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Graffiti Whoomfers

Whoomf
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MaxCo is distressed by recent tales of the woe inflicted by graffiti vandals.

MaxCo has also (in an unrelated line of barbecue-related research) obtained extensive and permanent experience of the flammability of most of the paints used by these aerosols.

MaxCo has, furthermore, a long history of research into high voltages and spark discharges.

So.

MaxCo Property Protection, Inc. is proud to introduce its Graffiti Whoomfer,

The Whoomfer is available in battery, mains or solar-powered variants, and is best deployed in an array of Whoomfers spaced about 2ft apart on any surface to be protected.

The heart of the Whoomfer is a high-voltage step-up generator and a pair of needle-like electrodes separated by a carefully estimated gap.

Under normal conditions, the electrodes are charged to about 2kv - close to (but just below) the breakdown voltage between them.

A waft of aerosol paint drifting between the electrodes, however, is sufficient to reduce the breakdown voltage and trigger a spark, which in turn triggers ignition of the paint mist.

The resulting Whoomf is unlikely to cause any serious damage to the aerosol who is graffiting your property, but may well cause eyebrow- frizzling. Most importantly, no paint reaches your property.

Also kills flying insects.

MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 29 2010

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       Bun, just for the awesome use of onomatopoeia. (hey, I spelt that right first time too. Bully for me).   

       I've thought of something similar, but not the auto-sparking thing. My ideas just cycled a series of fixed igniters on a random pattern. Other versions released their own fuel....   

       Anyhoo, an improvement for you... With varying atmospheric conditions (temperature, humidity) - the breakdown point of air will change. Autocallibrate your system on the fly using a control device that tests the breakdown voltage of the air. Just a vented box somewhere with an ignitor with the same spark gap, a rising voltage an a current detector would do the trick. A nice, self regulating system....
Custardguts, Jun 29 2010
  

       So, if I understand you correctly, this will protect all the *other* walls in the neighborhood, because the vandals will so enjoy making it go "WHOOMPH!" that they lose interest in spraying ordinary walls.
mouseposture, Jun 29 2010
  

       I see no reason this couldn't be the feature attraction at a graffiti artist's wedding reception. Probably easier to clean up than all that rice. Bun! [+]
Grogster, Jun 29 2010
  

       so an anti graffitti-vandal err.... I can't say it... [+] though
FlyingToaster, Jun 30 2010
  

       // this will protect all the *other* walls in the neighborhood//   

       Possibly true, although the excitement of seeing things go whoomf will probably fade quite quickly. Also, no (or very little) paint will reach the wall, which will thereby be protected (unless the wall itself is highly ignatious).
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 30 2010
  

       I foresee vandalism against the electrical service for blocks. Bun anyway.
RayfordSteele, Jun 30 2010
  
      
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