Possibility - Licence Plate Blocker

Maz3

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I've been giving some thought to the various licence plate blocking technologies, none of which appear to work by using an overexposure system, plus some give off an eye catching flash. :omg:

I'm interested in everyone's thoughts on using PDLC film (Polymer-Dispersed Liquid Crystal) technology. It's inexpensive even at retail prices in sizes that would cover a licence plate.

Besides the reasonable cost, the other benefit is that in its clear state there's no indication that there is a licence plate covering, which in itself is illegal in many jurisdictions. :police3:

I'm seeing claims that PDLC can switch from clear to opaque in 0.05 seconds, but not knowing the red light/speed cameras etc. response time 0.05 seconds may not be fast enough.

It wouldn't be complicated to build a camera flash trigger system, and a frame to support the PDLC film... :cheerleader:

Any thoughts pro or con, and any info if 0.05 seconds would be sufficiently fast to hide the licence plate before the camera could capture its image?
 

SquirrelMaster

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This already exists somewhere. Currently looking for it
 

Maz3

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Google nophoto, haha.
I thought no photo was different in that it creates the previously mentioned overexposure...

My concept actually covers the plate from visible light view.
 
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SquirrelMaster

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The one i can find is the ghostplate warrior.
I recall there being others though

 

Maz3

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The one i can find is the ghostplate warrior.
I recall there being others though

Nice find - thanks!

That would be the concept, but tied to a self triggering activation. Would need to know if it would switch fast enough though
 

sdrawkcaB

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Ghostplate is just an enclosed frame
with PDLC film, and white LEDs that also come on to illuminate it. When the power is off, the film goes opaque and the LEDs shut off. It’s overpriced. You could build your own for $100.
 

SquirrelMaster

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Nice find - thanks!

That would be the concept, but tied to a self triggering activation. Would need to know if it would switch fast enough though
I doubt it. The technology is inherently "slow"

Worth an experiment though :)
 

SquirrelMaster

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Ghostplate is just an enclosed frame
with PDLC film, and white LEDs that also come on to illuminate it. When the power is off, the film goes opaque and the LEDs shut off. It’s overpriced. You could build your own for $100.
Yes of course building your own is a great option.

A better idea is to use those lcd panels that are used for those flashy name Keychains.
Solar_Power_LCD_keychain_b.gif

This has the benefit of being dummy low power (could be battery/sar powered) as well as being see through when powered off and black when on (as opposed to pdlc that is only see through when on)

Edit some clarification those Keychains have a paper with the name/graphics behind the panel. They "blink" by hiding that image rather than displaying it
 

sdrawkcaB

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You may be able to use it for stationary permanent threats like known fixed cameras; Intersections and such. It’d have to come on (at least) about 1 second before you expected to be photographed. @SquirrelMaster is right. The delay is too long to respond to instantaneous flash detection.
 

sdrawkcaB

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@SquirrelMaster I’d love that if only I knew where to fine a 12” x 6” one. :)
 

sdrawkcaB

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SquirrelMaster

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@SquirrelMaster I’d love that if only I knew where to fine a 12” x 6” one. :)
Apparently its called a liquid crystal light valve.

 

Maz3

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It's been many years since I've designed/built anything at the component level. I believe the flashes on photo radar/RLC are xenon based, and emit both visual and IR light.

Any thoughts from those skilled in this area if using this ~900nm photo transistor configured as a switch (0.5 us) to activate the PDLC film (0.05 s) is the right component to build on:


Datasheet: http://www.taydaelectronics.com/datasheets/A-1542.pdf

The PDLC switch time may be too slow to rely on a flash trigger, but I can experiment by seeing if I get a RLC ticket :laugh: The switching circuit is stupid cheap to build, and the PDLC isn't much more if supported by any off the shelf licence plate frame, not counting one's time of course. I can't find the key-chain technology identified by @SquirrelMaster in larger, licence plate, sizes or I'd try that too.

Interestingly if this is the best component to build on, it may also activate if struck by police LiDAR...

Thanks for any input.
 
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G37X Jockey

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For those in jurisdictions with average speed cameras, manual control would be required since there is no flash used.
A system that is clear when no current is applied would be preferable, otherwise a power failure would result in a ticket for an obscured plate. Ghost Plate needs current to stay clear I believe, which I feel is risky.
 

Maz3

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For those in jurisdictions with average speed cameras, manual control would be required since there is no flash used.
A system that is clear when no current is applied would be preferable, otherwise a power failure would result in a ticket for an obscured plate. Ghost Plate needs current to stay clear I believe, which I feel is risky.

Manual control is an easy "add" electrically, and you're correct that it takes power to keep the PDLC film clear which would add a level of risk. In BC it would be a no points ticket for obscure plate at worst, possibly an order to get it removed. There could be a lot of RLC saves in return though.

Of course even if the concept works and at this point it's only an experiment at best, no one has to run it if they don't want to.
 

G37X Jockey

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Manual control is an easy "add" electrically, and you're correct that it takes power to keep the PDLC film clear which would add a level of risk. In BC it would be a no points ticket for obscure plate at worst, possibly an order to get it removed. There could be a lot of RLC saves in return though.

Of course even if the concept works and at this point it's only an experiment at best, no one has to run it if they don't want to.
This idea has potential @Maz3. Even if the .05 second response proves to be too slow to beat the camera, it should be theoretically possible to activate the plate cover via bluetooth with a camera warning app. When your car is within X meters of a red light/speed camera as measured by the phone app, the alert triggers the ghost plate, much the same way as a remote speaker is activated.
Sound plausible?
 

Token

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The average flash and electronic shutter of a camera is much shorter / faster than 0.05 seconds (5/100). Flash lengths are in the few thousandths of a second, not the hundredths of that response. Shutter times for even a relatively slow 1/60th shutter would be 0.0166 seconds, or one third the reaction time of that technology, and speed cameras probably use a faster shutter speed than that. Also, as stated, many cameras have no flash.

Re obscuring the plate based on location. Of course that could work, but it is a ticket. Imagine approaching a GPS marked red light camera and your plate automatically obscures 100 meters before the intersection. Think that officer in the patrol car behind you might notice? In some states it is illegal to have anything over the surface of the plate, and such a screen is pretty obvious.

How about this though: Electronic license plates. California has rolled out a test program with electronic plates in the past. Other states have expressed interest. It is a thing in CA and may well be a thing in other places in the future. If so, hack the plate (or duplicate it with your own electronic plate) to change a couple of characters as you approach the GPS marked light. This is much less likely to be noticed. Have it change back after you pass the light.

T!
 

OBeerWANKenobi

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@Token I've already been thinking about a screen that looks like a clear protector to go over my plate that I can manually turn on to show @SquirrelMaster 's license plate every time I go through a toll. It would be pretty easy to test on the Illinois tollway these days with their only option being to pay by plate online.
:)
 

SquirrelMaster

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@Token I've already been thinking about a screen that looks like a clear protector to go over my plate that I can manually turn on to show @SquirrelMaster 's license plate every time I go through a toll. It would be pretty easy to test on the Illinois tollway these days with their only option being to pay by plate online.
:)
Another member and i were discussing making our own epaper license plate.
Theres a company that makes these already and are approved in some states. This would emulate those but also add some extra functionality for less cost πŸ˜‰
 

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