Last updated on January 13th, 2019
What’s In Your Faraday Cage?
Guest article by Bogan –
Regular MSB readers have been well exposed to the theory and application of Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) and Coronal Mass Injection (CME) contingencies.
Science seems to be divided on the issue of the extent such scenarios will affect sensitive electronics and long term survival and opinions – official and otherwise – abound.
EMP Attack – What The Average Citizen Can Do For Themselves
One set of countermeasures to an EMP/CME event is to build a Faraday cage and stash electronics and other items that may be susceptible to the harmful effects of a burst or series of bursts.
[Ken adds: ] An ordinary metal trash can with tight fitting lid will provide some degree of protection from EMP
A metal trash can with lid will provide about 20dB of attenuation (tested at 500 Mhz). That’s not very good by itself. A tight fitting lid will help. If you seal around the lid with conductive tape (with a conductive adhesive) the attenuation will effectively increase to about 40dB – much better.
Tip: A Faraday Cage does not need to be grounded for EMP protection
Conventional wisdom is to shield radios and other communications equipment, a spare computer (or two) printers, cell phone, and other useful electronic devices.
Faraday Cage – What Goes Inside?
– Flashlights and headlamps – yes, those LED bulbs contain electronics.
– alternative is to have good old fashioned incandescent bulb flashlights ready to go
– Light bulbs for your house! (alternative is incandescent bulbs)
– A spare ignition system for your car, including a CPU.
– Spare alternator (or at least alternator “diode trios” for older GM cars) cuz even if you can coax the car to work, the batteries wont charge if the electronics in the alternator are fried.
– Spare ignition systems for critical garden equipment such as chain saw and tiller
[Ken adds: Have a chainsaw? Maybe important? Yes…]
Stihl Ignition Coil Kits
– Your electronic or solar powered watch
– Ignition system for your tractor or mower
– Optic sights that require a battery. This includes red dots, illuminated reticles, and variants.
– Night Vision Devices
– Spare controllers for your off-grid solar system (high poop-o-meter factor if that went down just when you needed it!)
– Lasers and other electronic measuring devices
– Spare battery starter power pack
– Spare compact solar powered chargers, especially at least one for 12v (car) and one for AA, AAA, C and D batteries
Rechargeable Batteries Solar Charger For AA, AAA, C, D, & USB
This is just a starter list.
WHAT SYSTEMS OR SUBSYSTEMS WOULD YOU PUT IN YOUR FARADAY CAGE?
Water – Food – Shelter – Security
[Ken adds: ] It can be difficult to keep things in a Faraday cage for ‘just in case’ there’s an EMP. Whatever you keep inside is out of commission until it’s needed, which is hopefully never. That means you’re spending money on whatever is inside – and potentially never using it. However “if” it happens…
It certainly is daunting when you think about it. Nearly everything in our modern world is integrated with electronics in one way or another. It’s hard to think of anything that’s not…
My thoughts are basically this: What will you need to literally survive after electromagnetic pulse fry’s everything ‘electronic’? Water. Food. Shelter. Security. Of those factors, what electronic based items might assist you in survival after the event? That’s where you should start your thought process with regards to Faraday cage.
With that said, and I know I’m preaching to the choir for most of you, ideally – be prepared to live without electricity. That’s not gonna be easy…
Okay, back to Bogan’s question – what ‘electronic’ systems or subsystems might be good to keep in a Faraday cage?