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LivingGray

Question about a Faraday Cage

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This next week there is supposed to be some major solar radiation hitting Earth. I have been wondering if my metal pole barn with grounding rods will work as a Fairaday cage. Another possibility might be a car if it is grounded. Anyone out there have any information about this subject. I'm looking for a way to protect electronic equipment.

Edited by LivingGray

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from the information i have been able to sift through an all metal building that is grounded would work. If it has windows like your car then not so much. The electromagnetic pulse travels in waves and it will penetrate glass. You can place copper mesh over the glass and have metal to metal contact to the building. I have heard that a galvanized trash can that is grounded can work as well. Seems that grounding is the key to dissipating the energy. I am trying to find info on using a gas line ground and if this will work.

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LivngGray: If your pole barn is like most pole barns than it would be rather difficult to convert it to a Faraday Cage simply by grounding it. However, there are rather simple and cheap ways of building Faraday Cages to protect electronic equipment.

 

A steel box with steel tight lid. Cardboard used as a liner all around inside the box will keep electronic equipment safe. Grounded.

 

A wooden box or container with cardboard as a liner inside and wrapped twice with 1 inch chicken wire will also work. Grounded.

 

A cardboard box (even better with one cardboard box tightly fit into another) covered in Tin Foil or mylar, also works. Larger boxes can fit small computers, laptops, TVs, VCRs, DVD players and even fill one with your favorite cassette tapes. These do not have to be grounded, but if you feel it should be, make sure it is a seperate ground for each box and not grounded to the house ground. Or store them in a metal grounded shed.

 

If you want to protect your larger items such as a large TV, you can use a sheet of mylar (space blanket) that is taped to some 6 Mil plastic. This helps make the sheet of mylar stronger. This can be thrown over any large object and tucked all around it to help shield it, In most cases you won't know the EMP is coming so it is good for things you are storing and not an everyday type of item to throw over your TV when you are at home.

 

Another way is having a Safe Room for your equipment which can be a closet you don't use as much or some room in the garage that was an old office. Use either mylar, (space blanket), large rolls of tin foil or chicken wire and cover the walls and ceilings (hopefully there are no windows or block them up) and then have a wire going out to a ground about 20 feet from the building which you can bury all the way and then you have a safe room to store your equipment, even throw some mylar blankets over your equipment for extra protection.

 

Good luck and Fairwinds

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I have been wondering about this for a while...what would I need to repair my truck if it were fried in an EMP attack or flare? If its reasonable to have these components on hand I would like to have them in a fairaday cage so that I could put my truck back on the road after an event. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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ready13. depends on make and model. Anything electronic has the chance to fry with an EMP. The trucks ECU would be the main component. ABS units. Anything that has electronics. Maybe even injects and fuel pumps. Better bet would be purchasing something built before 1976. Something that still has a carb and distributor.

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Silverwolf55: Steel gun safes would definitely work if the safe has continuous steel-to-steel completely around the outside. There can be no air gaps. Also, the inside of the safe must be completely surfaced with a non-conductive material - cardboard, styrofoam,plastic, wood. There does seem to be some disagreement out here whether the safe also needs to be grounded. I say no but a lot of people are in disagreement. A good heavy duty gage shielded wire attached to the outside of the safe and run to a grounding pole at least 20' away is the ongoing method.

 

Fairwinds.

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i've read that a microwave oven (unplugged, of course) can serve as a faraday cage. if so, this seems like it would be a fairly easy and cheap way to protect small electronic items. does anyone know if there's any truth to this?

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No a Microwave oven will not work as a Faraday cage most gun safes also will not work they do not seal well enough and do not have enough contact to ground the main body of the safe with the door, creating powerfull static arcs and electromagnetic wave distortions that will penetate the safe and cause areas of increased shock and magnetic hazard. Note see the reports on the Carrington event 1859. I have detailed Files on Faraday Cage specs and electronic protection but the forum is not allowing me to attach them.

Edited by warrior7r

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LOL nope the forum mail System doesn't like PDF files I know I can send them standard e-mail but with the mil permissions on my comp to access gov sites, I can not convert them either. Make a computer talk to another but not with anybody else's Damned gov. job somebody was overpaid and under intelligent

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I see no reason why it would not work, it has all the RF shielding. But I would plug it in, as you need the third wire ground.

 

Because a microwave is shielded for less than 7db at .5 KHz a mild HEMP event would require shielding against a minimum 100 db at 10 GHz not all shielding is created equal the same with armor a uparmored hmmwv can withstand most small arms fire but an M1A2 Abrams can withstand 120mm main gun tank fire that would turn the afore mentioned hummer to a melted puddle

Edited by warrior7r

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Sorry before anyone yells because I zipped over them HEMP means High Altitude Electro Magnetic Pulse this is the standard that Uncle Sam uses as they have not developed a ground based unit that can deliver as powerful an event as a high altitude event and for the scientifically inclined DIYer here is the formula for Shielding Effectiveness -

 

S.E. dB = 20 Log10( E1 / E2 ) Decibels

 

Where E1 is the properly measured field strength in volts/meter without the shield and E2 is measured field strength with the shield in place at a fixed test distance. In the case of a homogeneous material, total shielding effectiveness of a material is a function of:

 

 

 

SE dB = (R + A + B) Decibels

 

 

Where R is Total Reflection Loss, A is Total Absorption Loss, and B is Re-Reflection Loss. Reflection Loss occurs due to the impedance mismatch at the air-to-metal interfaces. Absorption Loss is a function of thickness and frequency for a given material. Where Absorption Losses are greater than 10 dB, Re-Reflection Loss can be disregarded.

Edited by warrior7r

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Warrior7r: There goes my idea of building a simple grounded metal shed as a Faraday cage for my truck. Looks like the shed would have to be at least an inch thick and made of HY80 or HY100 plate and have welded seams. Impractcal. Guess I'm back to digging a deep hole or finding a deep cave for storing my larger items I want to use if HEMP actually happens. Fairwinds.

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Has anyone explored the idea of using heat sealed food storage Mylar bags to protect small sensitive equipment from EMP? They are great for food storage so I figured that the foil might also work against EMP. Would they still need to be grounded? just a thought.

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paulbardinas: I think what you may be referring to are static shield bags. Amazon.com sells them in various different sizes. The specs say: "Transparent, metalized static shield bag for sensitive electronic devices. Faraday cage effect and enhanced durability from sandwiched metal layer (between polyester and polyethylene) and four-layer construction. Tested to meet/exceed the requirements of EIA 541, EIA 625, MIL-HDBK-263, MIL-STD-1686,and EOS/ESD Standards. Specs: Resistance: 1 x 105 to 1 x 1012 ohms/sq., Static shielding: <30V ; Static decay: <0.05 sec; Tensile strength: >25 lb; Light transmission: 40%; Thickness: 3.1 MILS.".

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Anyone know if the rumor of disconnecting the battery would save the electronics? A simple Frankenstein switch can save my truck?

 

Gilla,

EMP causes massive current flow in ANY wire whether connected or not. The speed of light in free air is about 13 inches per nanosecond. The speed of light in a copper wire is about 11 inches per nanosecond. (I've actually used a couple of feet of wire to build a pulse generator - straight wire turns it on, longer wire turns it off, 2 nanosecond pulse!) The problem for us with EMP is you have this voltage spike hit a piece of wire and travel along it. That is bad enough BUT the time delay means that there is a HUGE difference in voltage between the two ends. Voltage differences cause current to flow. Huge differences cause huge currents. Think toaster heating element if you want a visual model of what happens. Connect THAT surge to a solid state device and, well, that device is history.

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