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Protecting Yourself from EMP

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posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 10:37 AM
I found this article today and I thought you weapon techies might get some interest out of it.

EMP. The letters spell burnt out computers and other electrical systems and perhaps even a return to the dark ages if it were to mark the beginning of a nuclear war. But it doesn't need to be that way. Once you understand EMP, you can take a few simple precautions to protect yourself and equipment from it. In fact, you can enjoy much of the "high tech" life style you've come accustomed to even after the use of a nuclear device has been used by terrorists—or there is an all-out WWIII.

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 10:45 AM
This is a very useful find... I myself have been looking into EMP recently, and this helps a lot.

It is good to know that should we be faced with the threat of an EMP, there are ways of defending ourselves.

A good find SIRR1!

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 09:58 PM
I don't think the guy who wrote it knows a whole lot about electronics or EMP. Or maybe in 1989 it wasn't well understood.

EMP will effect battery powered solid state devices as well. It it's got an IC chip or transistors, it will get fried. The effect of EMP is similar to ESD (ElectroStatic Discharge) but on a large scale. You can unplug everything you want, but EMP will destroy the power plants and distribution equipment so your stuff still won't work when you plug it back in, and chances are the EMP would have fried it when it was unplugged anyway.

You can protect against EMP with thick, grounded metal cases that have specially designed EMP filters covering any openings, but that's not practical. If you're paranoid you can make a big lead box, attach a ground wire to it that leads to a cold water pipe of your house, and put all you electronic stuff in it whenever you're not using it. Again, only put battery powered stuff in it because your wall outlets won't work after the EMP blast.

Popular Science or Machanics (can't remember which) had an article a few years ago about a $200 EMP bomb that could be effective against a large city if it was built and placed right.

EMP is limited in range based on the height of the burst, but as we saw when the Northeast was blacked out in 2003, even a local catastrophic power outage can have long reaching effects.

I wouldn't worry too much about EMP because there's really nothing we can do about it. But if you're the kind of person with a burried fallout shelter in your backyard stocked full of canned goods and water, worry away.

posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 02:57 AM
What about shielding...
Especially for the UCAVs of the Future..
Directable EMP weapons/controlled bursts could prove lethal for any automated system..


posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 04:49 AM
Lead is not needed for EMP, copper foil works well and even aluminium foil too. The power transformers and powerlines will still work, since there are fuses and over voltage protectors. The transformers have metal shielding around them and are cooled with oil. The control circuitry is probably well shielded in big powerplants and probably have redundant backups too.

As for the blackout, it was either planed or some one broke some fail safes and let/made the power transformers overheat-short. Lines are easy to fix but not transformers, those take some time to ship out and set up.

posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 03:55 PM
I find it quite interesting that the best defense we have against EMP is still the Faraday box/cage, a technology developed by Michael Faraday in 1836. The original prototypes made by Michael Faraday used aluminum foil lining the walls of the room. Because of the nature of the dissipation across the surface, it was also found that leaving the windows unsheilded didn't affect the performance of the cage by all that much.

Some common building materials can also act as Faraday cages. Materials such as plaster mesh, woven rebar in concrete and even some of the metallic coated varieties of insulation can provide effective protection against EMP blasts.

Here's a few links with more information regarding Faraday cages and their effectiveness against EMP: This is a Java applet that demonstrates the effect of a Faraday cage on EM fields. Wikipedia's entry on the Faraday cage, also contains a link to Wikipedia's entry on Michael Faraday as well. This is a relatively detailed explanation of how a Faraday Cage works.

posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 07:13 PM
An EMP blast is different from shielding signals like radio and television. In an EMP blast, the nuclear blast excites the Earth's magnetic field and particles in the atmosphere. It's more powerful than 'normal' broadcast signals. If you want to build a faraday box and lock your electronics in it everynight knock yourself out. Just put a LOT of batteries in there as well, and make it big enough to store your car in it while you're at it, because if it has an alternator it won't start after an EMP blast.

The US Dep of Homeland Security and FEMA are talking about purchasing lots of large electrical generators and storing them in shielded buildings so they can be pulled out and used after an EMP blast to power government faciities until normal power is restored. The Navy building I work in is Tempest shielded but that doesn't protect it from power surges and brown outs that will result from the EMP blast.

It's not just the power generating and transmission equipment that will be effected, anything metal will have a lot of current induced in it. The power, phone, and cable lines going into your house will fry everything inside that's attached to them. TV antennas, radio antennas, CB antennas, satellite dishes, etc., will all become conduits for high current to enter your home. Like I said before, you can't protect everything from an EMP blast.


posted on May, 5 2005 @ 08:13 PM
Here's what I had to say in a related thread

Power on or off doesnt matter. If there are cables attached or any conductive surface large enough to act as an antenna (around 32inches), the radiation will be absorbed and follow any available path to ground through the components.
This depends on the type of EMP.
If it is uwave radiation, the above applies. The effects are the same as metal in a microwave oven: there is a buildup of micro(u)wave radiation in the materials until discharge. In electrical components, anything solid state is permanently fused. This is the type of EMP generated by a nuclear detonation. Most shielding consists of a "cage" surrounding the sensitive systems to absorb the radiation and drain it to ground. Everything within the shielding must be completely independant, isolated from, and have no direct connections through the shield. If a cage type system is not used, then transorb diodes are usually placed at all entry points into the circuitry, allowing any significant overload to drain safely to ground.

If the EMP is an intense focused magnetic field, the collapse of the field will induce a massive buildup of energy in any device within the field. Same as above, the energy will discharge destroying many components, but it is possible for some tougher components to survive and simply be stuck open until the energy dissipates. EMP's like this can affect anything from wrist watches to airliners, and shielding has little effect.

> Heh I didnt even read the opening article in this thread until now... almost verbatum. Yeah that paper is relatively accurate when dealing with uwave EMP. I deal with high current discharge issues all the time.. a lot of my products are repeatedly exposed to electrical storms and lightning strikes.. even indirect hits can induce massive charges in my equipment causing blown chips and annoying quirks (how in the world did it find a path to THIS circuit?!). The basic guidelines previously outlined make for a good rule of thumb.
Btw, faraday cages are incredably easy to construct.. you can make them out of metal mesh screening as long as the holes are smaller than a mm or so (for example, the reason your microwave oven can have holes in the door is because the holes are smaller than the height of the microwaves). Any cracks or seams also must be this small or sealed, as stray radiation can easily bounce its way around a large enough gap and into sensitive components.

[edit on 5-5-2005 by apc]

posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 12:20 PM
Here is an aditional article to my original thread on this topic.

U.S. seen vulnerable to space 'pulse' attack
By Bill Gertz
November 22,

A single nuclear weapon carried by a ballistic missile and detonated a few hundred miles over the United States would cause "catastrophe for the nation" by damaging electricity-based networks and infrastructure, including computers and telecommunications, according to "War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World."

posted on Jun, 16 2009 @ 06:01 PM
Just finished reading One Second After.Its about an EMP blast over the US. What happens in a small town in the mountains of NC. I am telling you it scared the crap out of me. Got to prepare thats for sure. Even if it dosent happen I would feel better having supplies.

posted on Jun, 16 2009 @ 06:04 PM

Originally posted by SIRR1
In fact, you can enjoy much of the "high tech" life style you've come accustomed to even after the use of a nuclear device has been used by terrorists—or there is an all-out WWIII.

That will be great when the infrastructure for the internet is toast, my cable tv provider is toast, and my solar panels are just sucking up enough power to keep my deep freeze cold.

But, thank god when I need to, ill be able to fire up my PC and watch some downloaded porn.

posted on Feb, 11 2010 @ 02:51 AM
Five years later... here's additional information on how to protect yourself from a potential upcoming EMP attack from Iran tomorrow, and keep in mind their threat was to attack on THE 11TH... sound familiar?

What good is this knowledge if we don't bother to use it when the threat presents itself? Does Mahmoud need to say, "I WILL ATTACK YOU WITH AN EMP WEAPON" or for them to be caught on a hidden cam launching their EMP at the last second? Prepare.

posted on Feb, 11 2010 @ 03:12 PM
this is very good to know!
know anything about protecting against RFID signals?

posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 02:18 AM
reply to post by danielknight

Well that was a non-starter.

2 lines.

posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 03:04 AM
reply to post by mdiinican

I read a long time ago if you hang a chain from your car in the back and it is grounded to the frame you electronics will be safe. I don't know if this is true I just remember reading it. Maybe a expert could figure it out and let me know I would appreciate it.

posted on Feb, 12 2010 @ 07:41 PM
Will my ATS-issue tinfoil hat protect me?

Assuming that it protects me from the nuclear blast that caused the EMP in the first place of course. (Then again the standard British army nuclear immediate action of lying down, not looking at the blast, waiting for three pressure waves to pass harmlessly overhead and then beating each other with branches to clean off the dust will probably save me

posted on Feb, 15 2010 @ 07:26 AM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Feb, 15 2010 @ 07:27 AM
reply to post by mdiinican

and this is helpful how? stop spamming

posted on Feb, 18 2010 @ 04:17 AM
reply to post by PaddyInf[/url]

Now, now Paddy! Sarcasm demonstrates a level of intelligence well beyond some of the posters on this site - but not necessarily on this thread.................................. bottom covered, I think!

To the matter in hand:

EMP or Electro-Magnetic Phenomena as it is correctly called, occurs within the first 60 seconds of a nuclear explosion and consists of:

(a) A rapidly expanding pulse of ionising radiation

(b) Gamma radiation..........and

(c) Neutron radiation or Neutron Induced Activity

Together, they produce something called TREE or as we military people know it, Transient Radiation Effect apon Electronics.

Simply put, the radiation is transient, the effects may well be long term!

How does one protect oneself from EMP?

Unless you are on life support in an ICU ward in your local hospital, you are relatively safe.

If you are a radio ham, a service person connected to or are listening to the radio via an earpiece, at the moment of nuclear detonationthen, then I am afraid you will end up like Kentucky Fried Chicken, although not coated in a batter of top secret spices.

Why does this happen? Well, remember TREE? It's the radiation that does the damage.

This is how it works:

(a) The radiation belts out from GZ in all directions until it meets something it can use as a pathway or access route;

(b) It uses your arial as a gateway into your radio, transmitter or hospital;

(c) Once inside [any of the above] it is frying and melting the gold circuits and other connections before.............................

(d) Entering your body through your headphones, earpiece or monitoring devices.

(e) Behaving as a lightning bolt it short circuits the brain, turns blood to mush and generally burns its way through the body until it earths!

Now, unless an accredited member of the nursing profession can tell me differant, I don't think hospitals are protected against TREE and therefore, those in an ICU hooked up to electrical equipment will not survive.

Remember, hospitalls are not built inside a so-called Farraday Cage. Unlike most modern motor vehicles which are, by default.

So, short answer is, you can't. Why? Because Joe Public will not be told if a nuclear device (terrorist or otherwise) is about to detonate on them or near by.

Even military forces will have insufficient time to take more than simple steps to prevent damage.

Most modern military communication devices have, to some extent, been assembled inside a Farraday Cage and are 'hardened' against NIA and gamma radiation.

Okay, now for the protection part.

If you ever get notification that a nuclear device is about to go 'BANG!' simply stop transmitting on your ham radio set, stop listening to your radio via an earpiece, stop using your mobile phone even on Bluetooth and turn off all electrical equipment around you.

You "should" be safe.

posted on Feb, 19 2010 @ 07:02 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


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