by Ken Jorgustin
An EMP, or electromagnetic pulse, is thought to be a highly unlikely event. And it might be. On the other hand, no one can predict with any certainty one way or the other…if and when we get ‘zapped’ into a pre-high-tech age in which many or most of our ‘survival’ systems stop working (any system which depends upon electronics to keep on functioning).
While the follow-on effects of a devastating EMP event would be horrific, for those who are preparing for such an event – what are the electronic items that you would consider ‘saving’ in a do-it-yourself Faraday cage for life after the EMP?
Related: 10 Faraday Cages You Can Make at Home
Here are a few thoughts:
A quick review of potential EMP sources.
– Natural occurring
I have written a number of articles regarding the topic of EMP. Long story short, nuclear weapons detonated at high altitude have the potential to instantly destroy today’s high-tech electronics within a debatable radius. It is conceivable that an EMP could be detonated from a weaponized orbiting ‘satellite’, or from a launched missile.
A naturally occurring EMP would be sourced from the Sun. While the technicality of the EMP effects are different (as well as the most vulnerable systems – e.g. the power grid itself), there is zero argument that this is a ‘regularly’ occurring event. Fortunately the time between events is not terribly frequent (to our own relativity), although many scientists say that a ‘1859 Carrington Event’ could occur sooner than we think… Space physicist Pete Riley, senior scientist at Predictive Science in San Diego, published an estimate in Space Weather Journal (FEB-2012) saying, The Earth has a roughly 12 percent chance of experiencing an enormous megaflare erupting from the sun in the next decade.
With that said, and for the sake of hypothesizing what we might protect in a Faraday cage, lets assume that most all electronic systems are ‘down’ (except those which may have been EMP ‘hardened’). If we presume that much or all electronic systems and the power grid is down, this will certainly influence the value (if any) on some of the items you may wish to consider for EMP protection…
My thoughts on a few potentially valuable items to protect in a Faraday cage:
2-way handheld battery powered radios for communications (GMRS/FRS/MURS). These do not rely upon any external systems for basic direct 2-way communications. After an EMP SHTF there will be significant value in local radio communications (for various reasons – especially security among a group).
Related: FRS, MURS, GMRS, 2-Way Radios For Communications
Similar to the aforementioned 2-way radios, CB radios are also battery powered and may serve a useful comms purpose after EMP.
Portable Shortwave (plus AM/FM) radio.
Following an EMP event, not everyone may be ‘down’. There will likely be regions and/or other parts of the world that will not be affected. Using an ordinary battery powered SW/AM radio will provide the possibility of gaining news and information.
Ham Radio receivers or transceivers. Again, most all of these units have the ability to be powered by battery, and a ‘Ham Radio’ has the ability to transmit and receive all over the world without the requirement for any external systems.
Solar battery charger system.
The ability to recharge common batteries for the electronic devices that you’ve protected – is essential for ongoing operation.
Related: A Good Solar Power Battery Charger
Some say that even your LED flashlights may be vulnerable to EMP effects, so storing a few in the Faraday cage may be smart.
I could go on and on with more brainstorming of items to consider for a Faraday cage, but I want to hear what you have to say too…
What are your ideas?
This article was written by Ken Jorgustin. If you liked it, you can visit his website at Modern Survival Blog
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I would recommend an electric hot plate and at least a 400 watt inverter.
i would not use a hot plate they are powered on resistance heaters and may take alot of power
I have my solar panels in one Faraday cage. In smaller ones I have the inverter and things like extra computer, skill saw, drill, small tv, dvd player, battery chargers, hand mixer, hair clippers, radios, old cell phone with lots of games on it, and even a sewing machine. I use large metal lined trash cans for these.
Remember that it is electronics that are vulnerable to EMP. Especially anything with microchips, printed circuit boards, etc. Electric devices, tools, appliances may be affected insofar as they use chips and PCBoards. There is much less danger for an electric skill saw, for example.
Definitely include your inverter, charge controller. Plan well how many rechargeable batteries, what types and sizes you would need. Solar chargers are slower that plug-ins.
What material did you use for emp protection for your solar panals?. Do you have a link?
Sorry about accidentally hitting the down thumb. I think your items are very useful. Going to show husband and will do the same.
Additional items helpful to place in faraday cage would be a steripen to help sanitize water, a cheap digital electrical multimeter to check battery charge levels and trouble shoot damages electronics, a digital medical thermometer, and some LED lights for inside use – I like the 0.3 watt night lights- light enough to get around in a room but not so bright as to make light signature discipline difficult.
Given all the information that is available online, and the fact that most people can’t afford to make hard copies of such information, I suggest storing a laptop, and several external hard-drives. Rotate these hard-drives, and keep them all up-dated with any information you might have downloaded recently. Never have more then one out of the cage at a time. This way, you will still have access to all the information, blueprints, maps, etc.; that you’ve collected from sites such as this one.
And, if you have to bug-out after the event, it’s a lot easier to pack a laptop and a few hard-drives then it is to move several hundred pounds of books and binders.
I agree with the solar panels, power inverters, etc. But after a SHTF situation, knowledge will be the most valuable item you possess.
First I tend to default worse case scenario. Being an Extra Class ham and studied EMP; Iv modified many ammo cans to be Faraday cages; Iv set aside a full range Ham radio(HF, VHF, UHF bands), an Asus EeePC1000HE 12vdc laptop, Canon BJC-55 printer (and second box with ink tanks, ink, paper), solid state 2TB HD containing dozens of scanned how to books, recipes, data reference, pictures, documents like birth certificates, marriage, etc… and even dozens of my favorite movies in MP format, software programs (some for radio)..inventory info.. The printer allows reproduction of documents, etc. Laptop-viewing movies and all other; A set of digital watches (as mechanical ones are hard to find). I carry an Omni-charger and several dozen AA & AAA .. and several 9v and other necessary batteries for ALL my equipment. Laptop, printer, radio, battery charger are ALL 12vdc powered. I carry a set of solar panels also. I also have a Geiger counter that operates on D cells.. have AA to D cell unit so I can use AA’s for it. Not all this is in one faraday cage. I also carry hand-held VHF ham radios with throat mics and other accessories (throat mics work well to cut wind noise!).. a half dozen FRS radio setups.. LED lights…and other stuff. (I don’t think METAL housed LED lights are an EMP issue but nice to have where you need.
One suggestion is to try to keep as much stuff using a common battery.. like AA’s as they are very common. AAA is second. Same with cords.. Odd cords are a bane. Make sure you have ALL necessary cords, and if you go with a ham radio, LEARN TO USE IT FIRST! They are not something you can just pick up and use without guidance/training! Besides, know its options! Digital communications will need downloaded programs!
Much BS on the internet on EMP… Iv been prepping for a LONG time… and into radio theory for 50+ years.
Don’t forget a good firearm(s) in commonly available ammo (but doesn’t need EMP protection!).. learn to use it comfortably.. and plenty of ammo. But that’s another issue. (I do NOT encourage ANY firearm use without extensive safety training!!! If weapons offend you, get a dog!)
IMPORTANT! Battery storage! You want to keep batteries from freezing (or getting to hot) or they maybe destroyed by freezing! Secondly, REMOVE batteries from equipment as much as possible to prevent leakage damage in expensive equipment and failure when needed most! Store batteries in plastic battery holders.. goal of preventing them from shorting out! Many batteries (most lithium) will catch fire!
Other notes; FRS radios are limited in range by their power (don’t EVEN believe the claims of multi-mile range. Few conditions will allow much range. They are usually good for up to about 1/4 mile, limited by power and UHF band (line of sight). VHF & UHF ham get their range by repeaters (Cell towers are basically repeaters).. that retransmit your signal from an elevated vantage point). Lower bands like HF (below 30 MHz).. can bounce off the ionosphere/earth ..”skip”.
Where you live will affect your choices. I live in the Matanuska-Susitna (“Mat-su”) Valley and freeze up issues are often a challenge, my prepping includes off grid power systems and many other issues.
Important! Store batteries in ABOVE freezing temperatures and avoid over temperatures as well. Freezing will destroy your batteries, often bringing leakage, destroying equipment, especially if its IN the equipment! Suggest storing in plastic cases for the batteries.. goal is to prevent shorting and thus, fires!
I keep some long lasting NON rechargeable batteries as backup for immediate use if needed.
Living in the north (in Alaska), many issues you wouldn’t think about need to be considered.
I agree with most of this, especially Dragon. Knowledge will be in VERY short supply. Technical details, recipes, formulae, etc can be stored on portable HDs, Thumb drives, DVDs, and/or CDs. Thumb drives, DVDs, CDs are less expensive than large Hard drives. After essential Info there is entertainment available the same way.
Put yard solar lights in Faraday Cage. Do not remove the tab under the battery. These lights will work for a year or more. When needed to light house at night, pull the tab, put then out in the sun in the morning and take into house before sundown to have a safe light in the house. They cost anywhere from $1.00 (Wal-Mart) on up depending on how bright they are. Hardware stores carry them.
So if you have battery powered items, even if the batteries are removed, they will still get fried?
Yes. Because it’s the components (ie circuit boards) that are effected by an EMP.
I do not agree that all batteries would fail. Only batteries with circuits inside. Such as many of the lithium based batteries used in Airplanes and motorcycles.. they have circuits that limit how low the voltage can drop as if it goes to low, they are ruined. If you charge it to high of voltage.. they will fry. These small batteries are often used in small vehicles, RC toys, whatever.. but are RECHARGEABLE batteries. the batteries themselves.. are not harmed, only the circuit boards.
Circuit boards, PN junctions (semiconductors).. themselves.. are not damaged BECAUSE they are semiconductors.. but the conductors that connect to them that collects that EMP voltage, sending it down IN TO the semiconductors/semiconductors on the circuit boards.
I feel like i would store
-my ham radios
-couple FRS/GMRS radios
Now things i think you missed
smart phones now days can have apps for sending and receiving data packets via radio if you have this you can send pictures and txt like messages
also i would put a language translator on this (hopefully it does not use web)
– Laptop or tablet
for many of the same reasons as the phone i would put eBooks on this aswell as backup family files (pictures, birth cert, etc.)
-Flash drive back up of all info on PC and smart phone does not actually need t be in cage but good place to have it
-Maybe a microscope
sounds odd but if you plan on farming at all you would do well to study the plants if not sure you can trade a working microscope
now electronic GPS are not to be trusted alone but if you are trained to use one it can be really usefull especially in the beginning if you may have to bug out
Great ideas! Never would have thought of a LOT of those!
An e-reader with all of your survival information/books. Of course, books for fun as well.
???? What does this have to do with a Faraday cage?
Did you read the article? These are things that would be destroyed or damaged by an EMP if they were not protected in one.
Do my DVD’s need to be in the Faraday cage?…or my old VHS tapes? I will put a small computer and DVD/VHS player in the cage….but how about my HUGE collection of old musicals? (Those I can’t live without…giggle)
“An EMP, or electromagnetic pulse, is thought to be a highly unlikely event. And it might be. “… Actually, I can see our own govt. Pulling this off from what i’ve read.
I commonly see people suggesting putting an extra cell phone in a faraday cage.. Do people realize that even if you call your friend 3 feet away, your cell phones DO NOT CONNECT TO EACH OTHER but rather go thru a cell tower (there is a program where your cellphones can act like walkie-talkies, but there are, mostly, “line of sight” limitations). So, in the likely event the cell towers go down cell phones will have little use, at least, as far as phone communications. I have a 5 watt ham radio.. for direct contact to another ham.. Using a digital converter unit I can use a tablet..(or perhaps cell phone with the same software installed).. but sending digital gives me far greater range. For purposes such as these.. a cell phone can have some uses.
An EMP.. can be caused by ANY nuclear explosion.. but when the blast is directed into the upper atmosphere.. typically over 100 miles up.. its called HEMP for High altitude EMP. Of note, HEMP may very well take out satellites as well… and your satellite GPS may very well be worthless as well. Non-satellite GPS triangulates off CELL TOWERS.. so you might want to learn how to use a compass with a map for navigation.
I want to stress something I see frequently.. the thought that a ham radio.. by virtue that its a HAM RADIO.. can talk to anyone, anywhere. This is very misleading! There are many different frequencies with ham.. Some radios, usually your small radios, will be called “dual band” and typically operate on the 2m and 70cm bands (144 MHz and 440 MHz bands).. these higher frequencies tend to be line of sight frequencies. Talking beyond this.. over mountains for instance, takes REPEATERS. (These are likely to be down as well after an EMP). Other radios are multiband.. and will usually cover from 160m thru 10m bands (1.8 MHz to 30 MHz)… then the 6m/50 MHz band.. and the 2m & 70cm band as mentioned above…
These different frequencies react differently at different times of the day. and night.. Somebands will get places across the globe while others do better in the early morning.. etc. This is largely due to changes in the ionosphere.. as the sun .. or lack of the sun.. hitting the ionosphere causes it to split into layers … and it changes as the hours of the day and night change. KNOWING these things.. and the ability to apply those different frequency bands when.. is HOW a ham operator uses his/her equipment for long distant communications.
As for EMP protection… I might suggest you read my other post on other related threads on this post. I will say that one thing I may have not made clear.. an EMP is mostly a high powered radio wave..(E1 first).. and where damage will be worst is where people have long antennas to pipe that EMP right down into their device! Speaking of a cell phone pulled into a charger.. yeah, you are likely to get some EMP thru the “wall wart” but even if you were to unplug from the wall outlet.. you still have about a 3 foot/1 meter “antenna” that will pick up whatever voltage per meter the EMP brings… right down into your cell phone.
There is something called “common noise” and “differential noise”. .. and common noise is not likely to be as damaging (if the frequency of an EMP was pure… only one frequency.. it would likely be less likely to damage equipment (the pulse causes BOTH wires to have the same identical voltage on both wires.. they cancel each other as there is no difference in potential) but with different wavelengths.. and shorter wavelengths.. damage is still likely. This is rather complex for lay people.. the bottom line is damage is LESS likely if you have NO wires .. power cords, antennas, phone lines.. coming into the electronics. UNPLUG EVERYTHING attached… if you want to protect the device.. Even a long ground wire.. yes, GROUND WIRE.. can act as an antenna!
I would recommend anyone who is interested in understanding how a faraday cage works.. read my other post on this site.
PLEASE NOTE I am not an expert on CME. It is NOT the same as EMP but may yield similar damage to equipment. One might note that a CME CAN damage human flesh.. where an EMP will not. A Faraday cage works because the primary damaging electromagnetic wave is traveling fast.. and therefore can INDUCE current into the faraday cage .. that creates a counter field thus protecting properly enclosed items.. inside the PROPERLY CONSTRUCTED faraday cage. a CMP produces a comparatively SLOW field and cannot induce a counter field in the faraday cage.. reliably. Best to protect from CME might be well under ground in a metal box.. and or lead lining. Further investigation would serve you well if CME protection is of interest.
I have a pretty good design for a faraday cage.. but will describe it in an adjacent post to keep this from going longer..
This is for a description of a method of making a pretty good faraday cage.. but first I wanted to extend a thought I failed to mention in EMP issues.. basically, the larger the circuit board.. the more voltage an EMP can produce upon it The smaller the board.. the less voltage an EMP can produce upon it. If you have a tiny circuit board ..a half inch square.. but you add a piece of wire on the corner that is 3 feet long… you might as well have a .. 36-1/2″ long circuit board!
Your radios.. are all designed to “absorb” only a few THOUSANDTHS OF A VOLT.. and send it down into the radio where it is amplified and processed. Sending 50kv down into the radio’s input is not likely to do it much good!
Another note I cant stress enough! If you plan to use a (highly versatile!) ham radio.. you had better learn to use it BEFORE you need it. They are FAR FAR more complex than a CB radio! So, GET YOUR HAM LICENSE (first one is 2 grade simple!).. get a radio.. AND LEARN TO USE IT!
FYI… Im an Extra.. the top class.. and have been in electronics for over 50 years now.. and am a retired commercial electrician.. amongst other fields!
Now the faraday cage..
My first was using an ammo can.. I would choose cans with small rubber gaskets and replace them with a vacuum line covered by a conductive braid, such as off coax lines.. Pulling out the rubber gasket, stripping the paint so the braid would get good connection.. and sanding/filing the lid lip.. and lining the box with cardboard. Not being happy with several issues, one being large boxes that have FLAT rubber gaskets.. were not suitable for a rubber hose.. What I found was I could take a strip of UNGALVANIZED metal of perhaps 18-20 ga.. fold it into a channel (making enough channel to go around the inside of the desired box).. Mitering the corners and doing just that, going around the inside the box just below the top…
What you want to do is completely strip the area you are going to put the angle strip.. SO YOU CAN CLAMP IT IN PLACE AND SOLDER IT ALL THE WAY AROUND SO IT HAS COMPLETE ELECTRICAL CONNECTON TO THE BOX ITSELF. Cut a sheet metal lid just small enough that it will fit INSIDE the box.. and sit on top of that flange you just soldered in. The idea here is the flange you just soldered in is just down inside enough so that when you take that lid.. with a spring attached.. when you close down the lid it pushes on the lid and compresses it against that flange! This creates a nice magnetically sealed box.. with a air and water tight rubber sealed lid on top.. keeping water out of the electronics .. while keeping them sealed inside a faraday cage. Oh.. be sure you line the box with non conductive materials.. I suggest cardboard.. and keep electronics away from corners.. and any place the box may have a slight area where the conductivity is in question.
On suggestion for improvement…
Find some rubber cord such as used to install screens in screen doors or similar.. and pull a braided shield over it from perhaps a piece of coax.. and stuff it around in the circumference of the flange. This will allow a little cushioning and potentially help to assure full electrical contact.. all the way around. DO NOT GLUE this in place.. DO NOT PAINT any place where such would hinder electrical conductivity.
I hope this all helps folks.. The more folks that are prepared.. is the better off … stronger…we all are.
Didn’t read this back.. so HOPE its good!
Jack, you mentioned burying items in a metal box. If I buried my items sealed in plastic, inside a metal box that was stored inside a plastic metal tote that I buried would it be safe from EMP? Your posts are very informative.
Thank you Nickie; My first question is what do you mean a “PLASTIC METAL tote”?
As far as a metal box, it must be conductive along all edges where the metal comes together, whether folded or welded… and as for a lid, the lid must make good electrical connection ALL THE WAY AROUND so electrical currents do not have to go across the surface and when the current comes to, say, a welded side .. if it hast to flow along that edge “looking” for a place to travel sideways to get to a weld .. this would create currents going in different directions.. you would want the welded corners to be a continuous weld. Very hard to explain without pictures. If one compares a seamless metal sphere.. currents would not be blocked by any non-continuous contact on any surface or angle! (and while a sphere would be most ideal, it isn’t practical).. but you want your metal box to be continuously conductive in all directions. This is the goal.
You want to line the inside of the metal box with non-conductive material as you do not want your protected stuff to be part of the box circuit should there be an EMP.. and I would encourage anyone to tend to shy away from corners, especially around the lid as this is potential for uneven currents when an EMP ‘strikes’. Just, if there is going to be any “weak areas” it would be there.
Plastic on the outside would be only to protect from rust/corrosion, keeping out moisture.
I cant say burying will help much for EMP.. unless you bury deep.. and I don’t really know just how deep would help how much. Sorry. Now if you are concerned about CME, burying is helpful to my understanding. CME is a different animal.. it is not a pulse but a continuous radiation over a period of time. It will likely have some components of a magnetic field.. but a continuous field will not induce a significant counter field in a faraday cage to be much if any real value in a CME alone…
A faraday cage works by a MOVING magnetic field crosses over it and when it does it creates a current IN the faraday cage.. and when it does flow, it them creates a magnetic field of its own! This field is always OPPOSING the magnetic field source and forms a shield. This is what makes transformers hum.. and hum louder with higher current. They also hum because they don’t know the words! LOL!
If you have further questions, unclear.. ask !
I see some errors and confusion in what I wrote regarding ammo box faraday cages.
First, I incorrectly referred to a folded sheet metal strip as a “channel” when I meant ANGLE.
Also, I mentioned the lid pressing the lid .. what I meant was the original ammo can lid.. and the inner lid. the inner lid is placed INSIDE over the soldered in sheet metal angle .. the lip it makes.. and that lip is installed so that a small spring attached to the inside lid sticks up so when the original lid is installed it will press down on that small spring and create pressure against the inside lid .. and against the angle (lip).
this helps to make maximum contact short of adding the braid-covered rubber piping or tube.. which, by its give, fills in any wrinkles where there might not be good contact… assuring there is no place where there is a lack of connection.
I also see I made an error in my original question.
I want to put some of my smaller items inside ziploc baggies, then put them into a small old metal toolbox that I wanted to line with some styrofoam all around it, then cover that in aluminum foil and tape. Then I was going to store that into one of those giant plastic totes you use for storage (like for at holidays) and bury that so that it also keeps dry even better.
Also, would it be possible to put several small “faraday cages” inside one of those giant plastic totes, as long as there was something like more styrofoam separating them from each other?
Thank you Jack for the replies 🙂
First, I need to tell you, I don’t have a lot of faith in what I imagine is your tool box. It is imperative that you have really REALLY good conductivity between the lid and where it fits to the base… ALL THE WAY AROUND. Electrical currents can be very high for that nanosecond.. and that makes even a small resistance a big problem. If you have a STEEL tool box.. it will help at least some as the permeability of steel is vastly greater then non-ferrous metals (it will redirect a given level of magnetic field vastly better than aluminum, copper, brass, etc…. to the point it reaches saturation. Saturation is when there is more magnetic lines of force than it can hold. Demo; take a strong magnet and see how well it will stick to a thin piece of sheet steel.. then try on a heavy piece of steel. The thinner metal will not hold nearly as well because the magnet produces more field than the thin metal can handle.. saturates it). Steel is better.
Resistance is the opposition of current flow. The greater resistance the less the current flow…
Contact of the lid at corners will allow the current to travel around the box until it gets to the faulty continuity.. then the current would have to turn towards the corners where it can continue onto the lid and around. This change in the direction of the current will cause the counter magnetic field to change directions along with the current.. and when it does it no longer opposes the source (the EMP).. letting EMP thru. in this “weak point”. How much can only be determined by testing of the box. I can guess.. but in all cases I would provide the worst case scenario… to be safe.
Again, the lid must be completely conductive all the way around the lid for best results. Drawings would be such an aid!!
So far as baggies, I expect they would be OK.. as long as they keep the protected device from contact with the box.. and again, I would prefer to stay away from corners and joints as these can be weak points.. and sharp corners DO have some inherent “weakness’s”. (that is another long explanation.. I wouldn’t say something WOULD be destroyed just because you put it in the corners and did everything else right.. but I cant promise you it wouldn’t either!)
As for storing them inside a plastic container.. this is just fine! I WOULD, however, suggest that you keep each faraday cage so it does not touch the other ones(electrically).
If you have something REALLY vital to not loose.. you might put it in a faraday cage inside a faraday cage. And if you do.. do not let the inside cage TOUCH the outside cage. If you get a 50db attenuation from the inside box.. and 60db attenuation from the outer box.. the total is 50db + 60db = 110db.. This is REALLY REALLY good protection.
I photocopied my wife’s and my birth certificates, DD214, pass ports, vaccine records,.. all manner of photos I cant replace (my kids.. grandkids and pictures of anything important)..Documents of all kinds. I copied service manuals for many of my more complex gear.. schematics of my ham radios along with maintenance and user manuals, Software manuals for programs I have for ham and emergency communications.. I even copied (to MP4) many movies. These are all put on a few chips, wrapped in paper and in a small metal can with lid… then, wrapped again and in one of my emergency faraday cages..
I keep much of this on CD’s.. but then, being on a CD is worthless… if you don’t have a CD/DVD reader that is protected as well.
A little extra.. I carry a Asus Eeepc 1000HE laptop, a Canon BJC 55 printer… they both operate on a 12vdc power source (or 120vac with wall wart power supply).. and the printer uses refillable ink TANKS as well.. Long as I can get ink, 12vdc, paper.. Im good! I can use it with Yaesu FT-857D radio. The laptop and printer can reproduce any and all the digitally stored info on the chips, including playing movie if you are in a bunker going nuts! And the radio, operated in certain digital modes.. can be very private…
Just some thoughts.. I hope I answered you adequately.
I hope this helped answer your questions, Nickie.
Oh! Aluminum foil.. I did not address it directly..
Aluminum foil has a limited effectiveness. I think part of its limitations is getting a really good contact-connection where the two are folded over. I think in part the aluminum forms a thin layer of oxide on the surface.. also could be in part that it has very low permeability.. which makes the contact issue far more vital. I can only theorize.. Iv seen experiments using aluminum foil and it took several layers inside layers, inside layers .. to achieve even a moderate level of attenuation of radio signals. It cant hurt.. but I think its very limited in effectiveness.
If you use aluminum foil, you will need to put your subject device in a box, perhaps a cardboard box.. wrap it well with the foil and be sure contact overlaps very well. Then wrap it with something to insulate it very well from the next layer of foil. Repeat until you have at least 3 separate layers. You can try this with a set of walkie-talkies.. see if you can hear the one inside when you transmit to it. If you can.. Id consider it as failing/inadequate. An EMP will generally be MUCH more powerful than a walkie-talkie will be!
The simplest thing to use for a faraday cage is one of the older microwave ovens. By default they are designed to keep EMPs out up to the Gigahertz range. They are spacious enough to hold an array of sensitive devices and very inexpensive or free. They don’t have to be operable just make sure the door is in good working order( ie. glass and door seal ).
I didn’t see anyone mention a spare car ECM (electronic control module). It’s therorized that a car’s ECM will get fried by an EMP, and that only older non-computer controlled vehicles will work afterward. Why not buy a spare ECM ($150-$350) and put it in a Faraday cage to keep the programming intact? That way, you might be able to replace the fried one and get a vehicle running. Thoughts?
Good catch! Yes.. I myself have an older Jeep truck with the Jeep 4.0 (actually, 4.6L I built long ago).. and I carry an extra computer that has been run in it… and I carry extra sensors as well. Your “Hall” type sensors.. are actually a type of semiconductor junction.. that is effected by a magnetic field. For the jeep, this is at least the Crank Position Sensor and the Cam position sensor. Throttle position is simply a variable resistance. Hall sensors .. Im not worried about magnetic field from an EMP.. but rather voltages that might be placed on it collected by the wires and EMP.
I don’t think the injectors would be effected as the pulse of an EMP is extremely short… I don’t think it would smoke them.. either as electro-magnetic.. or if they were piezo-electric.
The bottom line… Id put an extra computer in a good faraday cage.. AND Id put in extra’s of all the electronic sensors, including a set of injectors!
DO realize… if we ever do get EMP’d.. do not expect ONE. I would expect multiples. And in a few days again. Our enemies are very aware of people like us being prepared… and EXPECT that many will pull out that extra automotive PCM. Remember, FALL OUT comes from a nuk blast ON OR NEAR THE GROUND, NOT ONE IN THE ATMOSPHERE. And EMP will NOT mean you need to worry about fall out unless the burst was close enough for the fireball to touch the ground. If you can.. you might be advised to wait until the PROVERBIAL dust clears.. but if its Fall out dust.. get upwind or underground .. bunker.. ASAP. Something like 90% of the radio activity drops off after only 48 hours. Usually need to be underground (at least 36 to 48+ inches of compact earth as protection… for up to about 2 weeks.
OK, as usual, Iv extended beyond the question. But if someone benefits.. GREAT.
Best wishes to all!.
An ECM would be just the first in a long line of parts…Sensors, ignition, fuel pump; these have a lot of wire windings which could make them susceptible to phase 3 damage in addition to the susceptible electronic controls.
I wanted to comment on something I still need to check out myself!
Previously I have questioned the usefulness of putting cell phones in an EMP cage. In one write up I mentioned some kind of software Iv heard something about.. allowing people to use their cell phones between person to person… like a “walkie-talkie”.
Normally, when you call another person.. even if they are only 10 feet away, you go thru a cell tower. If no cell tower, you CANT talk to them (well, except they are close enough to without the cell phones).
There is downloadable aps for this system.. however Im not clear yet as to cost and what they are using as “nodes”… but I suspect this system jumps from one phone to another .. of the group of people who are subscribed. As this system uses cell frequencies .. 900 or 1800 MHz at my last look at cell tech stuff.. this means very much line of sight… However, Iv read there is a good deal of potential privacy… unlike using Ham radio in the 2m (144 MHz) range units. The signal will travel better, farther..(but is still NOT long range if repeaters are down). Ham .. in straight voice communications.. is always open for anyone to hear. DIGITAL ham radio… not nearly so much. Some hams use their phone as a digital device.. a converter if you will.. using an ap.. and hook it to their ham radios.
Anyway folks, DONT put in a cell phone thinking you will need to protect it for post EMP communications… like you are going to call someone. That likelihood is unlikely to say the least. If you don’t have a ham radio to use like above.. or if you don’t have the ap mentioned above… its not likely to be of much use. Except as a camera perhaps..
Get a small but decent/reliable hand held ham radio.. or two.. and LEARN to use them. (get a license! Its really very easy and you don’t have to know much about radio at all!). Then, look into you and local family and friends .. getting the ap that allows linkage between cell phones… and install it. THEN, put them all in the faraday cage!
The bottom license for ham radio is called a Technician Class license. VERY low tech knowledge required. Once comfortable, get your general Class.. this will greatly widen the different bands, and range.. of where you can “go” on the air… and you still don’t need to know a lot of tech. The top class is Extra Class. This you will need to have a very good understanding of radio, circuit design, antennas and design.. Not for everyone. You get full use of ALL bands.. but as a general you get about 95% of that anyway. Find a local ham club and learn more! Just, get a license before you go on air!
CB radio is of benefit in emergencies as well. Its AM.. rather noisy.. both from static and people who like to just chat.. Its a nice backup too!
Best to everyone out there!
I am not technologically savvy, but I am wondering if it would make sense to keep a cell phone in your bag to communicate with a drone attached to a camera. I seem to remember hearing that drones do not necessarily work through the internet or a network server. Can they communicate directly with a phone? If so, this would be an immensely useful tool to survey you surroundings.