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Schoeny

Burying electronics = Faraday cage?

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Like the title of the post says, would burying small electronics in some type of waterproof container be equal to, or even work at all to protect said items from EMP? If so, how deep would they have to be below the surface? Seems this would be a fairly easy way to protect some small items from getting fried if it does work, with less worry as to whether or not your cage is thick enough, or grounded well, or anything else.

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Like the title of the post says, would burying small electronics in some type of waterproof container be equal to, or even work at all to protect said items from EMP? If so, how deep would they have to be below the surface? Seems this would be a fairly easy way to protect some small items from getting fried if it does work, with less worry as to whether or not your cage is thick enough, or grounded well, or anything else.

 

The answer is a definite "maybe"! A lot depends on the soil, its moisture content, the depth of burial (considering the moisture and iron content of the soil) and a ton of other variables.

 

In places like East Texas "Red Dirt" country it is a pretty good solution. In volcanic rock it probably is almost useless. Pumice has a low electrical conductivity. It is tough to get a good ground on volcanic rock. You might have to bury the box meters underground. East Texas has a high iron content in a moist soil. A fairly shallow hole would still afford quite a bit of protection. A sheet of metal (aluminum foil even) that is twice (a SWAG on my part) the size of the box and buried just above the box (think roof) should offer quite a bit of protection, even in poorer (from a Faraday Box point of view) soil. Remember the Faraday cage conducts the EMP around the items to be protected.

 

Even buried wires and pipes get hit by lightening and can carry voltage a long way. I want to say 1.4 miles is known but that is a vague memory that may be seriously flawed. In any event, lightening can travel down a conductor, in the ground, for a good long way; it is why you shouldn't shower or do dishes during a thunderstorm. Just because those pipes are buried, doesn't mean they can't bring energy into the house.

 

A cage is a much surer bet than burying and probably easier. If you're going to weather proof your stuff and bury it anyway, it won't hurt but without specifics and doing the math I can't tell you whether or not burying alone is sufficient.

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I ran across this idea and am not sure how well it would work...So anyone ever hear of using old microwave units as faraday cages? Lets say if you had a cellar/bunker/metal storage container and set several old units on a wooden table inside... would they protect the stuff inside? Would you need to seal the door with aluminum tape? I have read somewhere that to test a microwave you could put a cell phone inside and then call that phone...no ring = signal blocked... not sure if this would carry over to EMP.

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I have also heard that microwaves are excellent for protection. The problem is there is no definitive answer on what will work because it hasn't occurred in contemporary times. I would do everything and more just to be as close to right as you can be. Then there's a question of grounding. There's no straight answer on whether a cage should be grounded in order for the charge to flow around the cage and out through the ground.

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I thought that a faraday cage should not be grounded. However, the objects inside must be electrically isolated from the cage walls and from the outside. I believe that the ground on a cage would only act as a conduit to the cage.

 

Could be wrong about that as there seems to be some controversy on the subject.

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I saw on a prepper show a while back (on tv, so maybe total BS) that a guy used a new galvanized trash can for a Faraday cage. And he "tested" it by connecting jumper cables from his pickup battery to the can.. the electronics inside came out seemingly unhurt, still functioning. any truth to this? seems like a pretty cheap and smart idea if it works.

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I saw on a prepper show a while back (on tv, so maybe total BS) that a guy used a new galvanized trash can for a Faraday cage. And he "tested" it by connecting jumper cables from his pickup battery to the can.. the electronics inside came out seemingly unhurt, still functioning. any truth to this? seems like a pretty cheap and smart idea if it works.

 

The metal can is a cage IF there is electrical contact around the rim between the lid and the can. The TEST was pure BS. Told him nothing except that his battery used to be charged! A metal trash can, with an insulator in the bottom that the electronics are resting on and properly sealed makes a half way decent cage. Not a bad plan (ANY container made of electrically conducting material, properly sealed, makes a decent cage) but the 'test' was totally useless. If you insist on a test, an arc welder sparking in close proximity of the container is a better (although not perfect) test.

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If we get hit by an EMP strong enough to cause a BIG problem on a world wide level your electronic devices will be USELESS. A radio, telephone or TV is meaningless without the towers, broadcasts or service. A GPS is dependent on satellites that may get fried if the EMP is part of a coronal mass ejection from the sun.

 

Throw a small computer, a couple of flash drives, your cell phone if you just can't imagine living without it and a calculator in a microwave, wrapped in foil and bury it. Gravel and such is useless. The soil is not going to STOP the EMP. You want it to conduct it around and dissipate it and that isn't likely in most soil. You are burying it so that if such things ever have meaning again that you can recover it.

 

Electricity is made by rotating wires through a weak magnetic field. An EMP is so strong that as it passes across wire it generates a charge. The last big one happened just as we were beginning to use electricity. The wires on telegraph poles got so hot that they caught on fire. Telegraph operators were electrocuted! Generating facilities blew up and all this was in a world where it was a rare sort of thing.

 

Every wire in your phone will fry! The lines to your house will experience huge voltage jumps. There won't be a car left running anywhere in the effected areas. There will be thousands of fatalities as anything electric may suddenly stop working. I know AirForce One is hardened but I don't think most planes will make it. Elevators will stop. Lights will go out and not return...possibly for weeks maybe NEVER. Without electricity dams will not be able to open their gates and that could be BAD.

 

I personally am not prepping to save my electric goodies. I'm preparing to go primitive. Of all my electronic toys I think my TI scientific would be the most valuable to me. Man, I'm to old to go back to extracting square roots by hand. I guess my old K&E slip stick would have to come out of retirement!!

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If you bury an electronic device I would also wrap it in tinfoil or some other metal container to add a 'faraday cage' style of protection.....

 

I spoke to someone who works at the nuclear plant by my house. I asked him about EMP and he said that if we got hit by an EMP strong enough to bring down our nuclear plant, it would probably wipe out our o-zone and we'd all die anyway.

 

Not sure if there is any truth in that statement, but he made it a point to stress that our nuclear plant is electrically hardened to avoid that type of disaster. I asked him about the disaster in Japan and he said they were idiots. He said that there was plenty of help available on US Carriers and ships to give them any supplies they needed but because of their culture they didn't ask for help. They also didn't take advice from the U.S.

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The metal can is a cage IF there is electrical contact around the rim between the lid and the can. The TEST was pure BS. Told him nothing except that his battery used to be charged! A metal trash can, with an insulator in the bottom that the electronics are resting on and properly sealed makes a half way decent cage. Not a bad plan (ANY container made of electrically conducting material, properly sealed, makes a decent cage) but the 'test' was totally useless. If you insist on a test, an arc welder sparking in close proximity of the container is a better (although not perfect) test.

 

Very good.....If you research the automotive sites you will find warnings about welding on vehicles that have electronic controls. The only thing I can say about grounding would be that properly done it should bleed the energy off the exterior of the container. That likely would be a good thing. As I remember Warrior had some info on this but it was of a technical nature ....we really need a more do this so that sort of descrition of how to protect equipment. Radio transmitters/recievers, vehicles, generators and such are the items we would need in an event situation.

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I saw on a prepper show a while back (on tv, so maybe total BS) that a guy used a new galvanized trash can for a Faraday cage. And he "tested" it by connecting jumper cables from his pickup battery to the can.. the electronics inside came out seemingly unhurt, still functioning. any truth to this? seems like a pretty cheap and smart idea if it works.

 

THis is total BS. All the guy did was apply an electric charge to the trash can. THis in NO WAY resembles/similates atmospheric (CME/EMP) radiation. His test wouldnt even create a magnetic field.

 

Partsman is right in his comments, that anything made of metal and sealed correctly, could be used to provide a level (big or little) of protection.

Edited by NavyVet_77

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