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> Why isn't there an EMP grenade yet?
emo samurai
post Dec 1 2005, 11:17 PM
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It seems so logical. Instead of just short-circuiting computer systems, you have a 50% chance at any time of running into a character that could be outright killed by an EMP blast, and it's not blockable by anything but really heavy radiation shielding. Why hasn't this been made yet? And are lasers affordable now?
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Ancient History
post Dec 1 2005, 11:23 PM
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Making an EMP grenade isn't exactly easy, y'know. The closest modern equivalent to a deployable EMP weapon (or e-bomb) is a blackout bomb, which is really a very different weapon.
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FrostyNSO
post Dec 1 2005, 11:32 PM
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...um because in the SR setting, EMP resistant electronics have been around for 50-odd years now...I'm sure they'd be pretty standard by that time.
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stevebugge
post Dec 2 2005, 12:02 AM
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Well the kind of Electro Magnetic Pulse needed to damage most electronics requires a pretty large power supply. There was an EMP like weapon described in the Naval Weapons in Rigger 3 and EMP Tac Nukes make an appearance in System Failure. The only viable power source for an effective emp grenade would probably be a small fision device, which you probably could throw or launch far enough with standard equipment to use safely.
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nezumi
post Dec 2 2005, 12:26 AM
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Officially most all cyberware and computers are optically based now. No electronics to sort circuit. However, vehicles apparently are still built to 1990 standards with lots of copper wiring everywhere.
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hobgoblin
post Dec 2 2005, 12:28 AM
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given that optical chips and fiber optics are all over the place in SR, the best you could do was burn out some power source, maybe a engine and optionaly take out the I/O part of a comlink or something similar...

hell, im guessing that most cyberlimbs in SR are using myomar(sp?) fibers or something similar. basicly fibers that extend or retract based on some condition or other.
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Azralon
post Dec 2 2005, 02:12 AM
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QUOTE (hobgoblin @ Dec 1 2005, 08:28 PM)
hell, im guessing that most cyberlimbs in SR are using myomar(sp?) fibers or something similar. basicly fibers that extend or retract based on some condition or other.

Myomer. The Greek "Myo" means "muscle," and the "mer" segment meaning "parts" is a derivation of "polymer" (which itself just means "many parts").

Typically it's electrical pulses that cause these fibers to contract or otherwise deform, a la "smart" materials.
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hobgoblin
post Dec 2 2005, 03:01 AM
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thanks. i wonder tho, how strong would a emp be to create a twitch on those fibers?
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mfb
post Dec 2 2005, 03:11 AM
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depends on what the trigger is, what the power source is, and whether the power source is shielded.
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FrankTrollman
post Dec 2 2005, 03:28 AM
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EMPs just aren't a big deal. Sure, you can make an EMP that'll fry any unshielded electronics with stuff in your garage. But the key here is unshielded. You can layer a copper mesh around your computer and suddenly - it's shielded. This isn't super high tech or anything, again the shielding can be set up in your garage.

So what in Shadowrun isn't shielded? Well, any wireless device for starters, it has to be unshielded or it can't receive information wirelessly. Which means that in SR4 you'll have a lot of juicy targets. But it's just the wireless portion of the device that's unshielded, the rest of the device can be shielded and have an optical hook up to the antennae.

So an EMP device goes off, and suddenly everything in the area has its flux attacked. Higher flux items would be more grounded and have more protection against that sort of thing, lower flux items would just have their antennae catch fire. That's nothing like useless, and in fact would probably be one of the things a military outfit would look into. It's not normally going to be streetware however, for the same reason that people don't use EMPs in street warfare now. You can break a lot of stuff, but guns and clubs still work.

Heck, if the car has an optical datajack connected to a rigger, it still works. Most wireless and skinlink connections stop working, but optical fiber is unaffected.

-Frank
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hobgoblin
post Dec 2 2005, 03:29 AM
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QUOTE
depends on what the trigger is, what the power source is, and whether the power source is shielded.


hmm, could one make it react to fairly specific lights? that way one could use fiber optics. but i guess it cant carry the power needed fast enough to be practical...
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stevebugge
post Dec 2 2005, 04:41 AM
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QUOTE (mfb)
depends on what the trigger is, what the power source is, and whether the power source is shielded.

Just for fun let's start with the battery pack from an Ares MP Laser III
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Drace
post Dec 2 2005, 08:24 AM
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But if there was an EMP weapon, ALL objects vulnerable to it would be affected wihtin the area, so it would be pointless to use in SR unless it was set up as an explosion for a run, was put in an area far away from your characters, or if you were playing a group of Luddites who run with pitchforks.

The main thing in SR4 is that everything is electrical, and connected. Your gun, your comm, your cyber, your clothes, everything.

While it may be a good time set weapon though, for taking out cars, or making a getaway, but very impracticle none the less.
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nick012000
post Dec 2 2005, 08:43 AM
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Eh, I dunno... The luddite monk-adepts and ecoshamans seem like they'd do fine after an EMP blast.
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MYST1C
post Dec 2 2005, 12:20 PM
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QUOTE (nezumi)
Officially most all cyberware and computers are optically based now. No electronics to sort circuit.

Yet even optical systems need a power source (electric/electronic).
Cyberware that uses DNI has an electric/chemical connection to the body (synapses understand electric currents and messenger chemicals but not laser pulses).
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nezumi
post Dec 2 2005, 01:23 PM
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QUOTE (M$T1C)
Yet even optical systems need a power source (electric/electronic).

Apparently not any more. The rules in SR3 at least said somewhere that EMP simply is not an option (except for a single vehicle weapon, made by someone who apparently hasn't read the rest of the books.)
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Ryu
post Dec 2 2005, 01:28 PM
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ad1
If you somehow - and I think sensible construction will avoid that possibility - manage to induce a damaging emp into cyberware, what will happen to the "vessel" of said cyberware? The generated current will have to go somewhere...

ad2
Why attack with such an unreliable weapon? Drones will not be affected once pure metal armor is obsolete, electronics can be shielded, and the emp wave is only a short break of radio communications once the equipment itself survives such attacks. Civilian household equipment might be hit (hard), but that is seldom an aim military opponents will go for - they prefer taking out infrastructure (like the cited blackout bomb) or killing people.
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FrankTrollman
post Dec 2 2005, 06:58 PM
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An EMP functions like a one-use jammer. You set it off, and you fry all the antennae. That's it. The rest of basically everything is going to be shielded - so it doesn't interfere in its own broadband connectivity if for no other reason.

So the powersource is not going to fry. Your laser weapon is still going to work. All wired connections are still going to function.

Only extremely rugged wireless and skinlink devices are going to still have wireless or skin-link functionality after an EMP. All PANs will essentially become invisible to each other.

That's not bad. But it's not great. People will have a great deal of difficulty giving new orders to their drones. The drones won't fall out of the sky or stop working, they just won't have any wireless connections any more, and will follow their last set of instructions until they run out of fuel or get hooked up with the optical fiber. Of course, most riggers have standing orders for drones to return to base if they are in danger of running out of fuel, so they won't lose many drones that way.

People who have the hardware skill will be able to replace the fused antennae. It's not even a difficult test.

-Frank
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Superbum
post Dec 2 2005, 09:49 PM
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QUOTE (M$T1C)
QUOTE (nezumi @ Dec 2 2005, 02:26 AM)
Officially most all cyberware and computers are optically based now.  No electronics to sort circuit.

Yet even optical systems need a power source (electric/electronic).
Cyberware that uses DNI has an electric/chemical connection to the body (synapses understand electric currents and messenger chemicals but not laser pulses).

But in the case of cyberware, isn't it powered with bioelectricity? Would that even be affected by an EMP?

(I am not a science major)
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Westiex
post Dec 6 2005, 03:01 AM
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I believe that in SOTA 64 it mentions that LS has a new weapon that is able to disable other cars on the road. If you think about it, it could mean that LS has found a viable way to use a directed EMP against target vehicles.
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eidolon
post Dec 6 2005, 04:27 AM
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You could just as easily decide that their new "weapon" was just a remote kill being built into the Grid and newer vehicles.
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Ed_209a
post Dec 6 2005, 04:38 AM
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The big deal about EMP is that it induces current into _everything_ that isn't shielded.

The pervasive nature of it is the zinger, not the amount of current.

Today, in computer chips, there are circuit paths deep inside the chip that burn out under voltage we cannot even feel.

This is the big reason PC techs wear a conductive wristband. Static electricity can be enough to damage PC parts.

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blakkie
post Dec 6 2005, 05:42 AM
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QUOTE (Ed_209a @ Dec 5 2005, 10:38 PM)
Today, in computer chips, there are circuit paths deep inside the chip that burn out under voltage we cannot even feel.

SR computers run "optical", not electrical. For the most part the innards are inherently unaffected by EMP. The only parts possibly vulnerable are the i/o with the meat world (servos, sensors, DNI, etc.) and the power supply. That's why the EMPs in the Crash 2.0 didn't actually target the Matrix hubs, it targetted the power grid that fed the Matrix hubs.

Anyway, SR4 vehicles are indeed vulnerable to electical surges to some extent, it's right in the rules. However the EMP would likely have to be something very serious to induce enough current in the tiny bits of conductive stuff you'll find. Most of it will make very poor antennas.

P.S. Wireless transceivers can be protected from EMP surges. The basic principle is covered in electronics 101. In fact it's pretty common to find that stuff in i/o to some level. Whether the EMP has effect or not comes down to whether the EMP can induce enough current to cook or "overwhelm" the protection circuit bleeding off the excess, and the tolerelance of voltage/current variations in the target circuits.
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Shrike30
post Dec 6 2005, 06:04 PM
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My recollection is that EMPs were a pretty big part of the events from System Failure. I don't recall much mention of there being a huge move towards shielding *everything* after that, and even if there has been, how many of you drive a car that's more than 5 years old? Also, keep in mind that while Shadowrun's memory tech (and processing? I'm not sure how you'd do that) is optical, the device still needs to be powered. A strong enough magnetic field would induce enough current to cook the power supply, or even generate enough waste heat to start melting optical fibers that are nearby.

There's research *today* going into a device built to stop cars... rather than a spike strip, the patrolman deploys a strip across the road which can discharge a pretty impressive arc of electricity into the underside of a car when the patrolman triggers it. The resulting disruption knocks out the engine and can quite easily cook fuses, wiring, and complex (read, computer) circuits in the process. While the car computers of 2070 might be optical, you still need electrical circuits to run an internal combustion engine... and most of the cars in Shadowrun *are* electric, which means even more circuits to fry, since electric motors largely consist of wraps of wire around magnets.

You don't need an EMP to put a lot of current into a circuit, it's just a convenient way of doing it. CP2020 had a weapon (which got ripped off for UT2003, amusingly enough) called the Pulse Rifle... while the physics were a little BS, the basic theory was to use a laser beam to create an ionized pathway in the air, then send a jolt of electricity down it. Pretty good way to screw up cyberware, or any piece of equipment not in an armored case.
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Azralon
post Dec 6 2005, 07:00 PM
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From the FWIW department: Lightning guns.
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