Skip

"Obliterating Anything!"
January 30, 2011 11:06 AM   Subscribe

Solard Death Ray: Power of 5000 suns! [SLYT] The R5800: made from an ordinary fiberglass satellite dish, it is covered in about 5800 3/8" (~1cm) mirror tiles. When properly aligned, it can generate a spot the size of a dime with an intensity of 5000 suns! This amount of power is more than enough to melt steel, vaporize aluminum, boil concrete, turn dirt into lava, and obliterate any organic material in an instant. It stands at 5'9" and is 42" across.
posted by Fizz (59 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Fuck my spelling. My apologies.
posted by Fizz at 11:06 AM on January 30, 2011


Please don't tell the Mythbusters producers.
posted by o0o0o at 11:10 AM on January 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


Sigh. How I wish Archimedes' sun weapon -- and that magnificent capsizing claw -- was researchable in Rome: Total War.
posted by Kikkoman at 11:13 AM on January 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Since the focal point seems to be less than 2 feet in front of the dish, the inventor better pour a ton of cash into developing a very tempting bait to lure the enemy in close, if this really is going to be used as a death ray.
posted by fairmettle at 11:13 AM on January 30, 2011


Wait so I can finally produce my own lava?

*starts building lava fortress*
posted by neuromodulator at 11:14 AM on January 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


The embodiment of the term "health and safety issues"?
posted by greenhornet at 11:15 AM on January 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


1) Kid should maybe think about using a longer grasping tool when he's holding up stuff to incinerate.
2) Why can't I by this ready-made at the hardware store?
posted by Burhanistan at 11:15 AM on January 30, 2011


The focal distance is insufficient to allow me to set my neighbor's barky Yorkshire terrier aflame. Fail.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:18 AM on January 30, 2011 [10 favorites]


I was thinking a BUD but that is just one of those tiny dbs dishes. It's pretty cool that one can see the cone of sunlight in the vapour of burning material.
posted by Mitheral at 11:18 AM on January 30, 2011


I am not an optical engineer, but it doesn't seem so difficult to design some kind of barrel lens to give this thing some variable range, doesn't it? We're probably talking optics that would increase the price a hundred fold, but still--variable range death ray.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:22 AM on January 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Since the focal point seems to be less than 2 feet in front of the dish, the inventor better pour a ton of cash into developing a very tempting bait to lure the enemy in close, if this really is going to be used as a death ray.

"Dude, check it out, Natalie Portman naked!"
posted by tommasz at 11:22 AM on January 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


See also Rob Cockerham's Light Sharpener
posted by rolandcrosby at 11:23 AM on January 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Dude, check it out, Natalie Portman naked!"

Walks toward tommasz and impending doom!
posted by Fizz at 11:23 AM on January 30, 2011


These crazy kids and their home made death rays!
posted by LarryC at 11:25 AM on January 30, 2011


Needs a shedofdoom tag.
posted by greatgefilte at 11:29 AM on January 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


Next time someone attacks me with a piece of mud from two feet away, I've totally got them covered.
posted by briank at 11:31 AM on January 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wonder if this could produce a smaller version of the solar steam plants they're building. You know, maybe not quite as hot, have a few sets of mirrors set to heat pipes w/water and let steam turbines power your air conditioners or whatever you need on your building.
posted by yeloson at 11:39 AM on January 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


tenses are wrong. the thing was destroyed.
posted by oonh at 11:49 AM on January 30, 2011


I wonder if this could produce a smaller version of the solar steam plants they're building. You know, maybe not quite as hot, have a few sets of mirrors set to heat pipes w/water and let steam turbines power your air conditioners or whatever you need on your building.

like, say, a death ray with much better range
posted by jtron at 11:51 AM on January 30, 2011


The R5800 was completely destroyed in a shed fire?

Huh, you don't say.
posted by pajamazon at 11:51 AM on January 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


if only there was a way to harness all that solar power and convert it to electricity. could probably save us a bundle of woes. i guess if there was a way our political leaders would be on it, furthering the tradition of american ingenuity and blah blah blah.
posted by rainperimeter at 11:55 AM on January 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


I wonder if this could produce a smaller version of the solar steam plants they're building. You know, maybe not quite as hot, have a few sets of mirrors set to heat pipes w/water and let steam turbines power your air conditioners or whatever you need on your building.
Hobbyists build stuff like that all the time. this guy has a youtube channel where he builds a bunch of stuff like that. this video features exactly what you're talking about, a home-made solar-concentrating array.
posted by delmoi at 11:57 AM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Will it make popcorn?
posted by steambadger at 12:17 PM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seems like this could so easily and cheaply desalinate water. Aim at seawater, collect vapour. Why is this not happenning?
posted by Meatbomb at 12:19 PM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Will it make popcorn?

Only on a massive scale in an evil professor's house.
posted by brundlefly at 12:28 PM on January 30, 2011 [10 favorites]


Yay for backyard tinkerers. When this dude outgrows his death ray phase, maybe he'll focus (heh) on something a little more practical. Like solar cookers, which sound like a great idea but don't seem to have caught on. No tactical problems of getting your target/victim to hold still a couple feet away, since it's already dead, which suggests some technical problems which maybe this guy could solve.
posted by Quietgal at 12:29 PM on January 30, 2011


rainperimiter: it's being done - there's still only so much energy you can extract, and there is some awfully advanced engineering going on in solar farms.

Meatbomb: you need sunlight. It's bulky. In large-scale, there are still maintenance and manufacturing costs, the electrical grid is cheaper.

Emergency kits that desalinate water do much the same thing - while they don't necessarily focus the sun - they have a little greenhouse thing that floats along and desalinates.
Again - it'd be size and focus that you need - two things that are a) important and b) difficult when stranted at sea.
posted by TravellingDen at 12:30 PM on January 30, 2011


Solar death ray destroyed in a fire? Oh the humanity irony.
posted by dead cousin ted at 12:30 PM on January 30, 2011


I think the "destroyed in a fire" part is just misdirection so people don't know he still has a WORKING SOLAR DEATH RAY at his house.

Keeps the black helicopters from circling.
posted by hippybear at 12:32 PM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but what does Jaz Coleman think?

(Obscure Killing Joke reference)
posted by bpm140 at 12:44 PM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


i can't believe there is not an easier way to get rid of sarah palin
posted by fallacy of the beard at 12:53 PM on January 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


So, what would happen if you waved your hand through that spot? Would it be harmless, like passing your finger quickly through a candle flame? Or would your flesh evaporate into a fine mist?
posted by Rhaomi at 1:30 PM on January 30, 2011


This is useless to me as I live in England. What I need is a way to weaponize overcast.
posted by srboisvert at 1:34 PM on January 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


This is useless to me as I live in England. What I need is a way to weaponize overcast.

Yes, like a Seasonal Affective Destroyer!
posted by orme at 1:43 PM on January 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


Yes, like a Seasonal Affective Destroyer!

Cure for Seasonal Affective Disorder: Dawn Simulation.
posted by Fizz at 1:49 PM on January 30, 2011


Potential drag name: Dawn Simulation.
posted by hippybear at 2:04 PM on January 30, 2011 [8 favorites]


He should stick his hand in there to see what happens.
posted by LordSludge at 2:05 PM on January 30, 2011


It looks like it would take a second for the flesh burning to start. It would probably singe hair instantly, though.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:06 PM on January 30, 2011


A few years ago I helped do something similar at a computer recycler in Berkeley. We glued this sheet of mylar into this tripod-mounted parabolic dish. It made for a pretty sloppy deathray, but it did cut through aluminum cans. Fun times!
posted by finite at 2:07 PM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]




(I suspect that episode must've been the inspiration for our project, as it first aired a month earlier.)
posted by finite at 2:16 PM on January 30, 2011


Archimedes had access to the scales of the last living dragons, which is why he could focus his solar death ray on faraway ships. The Mythbuster guys just won't be able to replicate that.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:17 PM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


dude's got the imagination to produce his own deathray, but has the lack of imagination to call it the "R5800"?
posted by wilful at 2:25 PM on January 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


For a faraway focal point, couldn't you just line up a thousand people on top of a cliff, say, a mile wide each holding a mirror and have everyone aim at the same point?
posted by porpoise at 2:33 PM on January 30, 2011


My husband has a 1.5 meter dish hanging about in the back shed. Hmm....
posted by ninazer0 at 2:34 PM on January 30, 2011


"Death ray readying!"
"Let's see if Metro Man can withstand the full concentrated power of the sun! FIRE!"
...
...
"Fire!"
"Still warming up, sir."
"Warming up? The sun is WARMING UP?"
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:37 PM on January 30, 2011


Great for disposing of bodies, though.
posted by rodgerd at 3:07 PM on January 30, 2011


Great for disposing of bodies, though.

You mean FIRE!? Not sure how a ray of fire is any better than ordinary fire when it comes to the disposing of a body.
posted by Fizz at 3:12 PM on January 30, 2011


A ray of fire is always better than ordinary fire.
posted by cedar at 4:54 PM on January 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


It ain't fire 'til the ray hits the material.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:01 PM on January 30, 2011


I wonder what the highest temperature you could get with that setup is...I have an evil plan...
posted by swimming naked when the tide goes out at 5:15 PM on January 30, 2011


I need one of these to melt my way out of the apocalyptic snow that's engulfed my Philadelphia home ... and to melt the street in front that the fucktards from the city never seem to get around to plowing, such that it's now covered in a 2 inch thick layer of ice.
posted by scblackman at 5:29 PM on January 30, 2011


Take a can of your gasoline. Say this can of gasoline is the sun. Now, you spread a thin line of it to a ball, representing the earth. Now, the gasoline represents the sunlight, the sun particles. Here we saturate the ball with the gasoline, the sunlight. Then we put a flame to the ball. The flame will speedily travel around the earth, back along the line of gasoline to the can, or the sun itself. It will explode this source and spread to every place that gasoline, our sunlight, touches. Explode the sunlight here, gentlemen, you explode the universe. Explode the sunlight here and a chain reaction will occur direct to the sun itself and to all the planets that sunlight touches, to every planet in the universe. This is why you must be stopped.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 8:18 PM on January 30, 2011


Did anyone else notice that the soda can he burned was Faygo, the official soda of Insane Clown Posse? Hopefully I'm reading too much into this. If Juggaloes have discovered death rays, we're pretty much screwed as a species. Not to mention poor Tila Tequila.

(Also, long time lurker, first time poster. Hi mefites!)
posted by Green Winnebago at 11:22 PM on January 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


... couldn't you just line up a thousand people on top of a cliff ...

It's been done. I mean, not actually done, but the idea is out there. I read a story in Boys Life magazine forty some years ago about the hometown fans at a South American futbol game burning a hostile ref. The programs were large and laminated with aluminum foil and had been provided for exactly that purpose. Aiming would be non-trivial since each person would have a hard time tracking his own bright spot. I don't remember how they did that.
posted by Bruce H. at 1:30 AM on January 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't understand, if it has the power of 1000 suns why doesn't whatever he holds in front of it instantly vaporize? The sun is really hot right?
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 4:26 AM on January 31, 2011


...each person would have a hard time tracking his own bright spot.

Not if there was a pinhole in the middle of the reflective program, like the scratched out spot on emergency signaling mirrors.
posted by porpoise at 7:07 AM on January 31, 2011


Solar Insolation roughly tops out at 1000 watts per square meter. Don't know how big that dish is exactly but it looks a lot less than a square metre. Even if it was a square metre that only give a 1000 watts to work with. Now a 1000 watts concentrated on a spot the size of a quarter is pretty intense but it's still less power than your average electrical kettle.
posted by Mitheral at 7:11 AM on January 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wonder if this could produce a smaller version of the solar steam plants they're building.

Yes. For instance this is a linear paraboloid system that can produce a combination of process heat, electricity and cooling (via adsorption chillers, IIRC). You need to buy it as a system and have them install it, though, last time I checked.

Of course, you could also use a Stirling-cycle engine and generator to generate electricity directly, like in this turn-key system.

if only there was a way to harness all that solar power and convert it to electricity

Yes, if only, if only there was then we could all be right here, right now, in the present, where there is and...

This is what kills me. This shit is here. We sit here and worry and argue and explore all the reasons why things are all fucked up. We debate who should be spending which money on what projects, on which politicians are going to solve our problems for us, on why this stuff isn't happening, or isn't happening quickly enough, or whatever. We've got shit-loads of unemployed people just waiting for work to do, we've got lots of work to get done, and...I don't know what comes after that. I would kind of expect that we would, you know, "do it", but apparently the people that have money to pay the people that would do the work are more interested in their interest than investing it in the future?

I sure as hell am going to burn some shit with the sun next summer, though. I've got a giant fresnel in my garage just waiting to get to work.
posted by nTeleKy at 1:35 PM on January 31, 2011


« Older It's Thrilling. Ish.   |   We've got girl cats, boy cats... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post