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EMP Proof Box
Old 05-13-2011, 18:25   #1
Bill Harsey
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EMP Proof Box

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.
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Old 05-13-2011, 18:33   #2
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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

Last edited by tonyz; 05-13-2011 at 18:39.
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Old 05-13-2011, 18:36   #3
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Quote:
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?
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Old 05-13-2011, 18:57   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyobanim View Post
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.
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Solution
Old 05-13-2011, 20:53   #5
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Solution

PM sent.

Hope I can help.
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Old 05-13-2011, 21:25   #6
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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
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Old 05-13-2011, 21:32   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Reaper View Post
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?
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:35   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Harsey View Post
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...
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:56   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Harsey View Post
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/

Last edited by perdurabo; 05-14-2011 at 02:14. Reason: Rambling
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:59   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wet dog View Post
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.
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Old 05-14-2011, 07:59   #11
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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...

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...
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:59   #12
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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.
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Old 05-14-2011, 09:07   #13
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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.
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Old 05-14-2011, 11:39   #14
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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.
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Old 05-14-2011, 11:48   #15
Bill Harsey
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good info, Thanks all!

oh yeah, EMP is what I meant.
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