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Bill Harsey
05-13-2011, 18:25
Question after my cursory search didn't come up with much...

Does anyone know of an EMP proof box that a laptop would fit in?

I'm asking on behalf of friend who is a radio station manager.

tonyz
05-13-2011, 18:33
Faraday cage/box - I believe that is possible to make one - others with more knowledge on the subject can correct me - but you might Google Faraday cage or Faraday box to start.

I hope this helps.

Can't vouch for the web site at all but found this:

http://faradaybag.com/faraday_bag_laptop_shield.html

Kyobanim
05-13-2011, 18:36
Does anyone know of an EMP proof box that a laptop would fit in?

I'm asking on behalf of friend who is a radio station manager.

Does he know something that we should know about?

Sten
05-13-2011, 18:57
Does he know something that we should know about?

He played too much fallout 3 and wants to be "Three Dog" after the balloon goes up.

anotherjon
05-13-2011, 20:53
PM sent.

Hope I can help.

The Reaper
05-13-2011, 21:25
My understanding is that an ammo can is a decent protective covering for EMP.

If it is, would grounding the box help make it any better?

TR

wet dog
05-13-2011, 21:32
My understanding is that an ammo can is a decent protective covering for EMP protection.

If it is, would grounding the box help make it any better?

TR

EMP can easily purge the thin layer of a metal can.

Think about how blasting caps are stored when on a helo. It's not the can, its having the caps shunted that made them safer from "electrical elements of humidity, (or lack there of), of rotar turn, etc."

I've often thought a large footlocker lined with lead, but then I'd have difficulty in lugging the damn thing around.

What are you trying to protect?

ES 96
05-14-2011, 01:35
Question after my cursory search didn't come up with much...

Does anyone know of an EMP proof box that a laptop would fit in?

I'm asking on behalf of friend who is a radio station manager.

Does he for sure mean EMP vs EMR in general? The latter is something that could be a regular issue at a radio station if his laptop has magnetic based media (platter HD) vs say a SSD (Solid State Drive). EMPs as we know are not a very common thing these days... Las Vegas and surrounding areas during '51-'62 on the other hand...

perdurabo
05-14-2011, 01:56
Question after my cursory search didn't come up with much...

Does anyone know of an EMP proof box that a laptop would fit in?

I'm asking on behalf of friend who is a radio station manager.

Does he require EMP shielding, or EMR shielding (ala Faraday & TEMPEST?). In other words, is he trying to protect the equipment from an electromagnetic pulse, as from a nuclear blast, or simply shield the equipment from eletromagnetic radiation (eg. radio waves)?

For EMP applications, I wouldn't trust anything but "mil spec" (aka surplus) equipment. From my military experience, it usually involves several layers of copper screening, each layer separated by a thin layer of non-conductive material (such as fiberglass sheeting). He could probably manufacture this himself, but without proper testing gear, who knows if it will be sufficient.

For EMR applications, a single layer of copper screening should be good enough. If you have the bucks, look up military surplus faraday junk or TEMPEST junk (which does make it out in public, for a pretty penny).

Edit: I'm going off on a atanget here, but if he's looking to shield it for a SHTF scenario, I would ask him to re-evaluate why he's wanting to nuke harden a laptop. It'd be much easier to either print out the required data and store that, or store it on a digital medium (a few copies on thumbdrives) and shield those. In a SHTF scenario, there'll still be plenty of usable mobile computing equipment around.

Preppers tend to overthink scenarios, it kind of reminds me of a joke in crypto circles: http://xkcd.com/538/

perdurabo
05-14-2011, 01:59
I've often thought a large footlocker lined with lead, but then I'd have difficulty in lugging the damn thing around.


I would think that in lead's case, it'd have to be mesh and not simply a layer of lead. I could be wrong though, as I have no specific experience with this material.

albeham
05-14-2011, 07:59
If you are at ground zero this might not work.

A metal box, screened box, that is grounded, will work.
I work in EMI/EMC chambers and the doors every hole once closed has a conductive seal around it. and its grounded. Being grounded is a very important aspect of the shielding. Faraday cage type of idea, hell that's it. There is a lot online that talks about it. Think of it as broad band energy that is looking for something to take it to ground but you don't want your item to be in the loop for the grounding. What ever you have in the box, make sure it is not touching any metal inside it. I know one guy that made a room, his ham radio station into a cage. Even with each coax having a EMP lighting protection on it. So you can do it in a large manner, if you need to.

Many hams just keep their systems off when not needed and coax off of the radio until you use it. Energy helps energy move, so the idea here if its off and not connected to an antenna, there is a very good chance it will not be affected.

One other thing, because of the many "PC world" we are using in cars, TVs, etc, and their EMI/EMC interaction. These systems are harden because of the lose EMI EMC issues that are one many platforms, to protect them from each other. .

One problem is when after the blasts, yes many of then, stop, how in the help is going to be online ? This is a discussion question to spark research on the ways to help the home owner perep the home for sure events.

That what I know..but I always open to learn more...:munchin

PS very large heads, PHD's and the alike, will get into pissing matches on stuff like this...The best is look up the MIL standard for EMP protection. AL yeah he went that way...

zpo
05-14-2011, 08:59
Why does it need to be screened? The spirit of a Faraday Cage is easier to achieve than the letter. A metal box with electrical insulation inside a metal box with electrical insulation.

Dusty
05-14-2011, 09:07
Info. 1) Let's begin with the laptop itself. Most companies use either a plastic or acrylic shell to encase the sensitive electronic components that actually make the device work. These types of shells are not EMP proof at all. There are two types of laptops that could stand up to a blast more easily: Mac and Toughbook. Both brands have models where the protective shell is made of either steel or aluminum, effectively acting as armor.

Info. 2) Simply having a metal laptop does not guarantee your computer's safety. You need to construct something called a Faraday Cage. This is a type of box with which you can place vulnerable electronic equipment. All the faraday boxes I have found are extremely lacking. So, I devised my own super-ruggedized version.

Step 1) Acquire a Pelican Case for your laptop. Find the right size model and order it. This is a Fire-Proof, Water-Proof (make sure you don't get a water-resistant one, you need water proof!), Corrosion-Proof, Bullet-proof, Shock-proof, and Freeze-proof case. Make sure it has the foam inside when you order it.

Step 2) Go to your local metal-shop and ask for some scrap pieces of sheet metal. You will need two large pieces for the lid and bottom of the Pelican Case and four smaller ones to cover the edges. You may be able to pay the mechanics to just make you some, cut to order. The sheets should only be about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick steel.

Step 3) Acquire several rolls of thickened Aluminum Foil.

Step 4) Acquire several square feet of Copper Mesh with relatively small holes.

Step 5) Acquire some heavy duty Gorilla Glue.

Step 6) Installation - Coat the backs of the sheet metal and glue it into place inside the Pelican Case. This is your main EMP protection. (like a medieval knight's platemail)

Step 7) Glue several layers (up to 1/4 inch thick) of Aluminum foil all around and on top of the plates. (You shouldn't see the plates anymore.) To make it even denser, you may use a small weight (like a 5 lb. dumbbell) to gently compress the layers tighter together.) This is your computer's secondary protection, like the chainmail that would go under a knight's platemail.

Step 8) Glue several layers of Copper Mesh on top of the Aluminum foil. This is the final layer of EMP protection. (like a knight's leather pads) Entire buildings used to be covered in this during the cold war as an attempt to protect them from potential EMPs.

Step 9) Allow everything to dry. You may now place your foam back into the Pelican Case along with your laptop.

This system will protect not only your laptop, but also several external hard drives. You aren't going to have the internet, so stock up on as many songs, books, webpages, games, and video as you can. As an example, I currently have 1.75 terabytes of memory getting quiet full of survival info.

perdurabo
05-14-2011, 11:39
I think I'm going to run some EMR tests with some 2.4ghz and 5ghz transceiver (aka industrial 802.11 access points) with various shielding materials at work. If there's interest, I'll report back.

Bill Harsey
05-14-2011, 11:48
good info, Thanks all!

oh yeah, EMP is what I meant.

mugwump
05-14-2011, 12:08
Good summary of the risk from an electrical infrastructure security summit here (http://www.eissummit.com/images/upload/conf/media/EIS_Kappenman_Part1.pdf).

The Reaper
05-14-2011, 12:31
Let me preface this by saying that I am in no way claiming to be an EMP expert.

OTOH, I have read quite a bit about it, and there are ample references available to the public.

While Bill did not ask how to build a watch, allow me to elaborate.

There are essentially three non-nuclear effects of the EMP, sort of like a combination of punches, as it were.

This is a better technical explanation than I can provide.

FIRST EMP COMPONENT (E1)

The first component is a free-field energy pulse with a rise-time measured in the range of a fraction of a billionth to a few billionths of a second. It is the “electromagnetic shock” that disrupts or damages electronics-based control systems, sensors, communication systems, protective systems, computers, and similar devices. Its damage or functional disruption occurs essentially simultaneously over a very large area.

SECOND EMP COMPONENT (E2)

The middle-time component covers roughly the same geographic area as the first component and is similar to lightning in its time-dependence, but is far more geographically widespread in its character and somewhat lower in amplitude. In general, it would not be an issue for critical infrastructure systems since they have existing protective measures for defense against occasional lightning strikes. The most significant risk is synergistic, because the E2 component follows a small fraction of a second after the first component’s insult, which has the ability to impair or destroy many protective and control features. The energy associated with the second component thus may be allowed to pass into and damage systems.

THIRD EMP COMPONENT (E3)

The final major component of EMP is a subsequent, slower-rising, longer-duration pulse that creates disruptive currents in long electricity transmission lines, resulting in damage to electrical supply and distribution systems connected to such lines (Figure 3). The sequence of E1, E2, and then E3 components of EMP is important because each can cause damage, and the later damage can be increased as a result of the earlier damage. In the example depicted in Figures 2 and 3, about 70% of the total electrical power load of the United States is within the region exposed to the EMP event.

You are not going to beat all of these effects with surge protectors or lightning arrestors.

The electrical grid in the affected area is going to die and will be many months before being restored, if ever.

Any device with significant electronics which is plugged in will be terminally fried, and will be unrecoverable without replacement of the electronics.

Any electronics which are not protected, hardened, or pre-transistor are going to be irreparably damaged and will not be repaired without protected replacement parts.

That would include all wireless and cordless comms, TVs, radios, computers, industrial controls, electrical generation and distribution, etc.

Also, all cars, trucks, trains, etc. built since 1980 or so will be dead. Your car runs off a computer and electronic controls now. All cars are fuel injected and have been for more than a decade. You will need repair parts, and those in parts stores, wrecking yards, etc., are not protected either.

This means a near total disruption in the affected area of electric power; petroleum and natural gas refinement and distribution; telecommunications; banking; water and sewer systems; medical care; air, water, and ground transportation systems; and food distribution.

The burned out systems will have to be replaced, and in many cases, the key components are custom made with a lead and build time of many months. Furthermore, the industry is set up to build a few per month, not the thousands that will need to be replaced. Then you have to move them around and install them in a country with a seriously degraded infrastructure and potential lawlessness. That would be a significant challenge.

If this were to happen, and most nuclear capable countries have the ability to do so, that which is not protected/hardened or in your possession with sufficient fuel and repair parts is all you are going to have to live on for a year or more. I do not think the government is going to be in any position to help most Americans. Neighbors will have to bond together.

Frankly, I expect the lawlessness and misconduct of large groups of the underclass to do as much or more damasge than the initial EMP. They will overwhelm law enforcement and commence rioting, burning, looting, etc. within 72 hours of the event. Since the narcotic supply will quickly be exhausted, followed by the alcohol stocks, eventually followed by the commercially available food supply, every city will quickly look like Katrina, and then go downhill from there.

Those in rural areas will fare better than those in suburban areas, and they better than those in urban areas.

The problem with relief efforts will be that the system is designed to send help from non-affected areas to the affected ones. When a sufficient percentage of the areas are affected, there is little or no one to send help from.

This potential tragedy could be averted and the major components of our lives protected by about a 5% additional cost, with component hardening mandated by Federal law, but they are not.

Sorry for the diversion, I now return you to the discussion of how to construct an EMP protective box. I can think of a lot of things that would be more useful to me after an EMP apocalypse than a laptop, but that was the original question. It might be worthwhile to take an old one that is being replaced, wrap it in plastic and cover that with aluminum foil and or screen wire before putting it in a grounded ammo can, but you would still have to take it out every few months to recharge it.

Hope that helps someone.

TR

Dusty
05-14-2011, 13:13
Those in rural areas will fare better than those in suburban areas, and they better than those in urban areas.
TR

Roger that.

Stylo
05-14-2011, 18:01
I keep a certain amount of radios for my guys in microwave ovens that have been thrown out recently. They just stack in my garage.

Not sure how big a laptop you are talking about but you can find these for free and they are already shielded.

I have never tested this but someone I trust believes in this and I will give him the benefit of the doubt until I can find the time to be super geek. But it stands to reason that they are designed to shield electro-magnetic radiation.

If anyone can point out why this would totally not work, I am all ears and will go in another direction.

Bill Harsey
05-14-2011, 22:40
good info, Thanks all!

oh yeah, EMP is what I meant.

OK, met today with my friend who asked me the question.
You all can tell me if I used the wrong term or not.

This is his base concern, a coronal mass ejection or CME which involves electromagnetic radiation. So I figured this might like an EMP and thus asked the question because I didn't yet know what a CME was.

Any commo guys tracking the predicted upcoming sun cycles?

Team Sergeant
05-15-2011, 00:21
Question after my cursory search didn't come up with much...

Does anyone know of an EMP proof box that a laptop would fit in?

I'm asking on behalf of friend who is a radio station manager.

LOL, Now that I know you're talking about a CME vice EMP the last thing your friend needs to worry about is his laptop.
A CME with the intensity to knock out an unprotected laptop will also bring down the power grid, transportation systems, the internet, etc etc etc.

The up side, predicting solar flares is like predicting hurricanes, we don't possess the technology to do it yet. The down side is it's like the earthquake that just hit Japan, if and when we do get hit with a CME with intensity it's going to be real bad. Nothing electronic will work, nothing.

Bill Harsey
05-16-2011, 09:24
Team Sergeant,
I had thought that a Coronal Mass Ejection produced among several things a natural form of Electro-Magnetic Pulse which can vary in degree.
Am I wrong?

wet dog
05-16-2011, 09:54
LOL, Now that I know you're talking about a CME vice EMP the last thing your friend needs to worry about is his laptop.
A CME with the intensity to knock out an unprotected laptop will also bring down the power grid, transportation systems, the internet, etc etc etc.

The up side, predicting solar flares is like predicting hurricanes, we don't possess the technology to do it yet. The down side is it's like the earthquake that just hit Japan, if and when we do get hit with a CME with intensity it's going to be real bad. Nothing electronic will work, nothing.

When I awoke the morning of Jan. 1, 2000 I noticed my wood burning stove in the blacksmith shop still worked. Oh, and the oil lamp worked also. And the cow still gave milk, and the chickens were walking around, and the dog was asleep on the porch, and....

Peregrino
05-16-2011, 10:28
Bill - Your friend needs to take into account that a CME has a significantly longer duration at much higher energy levels than an EMP. There is some literature out there describing the differences (can't access it right now, Google should do the trick though). IIRC the last really severe CME was in the 1850's. What was essentially a non-event then, would cripple anyone affected today. Bottom line - your friend has cause to be concerned. Not sure how useful it'll be to have the only workable laptop on the continent though. :munchin

Sten
05-16-2011, 10:48
and....

My computers and all our air craft and the power plants......Did Y2K knock out anything but huge amounts of cash form IT budgets?? :D

Team Sergeant
05-16-2011, 17:37
Team Sergeant,
I had thought that a Coronal Mass Ejection produced among several things a natural form of Electro-Magnetic Pulse which can vary in degree.
Am I wrong?

This already happened 144 years ago and it did knock out all telegraph lines in the United States and Europe. (see below) If it occured today it will shut down the entire power grid for months maybe a year. When it hits it will overload "every" power cable and "fry" every transformer currently hooked to the power grid. How long do you think it will take to replace every transformer in the United States?:munchin

Tell your friend he will not need his laptop if this happens, he will need a gun and ammo. There will be maybe 24-72 hours of warning before we are hit, maybe. Speed of light travelling 93 million miles and that's if we're "watching".




http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2003/23oct_superstorm/

In scientific circles where solar flares, magnetic storms and other unique solar events are discussed, the occurrences of September 1-2, 1859, are the star stuff of legend. Even 144 years ago, many of Earth's inhabitants realized something momentous had just occurred. Within hours, telegraph wires in both the United States and Europe spontaneously shorted out, causing numerous fires, while the Northern Lights, solar-induced phenomena more closely associated with regions near Earth's North Pole, were documented as far south as Rome, Havana and Hawaii, with similar effects at the South Pole.

What happened in 1859 was a combination of several events that occurred on the Sun at the same time. If they took place separately they would be somewhat notable events. But together they caused the most potent disruption of Earth's ionosphere in recorded history. "What they generated was the perfect space storm," says Bruce Tsurutani, a plasma physicist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Team Sergeant
05-16-2011, 17:41
Bill - Your friend needs to take into account that a CME has a significantly longer duration at much higher energy levels than an EMP. There is some literature out there describing the differences (can't access it right now, Google should do the trick though). IIRC the last really severe CME was in the 1850's. What was essentially a non-event then, would cripple anyone affected today. Bottom line - your friend has cause to be concerned. Not sure how useful it'll be to have the only workable laptop on the continent though. :munchin

Only because we didn't yet "depend" on electricity .....:munchin

The Reaper
05-16-2011, 18:19
Only because we didn't yet "depend" on electricity .....:munchin

And none of that micro amp, milliwatt, nanometer, 1.35v. chip and transistor gear existed.

The old vacuum tube stuff might survive, it is much harder to protect equipment that a static electic carpet shock will literally kill.

TR

Roguish Lawyer
05-16-2011, 19:14
OK, but you're totally protected if you wrap some tin foil around your head, right?

Peregrino
05-16-2011, 19:26
OK, but you're totally protected if you wrap some tin foil around your head, right?

Only so long as there aren't any gaps. Otherwise it acts like a capacitor - the charge infiltrates through the hole and builds up inside until your head explodes like an egg in the microwave.:p

XJWoody
06-08-2011, 22:01
The Droid Phone and landline connected PC made it through AOK. I bet a cold beer that the wood stove still fires up, the firearms still shoot, and a bucket down the well still brings up water ;)

http://www.space.com/11893-huge-sun-eruption-spectacular-solar-flare.html

"The sun unleashed a massive solar storm today (June 7) in a dazzling eruption that kicked up a vast cloud of magnetic plasma that appeared to rain back down over half of the sun's entire surface, NASA scientists say.

The solar storm hit its peak at about 2:41 a.m. EDT (0641 GMT), but the actual flare extended over a three-hour period, said C. Alex Young, a solar astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center who runs a website called The Sun Today, in a video describing the event.

"The sun produced a quite spectacular prominence eruption that had a solar flare and high-energy particles associated with it, but I've just never seen material released like this before," Young said. "It looks like somebody just kicked a giant clod of dirt into the air and then it fell back down." [Video: See the sun's June 7 solar flare and eruption]

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NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft caught high-definition video of the flare in different wavelengths. The event registered as a Class M-2 solar flare, which is a medium-class sun storm that should not pose a danger to satellites or infrastructure on Earth.

An alert by the NOAA-operated Space Weather Prediction Center stated that the solar flare could create a strong geomagnetic storm on Wednesday (June 9) from the event's coronal mass ejection (CME), an explosion of charged particles triggered by the flare. Geomagnetic storms can lead to stronger than normal displays of Earth's auroras, also known as the northern and southern lights.

"It's nothing we really have to worry about," Young said in his video. "It's just really, really beautiful."

The coronal mass ejection is directed at Earth and moving at about 3.1 million mph (5 million kph), SDO mission scientists said in a statement.

"Due to its angle, however, effects on Earth should be fairly small. Nevertheless, it may generate space weather effects here on Earth in a few days," they added.

In the SDO videos, the solar flare erupts from the lower right of the sun and triggers the intense coronal mass ejection, which blows plasma and particles high up into the sun's corona — its outer atmosphere — with some raining back down.

SDO mission scientists said the flare kicked up relatively cool gas and material.

"It is somewhat unique because at many places in the eruption there seems to be even cooler material —at temperatures less than 80,000 Kelvin," SDO scientists explained.

A temperature of 80,000 Kelvin is about 143,540 degrees Fahrenheit (nearly 79,727 degrees Celsius). The sun's corona typically has temperatures ranging from 900,000 degrees F (500,000 degrees C) to 10.8 million degrees F (6 million degrees C). It can reach tens of millions of degrees when a solar flare occurs.

The sun is currently going through an active period in it is 11-year solar weather cycle. The current cycle is called solar cycle 24.

Several NASA spacecraft are keeping constant watch on the sun for flares and CMEs, and serve as an early-warning system for major space weather events.

You can follow SPACE.com Managing Editor Tariq Malik on Twitter @tariqjmalik. Follow SPACE.com for the latest in space science and exploration news on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook."

YMMV

Masochist
06-09-2011, 12:17
My favorite statements:

The coronal mass ejection is directed at Earth and moving at about 3.1 million mph (5 million kph), SDO mission scientists said in a statement.


"It is somewhat unique because at many places in the eruption there seems to be even cooler material —at temperatures less than 80,000 Kelvin," SDO scientists explained.

A temperature of 80,000 Kelvin is about 143,540 degrees Fahrenheit (nearly 79,727 degrees Celsius). The sun's corona typically has temperatures ranging from 900,000 degrees F (500,000 degrees C) to 10.8 million degrees F (6 million degrees C). It can reach tens of millions of degrees when a solar flare occurs.

I'll remember this the next time I use the terms "fast" or "hot" :D

Kai
06-17-2011, 07:41
This is his base concern, a coronal mass ejection or CME which involves electromagnetic radiation. So I figured this might like an EMP and thus asked the question because I didn't yet know what a CME was.

A geomagnetic storm caused by solar wind or a CME can produce ground-induced currents that can affect electronics in a way that's similar to the E3 component of an EMP (described in The Reaper's post) -- so yes, there are similarities. The main practical difference is that ground-induced currents are more likely to damage objects that are connected to things that can become effective antennas (such as transformers that are attached to power lines). As with lightning protection, the first step to protect your equipment is to not have it plugged into the wall, even if it's switched off.

A few things I can add to what others have already said about general protection against EMP:

EMP is similar to a sudden and powerful burst of static electricity.

Make sure what you're trying to protect does not have power applied in any way. For example, remove all batteries, including the usual button battery for the PC clock. A pulse can cause massive internal short circuiting, and the current from the battery can end up doing more damage than the pulse itself. Disconnecting antennas or wires that might start acting like antennas is also prudent.

Certain batteries can be damaged by an EMP, and should be protected accordingly.

Any commo guys tracking the predicted upcoming sun cycles?

There seems to be a debate at the moment in the solar forecast community as to whether we're in the process of going into another (premature) sunspot minimum, or whether the current dip is temporary and the sun will reach a new and substantial peak in activity within the next 12 to 24 months. The dip is very unusual, so many are leaning toward the former, but who knows? You can monitor the current activity at:

http://www.spaceweather.com/

This is a better technical explanation than I can provide.

I used to work for one of the authors of the report you posted. Small world.

mugwump
09-14-2014, 19:00
This guy actually tests one of the most commonly-recommended Faraday cages--a steel garbage can with a tight fitting lid. Without taping the seam between the lid and can, this method is found to be ineffective. Aluminum tape fixes the problem. Good info in the comments regarding grounding your Faraday cage as well (in some situations it hurts more than it helps). Faraday Cage Testing and slot antenna effects (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=y3S2KDuVxaU)