Link - article by John Murphy

      As a continuation of our article
        Anti-Riot Police Vehicles, here is a look at the newest SWAT "Riot Truck". The info and images
        were sent to us by a representative of the
        ISBI Company, which has
        a manufacturing plant in Bogota, Colombia. We include his text and
        pictures with little editing, to pause and reflect on the conflicted and
        often unstable life in Colombia:


      Police and crowd brutality is a fact of life in Colombia. Multiple riots
      (including Farc Guerrillas, who attack riot vehicles with rifles) cause
      the Colombian government (and local SWAT teams) to order and often use the
      reinforced vehicles such as shown here.



      The vehicles have to be able to move and shoot water at the same time.
      This is achieved by using an additional Cummins diesel engine
      (electronic). The water requirements are twice the international
      standards. They have to hold at least 11,500 liters of water. Maintenance
      of the pump can be made from inside the vehicle (thru two doors that
      access the engine room).


      The range of the water cannon is 55 meters. They are operated from the
      inside through the "joystick" controls. The operator can turn the cannons
      (and monitors), and also to open and close the pneumatic valves
      (actuators). Four video color cameras are located on the roof, plus a
      reverse camera. All digitally recorded for future reference.


      The paint has to resist countless stone attacks and should not burn from
      Molotov attacks.



      The armor sometimes can go up to .50 caliber BMG (Browning Machine Gun) UL
      752 lLevel 10 (80mm thick glass). The screens have to be made from steel.
      Wire is not accepted because it bends with large bricks. The screens have
      hinges so that the glass can be easily cleaned. The windshield screen
      itself is electric.


      The plow is hydraulic. It has a 3 ton capacity. The tires can be protected
      with tyron bands, runflats, or filled with polyurethane. They have 3 gun
      ports to shoot tear gas canisters.


      The vehicles have to work at high altitude such as that of Bogotá. The
      chasis can be Kenworth or International - 6X4 or 6X6.


      Due to the human rights requirements we do not mix water with chemicals or
      dies. These vehicles do not produce electric shocks. But believe me, the
      water pressure alone will disperse an angry crowd. The price of one of
      these vehicles starts at around US$350,000.

      (images credit: ISBI)

      Slightly mysterious van

      Please help to identify and to find out what sort of vehicle is shown on
      that image. We can read "Television Detector", which implies some sort of
      wavelength scanner...

      (image via)

      UPDATE: Thanks for all the great info! This is a 1960s
      TV detector van used to find people who hadn't paid their
      TV Licence
      in the UK (to keep BBC programming ad free). More
      and images
      here, the
      suppposedly used (which may not
      work), and the infamous


Category: Military,Automobile


Visual Caffeine #8
Visual Caffeine, Issue 8

A thrilling blend of art, myths and technology

Visual Caffeine #7
Visual Caffeine, Issue 7

A thrilling blend of art, myths and technology

Art Deco
Imperial Dreams: Art Deco Update

Wings, Gears, & Glamorous Ladies

1970s SciFi
DRB Pics-of-the-Day

Grand Space Adventure 1970s Art

"Dark Roasted Blend" - All Kinds of Weird and Wonderful Things, Discovered Daily!"

DRB is a top-ranked and respected source for the best in art, travel and fascinating technology, with a highly eclectic presentation. Our in-depth articles in many categories make DRB a valued online magazine, bringing you quality info and entertainment every time you visit the site - About DRB

Connect with us and become part of DRB on Facebook and Twitter.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that the TV detector is exactly that: a van that detects people using TVs. This may be done in order to ensure that they're not doing so without having a TV license. It's probably British.

Anonymous Macman47 said...

Yup it's an old TV detector van used to find people who hadn't paid their TV Licence in the UK. More of a scare tactic really then an effective system.

Blogger Iron Mammoth said...

To follow up the previous two comments (for those that don't know the British system).

In the UK everyone with a TV has to have a TV License. The funds raised are then ploughed back in to the BBC so that they can produce programming without having to rely on advertising, therefore (theoretically) producing a high standard of programming that does not pander to the lowest levels of crass commercialism. Of course that does not explain programmes like Eastenders or the usual early evening Saturday night dross, but the theory is sound!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As above and more info here at the Mail on line.

And the "infamous" imformation film is on YouTube


Blogger slim_adi said...

the van iteslf is an old commer van used by most of the public utility companies at the time - more info here http://www.commervan.com/?page_id=7

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: the Commer Van after the piece on the Colombian crowd control vehicle.

It was used for enforcing TV Licensing in Britain. One had to purchase a TV license to operate any TV receiver.
The money went to support the Beeb (BBC), the public broadcaster in Britain. This was continued even after
commercial (With paid advertising) TV became available in Britain. The equipment in the van could detect RF
(Radio Frequency) leakage from a TV receiver and consequently require that the offender purchase a license.

Anonymous daf said...

The TV detector vans were used in Britain to fool the uneducated masses into believing that the authorities could tell whether they were watching TV without a license...
The technology to do this does not exist.

Blogger Autospike said...

Television Detector van history, via autoblog


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The technology to do this does not existEver hear of Van Eck Phreaking?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what I understand there was no need for equipment in the van. Since television ownership was ~100% all they needed was a list of houses that hadn't bought a licence and then turn up there. As an impoverished student in the 80s I didn't have a telly and so didn't have a licence. I received several notices saying I would be punished and I had to write many times to confirm that I was innocent. IIRC the Beeb also required radio licences for a while...

Blogger Unknown said...

why would FARC Guerrilla ever have an encounter with an Anti-Riot unit of the police? It's the Colombian army that faces off with the Guerrilla.

Anonymous Ángel said...

I agree with davidg80. I´m colombian and I live in Bogotá and those vehicles are only mostly used in university protests and riots but in my whole life i have never seen one of that fighting against any FARC militant or even anyone with camouflage...It´s a shame that the world keeps thinking that Colombia is just a big jungle filled with savages...think twice

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise to the editors of this fine blog for, uhm, the way the text reads now.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm given to understand that the detector vans could receive the intermediate frequencies that TV sets give off as part of the process of amplifying the signal for demodulating. (See wikipedia for superheterodyne, intermediate frequency)

Of course, I'm still not sure how effective it would be in real life.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Colombian machine seems nice, but is not as used as you would think. Most of the violence in the country is not in the cities and mob control is dangerous but usually the police is there just to watch the people protesting. There are notable exceptions, and there is crime in the streets, but that´s not how you use this machine.

Anonymous glenruben said...

The last image is probably from the government somewhere where you have to pay mandatory TV licence money, the control group rolls around in these vehicles with a map and a list over which households own a TV but havent paid their licence, then they start knocking on doors and harrassing you until you pay. We still have these in Norway today.

Blogger Andrew Hulley said...

Commer PB Autovan.

I have one sitting out the back of my house which I'm doing up for a trip around Europe this summer.

I was actually sitting here mixing the paint stripper for it while I was reading this article.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You Colombianos need to relax, nobody is dissing your country. If this thing is mainly used for student protests, why is it required to be able to withstand .50 cal machine gun fire? Do Colombian university students usually carry assault rifles?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed, a television detector van, from the 60's, used by the UK gov to find folk who were using tv's , without the proper licence..

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recall the "pay your license" ads, they used to imply that the people in the van could actually see what program you were watching.

Of course if you were in an apartment block they had no hope of picking you out.

If you tried to avoid the license issue by using your TV for watching videos only, they still had you because the licensing law referred to possessing a demodulator rather than watching broadcast programs. I think that would exclude computer monitors.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, i just found this article, and i think the photos are geat, because i'm colombian and i haven´t seen one of this from inside and didn't know about the technology involved, but i have to say that this does not represent the people of Colombia, the times they use this kind of trucks are rare... and are against riots presented in universities and some manifestations where the invoved people start things up manipulated by criminals (guerrrilla and anarchists).


Anonymous Ant said...

In answer to your request for information on the truck in this picture, These are known here in the UK as a 'TV detector van'. And these vans were used to detect anybody using a TV without a license.

Here in the UK the BBC (Television, radio and online) is funded using a license system, basically a tax that must be paid by anyone using a TV.

This funding model, whilst seeming bizarre to many who don't live here and some who do!, means the BBC is able to broadcast 6 national TV networks, 7 national radio stations, The BBC.co.uk website, and a whole raft of local media outlets. And none of these networks carry any commercials whatsoever.

The license costs a not insignificant $229 per year, and as such many people don't pay it. As it is a legal requirement to have a license if you own a TV, these vans used to drive up and down streets, and could supposedly tell if a Television was on in an unlicensed property.

It all sounds a bit Orwellian, I know, but many suspect these vans were more a way of putting the fear into license-fee evaders. Most evaders of the license fee are caught via a database these days. Even when they were in use, they were used rarely. I'm 38, and I think I've only ever seen one of these vans/trucks once or twice in my life.

Anonymous Tim A. said...

These vans could locate down to the
room in a house if there was a TV in operation - which was then
cross-referenced with the licenses and if there was no licence for that dwelling, a fine was issued.

When I lived in the UK I remember they would prowl around the streets in the evenings - and also at lunchtime when the popular lunchtime shows were on.
They could even tell what programme you were watching.

There have also been rumours that because they were so accurate, they were used by MI5 to detect transmissions from Soviet Spies during the Cold War...

Blogger Avi Abrams said...

Thanks for all the info, guys! Updated...

Anonymous Ángel said...

Hi again, good comment the one posted by an anonymous...0.5 caliber guns...I´d say that has to be wrong, I´m an student in Bogotá, and if they´d dare to use guns in protests the government would be in a lot of trouble, I can assure that. Another possibility is that maybe it can be used near some capital cities and towns to break riots and protests but the fight against guerrilas id discarded but not because I want to defend my country but because the topography and geographical conditions would turn those vehicles to pieces in days.

Keep the good job DRB and thanks to Anonymous.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

...Beautiful trucks. WAY over spec'd for what Columbia has used it for. (You can see it in the news as well.)

The riots are usually sparked by FARK propaganda. Some of the protests can really get out of hand. To keep the enforcement safe from the pure passion and engagement from these political issues - these trucks are brilliant and do wonders for crowd control. Hell, if FARK had a sniper or something else kicking around - the potential is there, the armor would do wonders.

Maybe the "too much" is pro-active and better than "too little"

Anonymous Amitbhawani said...

That looks similar to the one in Death race but it had more weapons then this one and it was much larger

Blogger Rueda said...

WTF?? "Multiple riots (including Farc Guerrillas, who attack riot vehicles with rifles" LOL you think colombian people have to fight all day against guerrillas in the city, they are only in the jungle. Although colombia is one of the best countries in security: The bulletproof clothes obama uses are made by a colombian.

Blogger David said...

"Multiple riots (including Farc Guerrillas, who attack riot vehicles with rifles)": Please, don't make up the information, the guerrillas are in the jungle, and they should be the target of the Colombian military and police there. Though, the people who demonstrate through riots do it because their rights are being violated. The anti-riot units have been accused by NGOs for being the ones that act with most brutality and violence against civilians. See this video so to know how things are like in my country, Colombia. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZdnMsPrrNQ

Anonymous Dallas Computers said...

I know in the article, it states "The tires can be protected with tyron bands, runflats, or filled with polyurethane", but to me the weakest part of the vehicle by far is the tires. Once immobilized (which could be done in any manner of ways), the vehicle is a sitting duck. I wouldn't want to be trapped inside.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

today there are tires that can still run some km when flat..


Post a Comment

<< Home

Don't miss: The Ultimate Guide to NEW SF&F Writers!
Fiction Reviews: Classic Cyberpunk: Extreme Fiction
Short Fiction Reviews: Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness" (with pics)
New Fiction Reviews: The Surreal Office


Abandoned, Dieselpunk
DRB Pic-of-the-Day

Abandoned: Streamlined Three-wheeler

Visual Caffeine #6
Visual Caffeine, Issue 6

A thrilling blend of art, myths and technology

Visual Caffeine #5
Visual Caffeine, Issue 5

A thrilling blend of art, myths and technology

Hellish Weather on Other Planets

Wild, Untamed, and Uncut

Medieval Suits of Armor

Metal Body Suits vs. Weapons of Medieval Destruction

World's Strangest Theme Parks

Amusement to the (twisted) extremes!

Enchanting Victorian Fairy Tale Art

"Then world behind and home ahead..."

Adorable Pedal Cars

Collectable Pedal Vehicles Showcase

Japanese Arcades: Gundam Pods & Other Guilty Pleasures

These machines have gone up to the next level

Modernist Tallinn Architecture

Delicious blend of old and new!

Early Supercomputers: A Visual Overview

"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons"

Futuristic Concept Cars of the 1970-80s

French, Italian & Japanese rare beauties

Epic 1970s French Space Comic Art

DRB Time-Slice: Valérian and Laureline

The Trees Are Escaping! The Abandoned Prison in French Guiana

"Great Escape" from the Devil's Island

(with previews, fast loading):


Link Lattes

Feel-Good & Biscotti Issues

Feel-Good! | airplanes | animals | architecture | art | auto | boats | books | cool ads | famous | futurism | food
gadgets | health | japan | internet | link latte | military | music | nature | photo | russia | steampunk
sci-fi & fantasy | signs | space | technology | trains | travel | vintage | weird | abandoned