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How to protect electronic devices from EMP? Login/Join 
Peace through
superior firepower
Picture of parabellum
posted
In the unlikely- but still possible- event of a nuclear attack, the electromagnetic pulse from a nuclear detonation will destroy your electronics. Most cars won't even start, and you can forget about the internet or cellular service. Those things will be down hard, upstream from you and, working or not, your phone and computer will be worthless for getting information.

But, there's always the radio. Waves broadcast through the atmosphere will reach your radio. There's nothing between the transmitter your radio receiver but the atmosphere.
I don't know how much of radio broadcasting functionality is tied to the internet, and most radio stations do not have their transmitter and offices at the same location, but I used to work in radio a long time ago. This was a 5000 watt AM radio station which had its offices and transmitter on the same site, and also on the site was a shed with two large diesel generators which would kick in automaticcally if the power went out.

FM radio will probably be down, but maybe, just maybe, some AM stations will manage to get on the air, because people will be desperate for information. Maybe there will be stations outside of blast zones.

So, how do I protect a small AM/FM radio and maybe a wristwatch from EMP? Can I create a Faraday Cage by wrapping the box containing these items with aluminum foil? Is there any way to do this, or am I dreaming?

PS- if your gun safe has an electronic lock, EMP will prevent you from opening your safe. Consider having a mechanical or binary lock installed, lest your firepower be unavailable to you at the worst possible time.


____________________________________________________

"The world's in a bad way, my man,
And bound to be worse before it mends;
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Four or five centuries,
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Posts: 87036 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Texas Proud
Picture of texassierra
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It's my understanding that a microwave oven is essentially a Faraday cage.


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Posts: 1585 | Location: DFW | Registered: March 28, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
superior firepower
Picture of parabellum
posted Hide Post
The wife will not allow me to store items in the microwave.

And the question is, will a Faraday Cage even work to protect devices from EMP?
 
Posts: 87036 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Drill Here, Drill Now
Picture of tatortodd
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Here is a good article on EMP Protection (way too long to post)



Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity

DISCLAIMER: These are the author's own personal views and do not represent the views of the author's employer.
 
Posts: 18033 | Location: N. Houston, TX | Registered: November 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Funny Man
Picture of TXJIM
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The relevant passage from Tatortodd's linked article, specific to a large EMP such as nuclear blast:

To be adequately shielded, it needs to be kept inside of a complete metallic shielded enclosure, commonly known as a faraday cage, and preferably inside nested faraday cages. A faraday cage is an total enclosure made out of a good electrical conductor such as copper or aluminum. (Steel also works well, but it is often more difficult to make a total enclosure with steel.) Large faraday cages can get extremely complicated. For small portable electronics, though, completely covering the electronic equipment in heavy-duty aluminum foil makes a good faraday cage around the equipment. The foil covering needs to be complete, without any gaps. Wrap the device in plastic or put it in an insulated box before wrapping the covered device in foil. (Otherwise, the foil may simply conduct the EMP energy into the device more effectively.) A single layer of foil may not be adequate. In order to enclose the equipment in a nested faraday cage, place the foil-covered device in a plastic bag, such as a freezer bag, and wrap that bag completely in aluminum foil. If you really want to protect the equipment against a large EMP, add another layer of plastic and foil. The layer of plastic needs to be the thickest plastic bags that you can easily find. (They don't need to be terribly thick, but do try to find some heavy-duty bags.)


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Posts: 6215 | Location: Austin, TX | Registered: June 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
superior firepower
Picture of parabellum
posted Hide Post
Excellent, thank you. I pray to God that I will never need my foil-wrapped radio.
 
Posts: 87036 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Partial dichotomy
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This thread reminds me I've been wanting to get a crank powered radio.


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Posts: 34585 | Location: NW Indiana | Registered: November 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ignored facts
still exist
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by parabellum:

And the question is, will a Faraday Cage even work to protect devices from EMP?


Yes, but some Faraday Cages are better than others. For the example of the microwave oven, it shields the 2.4 GHz that it generates, but the rest of the spectrum is not well shielded. As an experiment UNPLUG YOUR MICROWAVE and put your phone in there and call it --- chances are good it will still ring if you are close to a base station.

It's not easy to make a really good Faraday cage of a larger size that covers the entire spectrum.

For a smaller one, just buy one of the Hammond boxes like this:
https://www.mouser.com/Product...vshdCGVip2pB0MDG8%3D

put your stuff in it and call it a day.


.
 
Posts: 8012 | Location: The Beaver State | Registered: February 28, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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In general, an EMP from a nuclear weapon shouldn't automatically kill modern cars and small electronics. The wiring and circuitry in these are too short to act as antenna for high voltage surges. Also, nukes used as weapons are not optimized for pulse production, nor are they detonated at the altitudes that would produce a really big EMP.

Power transmission and the internet would definitely be affected (although as more and more communication lines go to fiber, that's less of an issue) but your computer, generator,cars,and small radios should still power up. If you have a HAM or some bigger radio, the antenna and wiring could very well create damaging voltages.

There were a couple pretty decent papers prepared for Oak Ridge Labs in the 2009-2010 time frame that covers a lot of the effects of high altitude EMP and what kinds of effects can actually be expected.

E1 short time pulse effects

E3 late time pulse effects

As far as a Faraday cage helping, that depends on a lot of things. Did the air ionize? Did the cage itself become an antenna and radiate? How strong was the particular pulse you got? It can help in some situations, but it's not a cure all.
 
Posts: 143 | Location: Tampa | Registered: August 14, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Dances With
Tornados
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A couple 2 or 3 ammo boxes may work well too.

When I go to the Y to exercise, I put my cell phone in the metal locker. At that time it seems to vanish. electronically speaking, from the cell network, no phone calls or texts get through. After I retrieve it from the metal locker it once again connects with the cellular network.

I'm going to store some portable radios, as well as a couple ham radios, in ammo boxes. I'll put a radio in the smaller size box, keeping it away from the metal sides of the ammo box, with foam or wood or a non-conductive material. Then I will put that in the next larger size ammo box, and again insulating each box from the next size box with non conducting materials. Come to think of it, a metal Job Box might be a good thing to store the larger ammo boxes in, as one more layer.

Also, anything you leave plugged in to a power cord, or antenna cable or coax, will conduct an EMP wave in and destroy electronics. Anything you want to protect must be completely disconnected and isolated.
 
Posts: 7992 | Registered: October 26, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Only the strong survive
Picture of 41
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quote:
Originally posted by parabellum:
The wife will not allow me to store items in the microwave.

And the question is, will a Faraday Cage even work to protect devices from EMP?


Maybe you could find a cheap microwave on Craigslist and keep in your man cave.

There would be AM Broadcast from the Government in times of emergency. We have people that work on "What If" and provide various solutions.

Eton makes a bunch of different model emergency radios. Here is the one I got a long time ago for $20 which is no longer made:

https://www.amazon.com/Eton-AR...hlight/dp/B001QTXKDI

Here is their present models:

https://etoncorp.com/




41
 
Posts: 10187 | Location: Herndon, VA | Registered: June 11, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Honky Lips
Picture of FenderBender
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I suspect a cheap foam cooler wrapped in aluminum foil would be solid Faraday cage solution.




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Posts: 7943 | Location: Live from the high desert and the great American southwest! | Registered: July 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Tinker Sailor Soldier Pie
Picture of Balzé Halzé
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Hmmm, in regards to an electronic lock on a gun safe, would it be possible to install some type of Faraday cage over the lock like an enclosure of some kind? Or is it a moot point since the entire safe is metal and would transmit the EMP to the lock?


~Alan

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Posts: 22367 | Location: Ski Town, Utah | Registered: October 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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The Faraday cage must be grounded. If not, it will do no good. "Grounded" means deep into the earth.

Also, there are "wind up" radios available that do not require keeping fresh batteries.


Regards,
arlen

======================
Some days, it's just not worth the effort of chewing through the leather straps.
======================
 
Posts: 360 | Location: Colorado | Registered: August 13, 2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Only the strong survive
Picture of 41
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Balzé Halzé:
Hmmm, in regards to an electronic lock on a gun safe, would it be possible to install some type of Faraday cage over the lock like an enclosure of some kind? Or is it a moot point since the entire safe is metal and would transmit the EMP to the lock?


You would have to add metal strips around the door. The lock assembly is not shielded so there would be penetration at that point.





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Posts: 10187 | Location: Herndon, VA | Registered: June 11, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of arlen
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Because of the threat of EMP I opted for the combination locks on my gun safes.
Recovery of our manufacturing industries would be many decades. Batteries will not be available for many decades. So a combination lock is far superior.


Regards,
arlen

======================
Some days, it's just not worth the effort of chewing through the leather straps.
======================
 
Posts: 360 | Location: Colorado | Registered: August 13, 2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Partial dichotomy
posted Hide Post
I know this book has been discussed on the forum, but for those who haven't read it, it gives you a keen insight into what we could face given this type of attack. It'll provide lots of prepping ideas.

https://www.amazon.com/Second-...d%2Caps%2C263&sr=8-1


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Posts: 34585 | Location: NW Indiana | Registered: November 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Only the strong survive
Picture of 41
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Here is an interesting video on Russian thinking:





41
 
Posts: 10187 | Location: Herndon, VA | Registered: June 11, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by arlen:
The Faraday cage must be grounded. If not, it will do no good. "Grounded" means deep into the earth.



Not sure that’s true. Airplanes and cars make respectable Faraday cages and neither of those are grounded.
 
Posts: 497 | Location: NE Indiana  | Registered: January 20, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Be Well and Keep Your Rifle Clean
Picture of mrmn50
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by parabellum:
The wife will not allow me to store items in the microwave.

And the question is, will a Faraday Cage even work to protect devices from EMP?


Put a phone in the faraday bag and then into a microwave. Turn on microwave for 10 sec + or - take it out call it. Voila!!




"..AGAINST ALL ENEMIES, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC,...SO HELP ME GOD."


 
Posts: 21434 | Location: Czechtown,Minnesota | Registered: October 17, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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