This may well be the best Faraday cage you can make on the cheap and the best Faraday cage at any price. What you need to place in your Faraday cage is a diesel generator so that, when that EMP goes off, you can sell electricity at whatever price you set. Surely there will be marauding bands of teenagers and sports fans who will come and take your radio from you! If your home is already grounded, as it should be per building codes, you can ground your cabinet to it.
Would being underground, say in a cave, bunker, or fallout shelter protect one’s electronic gear or electrical conductors? Now anyone thinking that prepping is foolish ask you what’s easier telling your children and loved ones why you prepared or explaining to them why you didn’t? But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.
You could actually simulate an EMP level pulse by charging a bank of high voltage capacitors and discharging them across a narrow gap. In the event something does happen, won’t those you need to communicate with and through need one also?
The main thing for nuclear EMP is not to have connections to any power lines or antenna lines- any copper connections at all.
So a chain link fence will protect you maybe from 1000 Hz or so, so the shielded room in the pic is a fantasy.
If you were to discover a way to shield against a magnetic field you could use that tech to quickly create a magnetic perpetual motion machine. Gravity based perpetual motion machines are also impossible because there is no such thing as a gravity shield.
An interesting fact related to all this that is unknown to the non EE types is how an RF choke works. Not at the very low frequencies, low magnitudes involved in your described test scenario - the low-level magnetic pulse will blow through the shielding because there isn’t enough magnetization energy. To be sure, you’d need multiple tests and many frequencies that could measure across an up to 80dB dynamic range. This would create a broad-spectrum pulse with frequency content up to the inverse of the pulse-length. At low frequencies magnetic fields dominate, at higher frequencies electric fields dominate. The most energetic part of an EMP does not have low frequency components - though the later stage EMP DOES have a geomagnetic component - but it is not highly energetic - so you need a very large collector for it to impact (e.g. Then I would use a radio test multiple frequencies on the FM, AM and SW band and then use a couple of cellphones to the GSM and UMTS bands. You may think you have a good Faraday cage using receivers but you could fall well short of performance because the signals weren’t strong enough to show your true performance under EMP conditions. A Faraday cage works by three mechanisms: (1) the conductive layer reflects incoming fields, (2) the conductor absorbs incoming energy, and (3) the cage acts to create opposing fields.
Field cancelation occurs when the free carriers in the conductive material rapidly realign to oppose the incident electric field. Yes, as long as the holes are small with respect to the wavelength of the incident electromagnetic wave. Yes, there are many conductive enclosures that can be used, including ammo cans, metal garbage cans, anti-static bags, and even old microwave ovens. Anti-static bags are readily available to protect electronic components against electrostatic discharge. The Prepared Prepper's Cookbook: Over 170 Pages of Food Storage Tips, and Recipes From Preppers All Over America! Does anyone know if you can use packing peanuts to insulate and keep the contents of the cage from contact with the exterior walls? Question about gaps: If I use an ammo can with a rubber gasket to make the ammo can (and radio equipment) waterproof, having to repeatedly re-seal the can with conductive tape seems like a real pain. I read on another blog that an old microwave oven (old plugged of course) could be used for small items. I have several 30 gallon metal trashcans setup in a similar manner, except I don’t use any coffin locks, or anything else on the lid since its already tight fitting. An EMP is not a continuous event, it is a burst of energy that is released, the damage is done, and then it’s gone, unless it is caused by a solar storm which could last for several hours or even days. As stated in the article, a solar storm is not likely to produce effects that will hurt small electronic items, unless they are connected to an external long wiring system, which could include the electrical grid, your landline telephone, your local cable TV provider, all of which contain long enough antennas to induce large voltages onto the system, and into connected devices. The Carrington Event of 1859 cause problems with telegraph offices because the telegraph wires between the offices acted as a large antenna system, which collected the energy and delivered it to the devices connected to it.
If vulnerable equipment is not in the protected enclosure during the event, then it could be subject to damage. The truth is that no one knows for sure what will work without knowing the exact characteristics of electromagnetic pulse and that is impossible to know in advance.
I know that lightning isn’t RF or an EMP but it is a huge energy source and I predict EMP will be just as unpredictable. As a EE I think that this article was spot on; although perhaps a little more complex in the description of the physics than it would have to be . I dont think you all got my point, You have explained what an EMP does and how long it lasts, but you, me and everyone here does NOT know when one will happen. What you keep in your Faraday cage always are the spare electronic parts for your car or truck, your spare ham radio, your extra laptop computer, etc. If you have a set of 2 way radios that work ok in your area, and you are happy with them, then buy a second set and put them in the cage.
I keep hand held wallis talkies for communication on the farm and with my neighbors Ina faraday box. But go ahead and use the garbage cans, the ammo cans, the aluminum foil packets, the coffee cans, etc.
It’s good that you do such important work with things for a living because if you had to interact with people you would be out of a job.


As somebody else in the radio field, I am going to have chime in to state that your information is not correct, either here or your improved explanation below. Some articles I’ve read refer to super EMP devices, nuclear devices designed for maximum magnetic yield.
If it does happen, I figure it at least gives me a fighting chance, and if I do have a break-in, chances are that the burglars will overlook that antique. You’re absolutely right about the multiple layer effects working better than a thick conductor.
I have a lead lined ammo box , that was originally used to transport radioactive pharmaceuticals in for small stuff . Instead of thinking of a faraday cage like you would an umbrella in a rainstorm, think of it instead like a sponge you are standing under.
That is perhaps the best analogy I can come up with for how a faraday cage is supposed to work. I’ve had to harden communications sites, some of the most vulnerable equipment to emp, to survive direct lightning strikes. For those of you wondering what the heck I am talking about…A Faraday Cage is a shield that blocks external electric fields. EMP bags can be purchased to protect your equipment or you can follow one of the hundreds of youtube videos that claim to help you DIY your own. I was under the impression all you needed was a steel or other metal container, foam, and cloth to wrap the items in. You need to insulate the electronics inside from coming in contact with the metal container. I wrapped each electronic separately with an old towel and put 3 packs of 4 AA batteries in with them and a few battery chargers that fit the electronics. I will be continuing to test different ways to do this and would love to hear your theories (besides me just being an idiot) as to what I did wrong in the comments. Top 10 Oils For PreppingIf you don't yet have a stash (or a hoard) of essential oils, now is the time to start stocking up.
I find that I worry less about the big "what if's" out there the more emergency planning my family does to deal with the unexpected.
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A professor in EE told me about his brother having a contract to create the equivalent to a Faraday cage for Magnetic fields from the Navy. A hole in a Farday cage lets in EM radiation, but the size of the hole determines the frequency. It’s made of screening, yet is a very good reflector at the freqs the astronomers use. You say even mu-metal wouldn't work, but RFEngineer says even steel is good enough to work. For instance, if you are under 200ft of granite, you will not get significant shielding effect, because granite (or dry sand) is very low conductivity and hence, does not significantly dissipate an EMP. The best inexpensive ad-hoc shield I can think of is the trash can - but use steel wool fragments around the full circumference of the lip and hammer it down solid with a rubber mallet. A better precaution against solar events is to unplug electronics and use quality surge suppressors. If the cage is made from something non-conductive, the free carriers are not mobile enough to realign and cancel the incident field. The conductivity of nearly any metal is good enough to allow the carriers to easily realign to cancel external fields. Each has its own level of effectiveness as covered in my book, Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms. They can be purchased in many different sizes, including some large enough to hold radio equipment. Engineers who work in electromagnetics often use “shield rooms” to conduct experiments because they do an excellent job of filtering out interfering signals, providing in excess of 100 dB of shielding. There can be no conductive penetrations into the room, or it will seriously degrade the shielding. A steel trash can with a very tight fitting lid does a pretty good job of acting as a Faraday cage. I tested ammo cans for my book, and they didn’t do great because of the less than perfect seam going around them. Yes, your cell phone may get fried — but, as you said, the rest of the network may get fried, too. A ground provides a safe place to direct excess current from lightning strikes, power line surges or static discharge to protect your more delicate electronics. A high altitude nuke EMP will generate upwards of 25,000 volts per meter within a close distance and 5000 volts per meter out to around 1500 miles from zero. Some where around 200,000 volts per meter of wire at zero and 100,000 volts at the horizon.
I don’t expect to have a serious auto accident, but that doesn’t mean I don’t buy coverage for it. I didn’t have time to talk about that in this article, but it is discussed in a youtube video that I did. You want do dump the energy ASAP, longer lines introduce delays and resistance to the energy moving away.


With recent and predicted events like Hurricane Sandy, The Colorado Wildfires, Fiscal Cliffs, and rising food and gas costs just in 2012 there is no denying that things are changing in our world. I will share the survival tips and tricks I have learned while on this preparedness journey and hope that you join in with lots of comments. If you are at all concerned about protecting your electronic equipment from either a man made or solar EMP please consider making a Faraday storage cabinet like this.
The brother set up an experiment where he created a Mu-metal cage around a detector on the theory that the cage would route the field around the detector.
A pinhole in a weld will let in only, say, 90 GHz and up while being completely opaque to lower freqs. For instance: If you connect an RF choke across a transmitters antenna feed line it will not hinder the flow of RF in the line.
As long as the conducting layer is greater than the skin depth, it will provide excellent shielding because the absorption loss will be large.
For example, if silver (the best conductor) is used in place of aluminum, the skin depth at 200 MHz is reduced to about 4.5 microns. A poor-man’s shield room can be made by lining a small closet with heavy-duty aluminum foil, covering all four walls, the floor, the ceiling, and the inside of the door.
I tested this as part of my book, and found that it varies greatly depending on the fit of the lid. It would be fine sitting inside a Faraday cage as long as you’re not scrubbing your bare electronics against it. An EMP is a high frequency radiated event (not conducted like a bolt of lightning), so the goal is to simply shield the sensitive electronics from the high electromagnetic fields.
EMP is a high energy radio wave, but radio waves are not current flow, otherwise they couldn’t go through air which is an insulator.
I only have a couple walkie-talkies, a transistor radio and a couple flashlights in it, with no batteries in them. Check out disasterprepper videos (or my name) and you’ll find one on Faraday Cage testing. So instead of this post being about how to build a safe place to keep your electronics, it is now about how I failed at it.
I was attempting to store away one NOAA radio, an old cell phone, batteries and some AA universal battery chargers for the phone and radio. Until then, I think I will investgate the ready made ones and see if that just maybe a prep worth paying for! Whether or not you believe "The End of the World As We Know It" is near there are plenty of everyday things to worry about: loss of a job, health emergency, local weather events to name a few.
At the end of every post the blog randomly selects three more survival posts for you to check out.
It will however create a low resistance path for dc energy to flow between the feedline conductors.
Arthur Bradley, author of Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms, answers a few basic questions and perhaps debunks a few myths. The enclosure itself can be conductive, or it can be made of a non-conductive material (such as cardboard or wood) and then wrapped in a conductive material (such as aluminum foil).
The bottom line is that an ungrounded cage protects the contents from harmful electromagnetic fields as well as a grounded one. It resides in my basement and the electronic items in it don’t seem to care if it looks dated.
I am not sure of your experience, but I say this as a NARTE certified EMC engineer who has worked in electromagnetics for 20 years. The theory is that if an EMP (ElectroMagnetic Pulse) were to occur, all electronic equipment in its area would be destroyed. You might be able to make this Faraday cage for less if you stop by construction sites and get left over aluminum insulation and ask for thirteen feet of aluminum duct tape.
A smaller and weaker version of this idea is used to pass huge current pulses through a small 6 turn open air coil that produces such a large magnetic pulse that it can penetrate the skull and induce small currents in the brain. If your transmitter is grounded then the choke across the transmission line means your entire antenna system is directly connected to the ground because the braid of the transmission line is connected to ground.
A high-current pulse with a very short pulse-length is bound to produce a very high magnetic field.
As an example, consider that for a frequency of 200 MHz, the skin depth of aluminum is only about 21 microns.
The results from testing three different types of bags are provided in Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms. This lets static bleed away to the earth and still the antenna functions normally.The lower the RF frequency the larger the choke needs to be to block it.
When selecting an ESD bag, consider not only the shielding effectiveness but also the physical ruggedness of the bag. Also, lay a piece of plywood or cardboard on the floor so that it can be walked on without damaging the aluminum foil. The author directs you to his book to find the effective shielding of the various recommended containers, but this is at pretty much the lower end of shielding effectiveness. I want to think I can get around when TSHTF happens without the dependence of a cellular device,Who are you going to call? Therefore, wrapping a box in a couple of layers of heavy duty aluminum foil (typically about 24 microns thick) provides the necessary conductor thickness to protect against high-frequency radiated fields. Rooms built in this way have been shown to offer more than 50 dB of shielding up to several hundred MHz.
Pulses can be caused by several things but the prevailing thoughts are that an EMP would come in the form of either a terrorist attack or a solar flare.



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