Saturday, August 18, 2012

EMP Protection For Electronics For Non-Tecchies

There is already a post on this blog about how to build your own Faraday Cage to protect your electronics. This post is to tell you more about making your Faraday Cage.
Since many readers will not be familiar with EMPs and why electronics need to be protected from them, I will start there.

EMPs are ElectroMagnetic Pulses. You cannot see an electromagnetic pulse, but it can still destroy your cell phone, computer and television, etc. 

The two main sources for EMPs are from humans and from the sun. The sun is doing solar flare activity outside the recorded norms. When we get a very large solar flare, the sun actually throws part of itself out into space. The term for these events is Coronal Mass Ejection, or CME. I don't know why scientists are so in love with alphabet soup, but the rest of us are stuck with it.

When an especially large CME happens, it can generate an especially large EMP. An especially large EMP can reach the earth and do horrible things to electronics here. One large EMP knocked out the power grid in part of Canada recently, along with their electronics.

If you feel attached to your cell phone, etc. and want to protect it from EMPs then you can use a Faraday Cage to do this. It is possible for an average not technologically gifted person to make a simple Faraday Cage for cheap and possibly for free, depending on what you have handy.

The bad part about your cheap Faraday Cage is that it will not protect electronics while you are using them. You can either buy an extra of whatever you wish to protect, or cross your fingers and just put your precious electronics into your Faraday Cage at night when you are not using it.

If, like me, you are in the habit of using your cell phone for your alarm clock, you may be forced to invest in an actual alarm clock. That will be cheaper than another cell phone, so quit whining.

At this time, I only have my emergency radio protected by a Faraday Cage. My plan is to upgrade my cell phone before it dies completely and put it in a Faraday Cage. 

I am assuming you are able to scroll down the list of previous posts and find the instructions for building a Faraday Cage, so I am not going to repeat all that here. However, more experience with making a Faraday Cage gave me more information to share about doing it better.

It is very important that there be no gaps in the metal covering parts of your Faraday Cage. This is easier to do if you use glue for parts of it. Tape can insulate some areas of metal (foil or mylar), from contact with other parts of the metal. I think corners should be reinforced for extra safety. It can be hard to make sure they are completely covered and in contact with other metal.

I decided to use a velcro closure to ensure good contact along the flap of the box. This is because it tends to bend out a little and does not look as though there is good contact along that area. 

Another improvement is that I am covering the metal with clear contact paper to protect it from tearing and make it last longer. This could be done with other materials. The outer layer of metal does not need to be exposed on the surface. You could even enclose it in a bag or another box.

I also decided to add shredded paper between metal covered boxes for my cheap Faraday Cage. I don't like my emergency radio flopping around inside my Faraday Cage. The extra shredded paper makes the interior metal covered box fit securely inside the second metal covered box.

In case you don't already know, the second most likely, or possibly the first most likely source of EMPs from humans is nuclear bombs. With Shell's ship in the Arctic provoking other nuclear powers, environmentalists, and other normal people, nuclear war is looking much more likely to come soon. 

You might want to get right on making that Faraday Cage.

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