoming less intrusive to the neighbours every month, not the other way around, as more of it was being taken to remote locations or done inside.
Between Halloween and November 6th of last year, that status quo suffered a catastrophic failure. The resulting charlie foxtrot was, as they tend to be, the result of vast herds of idiots with nothing better to do.
While roaming about on Halloween of last year, I heard a firework in the distance and thought nothing more of it. On the 2nd, I listened to [names removed to protect the guilty] bragging about what they'd ignited downtown to piss off the cops on Halloween. In the paper on the 3rd, this harmless prank had been escalated by the media to a "pipe-bomb". On the 6th, the rest of the idiots showed up to the party. I was intercepted by a cruiser on my way home, arrested on two counts of possession of explosive substances, and jailed overnight. After a hilarious attempt by an incompetent Crown attorney to keep me there indefinitely, I was released on bail Friday night. I returned to a house swarming with cops who had set up a guard on my shed and could not be coerced into leaving my property (which they were occupying illegally, without court authorization of any sort). By the next day, their four warrants were bought, payed for, and delivered, and their buddies from the bomb squad arrived (they brought in two squads, because apparently I'm a pretty dangerous bastard). To keep things brief, here's the rundown on the relevant statistics:
Total explosive materials present: 7 grams HE, 15g pyrotechnics
Potential destructive radius: <1metre
Evacuated radius: ~100 metres (accounting for the inverse cube law, their estimation was off by a mere six orders of magnitude).
Bomb techs: 10+
Other cops: 50+
Police vehicles: Nine counted, several more present
Detachments represented: no less than four
Time taken: 11 hours
Property seized: All of it. ($6k+, <5% explosive related)
Interesting tidbits: apparently their *experts* were of the opinion that icing sugar is a high explosive and that a few kilos of HE can level an entire town. (Considering the source, remarkably accurate - they were only off by a few nitro groups and four orders of magnitude, respectively)
Predictably, the media took an implausible story and blew it out of all semblance of proportion. I'll let you find the news reports for yourselves if you think you can stomach them, but suffice it to say that the occasional person still seems to think that the police recovered (and I quote) "hundreds of bombs, hand grenades, and land mines" from my property. And to think we thought that Dubya was full of it...
Were it not for the assembly put on at the school to emphasize my guilt, some of the students may have believed the official story. As it stands, the sight of the constable who does these presentations is nearly synonymous with lying through one's teeth, and even the dimmest of the attendants got the message that the whole affair was a cruel practical joke.
My bail conditions are quite restrictive, and I learned in May that the police have hired local store owners to keep track of my purchases and watch my movements. I've devised several experiments to determine whether or not they're watching my online traffic, although so far most of them are infeasible, or involve getting arrested again, which I'd rather like to avoid. As a result, I've made little progress on anything at all this year (notable exception: first 20%+ efficient ETG on the Internet, more to come on that later). My trial has been adjourned more times than I care to count, and is currently looking like January. That date is irrelevant, because they still have my computer, and can continue fabricating evidence for as long as they please. Understandably, I can't get into the details of that, as it's still ongoing.
Now we get to the "words of warning" part. I've learned several life lessons from this, which I'd like to pass on to you. They apply to all of you, and may save you and your belongings some day, so ignore them at your peril.
1. For God's sake, NEVER, EVER talk to a cop when it is not an absolute NECESSITY.
2. Know your rights, always stand by them. Had my parents known their rights, my PC would not be in the care of the fat pedophiles at the Cyber Crime unit in Orrillia.
3. If you don't HAVE to say it... DON"T SAY IT. If no one had known about my experiments, I would not have been a convenient target for hoodlums trying to pass off their crimes.
4. Keep your experiments quiet. Noise complaints are never a point in your favour.
5. At the first hint of trouble, destroy the evidence, whether you're guilty or not. I had three days warning. I thought it could wait. It didn't.
6. People are scum. They'll sell you to further their own aims, or just for fun, faster than I can say "I told you so".
7. The "Justice System" and its affiliates are not interested in justice. They are interested in ORDER. The job of the prosecution is to put you in prison, and to remove your rights. The question of your guilt is not a factor in the process, it is an annoying technicality along the way.
8. You may think that the police are there to "protect and serve". This is inaccurate. The police are there to make money, just like the rest of us. Assuming otherwise is a tried and true recipe for disaster.
9. Don't put all your eggs in one basket (or on one property). If all else fails, you can at least make sure that you don't lose everything you own in one fell swoop.
10. Protect your data. Make backups, and hide your drives well. When all other opportunities for prosecution have been exhausted, a well-used hard drive is the gift that keeps on giving.
11. Make sure your family is on board. My family knew what I was doing, and as a result was not vulnerable to the lies constructed by the police. Had I tried to deceive them, I likely would have found myself without a home.
Apart from the last on the list, all of these rules were broken by me, and my family. We've suffered for every one, and continue to. Learn from my mistakes, not your own. Questions are welcome, and I'll answer to the best of my ability.
First question answered; Yes, I AM DYI
Spudfiles' resident expert on all things that sail through the air at improbable speeds, trailing an incandescent wake of ionized air, dissociated polymers and metal oxides.
Well thats quite a story there DYI Hope this is a good message to all of those who build large and loud cannons. Also this thread has made me decide to buid only things that i could hide in a closet. My area is not friendly at all with spudguns so basically anything i build can and probably will be confiscated. Your lucky that they didn't do anything worse to you like a few years in prison. Im glad to not see a newspaper that says how all spudguns are connected to terrorists.
Yeah, it's that important.
interesting part for me is that you got into troubles because of solid propellants
were the cops interested in pneumatic stuff as well ??
I knew that you must have got into some serious troubles... that's a lesson learned for all of us
Children are the future
unless we stop them now
Wow DYI, that is a hell of a sh*t storm. I am completely on board with you about cops, I spent my college freshmen year battling on and off with them over stupid stuff (Not spudgun related, but misdemeanors and felonies none the less), so I am acquainted with their wonderful bone headiness.
All I can say is I am glad you are ok. I had assumed you had hurt yourself and had given up the hobby or were already in prison, so knowing you're still around is a relief, even if you're still in really deep sh*t.
I wish you the best with you're problems and hope you stick around. I am sure everyone agrees with me when I say we are here for you and support you fully.
Best of luck DYI, keep us updated.
Stanford Class of 2012
"In the end our society will be defined not only by what we create, but what we refuse to destroy"- John Sawhill
Wow Just more proof of how un-just the justice system is. I am only 14 and I have seen this happen way too many times. Cops and the media always like to throw things out of proportion. For them, negative images is the main criteria. Good luck on your trial and all. Hope it goes well
Life's too short to mark off the items on your wish list...
That sucks. I was looking forward to the ETC project. Actually, I am in the process of getting materials for mine, you made me reconsider...
I also wanted to hear about the ETG, after you reported 10% efficiencies...
How much did you have to pay for bail?
Does it go on the permanent record?
first off i'm sorry to hear about your troubles. Second, what exactly did you get in trouble for? Gunpowder or something? You mentioned high explosives, were you being sarcastic? I can't tell.
look up electrothermalchemical gun.
These use an electrical discharge into an high explosives, usually with a higher RE factor and explosive velocity.
Holy crap...it really was high explosives wasn't it. Damn man. Just damn.
So you know your being looked at, why did you bring it here? Everything you've done that is illegal is of your own doing!
You bring it here, how inconsiderate of you!
When life gives you lemons...throw them back they suck!
While what he had and or possessed may have been illegal, the discussions of it were not on here nor is he explaining how to make explosives, just what he was charged with. He asked me if it was OK to post what had happened to him since many people had questions, and I gave him the OK.
Yes, I am the guy that owns & operates SpudFiles (along with our extremely helpful moderators).
My deepest sympathies DYI. I really hope everything settles alright for you and your family. I try to stay as far from the police as possible.
Fork in hell.
This is exactly why I like to keep a low profile.
Already sent you a PM about it.
Hopefully it gets sorted out, not that they'll take into account you had enough explosive to say..wage a jihad on a small anthill..
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