Electro-Muscular Disruption (EMD) Technology
Tasers Versus Stun Guns: Most people use the terms “Taser” and “Stun Gun” interchangeably. The difference between the two is more than the fact that one (Taser) shoots electrical probes, and the other (Stun Gun) works on contact. The technology employed by each is different and a Taser is not just a Stun Gun on a String as it is sometimes described. First, let me briefly rehash the physical differences. A Stun Gun is a contact w…
Tasers, Stun Guns, Emdt, Non-lethal Stun Weapons, Self Defense Products, Spy & Surveillance Equipment, Electro-muscular Disruption Technology
Electro-Muscular Disruption (EMD) Technology
Tasers Versus Stun Guns: Most people use the terms “Taser” and “Stun Gun” interchangeably. The difference between the two is more than the fact that one (Taser) shoots electrical probes, and the other (Stun Gun) works on contact. The technology employed by each is different and a Taser is not just a Stun Gun on a String as it is sometimes described. First, let me briefly rehash the physical differences. A Stun Gun is a contact weapon in which the electrical probes must be physically touched to your attacker’s body. It works on a relatively simple principle by which some method is employed to take a very low input voltage (such as a basic 9-volt battery), and dramatically multiply it to produce a tremendous output voltage (while keeping the amperage output well below lethal levels). You can read about the different methods for doing this on my web site (http://www.snjselfdefense.com/stunmaster.htm), Wikipedia, or a number of other self defense sites on the Internet. The Taser on the other hand, is a stand-off weapon that shoots electrical probes which need to attach to the assailants clothing or skin. Tasers employ what is known as Electro-Muscular Disruption Technology (EMDT) in addition to a voltage step-up method. It is the EMDT that gives a Taser such incredible takedown power with only a (relatively) small voltage output. Simply stated, a Taser shoots, a Stun Gun does not, although nearly all Tasers have a contact Stun Gun built into them in case of a miss, a misfire, or the attacker is already too close to fire in the stand-off mode.
Stun Guns themselves are incredibly effective both as deterrents and in actual use. It has been my experience that normal people are just as terrified of the 80,000 volt Talon Mini as they are of the 975,000 volt Lithium Hot Shot. Just activating the stun gun for a .1 second demonstration scares the pants off of most anybody. The problem is that “normal people” aren’t the ones out there raping, mugging, and purse snatching; hence the extreme voltage required to ensure stopping some monstrous, muscle bound nut case jacked up on Crystal Meth or PCP. Tony Montana soaking up round after round of small arms fire while “introducing his little friend” is a bit of a stretch but not that much of one, for a cocaine saturated madman. A stun gun’s effectiveness increases with the amount of time it remains in contact with the attacker. So much electrical energy is dumped into an attacker’s body, that neuromuscular connections are overwhelmed. This causes the muscles to do a phenomenal amount of work almost instantaneously, resulting in a rapid build up of lactic acid rendering the assailant incapable of controlling voluntary muscle movement. The best analogy I can think of (that I am familiar with) is how we use jamming to confuse and degrade the enemy’s radar and communications in aerial combat.
Communications jamming: The purpose of both types of non-lethal stun weapons is to “jam” the electrical communications between the brain and muscles. If we look at it in terms of the military application of communications jamming, the analogy fits quite well. Noise jamming or area jamming is conducted when attempting to deny an entire spectrum such as say, VHF frequencies. A high powered signal is sent out covering the entire frequency spectrum with undecipherable noise. It is quite effective and all you hear on the radio is annoying static. The way to overcome noise jamming is to “out power” it, or in practical terms: A very powerful, highly focused single frequency signal can break through the noise. A Stun Gun operates on a similar principal. A huge amount of energy (voltage) in the 14-17 Watt range, blocks out and confuses the body’s electrical signals from the brain to the muscles, and overwhelms them. Several factors such as pain tolerance, mental focus, body salinity, musculature and others, determine the amount of power required to totally overwhelm the neuromuscular system. That is why you hear “strange but true” stories of whacked out, drug crazed, maniacally focused individuals fighting through the stun gun’s effects for longer than seems humanly possible. No one can fight it off for long, but it is difficult to maintain continuous probe contact with a wildly flailing attacker.
Pinpoint jamming: One way to dramatically increase jamming effectiveness is to pinpoint a specific frequency or very narrow band of frequencies. Less power out is required and some very interesting things can be done such as mimicking or manipulating a specific frequency to your own purposes. This is the the desired end result of Electro-Muscular Disruption Technology, and the reason a Taser is so effective with a voltage output of only 50,000 volts. There are several methods for manipulating and refining the targeted neuromuscular communication frequency band. In general, varying the voltage waveform or the Joule energy output are the most commonly employed. As far as I can tell, Stinger and Taser International are on the cutting edge of these new developments. There is a great test comparison video that you can find on the Internet buy searching for “Stinger Versus Taser Video” on any major search engine. The test was conducted by an independent outfit called CRT, and (just for full disclosure) funded by Taser International. You can judge the results for yourself (I am by nature skeptical of everything), but the one thing that is unmistakable, is the immediate effectiveness of the Taser. The electrical “jamming” output through the M-18 Taser leads, is in the specific 18-26 Watt range. It essentially overrides the neuromuscular connection and commands the muscles to full contraction. The subjects of the aforementioned experiment, repeatedly refer to the sensation as being immediately, and completely “locked up”, the truth of which is clearly evidenced in the video. There is no time requirement for the Taser to “build up” effectiveness. The debilitating effects are immediate and last as long as electricity is being applied.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both Stun Guns and Tasers, the primary of which is cost. You can purchase a basic 80-100,000 volt stun gun for around 20 to 25 dollars with the most powerful lithium battery models running upwards of 75 to 80 dollars each. Tasers on the other hand, are in the hundreds of dollars range. You are going to have to pay for that cutting edge technology! Two other obvious advantages of the Taser are stand-off capability and instantaneous disabling force. Police forces use the Taser to subdue violent subjects immediately, while a cheaper Stun Gun is great for stunning the crap out of an assailant and getting out of the target area safely.
I hope that explanation makes sense. I welcome comments and suggestions from those with extensive expertise in this area.