When talking about storing a Ham Radio for long distance communications it is important to note we are talking about HF (High Frequency) radios. If you are looking for something small, inexpensive that does it all and only weighs 5 pounds, I would consider the Yaesu FT-857D.
When it comes to an antenna for HF radio, a simple multi band wire antenna up in the trees works very well and they are very inexpensive. For a Faraday Cage, I use a 55 Gallon steel drum with a steel overlapping lid and steel locking band. Watched a video weeks back , sorry I don’t have the link, where this fellow did testing on different enclosures for Faraday cages. However, if a battery is discharging its power thus creating an energy ciruit to a computer or to a vehicle that is running, the battery and every wire connected to it will be effected..
Folks – an EMP produced by high-altitude nuclear detonation of the type that has been developed to maximize pulse-yield will penetrate most cages slapped together. I think electronic items not connected to the power grid (long wires = antennae) have a good shot at working, with the odds increasing as the distance from ground zero increases. As Heartless suggested, medical, question, how many people do YOU know that’s on a pace-maker?
Large amp-hour batteries such as in a solar battery bank will not be effected by an EMP because the time duration of the EMP is so short that the electrolyte of the battery will not have time to boil and the conductors are so large that they will not melt. Also, the electrical field inside a Faraday cage is zero and therefore if your electronics touches the inside metal surface of the cage there will no problems for your equipment. In my opinion, the battery electrolyte will not have time to boil because an EMP is over in nanoseconds (with exception to a CME event from the Sun which is quite different – although my instinctive opinion regarding batteries in that situation is still the same).
I kind of thought it would be luck of the draw meaning being on the daylight side and hit and being on the night time side and missed.
What I have stored is a few walkie-talkies, solar charge controller, blocking diodes for panels, LED flashlights, spare AA & AAA batteries, charger for same, multi-meter, net book, assorted flashdrives.
I also keep a few of the inexpensive Wilkie talkie to hand out to neighbors as a method of keeping the neighborhood safe. Multiple small solar powers keep easy in a trash can and can be enough to maintain a battery for my back up CPAP machine. I know this will sound weird but in addition to a lot of what has been listed I put in an electric hair clippers like a barber uses.
Is there any truth to a majority of the vehicles (modern) on the roads today being obsolete after an event like this? We try to upgrade or replace electronics while our current items are still functional, then the old ones go in the cages as spares. I have a large safe in the garage, I removed the door seal and replaced it with a copper weather strip. Since this topic of a Possible EMP has come up, I MUST REMIND everyone that the FED has recently bought huge amounts of NBC respirator canisters for FULL FACE respirators and Potassium Iodide tablets!! I am sometimes greatly amused by the lack of understanding of technical subjects I read on various web sites. Faraday cage does not improve or diminish the shielding capacity of the cage, nor does it have any other effect. I have a pacemaker…is there anything at all that can be done to shield it from an EMP?
Secondly, knowing there was an air burst or some other man made cause for an EMP, is there any measure of time and distance in which the EMP travels? Fortunately, my heart would not stop in my pacemaker stopped but I would be in the hurt locker in regards to a very low heart rate. If the US is doing its job, there should be a warning given the the citizens as soon as a missile is launched. YES, to an extent, an old microwave oven may be re-purposed as a Faraday cage against EMP (electro magnetic pulse). A Faraday cage by its very definition does not have to be grounded to reflect or keep out electro-magnetic waves (they normally are not grounded).
If a microwave oven is used as an EMP shield (Faraday cage),I would suggest that the cord be cut and removed to prevent it from becoming an antenna. Not a bad idea, but in theory, not necessary given the existing shielding of the chamber itself. Bought some aluminum attic radiant barrier foil a few years back, it’s like heavy duty aluminum foil with threads inside for strength.
I regret to inform you that a microwave oven is only partially effective as a Faraday cage, something you can test for yourself. In any event, there are better methods of do-it-yourself Faraday cage design, as you mention.
I wouldn’t have expected the shielding on a microwave oven to do anything but protect the user from the oven.
If I remember correctly, 1) there is no screen over the magnetron’s output port (duh!) and 2) there is high-voltage DC applied to the magnetron. Go to any old appliance store and buy old single door refrigerator or freezer, , take off the rubber gasket, so that the door metal contacts the main shell, then line the inner walls completely with cardboard or styrofoam, place your electronic on cardboard covered shelves, you can easily store radio’s ,lap tops,etc.
A corollary question is this: How would the generator connected to that Automatic Transfer Switch fare in an EMP event? I suspect what has happened is that the microwave manufacturers have cheapened their units, and provide just enough RF protection to keep your eyeballs from being fried. Survival blog topics for a life of preparedness and risk awareness; emergency and disaster or threats thereof. Our Faraday Cages feature an innovative construction that is lightweight and flexible yet provides a highly effective electro-conductive surface.

You tell us your size requirements, where you want the doors and cable access, and we’ll make a faraday cage to your specifications. Anechoic Chambers has brought us to the forefront of Shielded and Anechoic Chamber technology. Coming December 23 is The Darkest Hour a new 3D alien invasion movie starring Emile Hirsch, written by Jon Spaihts (the first scribe on Prometheus) and directed by Chris Gorak (Right at Your Door, art director of Fight Club). After a few minutes of perusing the art, Gorak took center stage and explained the film’s unique, invisible alien antagonists. The film, the first American production set and shot entirely in Russia, follows a ragtag group of international survivors lead by Hirsch, who must survive the alien occupation and figure out a way to fight back against the invisible beasts. Eventually, the heroes discover that the aliens ‘see’ us by sensing our electro-magnetic pulses. And though the invaders are invisible, they give off such a strong electrical field that it turns on any electrical devices in their immediate vicinity.
In one of the film’s most elaborate sequences, two of the heroes sneak out to an abandoned police car in the middle of Red Square to collect weapons and supplies.
Obviously, shutting down Red Square was not an option, so they filmed over five days, cordoning off one section of the square at a time. After giving a bit of background, the filmmakers previewed the film’s first trailer for us. In my favorite snippet, a young heroine runs into a trolley cart, trying to escape a pursuing extra-terrestrial.
It all seemed very well thought out and elevated: the invisible monsters, their visual signifiers, tools, and the ways in which the humans fight back. Long story short, nuclear weapons detonated at high altitude have the potential to instantly destroy today’s high-tech electronics within a debatable radius. Similar to the aforementioned 2-way radios, CB radios are also battery powered and may serve a useful comms purpose after EMP.
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 do need one that is affordable to me, so am interested in the best I can get for the least price, as I am a bit broke right now!
Went back and read some of them and read about doing the cell phone test so I decided to try it in a couple of my safes. In other words, 99.% of all electronics we are now burdened with thinking crucial to our day-to-day will be gone. To do so most definitely will draw down upon you all the attention of those who mean you no good-will. Your i-toys won’t be much good even is they work, because cell towers and the internet require electricity. The environmental schmucks in CA will have an especially tough time, since they refused to allow generating stations to be built and instead brought electricity in from long distances. There can be some electrical arcing inside a connected battery bank but that would be taken care of by surge protectors connected to your system. But I wonder if it went on for a prolonged enough time and the cone was wide enough could the earth rotate through it, this exposing everybody?
Working on a flexible solar panel to go into a galvanized trash can but what is available has some rather large holes where the handles attach. I have a spare computer module for my 89 Grand Prix that is wrapped in layers of aluminum foil in the trunk. If and EMP or CME were to happen and the lights are on, I think the surge would possibly fry the wiring and pop the light bulb.
Will the surge from an EMP that can fry all of the transmission lines, transformers and power generators not also fry the wiring within the house? Bradley’s video is great, everyone should watch to see the dBs of attenuation he achieved in his various tests. As long as the holes in the screen are smaller than the wavelength of the frequencies you are trying to protect against, screen works just as well as a solid piece of metal. In the case of a nuclear detonation, the electromagnetic pulse consists of a continuous frequency spectrum.
Since the holes of the screen mesh of a microwave oven are small compared to the wavelength of the microwave itself, little radiation can leak out. I do know that cell phones operate at lower frequencies, however I would assume that a microwave shielding would also block lower frequencies by default – since the microwave frequencies themselves are higher and require smaller holes in the screen. Since EMP is nothing more than a high energy RF pulse, any Faraday cage which will shield you from EMP will also shield you from RF. I am also somewhat surprised that the microwave shielding seems to be apparently somewhat ‘tuned’ or restricted? What I found is that supposedly, a microwave is permitted to radiate up 0.25 Watts of power. Our cages combine a lightweight aluminum frame with a covering constructed of an ultra-fine nickel-copper mesh. Whereas most invasion films focus on the military battle against the invading extra-terrestrials, this one focuses on what happens after the aliens have already won.
After hearing what they had to say and seeing some production art and the first trailer, I think The Darkest Hour could well be the one Hollywood alien invasion movie that everyone remembers from 2011. With images of Red Square lying in ruins, a cat wrapped in metal wires, bodies exploding into ash, a Russian soldier riding horseback while shooting a massive flamethrower and a plane crash landed in the middle of one of the world’s biggest malls, the concept art and production stills display a massive scope and a perverse, distinctly Eastern European sense of humor, courtesy of producer Timur Bekmambetov (who was not in attendance).
We follow the surviving humans through the streets of Moscow after the initial attack kills 91% of the city’s population. The aliens have attacked all over the world, but we see the apocalypse from a civilian’s perspective and never know more than they do.

To combat this, they team up with an eccentric Russian scientist who builds a makeshift Faraday cage, a real world device that grounds electricity and cloaks humans from the beasts. The end result is the eerie sight of one of the world’s most famous and busy locations completely deserted. There are literally about 16 alien invasion films scheduled for release between 2010 and the end of next year.
All of it feels different from any film in recent memory, but all of it also makes immediate sense thanks to confident and angular visual storytelling.
Say what you will of Twilight, they pick distinctive productions that other studios wouldn’t have the guts to attempt and package the films with interesting talent – like Hirsch and the various famous Russian actors seen here – led by budding filmmakers. After an EMP SHTF there will be significant value in local radio communications (for various reasons – especially security among a group).
If we have a “real” CME or EMP those WILL stop, now a lot of people with PMs will make it for a little time without, but what if?
One might also consider storing spare replacement parts for the electronics, but again, Fuel? Touching the inner surface of the cage will have no effect on the contents of the cage because the electric field inside the cage is zero. A Faraday cage is an enclosure formed by conducting material or by a mesh of such material. Most of the energy is distributed throughout the lower frequencies between 3 Hz and 30 kHz. There are also mesh screens on the sides of the oven cavity, one to protect the oven light while allowing it to shine into the cavity, the other to permit ventilation. The article states that most of the energy will occur below 30 KHz and while I suspect this frequency may depend on the actual type of EMP involved, this is still close enough to the AM band to use an AM radio for testing. The microwave oven does apparently restrict these frequencies, but the attenuation itself in dB is unclear. Many of them are already beginning to run together, but this trailer sold me on the film in the first 30 seconds. But since the trolley is still hooked up to its’ wires, the cart springs to life and speeds madly down the rails. My solar panels are too large to fit in the safe so they are kept in a large lined metal cabinet.
I may be wrong, but it seems to me that they would either overcharge and explode, or discharge depending on the circumstances (distance from the EMP event, sitting on or near conductive materials, etc). Oil refineries will grind to a halt, and you didn’t REALLY think the strategic petroleum reserve was for YOU, did you?
Stored in a 20mm ammo can with the gasket removed, paint scraped of at the lip and gasketed with crushed aluminum foil. Also, as long as the hole size in a Faraday cage is much smaller than the incident radiation wave length, the cage will be effective at protecting the contents.
A microwave oven’s very design is to enclose the electro-magnetic radiation of microwaves, and keep them from getting out. However the first effects of nuclear detonation are the very-high-frequency pulses, in the microwave range, and can work their way into Faraday cages if there are cracks, seams, or vents.
Simply tune the radio to the strongest local station and put it in whatever you are testing.
The gags with electricity as a signifier are extremely clever and play out in several escalating ways. If nothing else, The Darkest Hour is sure to be memorable, even in the middle of a slew of alien pics.
Makes me feel a little better knowing that my electronics and thermal scopes are protected. The electrolyte will boil in the battery due to the excessive current(wattage) and then the battery will just simply boil (or explode) over so to speak.
We all know that commercial companies don’t put anything more than what they have to for fear of reducing their profit, so it would reasonable to assume microwave ovens are probably between 40 and 50 dB of shielding. As I understand it, the energy waves created by an EMP or CME have a wavelength of 2-4″ so as long as there are no gaps this large or larger any metal container can serve as a faraday cage.
Suggestion, get a older Junker and fix it up, pre mid 70s and have spare coil and condenser. I just did this with my microwave and while the signal did get rather noisy, it could still be heard, even with the door closed.
Its not bad, but it just isn’t enough to fulling attenuate the AM station to the point that it is inaudible. As stated, both the safe and cabinet are lined with non conductive material to keep the items in them from touching the metal of the cage. I have read at some sources that if the panels ARE NOT hooked up to anything, ie charge controllers, inverters, or battery banks they would probably be safe if left unprotected during a CME or EMP. Most effective, good old aluminum foil and ammo cans, even with the rubber seal, although you do need to make sure that any metal like an antenna does not touch the foil or the steel of the can. Not the best protection but could mitigate the effects enough to not damage your pacemaker. However, my guess is after seeing the bright light, there may not be enough time to do any needed shielding of a pacemaker. The metal in a car will provide some shielding against EMP as well which are OK for a high burst EMP weapon but not for a ground burst as windows could break and the car could be set on fire by the heat wave that follows.

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