Author Topic: Anti-Static (EMP) Bags  (Read 1028 times)

Offline bcksknr

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Anti-Static (EMP) Bags
« on: May 20, 2017, 05:42:28 AM »
     I just tried something that may be useful, although it may have been posted awhile ago. A friend got some of the ant-static bags that sensitive devices, like computer harddrives, are shipped in. the bags seem to have a metallic component in the plastic. I put my cell phone in one and it immediately showed no bars and when called didn't ring. I also put a small weather radio in one and it stopped receiving as did a transistor radio. My Midland walkies wouldn't send or receive when in the bags.
     Based on this, I'm putting all my electronics that will fit individually into these bags. I usually store them in ammo cans; yes I know that because of the rubber gasket on the lid, they will not act as a Faraday cage. I'm also insulating the bagged items with bubble wrap so that they can't touch each other or the inside of the cans.
     I don't know if this would shield against an EMP, but it couldn't hurt. Any thoughts?
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Offline Carl

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Re: Anti-Static (EMP) Bags
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2017, 05:50:34 AM »
Couldn't hurt
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Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Anti-Static (EMP) Bags
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2017, 06:33:33 AM »
An E1 pulse has a lot of energy at wavelengths longer and more penetrating than cell phone frequencies.  Skin depth calculations show that it takes about two layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil to attenuate these reliably down to electronics-safe levels.  If the bags are about that heavy, you're good to go.  Otherwise (and if EMP worries you) give them a couple of over-wraps of foil.

But, as you and Carl both just said, it couldn't hurt.

My own approach is to wrap a few small spare items in three layers of heavy-duty foil and then put them in an ammo can with the lid gasketed with another layer of foil.  (The foil completely covers the opening, like a liner under the lid, and makes metal-on-metal contact with the filed-down edges of the can.  How good?  Passes the cell phone test.)  Note that these are all spares that I'd have anyway, so the net cost is about $0.25 of foil plus an ammo can.  A few other larger items (like a portable HF ham rig and a CB) I just keep in a gasketed ammo can without the extra wrap.  Again, spares I have anyway, so counting the cost of the cans I may be out a total of $30.

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Offline Carl

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Re: Anti-Static (EMP) Bags
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2017, 07:49:02 AM »
  My BOL,with 40 inches of reinforced concrete and 40 to 50 feet of soil should be safe though EMP is low on my list of problems.
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Offline bcksknr

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Re: Anti-Static (EMP) Bags
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2017, 08:15:35 AM »
     I think I'll wrap my electronics in layers of foil and then bag them. It seems to me that I read that separating the foil layers with an insulating layer increases the protection. I wonder if alternating layers of foil and insulation would create a big "capacitor" with the electronics stored inside? As I understand it, capacitors absorb and store electrical charges until released through a grounded connection. Could this be why they would intercept an EMP pulse?
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Offline Carl

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Re: Anti-Static (EMP) Bags
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2017, 08:25:44 AM »
  Many I know use wax paper and foil as they can get it on a kitchen raid. The capacitor effect could work though it takes many more layers than would be practical and what charge you might collect would diminish within seconds...in my opinion.
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Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Anti-Static (EMP) Bags
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2017, 12:20:08 PM »
     I think I'll wrap my electronics in layers of foil and then bag them. It seems to me that I read that separating the foil layers with an insulating layer increases the protection. I wonder if alternating layers of foil and insulation would create a big "capacitor" with the electronics stored inside? As I understand it, capacitors absorb and store electrical charges until released through a grounded connection. Could this be why they would intercept an EMP pulse?
No, it's almost entirely skin effect https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skin_effect  The energy from the pulse induces skin currents, which quickly damp out due to the electrical resistance of the metal, slightly heating it.  On small objects (i.e., smaller than something like a conex container), there's no net charge buildup, no need to ground anything.  There's no harm in putting insulating material between layers, but no gain either.  The attenuations will add up either way.

  My BOL,with 40 inches of reinforced concrete and 40 to 50 feet of soil should be safe though EMP is low on my list of problems.
;D You sir have nothing to worry about here!

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Offline Greekman

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Re: Anti-Static (EMP) Bags
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2017, 03:13:14 PM »
Just yesterday i watched some videos on Faraday cages, Antistatic bags and EMP protection.
the "expert" demonstrated that it takes 3 bags for a radio PMR not to receive and this was because that the bags offer a defined amount of signal attenuation.
Ergo the stronger the signal, the less the protection.

What i woudl do was o put a metal container inside a metal container. i.e. Cookie jars are awesome for this, and allow easy access

Offline Carl

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Re: Anti-Static (EMP) Bags
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2017, 04:25:27 PM »
The FREQUENCY of an EMP burst has a lot to do with how far it's signal will penetrate most bags,cans,metal boxes,etc and this should help explain why a cell phone can still work inside of a microwave and why a fraction of a watt can indeed damage brain cells from cell phone use as the higher the frequency...the smaller the grid must be to block the signal. As the frequency of EMP/Lightening is so low even a one inch metal grid should be adequate to shield a device as most any Ham can tell you that 300,000 cycles takes a HUGE (Trump word ) antenna to be effective.. Radio behaves differently at different frequencies and the skin of an auto protects the people in it from truly lethal currents and my opinion is ,due to skin effect,most any device is safe when not connected to a large antenna or power grid to gather and distribute the powerful burst within the equipment.

Wry should EMP (radio energy) act differently because of how it is generated? Don't lend it magical abilities like movies depict,we are in enough danger if only the power grid gets effected anyway.
I refuse to punch back as I didn't come here to fight.

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If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Offline shadowalker_returns

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Re: Anti-Static (EMP) Bags
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2017, 06:24:49 PM »
Wry should EMP (radio energy) act differently because of how it is generated? Don't lend it magical abilities like movies depict,we are in enough danger if only the power grid gets effected anyway.

Very, Very true. Most folks over think the dangers from EMP. I posted a rather lengthy reply in another thread on EMP. It might be worth reading as its still applicable. Its really a matter of scale. Its hard to protect large scale items (the power grid) but relatively easy to protect small items that are kept off-line. Metal US Ammo cans and even the metal Christmas popcorn tins can be made into very effective protection.
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=6538.30
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=2228.msg98693#msg98693

Regards,
Shadowalker

The reason I posted such a long reply in the other thread is I build RF shielded rooms for a living and have seen a lot of folks go off the deep end worrying about EMP. Hope it might help folks get perspective and take appropriate precautions.
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Offline Shawlition

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Re: Anti-Static (EMP) Bags
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2017, 10:13:39 PM »
So is the verdict an EMP will just bypass the anti-static bags or are they worth it?

Offline shadowalker_returns

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Re: Anti-Static (EMP) Bags
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2017, 10:54:19 PM »
So is the verdict an EMP will just bypass the anti-static bags or are they worth it?

Oh no they are a good addendum to your protection strategy. Its just if you think a bag alone will do the trick your fooling yourself. In conjunction with a couple of the other things mentioned, they are a very good addition.

Regards,
Shadowalker
Want proof that the worst Disasters all begin with man: Godzilla = 28, Tokyo = 0