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Juice94

Could Use A Little Help With My Project

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Hey guys, I looked online and read through most of the threads to trie to piece together the info I’m looking for but can’t seem to find it so I figured id just ask.

 

I am building a room in the back of my garage. I will be using the room as my “Armory” and to store a majority of my prepping gear. I want to make the room safe from a solar flare/EMP so I can store my generator, back up hard drives, old laptop, and other electronics. I have couple different ideas on how to do this but wanted to get your guys opinions and ideas since many of you have a better understanding of this then I do. Feel free to add or subtract from my ideas, or tell me how bad they are. ;) Any help will be greatly appreciated. I will be taking pictures and video of every part of the project and will be happy to post them when I am all finished. Just keep in mind I don’t want this to look like a faraday cage. From the outside it must appear to just be a regular storage room in the back of the garage.

 

The dimensions of the room are 8’ x 9’ with 9’ ceiling.

 

Idea #1

- Cinder block then fur out with 1” x 1” furring strips.

- Shoot 2” x 4” pressure treated studs (laying flat) into the concrete slab (creating a base

for a raised floor)

- Wrap the inside of the framed room in copper mesh including the ceiling and floor.

- Sheetrock over the mesh inside the room as well as outside.

- Lay ½” or ¾” plywood on top of cooper mesh for the floor.

- Ground the mesh at 2 separate points to 8’ ground rods.

 

Idea #2

- Cinder block the room and fur out floor as above.

- Instead of using copper mesh, line the room in sheets of steel. (Welding them together

and grounding them) (I really like this idea and think it would look really nice)

 

Issues I need to resolve.

1. Will Steel even work? Could I use some outer type of metal? Assuming steel will work

what would be the minimum gage I could get away with.

 

2. Will sheet rocking over the mesh be an issue?

 

3. The Door.

I know I need to have metal on metal contact but does the whole door have to be metal? I was trying to think of a way to modify a fire rated door to do the trick (this would save money). Say a piece of steel attached to the back of the door that over hung the outside edge so that it made contact with steal on the wall when the door is shut then retro fitting the entire other side in continuous hinges which connect to the steel on the other wall and steel on the back of the door. The other thought I had was to get a vault door then weld the steal or mesh onto the frame.

 

4. Power inside the room.

I want to have a few outlets and lighting inside the room. (I plan on doing reloading). I am going on the assumption that if a big enough solar flare or EMP were to hit, the lights and outlets would be fried (as well anything plugged in to them), as they will be connected to existing circuits. (I would not connect anything I wished to protect into them, they would be merely for convenience) My concern is whether bringing outside power into the room will expose anything in the room. (Basically, could my generator, which is just sitting in the room on the floor and not attached to anything, some how be exposed because I brought outside power inside the room.

 

Like I said any help would be appreciated and if I have not explained anything clearly enough let me know.

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I may be mistaken but I think if you had outlets connected the pulse would travel insided through them. You may be able to get around that with breakers connected to the outside but I'm not sure.

 

That was my worry. There has to be a way to bring power into the room without without exposing the rest of the things inside.

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Maybe a sliding mesh cover across the outlets? Or an extension cord that plug in from outside of the room and you disconnect it when you "lock up"?

 

Thats not a bad Idea. I probably could put in a small sub panel outside the room, with a whip to plug into a generator plug that is attached to the main service, and whenever I go in there just plug the whip in.

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A faraday cage does not need to be grounded. Any wiring running into the room will allow the pulse inside.

 

You could have an extension cord run in when the room is being used to bring in electricity. You'd have almost 2 days warning before a CME hit us anyway.

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A faraday cage does not need to be grounded. Any wiring running into the room will allow the pulse inside.

 

You could have an extension cord run in when the room is being used to bring in electricity. You'd have almost 2 days warning before a CME hit us anyway.

 

exit has it down. ANY wire going inside lets the EMP in; connected or not, breaker or not is irrelevant unfortunately. You would have warning from a CME if you pay attention to such things but you won't have any warning of a terrorist EMP attack.

 

The steel (any good conductor) will work if it is structurally sound. Steel sheets/plate might weigh enough to give you strength issues. Cooling/heating such a room is an issue without vents and you do NOT want to reload in a closed room. Ventilation is critical when dealing with lead compounds.

 

A solid steel door is not required; using plating works as long as there is a solid electrical bond.

 

I hope this helps.

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Thanks Capt. Thats what I was afraid of. Maybe I scrap the plan of making the whole room emp safe, and make a small box or something to house few things.

 

That would be wiser. You can make an entire shelf a faraday cage. Look around on youtube, its fairly simple to do.

 

An entire room as a faraday cage might be excessive. Also, if you need a lot of room you should consider getting a shipping container. They cost about $4,000 or so but would most likely do the job. You just have to make sure there is a solid metal on metal connection on the doors. Or you'd have to fill any gaps with a conductive material that can be removed and reinserted.

 

Just some thoughts.

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That would be wiser. You can make an entire shelf a faraday cage. Look around on youtube, its fairly simple to do.

 

An entire room as a faraday cage might be excessive. Also, if you need a lot of room you should consider getting a shipping container. They cost about $4,000 or so but would most likely do the job. You just have to make sure there is a solid metal on metal connection on the doors. Or you'd have to fill any gaps with a conductive material that can be removed and reinserted.

 

Just some thoughts.

 

Thanks exit, good idea on the shelf.

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I found some interesting reading here about shielding radio towers from lighting strikes.

Keep in mind the odds of recieving damage and work from most likely to least. Lighting is much more localized...BUT....the damage is the same as a nuk or sun spot pulse....your equipment is trashed.

 

http://www.radiobanter.com/archive/index.php/t-90412.html

 

Richard Harrison

 

March 14th 06, 09:23 PM

 

Steve wrote:

"I wouldn`t think anything but extremely good grounding at the antenna

will do much."

 

That helps.

 

Company I retired from had radios all over the world. Most base stations

used Andrew 1/4-wave stainless steel folded monopoles. These were

securely grounded to the tower. The tower had a separate ground rod

connected outside the base to each leg of the tower by heavy strap or

cable. These radios suffered no lightning damage, despite repeated hits.

 

Kraus has this to say in his 3rd edition of "Antennas" on pages 719 and

720:

"---a short-circuited lambda/4 section of coaxial line is connected in

parallel with the antenna terminals. This widens the impedance bandwidth

and also places the stub antenna at dc ground potential. This is

desirable to protect the transmission line from lightning surges."

 

Whenever we could not use a folded antenna with a single-frequency

radio, we connected the shorted stub directly across the antenna and

grounded the coax at the tower top. It works.

 

Best regards, Richard Harrison, KB5WZI

 

Also found this interesting

 

http://www.globalspec.com/industrial-directory/protection_from_emf

 

I would like to make note.....if using a container check to be sure it has a metal floor...many do not...it is possible that the refrigerated ones do. You could check out some of the older refrigerated milk trucks and also refrigerated 18 wheeler trailers.

 

http://www.fas.org/nuke/intro/nuke/emp.htm

 

is a very interesting read as well as is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_pulse AND http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage

 

 

Wish you good luck with your project.

 

PS...in reguard to the reloading .... I would suggest a separate location for the reloading equipment complete with a separate safe storage for the powder.

Edited by Partsman

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I found some interesting reading here about shielding radio towers from lighting strikes.

Keep in mind the odds of recieving damage and work from most likely to least. Lighting is much more localized...BUT....the damage is the same as a nuk or sun spot pulse....your equipment is trashed.

 

http://www.radiobanter.com/archive/index.php/t-90412.html

 

 

Partsman,

Lightening and EMPs may have similar effects (and a nearby lightening strike can trigger a localized EMP event) there is a fundamental difference in protecting towers from direct strikes and protecting gear from the EMP. Strike protection will not help in the event of an EMP. The strike protection is usually designed to prevent the formation of 'leaders' going up toward the clouds or with older techniques to provide a suitable path to ground when a strike occurs. Since the EMP does not need a 'leader' that technique is totally ineffective. Since the grounding method protects the tower and not the radio room, that also doesn't seem to help.

 

Interesting reads, though. Thanks for the links and the post.

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I've been to the NRAO in WV to conduct some experiments. They use many radio telescopes which are sensitive to electromagnetic radiation. They can pick up noise from spark plugs (hence all the vehicles are old diesels) and even noise from tiny electric motors found in toys. Their rooms housing the computer labs have built in faraday cages. I'm not sure of the construction, but you were able to see some exposed copper bands here and there, and the entrance to the labs was a double-doored vault clad in copper. Some building materials will act as faraday cages. If you use plaster with a metal lath, that will shield some EM. It might be a good idea to do the plaster-metal lath thing, because no one will know what the room really is, that could be useful from an opsec perspective or just trying to get around NEC requirements.

Grounding is a good idea, because charges will create a current in your cage and it would be beneficial to dissipate that, though it shouldn't affect anything within your cage. You can also by Mu metal or Ultraperm sheets, which are used for EM shielding. You can get a few small sheets from this website :

http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G18646

 

Perhaps make a box and layer it with the sheets for storage of your data.

 

B.R.

Amit

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Juice94,

 

Concrete block walls only provide minimal protection from... anything.

 

To use Block as a method of 'Protection' against EMP U gotta do that whole Faraday Cage thing like others said. Think of a EMP hit , on your electronics, being like getting hit by a Stun Gun with a sustained lengthy Stun. Being actively shocked for 15min or more striaight, with 10s of thousand of volts.

 

To build a structure more resistant to radiation exposure, it has to be sealed air tight and poured concrete, reinforced (with wire mesh, not bar) walls at least minimum 32inchs thick. Im drawing up plans myself for a full size saferoom/basement, 500+ sq.ft. 32"thick ext. concrete walls, 8" SLab, Back-fill against the ground-level ext. walls. Mix of Solar and WInd, Buried water tanks, Well, etc. Given my regular power usage, i dont even have to be connected to the grid. So instead of paying $5k+ or more for city to run the electric (trench, cable, pole, meter+)and hook it up, Ill take that same money with put it into Solar/Wind/Batteries.

 

SOme concept ideas i've done for others: http://69.246.53.109

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I've been to the NRAO in WV to conduct some experiments. They use many radio telescopes which are sensitive to electromagnetic radiation. They can pick up noise from spark plugs (hence all the vehicles are old diesels) and even noise from tiny electric motors found in toys. Their rooms housing the computer labs have built in faraday cages. I'm not sure of the construction, but you were able to see some exposed copper bands here and there, and the entrance to the labs was a double-doored vault clad in copper. Some building materials will act as faraday cages. If you use plaster with a metal lath, that will shield some EM. It might be a good idea to do the plaster-metal lath thing, because no one will know what the room really is, that could be useful from an opsec perspective or just trying to get around NEC requirements.

Grounding is a good idea, because charges will create a current in your cage and it would be beneficial to dissipate that, though it shouldn't affect anything within your cage. You can also by Mu metal or Ultraperm sheets, which are used for EM shielding. You can get a few small sheets from this website :

http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G18646

 

Perhaps make a box and layer it with the sheets for storage of your data.

 

B.R.

Amit

 

I'm jealous! I did some observing at the NEROC Haystack site. Using the BIG dishes is SOOOOO COOOOOL!B) I'd love to have access to those sites again. Never been to the WV site but I'd love it.

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I'm jealous! I did some observing at the NEROC Haystack site. Using the BIG dishes is SOOOOO COOOOOL!B) I'd love to have access to those sites again. Never been to the WV site but I'd love it.

 

Haha, thanks. NEROC Haystack is pretty cool too. I think you would love it. It is extremely quiet there, sometimes you can see some deer. And the Green Bank Telescope is majestic at nights. I slept outside on a raised platform and as the mists crawled in it looked literally as if you were lying on a cloud.

 

B.R.

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Electricity is made by moving wires through a magnetic field. In the case of an EMP you are moving the magnetic field over wires. Huge current loads can result. What you are trying to block is NOT electric in nature, rather it is a magnetic field. That is TOUGH.

 

Just after the Civil War the US was hit by a huge pulse. The telegraph wires accumulated a charge that killed operators AND the wires got so hot they set the telegraph poles on fire!! Your Faraday cage needs to be a sealed system that will bend the magnetic wave around it. Any leak and it is useless.

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