Mission Statement - De-Spinning the Pro-Taser Propaganda

Yeah right, 'Excited Delirium' my ass...


The primary purpose of this blog is to provide an outlet for my observations and analysis about tasers, taser "associated" deaths, and the behaviour exhibited by the management, employees and minions of Taser International. In general, everything is linked back to external sources, often via previous posts on the same topic, so that readers can fact-check to their heart's content. This blog was started in late-2007 when Canadians were enraged by the taser death of Robert Dziekanski and four others in a short three month period. The cocky attitude exhibited by the Taser International spokespuppet, and his preposterous proposal that Mr. Dziekanski coincidentally died of "excited delirium" at the time of his taser-death, led me to choose the blog name I did and provides my motivation. I have zero financial ties to this issue.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

IEC 479-1 applicable to Taser X26 ???

Mr. Max Nerheim, Vice President of Research and Development for TASER International, Inc., stated:

"Mr. Ruggieri's assertions are predicated on published safety guidelines in International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 479-1. Unfortunately, the standards published in IEC 479-1 are only applicable to low frequency, continuous duty cycle, AC electrical currents of less than 100 Hz, such as one would experience from an electrical wall outlet and not the output one would receive from a TASER device."

Here is the somewhat-redundant list of criteria mentioned:
1) 'low frequency''
2) 'continuous duty cycle'
3) 'AC electrical currents'
4) 'less than 100 Hz' (as opposed to low frequency?)

The Taser X26 waveform contains significant spectral components (current) at the low frequency (1) of 19 Hz and harmonics of 19 Hz. This component is 100% continuous duty cycle (2) for as long as the trigger is held down. The 19 Hz is created by the pulsating DC and is, by definition: AC, electrical, and a current (3). And the fundamental (19 Hz) through to the 5th harmonic (95 Hz) are all less than 100 Hz (4).

The M26 also has to have some amount of low frequency component in its frequency spectrum, but it isn't clear if the absolute amplitude is greater than or less than the X26. On the one hand the stated peak current is five times higher, but on the other hand a nicely damped sine wave probably minimizes the pulse frequency (at 11-25 Hz*) component somewhat. I suspect that the M26 is 'less than' the X26.

Has anyone checked to see if the Taser X26 is more dangerous than the M26? I mean, assuming that Taser is correct about some of their claims regarding the M26, then everything that is good about the M26 (perhaps a more pure 50 kHz), reflects badly on the X26 (appears to have a higher amplitude low frequency component, at 19 Hz).

I'm sure that the 'Conducted Energy Weapons To-Be-Used-On-The-Public' Regulating Agency (Oh Hello?) will be on-top of this issue.

*PS: Why does the pulse rate of the "Advanced" M26 have such a wide and sloppy tolerance? One thing to watch out for is to determine if they're using a quasi spread-spectrum technique to muddle accurate measurements of the low frequency spectral component. Would engineers actually do such a thing? Hell yes! There are even special clock chips that provide this sort of function. Or it can be implemented in software. But there are ways to put Humpty Dumpty (the data) back together again so that such a ruse would only end-up looking bad on the engineers that tried to get away with such a silly trick. On the other hand, it might just be a cheap, simple, and sloppy RC design. It's just something to watch-out for...

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