Author Topic: how to emp proof my radio???  (Read 10892 times)

Offline 22skill

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how to emp proof my radio???
« on: October 15, 2010, 12:43:49 PM »
Hi,

Amusing question...let me adjust my tinfoil hat first...

Ok. I have an emergency crank radio. I don't use in except for emergencies. Thus, is it not a bad idea to keep it in a box lined with tin foil? I mean, what have I got to lose, assuming that would protect it in an EMP attack.

If it wouldn't protect it, what would? If it would protect it, what else would make sense to keep in that box aside from an extra cell phone (which I won't be doing)?

Offline Alpha Mike

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Re: how to emp proof my radio???
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2010, 01:14:58 PM »
try an ammo can.  That way it is also water proofed.

Offline Ken325

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Re: how to emp proof my radio???
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2010, 07:22:07 PM »
Good information on building a Faraday cage. 

http://www.endtimesreport.com/faraday_cages.html

Offline 22skill

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Re: how to emp proof my radio???
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2010, 09:26:27 AM »
wow, thanks Ken, very cool info.

I see that a microwave is a faraday cage, so Ill just make things easy on myself and find a microwave oven that doesn't work and get it for free...problem solved!

Offline edppcli

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Re: how to emp proof my radio???
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2010, 03:40:05 PM »
Why not try an all metal garbage can? Lots of room, waterproof etc. just make sure it is resting on ground or is grounded via wire if sitting on insulated material (eg wooden shelf). Also very low key, especially if you rig up a false "floor" to hold 30lbs of dog kibble or bird seed.
Cheers
Ed

Offline Ken325

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Re: how to emp proof my radio???
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2010, 07:09:30 PM »
That was mentioned in the article that I posted.  They specified a galvanized garbage can so I don't know if that is important. 

Offline kc9eci

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Re: how to emp proof my radio???
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2010, 12:31:00 PM »
wow, thanks Ken, very cool info.

I see that a microwave is a faraday cage, so Ill just make things easy on myself and find a microwave oven that doesn't work and get it for free...problem solved!

Don't count on it.  After reading this post I figured I'd try something.  I put my cellphone in the microwave oven and closed it up.  Then I dialed my number from the home phone.  I rang.  If there was no radio energy getting in it shouldn't have done that.  In hindsight, that must mean some is getting out.  I don't think I'll stand so close in the future.  I also locked my phone in to an all metal Homaq tool box and tried the same thing.  RF was also getting in to that.  If I had enough copper I'd make a box out of that and try again. 

Offline ReadyMom

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Re: how to emp proof my radio???
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2010, 05:59:38 PM »
New, to the forum, so smack me and delete this post, if I'm doing something illegal. There has been quite a bit of discussion over at AmericanPreppersNetwork about EMPs and Faraday boxes. You can find the discussions here:

EMPs (Electro Magnetic Pulse)

FARADAY CAGES

Right After an EMP


Offline soupbone

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Re: how to emp proof my radio???
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2010, 06:41:55 PM »
This may be the wrong place to post this - mods, please feel free to move it.

I am having an ongoing problem with electromagnetic radiation - namely, a major power distribution substation literally in my back yard. Needless to say, my radio reception, especially in the shortwave (HF) bands sucks. I have tried digital tuned, analog tuned, solid state and tube sets and it makes no difference.

Is there a cheap, quick and easy way to directionally block the radiation the substation emits? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

soup

Offline Ken325

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Re: how to emp proof my radio???
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2010, 06:46:37 PM »
@ ReadyMom-  Contributing useful information is a great thing to do.  The moderators sometimes get on you if your disrespectful or if you get off topic.  I appreciated your post.

Offline dukejer

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Re: how to emp proof my radio???
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2010, 06:36:27 AM »
I did some testing also with my cell phone.

1) Put it in the microwave and called it.   <- It Rang.
2) Put it in a metal filing cabinet.  <- It Rang
3) Wrapped it in paper towel and then aluminum foil.  <-  It Worked.   :)
4) Opened a tiny flap leaving a very small open crease at the fold in the aluminum foil.  <- It Rang.

I think the only way to make sure is a complete Faraday cage but wrapping something completely in Aluminum foil with no openings appears to work and block Radio Frequencies.  I would definitely leave the radio unplugged in a Faraday cage since EMP can creep over the power lines.

- Dukejer

Offline joejoe

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Re: how to emp proof my radio???
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2010, 11:27:14 AM »
Several layers of foil should do the trick, a few rubber bands will help to keep all the layers connected. Another method is a copper box with all the seams soldered and spring fingers on the lid.

The other poster above with the interference problem really need to speak to the electricity company, HF comms shouldn't really be that badly affected by a sub station operating at 60/50hz unless something is causing it to generate harmonics (poor connections etc).
Have a chat with some of the local ham operators and see if you can get them to check the area out with a Spectrum Analyzer.

Offline soupbone

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Re: how to emp proof my radio???
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2010, 11:40:59 AM »
Joejoe,

Thanks for the info. I'll follow up after the holidays.

soup

Offline kc9eci

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Re: how to emp proof my radio???
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2010, 12:51:09 PM »
This may be the wrong place to post this - mods, please feel free to move it.

I am having an ongoing problem with electromagnetic radiation - namely, a major power distribution substation literally in my back yard. Needless to say, my radio reception, especially in the shortwave (HF) bands sucks. I have tried digital tuned, analog tuned, solid state and tube sets and it makes no difference.

Is there a cheap, quick and easy way to directionally block the radiation the substation emits? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

soup

You're pretty much hosed.  If you have a ham license, you might be able to claim harmful interference and get them to clean it up a little if it is radiating outside of specs.  If you're running a part 15 device, again pretty much hosed.  You might try http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Product.php?productid=MFJ-1026 but $200 to find out if it works or not and then doesn't is more than I'd be willing to spend.  You might try contacting a local radio club and seeing if there is someone local that can come to your place and help you sort it out.

Offline soupbone

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Re: how to emp proof my radio???
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2010, 07:55:05 AM »
Thanks, KC

soup

Offline ram91648

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Re: how to emp proof my radio???
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2010, 09:31:41 AM »
My question is about EMP but in another direction. Is it true that a generator is inherently immune to EMP as long as it is not operating at the time of the pulse?

Offline Chief_919

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Re: how to emp proof my radio???
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2010, 12:02:12 PM »
Just my .02, but if you are that concerned about EMP and want a radio to listen to after such an event, the first thing you need to do is upgrade your radio.

All the crank radios suck as shortwave receivers.

Assuming an EMP event strong enough to kill your radio, it also killed every transmitter within several thousand miles of you. That means you need a radio with a good, sensitive receiver that can pull in weak signals from Europe, Asia and South America. That crank radio will just not reliably do it.

Offline joejoe

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Re: how to emp proof my radio???
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2010, 03:16:59 PM »
I take it by generator you mean electrical generator. If the generator is using any semiconductor components (eg speed control etc) then I reckon it could be damaged, plugged or unplugged. However when unplugged its probably got less chance of Rf pickup than when a long extension lead is attached (its just like a big antenna).
If you had a very crude form of generator with no fancy electronics (don't forget the engine) then it would take a great deal to damage.
Some good info on wiki, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_pulse

Offline idelphic

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Re: how to emp proof my radio???
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2010, 04:36:47 PM »
The shield is your key point.  Faraday cages are generally made of screening wire.  The larger the gap between will allow or not allow different freq through.

The reason your ammo can didn't work is because there is a gasket on the lid.  This gasket prevents a full electronic seal.

Ground it, and try again.

Offline AtADeadRun

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Re: how to emp proof my radio???
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2010, 05:43:10 AM »
My question is about EMP but in another direction. Is it true that a generator is inherently immune to EMP as long as it is not operating at the time of the pulse?

Put it this way:  it's extremely unlikely to have a conventional generator permanently damaged by EMP.  A generator is just an engine with a coil of wire and some power electronics attached for speed/frequency control, much less complex than, say, a car, and the EMP Commission's report on the testing done on automobiles suggests that most running cars simply required restarting after exposure to EMP, and minimal damage to cars not running.  I'm not sure that would be true of the Honda inverted-output models, given their much greater use of semiconductors in the output, but I've seen no testing either way.

Atadeadrun's standard EMP disclaimer here.  That thread also points out that microwaves make terrible Faraday cages and has some further information on effective Faraday cage construction.