Boston Bomb triggered by cell phone?

From the photos, it was just a small timer and battery. Printed circuit board even.
I did some research (way back then) for my (licensed) pyromaniac boss for a laptop controlled fireworks sequencer circuit.
We found that TTL logic levels would safely and reliably fire electrical squibs.
I still put a ground bar relay in it - just because I'm fond of all my fingers!
But it did work quite well.
Reply to
Richard
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Speculation is that the bombs were set off by cell phone. I wonder if
a cell signal would penetrate the metal of a pressure cooker. Mine
barely works in my metal shop building; with the doors open. Any
experts want to weigh in?
Reply to
aasberry
The pictures I have looked at of the various parts looked like all common discrete components not cell phone pieces. The battery looks like a common RC car pack. Then a cheap alarm clock for a timer/trigger. Nails from any hardware/building supply place. The ball bearings are probably slingshot ammo.
Reply to
Steve W.
one could simply run a small insulated wire through a matching hole in the body of the pot for an antenna. Its not rocket science and a small hole wouldnt effect the pressure build up significantly.
Reply to
Gunner Asch
Don't most have an alarm clock function?
Reply to
Michael A. Terrell
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Probably more like:
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An LM-555 and a couple of caps and resistors. Home made, untraceable (and no count down display like in the movies).
Reply to
Richard
It must be nice to have a fun job!
Reply to
Richard
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Still, I doubt it was a cell phone. (besides the simple problem that the components in the pictures are not phone parts)
A cell phone detonator would be great for a command detonated device.
But if that were the case, it seems like they would have had a much higher body count.
Reply to
Richard
All pressure cookers have holes in the lid for both a relief valve and the cooker's weight spike. A wire could be run out either hole for an antenna OR some kind of external trigger, timer, radio remote, mercury switch, whatever. A high school kid could set it up and have it work, no special genius-level explosives knowledge needed. There's a wide variety of possible triggers, cell phones tend to be used in the - stans because that's the fanciest electronics most folks have access to and they tend to be fairly cheap. Lots more possibilities here where there are a lot more RF-controlled devices. Or there's the classic windup alarm clock trigger.
Stan
Reply to
Stanley Schaefer
Tape the phone to the outside of the pot, run the trigger wire inside.
I heard that kitchen timers were used -- they'd be a lot easier and cheaper to set up, and harder to trace (if the bomber cared). Cell phones would possibly me more satisfying to the profoundly sick sort of mind that would do such a thing.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
The picture of a PCB fragment that has been shown certainly doesn't look like a cell phone part.
Reply to
Pete C.
I thought it was on the news that cell phone service was turned off in Boston for the run...to prevent just this!
Reply to
Tom Gardner
Not as crude as offshore timer modules, but not nearly as fine as a cell phone. Maybe some kind of hobby electronics, like the battery.
Reply to
Spehro Pefhany
I wonder what kind of insulative space needs to be kept for a cell phone antenna through the lid so it doesn't short.
That's the problem with terrorism. There are so many possibles, they can seldom be accounted for enough to prevent the act from happening.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
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Reply to
PrecisionmachinisT
The active part would be on top of the pot with the electronic explosion cap through the regulator on top. So when the unit blew the cap exploded by itself and the stuff on top would be flung all over the place. The battery was heavy enough not to go far.
I suspect two numbers - speed calls - and away they went. Likely each of the two perks did one each - in case one was caught hot handed.
Martin
Reply to
Martin Eastburn
Cells were turned off just after the first explosion. The runners and their watchers all use cells. Runner at end and watchers to each other along the race.
Martin
Reply to
Martin Eastburn
Martin Eastburn fired this volley in news:YH0ct.90670$ snipped-for-privacy@en-nntp-16.dc.easynews.com:
I don't know if you recognize any of the common parts shown in the photos of the debris, but there were:
1) parts of a standard 7.2V NiCd 'hobby' style battery pack for models (cars and planes) 2) parts of an electronic speed controller for RC cars or planes... looked like a Great Planes or Novak component (in-line style) ESC. 3 parts of a Novak RC radio receiver for cars or planes (orange case, very recognizable)
I'll let you guess from that whether or not cell phones were used as the firing box. I'm guessin' your guessin' won't be swayed by this.
(I'm in an explosives-related biz, so ways to ignite things are reasonably familiar to me)
Lloyd
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
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I know about the 555...it's covered extensively in the cmos cookbook..
Not if it was triggered by cell phone...you don't want a telemarketer setting it off, what you want an access code.
Reply to
PrecisionmachinisT
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One of the devices went off right in the middle of a crowd. You would need to use bigger shrapnel and a higher order of explosive to get more damage.
In one of the videos..the first blast went off..and hardly fazed any of the runners..except for one guy..who evidently took a hit..and dropped and rolled in pain.
The other device was in a stack of Stuff, next to a mail box..which deflected the blast a great deal and it was out between the runners and the crowd. Poor placement. To have done it right..it should have been placed against the face of one of the stone buildings behind the fans. It would have acted like a claymore.
Amatures..
Shrug
Gunner
Reply to
Gunner Asch

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