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Green68

EMP - what is effected and when

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I ma curious about what is and is not effected by EMP and hear/read contradictory information. One of the big questions I have is does it only effect items in use at the time or will electronics be fried whether in use or not?

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from what I understand any electronics whether turned on or not within the EMP blast radius will be fried, the thing is this has never really been tested for full effect since really you would need to detonate a nuclear weapon in the atmosphere to really see what it does and i just don't see anybody doing that, just to test it.

 

now if you are a savvy tech geek with large amounts of time on your hands you can build a faraday cage around the electronics you deem critical to save. it will dampen the effects of an EMP blast.

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First off I'd like to say to wardog513 that your quote in the signature block is awesome and one of my all time favorites!

 

There have been tests with nuclear weapons, none by the U.S. since the early 60's as far as I know however.

 

There are other causes of EMP besides man-made nuclear weapons, such as natural events like geomagnetic storms caused by solar storms.

 

Green68, as far as EMP and electronics go here are some good reference articles to read about for your information as well:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_pulse

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

 

One of the best pages I've found which gives tons of information on EMP's, tests, protection etc. is the following:

 

http://www.futurescience.com/emp.html

 

a good article on personal protection can be found here:

 

http://www.futurescience.com/emp/emp-protection.html

 

and a breakdown of the 1962 Soviet nuclear EMP test over Kazakhstan can be found here:

 

http://www.futurescience.com/emp/test184.html

 

These "Future Science" articles are written by an Electrical Engineer who has done a great deal of research and seems to be able to break down the science of things to an understandable level. I didn't see any flags that would make me question the validity and his references check out so far. It might be more information than you were looking for but take what's useful and don't get bogged down by the rest.

 

Happy reading.

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This was just sent to us from "Bama Bull" and seems timely and appropriate to this thread so I'm posting it here:

 

Folks: There have been 2 CME events on Tuesday, Sept. 6 (recorded Greenwich Mean Time (Zulu)) both directed towards the Earth.

 

These flares are Earth-directed and should arrive within the following 24 to 48 hours from now, making it Thursday or Friday

There is some potential for concern with GPS navigation and long-range radio comms for aircraft flying in the upper and lower latitudes of the poles.

Here are the details:

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

http://www.space.com/12847-sun-unleashes-massive-solar-flares.html

story updated at 8:48 p.m. EDT.

 

Sun Unleashes Massive Solar Flares in One-Two Punch

by Mike Wall, SPACE.com Senior Writer

Sept. 6, 2011; 7:50 PM (1950) ET

 

Just as many Americans got back to work after the long Labor Day weekend, the sun jolted to life as well, unleashing a massive solar flare violently just one day after another sun storm sent a stream of particles racing toward Earth.

 

The X-class solar flare — the most powerful type of sun storm— erupted at 6:12 p.m. EDT (2212 GMT) on Tuesday (Sept. 6) and hit its peak strength eight minutes later, according to a space weather update by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The flare occurred less than 24 hours after another less intense but still dramatic solar storm.

 

Several different satellites watched the action unfold, including NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which constantly records high-definition videos of the sun in several different wavelengths. [Photo of the X-class solar flare]

 

The Tuesday event registered as an X2.1-class solar flare, while Monday's storm topped out at a still-powerful M5, NOAA officials said. Strong solar flares are classified according to a three-tiered system: X-class flares are the most powerful, M-class are of medium strength and C-class are the weakest.

September solar storms

Researchers are still taking the measure of the big Tuesday sun storm. It may also have produced a coronal mass ejection (CME) aimed at Earth, researchers said, but as of Tuesday evening it was too early to tell.

 

CMEs are massive clouds of solar plasma that can streak through space at up to 3 million mph (5 million kph). CMEs that hit Earth can wreak havoc on our planet, causing disruptions in GPS signals, radio communications and power grids. [Sun's Wrath: Worst Solar Storms in History]

 

Monday's event, which took place at 9:50 p.m. EDT (0150 GMT on Tuesday), did spawn a CME. It was a relatively slow one, traveling at less than 720,000 mph (1.2 million kph), NASA officials said. And even if this cloud of charged particles hits Earth in a few days' time, it likely won't cause much damage.

 

"This CME is not expected to cause significant geomagnetic storm activity, and further analysis is currently underway to better refine the CME timing and magnitude," officials at NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center wrote in an update Tuesday.

 

 

Monday's M5 solar flare erupted from the middle of the sun's disk from Sunspot 1283 as seen from Earth's perspective. The explosion caused a slight increase in solar energetic protons about 26,000 miles (41,840 kilometers) above the Earth's surface, NASA officials said.

The angry sun

The powerful storms unleashed on Monday and Tuesday aren't isolated incidents. Solar activity has been ramping up over the last few months as the sun has roused itself from an extended quiescent phase in its 11-year activity cycle.

 

Just last month, for example, the sun let loose with an X6.9 solar flare, which was the most powerful solar storm since December 2006, NASA scientists said. That storm, which erupted Aug. 9, also generated a CME, but it was not aimed at Earth. Another powerful event, an X2.2-class flare, occurred on Feb. 15 of this year. Tuesday's X2.1 was the third most powerful flare of 2011.

 

Scientists expect activity in the current cycle — known as Solar Cycle 24 — to peak around 2013.

 

You can follow SPACE.com senior writer Mike Wall on Twitter: @michaeldwall.

Follow SPACE.com for the latest in space science and exploration news on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

· Amazing New Sun Photos from Space

· The Sun's Cycle and Climate Change

· Photos: Sunspots on Earth's Closest Star

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Another good site is http://www.spaceweather.com/ - I check this one daily for the sun status. There is a great film clip of the X-Ray flare that is associated with the CME. You might also check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859

which covers the Carrington Storm which is the first recorded EMP event (they didn't know it at the time). The current CME's should (emphasize should) pass north of the earth but may graze our atmosphere. A direct shot would be much worse. Also check out the orientation of the Interplanetary Magnetic Field. If it is North then the protection from the Earth's B field (magnetic field) is strong. If it is south, then the earth's B field has minimal effect.

EMP is strange stuff and the suggested readings are good. Just remember that any length of wire acts like an antenna and can funnel HUGH power surges into your house and electronics. Even earth ground wires can induce current into a system.

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Thats some crazy stuff. EMP's are deffintaly something that we preppers should prep for because the threat behind them is very real. Could you imagine what would happen the day that all electronics go out? Sheesh thats gonna be scary.

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tidermike14,

There are several non-nuclear ways to generate EMP/HERF(High Energy Radio Frequency) events. Plans for such generators are even available on line or you can purchase them already built. One common thread here is extremely limited range. All an EMP is, basically, is "white noise" much what is contained in a lighting strike or is produced by a certain class of particle accelerators (so called "white light sources" in the scientific community that is released in a burst for maximum effect. I have even seen a device that is meant to run up under a moving car, go off and kill the electronics. Very short range but effective within that range.

The problem most preppers are concerned about is the EMP from a Carrington Event or a nuclear weapon designed to maximize and focus the EMP effect. The idea of tailoring nuclear weapons to shape blast and EMP is 'weird science' but it is also truth.

If you get hit by a small, non-nuclear EMP your friends across the street or 2 blocks over may very well be unaffected. If it is a solar or nuclear event large parts of the planet will be in trouble.

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It is my understanding that pre-transistor age "tube" electronics will be largely unaffected. Powering them on the otherhand is going to be the problem. I have an old 1950's tube tuner/amplifier that I use for my audiophile indulgences, maybe it will survive... haha Just how to power it???

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It is my understanding that pre-transistor age "tube" electronics will be largely unaffected. Powering them on the otherhand is going to be the problem. I have an old 1950's tube tuner/amplifier that I use for my audiophile indulgences, maybe it will survive... haha Just how to power it???

"Boat Anchors" (radios with tubes) are generally more robust and easier to repair after the fact. In fact the old crystal radios can be built with not much more than a headset, razor blade, and pencil lead and a little wire. (our POW's did this in WW2) As a ham radio operator I like the boat anchors and have several. I use them more than my solid state stuff even though the solid state has more capability. You have to be careful with boat anchors, however since they use VERY high voltage by modern standards. Any carelessness and they will kill you very dead, very quickly. Even unplugged they can be dangerous until the power capacitors have fully discharged. Even "low power" radios can have lethal voltages on them so be careful. Make sure you understand what you're doing or get someone who does.

Power it from a 12 volt system with a radio shack "cigarette lighter" inverter. Depending on the receiver, 300 watts is probably enough. A solar charger, wind generator, standard generator charging a battery will probably get you what you need. If you leave it plugged into the wall outlet, you might investigate an isolation transformer and fused lines just to prevent the EMP from getting into the box from the power grid. That could blow the power supply and then you'd have a problem.

Crystal radio sites

 

http://scitoys.com/scitoys/scitoys/radio/homemade_radio.html

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Crystal-Radio

 

kits for purchase - manufacture has a good reputation but I've not used them

http://www.xtalman.com/

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I'm very familiar with the higher voltages in the tubes. I have restored several nonworking tube amps and receivers. The will grab you by the "boo boo" if your not careful! The problem with powering one from an inverter is that the inverter will have a switching power supply that will be smoked in an EMP event. A generator my work, but will likely have transistors in the output regulator. Transistors are mainly what get smoked in an EMP event.

 

I may have to try to come up with a 12v tube radio/amplifer design... hmmmmm

 

Damn, another project.

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I may have to try to come up with a 12v tube radio/amplifer design... hmmmmm

There are 12 volt options; among them vibrators and dynamotors. Ideally you'd have a small inverter stored in a metal box/Faraday cage and it would survive the EMP. Easiest of course is a solid state in a cage but tube sets glow in the dark and keep you warm in winter! "Therm-ionic Valves" Rule!

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I was thinking more along the lines of 12v "space-charged" tubes. I will be limited to about 35-50mw, but that should do on some headphones. I have to admit, I know nothing about tube tuners though. Looks like I have found a use for all of those 12AX7's that I have laying around. Aleady have a rectifier tube somewhere too... hmmmm

 

I've always wanted to try building one of those razorblade trench radios. I bought a magazine about 20 years ago that had a "how to" article on them...

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There are 12 volt options; among them vibrators and dynamotors.

Capt.Bart,

I can picture the quizzical looks on many reader's faces right now! Vibrators?? One of my first service calls in '75 was to check a fire truck that was running a Motorola unit w/ a dynamotor. I hit the PTT to see if there's any output and I hear the dynamotor start up. Scared the heck out of me!

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I was thinking more along the lines of 12v "space-charged" tubes. I will be limited to about 35-50mw, but that should do on some headphones. I have to admit, I know nothing about tube tuners though. Looks like I have found a use for all of those 12AX7's that I have laying around. Aleady have a rectifier tube somewhere too... hmmmm

 

I've always wanted to try building one of those razorblade trench radios. I bought a magazine about 20 years ago that had a "how to" article on them...

There were some portable radios in the 50's that used a 90 V "B" battery and a 9 V or 12 V (8 D Cells usually) "A" battery. I haven't seen a 90 V battery in a coon's age but the concept is sound. Find the right tubes and it could be done. My daddy had one made by RCA (remember Radio Corporation of America?) that was cool but you did NOT want to touch a "dead" 90V with your tongue! My daddy had a sense of humor - he thought it was hilarious!

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Yikes! 90V DC to the tongue??? I bet that smarts! Hell, 9V burns. I've never heard of a 90V battery though. Before my time... I do remember RCA. I have 4 of their matched NOS 6V6GT tubes in my audio amp.

I know there was a company a few years ago that used 2 12AU7 tubes in a little portable headphone amp for walkman CD players and such. I think it ran on 9V. Dunno, but it was only about 3X3inches with the tubes sticking out of the top. I dont know wat would be required to make the transistorless tuner though. That may be where the higher voltages have come in. I know nothing of tuner design. Truthfully, I know nothing of amp design either, but I can test an existing one and figure out why it doesn't work...

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I managed to get a copy of "Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack". I haven't had a chance to read the whole thing yet but I put it in my Google Documents so I could share it with you all.

 

Here is the link: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=11bgiWKjmFJsYlu5e0DJZmESxwctEqJS6QdSnVh1LzscEaEGvJZGJ4IVK8kkr&hl=en_US

 

Here are a few related links I also saved in my Google Documents to share: https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=17kH5Iuyf0ieodtVSh6UDu8w_2nkyvTmjVj1l2Mao_DkA-QUdf1LDPf4t9z_z&hl=en

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