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LSX Occupation: What is this Machine?

twinkle little * | 27.10.2011 16:09 | Occupy Everywhere | Policing | Repression

This is a little late considering the London Occupation of Paternoster Square happened about 2 weeks ago; however the image of the machine in the picture, wheeled in by the Met during the demo, keeps nagging me. What the hell is it?

The Machine: What the hell is this?
The Machine: What the hell is this?

We all know the London Met has a soft spot for harder, dirtier machinery for dealing with Public Order situations, and this may just be their latest. During the peaceful Climate Camp on Blackheath, the Met used military strength sonar on the camp (evidenced by the death of 2 rare fruit bats on the Heath) to listen in, while the nasty little plods were held back from hurting people. Helicopters aplenty (at £1,500 per hour) are used on all demos; which actually help protesters find the demonstration. For the last year the Met (with the Daily Hate readers) have been asking for water cannons and rubber bullets to add to their arsenal for keeping people quiet. However, the machine above was wheeled out at the LSX Occupation demo two weeks ago, which saw the 99% establish their Camp. It was late in the afternoon, and the murderous TSG started pushing and shoving on-lookers back, as they established a sterile zone and police van cordon around the Occupation. In the confusion, this machine was wheeled in and plonked within the cordon, facing the Occupation demonstrators. At first we hoped in might be a sound-system that might pipe out some phat dubstep for the crowd (the police having finally got a sense of fun); we were sorely disappointed when it just stood there and did nothing interesting.

So what is it? Have the Met been on a shopping spree at DSEi, with that bottomless pit of taxpayer funding, and bought this? How does it work and what does it do? Any tech-intelligence out there?

twinkle little *


Hide the following 20 comments

Tricky little piggies

27.10.2011 16:17

The Police National CBRN Centre leads the UK’s multi-agency preparations for responding to Chemical, Biological, Nuclear and Radiological attacks. The Centre is currently upgrading its command, control and event planning and management systems as well as its multi-agency incident command training.

If the UK was to become the target of a CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) terrorist attack, the organisation that would help support the national multi-agency response is the UK Police National CBRN Centre.

The UK Police National CBRN Centre is a unique organisation. While having the name Police prominently in its name, it is in fact an organisation that has an ethos of multi-agency working at its core. The Centre has been providing CBRN training for a number of years that is thoroughly multi-agency in both content and reach, being provided to emergency response organisations throughout the UK.

This is what I found when I googled CBRN, as written on machine in question?

David Norton


27.10.2011 16:37

Microwave Horns
Microwave Horns

This is genuinely very disturbing - this looks like a microwave horn - if so we have a major scandal / covert weapons tech scandal here - please contact The Guardian and The Independent about this IMMEDIATELY



27.10.2011 16:37

This is genuinely very disturbing - this looks like a microwave horn - if so we have a major scandal / covert weapons tech scandal here - please contact The Guardian and The Independent about this IMMEDIATELY


well i never

27.10.2011 16:37

This mobile CBRN detection system solves a real protection problem when talking special security events,” said Greg Eiler, CEO of BPSI. “Simply put, law enforcement would not know of an airborne toxic chemical attack or a dirty bomb release until it is too late. Now the Mobile Sentry One provides reliable, real-time information wherever it is needed.”

I think its a mobile detection unit, perhaps they thin someone has a weapon of mass destruction in their tent, an idea yes a weapon no.

David Norton

an idea

27.10.2011 16:44

I would imagine it is an extremely sensitive device, and could be easily confused by innocent agents, cleaning fluids and the like.

David Norton

Microwave weapons?

27.10.2011 16:45

If you see any equipment like this again, make sure you get a close-up / readable photo or video of the manufacturer's name plate, logo, model number and all other identifying information, and post them all over Indymedia etc and contact the liberal press and BBC etc with your images immediately - I believe microwave beams can be used for sending phone and video signals, so this could be a communications device, but even if it is, if it's powerful enough, it could still be used to deliberately microwave protestors.

IF the Met are doing this, then it's criminal assault on a grand scale. Let's not jump to conclusions but this COULD be big

Iron Man

could it be?

27.10.2011 16:47

The Active Denial System (ADS) is a non-lethal, directed-energy weapon developed by the U.S. military.[1] It is a strong millimeter-wave transmitter primarily used for crowd control (the "goodbye effect"[2]). Some ADS such as HPEM ADS are also used to disable vehicles.[3] Informally, the weapon is also called the heat ray.[4] Raytheon is currently marketing a reduced-range version of this technology.[5] The ADS was deployed in 2010 with the United States military in the Afghanistan War, but was withdrawn without seeing combat.[6] On August 20, 2010 the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department announced its intent to use this technology on prisoners in the Pitchess Detention Center in Los Angeles, stating its intent to use it in "operational evaluation" in situations such as breaking up

Al Norton

Microwave guns

27.10.2011 17:09

Here's a video of a home-made microwave gun that looks just like the horns in the protest photo, according to the video description "in addition to what is shown in the video, the gun will jam any radio or cellphone within a large distance" and "1 Kw of microwave energy is enough to cause blindness in a matter of seconds if you were to stick your face too close"

Contact the newspapers about this NOW please

Saint Paul

Weapon schematic

27.10.2011 17:10


St Paul

Serial Number

27.10.2011 17:19

There is a clearly visible serial number in the photo - PN CBRN C 0047.

A couple of minutes googling turned up the Police National CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) Center:

Unfortunately that's the limits of my google-fu so can not confirm, find pictures or a manufacturer of this exact device.


Nailed it?

27.10.2011 17:32

Looks like "blob" nailed it, but is this defensive (protecting protestors against a -very unlikely- radiological attack) or offensive (irradiating them)? As for tin-foil hats, if you don't believe the State uses these weapons, use Google


"if you don't believe the State uses these weapons, use Google"

27.10.2011 18:22

...because Google is of course the font of ALL knowledge... ;)



27.10.2011 22:20

No, because Google reveals lots of photos of microwave horns and microwave weapons..... doh

Giles Fraser

Simply a scrolling LED sign

27.10.2011 22:22

This was used to let us know we were being kettled to prevent a breach of the peace and let kids and vulnerable people know where to go to get out. A couple of loudhailers attached. Simple

An R Chist

Just ask

28.10.2011 08:46

Why dont one of you campers just ask a copper yourself or phone in the cop shop and make inquiries directly as to what this contraption really is. Surely that would be easier and quicker.



28.10.2011 09:00

If you're right, I feel a bit foolish, but still the question needed to be asked. I hope you're right though.


Sorry to disappoint

28.10.2011 09:56

Er...having been at the site and seen it up close and partly working....

The front section is an LED bank message display showing which told protesters that vulnerable people should report to the police and that the police presence was to maintain public order (or something like that).....i would guess that the bit that looks like loudhailers are just that...speaker for the police to bark orders through.

Nice theories though.

mr boring

Exclusive vids of London occupation

28.10.2011 10:39

Some exclusive, pertinent videos of the Occupy London protests from the last week or so:

Reverend Nicolson supports Occupy London, slams lending deregulation -

Sick freestyle - Occupy London -

St. Paul's Cathedral Wandsman - War, debt and Jesus Christ - Occupy the London Stock Exchange -

Sceptic grills protester - Occupy the London Stock Exchange -

Occupy London on LBC Radio - Asked to leave St. Paul's? -

Robin Hood Tax Debate - Occupy London - Finsbury Square -

No One's Slave, No One's Master - Occupy London - Theo Simon (Seize the Day) -

Peace, love and unity…


- Homepage:

Some analysis from a professional

28.10.2011 23:57

I was an RF engineer for 10 years, dealing with Microwave comms and radar equipment and tripped over this on Google. I used to work for one of the insidious American killing corporations starting with an R that activists like to sit on the roof of (hint hint). No longer - I came to my senses and gave them the middle finger out of the blue one day.

The things in question are simply PA speakers on an information rig. CBRN dump these around the country in strategic locations to tell people to stay away if there are any chem/nuclear attacks etc. They are much like the big LED road signs that say "lane closed" except for public assembly areas.


1. Not enough space in the horn assembly for a magnetron. Magnetrons are quite big, quite heavy and consume crap loads of power.

2. There's no tech which can hurt people that you can cram in that space without meters of waveguides and larger microwave generation equipment on the base of the unit (much more than is there).

3. There's not enough power generation or storage capacity to get more than a few inches from the end of the horns which would be silly as it's on the end of an extendable rig. You have to knock out SERIOUS amounts of watts as the effective power decreases very quickly the further you go out of the emitter. I know people post microwave weapons on youtube but they are pointlessly underpowered and would do sod all at even 2m range (despite what they'd have you think).

4. They use XLR connectors (if you look closely) which are balanced audio. Military stuff tends to use massive multipole cables and flat PDU cables which are obviously not there.

5. I've seen the cones before in the Farnell electronics catalogue a few years ago (before they became element 14) and they are audio!

6. Weapons like that are damn expensive (£100k+). They would be mounted on a military platform rather than a cheap trailer and not have any exposed cabling.

Chill out everyone - you're not going to get microwaved. They just borrowed some signs and a PA system to patronise you with.


If they're audio & once appeared in a catologue, can someone give details?

02.11.2011 00:42

I'm not convinced by the "professional's" arguments here. If those horns once appeared in an audio catalogue, can someone find further details and a photo and a model number? And it's not true that all electromagnetic weapons require a lot of power. Some do, some don't. Third, the deployment of EM weapons without a military-specification trailer (and cable housing) is not exactly beyond the realm of possibility,.

It makes me wonder whether non-lethal EM has ever been used in conjunction with kettling. One of the main ideas of kettling is of course to make people feel pissed off, but not violently angry, and for a considerable period of time that goes into their memory and makes them less likely to go on any more demonstrations. A little bit of EM could go a long way, if used against a kettled crowd.