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Survival and Preparations Long and short term survival and 'prepping'.

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  #1  
Old 07-15-2013, 8:53 AM
NytWolf NytWolf is offline
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Default The safe as a Faraday cage?

If we think about what is a Faraday cage, would a safe work as one? It is enclosed entirely in metal. So let alone the electronic lock, would a safe (any type) work well as a Faraday cage?

(If so, how would one protect the electronic lock from EMP?)

Let's discuss.
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Old 07-15-2013, 9:26 AM
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You could modify it to be one. I made a post earlier on this, about what does your faraday cage look like. The first thing you are missing is a ground. You also don't want what is inside, touching the metal of the safe. You likely won't be able to protect the lock. Have a keyed backup. You never said how thick or what kind of metal your safe is made from.

Last edited by jerhyn; 07-15-2013 at 9:33 AM..
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Old 07-15-2013, 9:30 AM
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So I could attach a ground wire and build a metal box that goes around the combination lock? Of course, the box would have a hinge that allows access to the lock.
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Old 07-15-2013, 9:30 AM
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Most safes do not make full metal-to-metal contact around the door. Especially fire-rated safes as they have a heat-activated, expanding seal that prevents contact.
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Old 07-15-2013, 9:41 AM
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If the lock makes any contact with the door, it's going fry with the emp.
I know the door does not make a great contact, but the bolts in my safe might make up for it.

Were you planning to store guns inside or electronics? Most guns safes have a hole in the back that allow for an electrical cord to go inside that helps with the moisture. This would pretty much ruin the safe for emp protection.
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerhyn View Post
Were you planning to store guns inside or electronics? Most guns safes have a hole in the back that allow for an electrical cord to go inside that helps with the moisture. This would pretty much ruin the safe for emp protection.
Electronics.

Why would a hole ruin the safe though? A Faraday cage doesn't have to be a complete enclosure, does it? I thought it was just as long as electrical pulses can travel around the items and to the ground.
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:36 AM
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Faraday cages do not need to be, however if you want to protect against an EMP, you need moar protection. For me, I want the maximum protection possible. Should an EMP actually strike there are no do-overs. It will either work or it won't. Any hole in a faraday cage is a potential weakness. You can read about faraday cages being built with chicken mesh. Technically you can, but that won't stop the devastating power of an EMP from a nuclear device.
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Old 07-15-2013, 1:22 PM
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I would think that the safe would make a great faraday cage. And I would not worry too much about the lock. I would wager that the electronic lock is too small to be affected by a HEMP.
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  #9  
Old 07-15-2013, 1:55 PM
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Remember a key backup on a safe is terribly weak. Locks are easy. Unless you get a top of the line abloy lock, it's too easy to pick.

Also, the electronic lock likely isn't connected to the enclosure with direct contact. You are talking about a keypad and a separate controller panel. Then there is the solenoid that the controller activates. I'd think it would be easy to make sure those were all insulated, although as mechanical devices, the keypad and the solenoid will always work. If the controller is protected, it should be ok.

Really hard to test these ideas, btw
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Old 07-15-2013, 1:57 PM
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To answer the question of do you need complete coverage...not technically. However, given the reality of our situation, yes.

In a summarized and crude nutshell, an EMP sends out massive amounts of energy through the air in electro-magnetic waves (think radio or cell phone waves). Depending on a number of factors, these waves will have varing wavelengths. If one of those wave lengths is small enough, it can go through the holes or space between the door and body in a safe and reach the electronics goodies you have inside.

Below is a graphic showing the size of the wave length compared to its use. Microwaves uses a wavelength that is about 1cm. If you create a screen that is smaller than that, it can block or capture some of that energy.



So, what is the wavelength or rather what type of energy does an EMP produce...look it up

Having a complete cage around the device allows the energy to go around the cage and then down through the ground. However, I believe the ground is optional.

As long as the items inside do not contact this energized cage, they should be safe from the energy spikes of an EMP.

Here is an experpt from Wiki - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_E-4

The E-4B offered a vast increase in communications capability over the previous model and was considered to be 'hardened' against the effects of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) from a nuclear blast. Hardening the aircraft meant that all equipment and wiring on board was shielded from EMP. Additional steps were taken to block radiation from the aircraft's cabin air management system and cockpit, including the novel use of the same screens used to cover the windows of microwave ovens placed over the flight deck windows.

I was at an air show on Andrew's Air Force base (home of Air Force 1) back in 2003 or 2004 and they had a plane there, I think it was a hawkeye but not sure. It was used as an airborne combat control center. There were very few windows but the ones that they had, had a fine copper mesh embedded in them. Also, the door had very distinctive copper flashing (Google Tempest facitilities) around the frame and door seals.
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Old 07-15-2013, 2:31 PM
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I have heard that a microwave oven would work as a faraday cage for storing electronics (unplugged of course). Does anyone here know for sure ?
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Old 07-15-2013, 2:34 PM
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Originally Posted by minermax View Post
I have heard that a microwave oven would work as a faraday cage for storing electronics (unplugged of course). Does anyone here know for sure ?
If it's unplugged then it's not going to be grounded.

Potentially hooking up just the grounding conductor may overcome this...
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Old 07-15-2013, 2:51 PM
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The general rule of Faraday cages is that the max gap you can have in the cage must be 1/20 of the wavelength or smaller. So look at your safe and if you can find gaps that are larger than 1/20 of your desired wavelength, it's probably not a very effective cage.
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Old 07-15-2013, 5:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_In_29 View Post
Most safes do not make full metal-to-metal contact around the door. Especially fire-rated safes as they have a heat-activated, expanding seal that prevents contact.
Locking lugs and the hinges.
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Old 07-15-2013, 5:48 PM
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The trouble with this whole hypothesis is that the nuke they set off to cause the huge EMP is going to kill you anyways. Please tell what you would store in your safe that would do you any good anyways. Cell phone, toaster, radio, computer, what a laugh. Maybe you could park your pre-computer truck in it.
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Old 07-15-2013, 8:19 PM
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u r all clueless
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Old 07-15-2013, 8:40 PM
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The trouble with this whole hypothesis is that the nuke they set off to cause the huge EMP is going to kill you anyways. Please tell what you would store in your safe that would do you any good anyways. Cell phone, toaster, radio, computer, what a laugh. Maybe you could park your pre-computer truck in it.
The greatest emp effect from a nuke would be from one detonated high up in the atmosphere (ionosphere I think) so very possible to survive that. But hey welcome to the stone age
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Old 07-15-2013, 9:29 PM
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The greatest emp effect from a nuke would be from one detonated high up in the atmosphere (ionosphere I think) so very possible to survive that. But hey welcome to the stone age
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Old 07-16-2013, 8:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinB View Post
The trouble with this whole hypothesis is that the nuke they set off to cause the huge EMP is going to kill you anyways. Please tell what you would store in your safe that would do you any good anyways. Cell phone, toaster, radio, computer, what a laugh. Maybe you could park your pre-computer truck in it.
A nuke detonated to provide the largest amount of damage from EMP would kill no one as a direct result of the blast and radiation. An EMP nuke would detonate too high above the ground. A single nuke set off in a city, while killing large numbers of people, would be a localised event that the US could quickly recover from. Set one off in near space as an EMP and the whole US can go dark for years.

A "pre-computer truck" would have no need of a faraday cage at all. Radios for communications, laptops, digital watches, calculators, etc would all be prime candidates for EMP protection.
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Old 07-16-2013, 8:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunday View Post
Locking lugs and the hinges.
Neither of which constitutes a COMPLETE metal-to-metal seal.
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Old 07-16-2013, 9:36 AM
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Anyone who think that a nuke detonated in the upper atmosphere isn't going to kill anyone or do damage is mistaken.

First off there isn't anything stopping or slowing down the blast. The nukes being used today, China and Russia having the only means to deliver a nuke that far and high will be 10 of thousands of times more potent that the bombs dropped on Japan. We are screwed if they attack us. This of course will result in their complete destruction when we strike back.

In the case of a nuke attack, EMP will be the least of your problems.
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Old 07-16-2013, 9:41 AM
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no need to go high tech
simple

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Old 07-16-2013, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by KevinB View Post
Anyone who think that a nuke detonated in the upper atmosphere isn't going to kill anyone or do damage is mistaken.

First off there isn't anything stopping or slowing down the blast. The nukes being used today, China and Russia having the only means to deliver a nuke that far and high will be 10 of thousands of times more potent that the bombs dropped on Japan. We are screwed if they attack us. This of course will result in their complete destruction when we strike back.

In the case of a nuke attack, EMP will be the least of your problems.
Someone needs to do a little research into this subject...
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinB View Post
Anyone who think that a nuke detonated in the upper atmosphere isn't going to kill anyone or do damage is mistaken.

First off there isn't anything stopping or slowing down the blast. The nukes being used today, China and Russia having the only means to deliver a nuke that far and high will be 10 of thousands of times more potent that the bombs dropped on Japan. We are screwed if they attack us. This of course will result in their complete destruction when we strike back.

In the case of a nuke attack, EMP will be the least of your problems.
Another example of how low the educational system has fallen. You really should research things better before putting on the arm chair expert cloak.

What blast wave are you referring to......the one that doesn't happen in a near vacuum?

There are also many more countries then the two you mentioned that have the abillity to launch an object into low earth orbit.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:53 AM
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no need to go high tech
simple
That's not the question though. Why buy a metal trash can if I already have a safe?
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:16 AM
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Stick an AM radio in a microwave and close the door. You can still here the radio and it doesnt effect it at all.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:45 AM
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That's not the question though. Why buy a metal trash can if I already have a safe?
.. missed the last threads readings? Do some fingerwork.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NytWolf View Post
That's not the question though. Why buy a metal trash can if I already have a safe?
So you don't clutter up the safe with non gun stuff.
My safes are near full,had to buy the 2nd recently. Safes fill up to fast,or you pack them so full you scratch everything up
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Old 07-23-2013, 9:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12voltguy View Post
no need to go high tech
simple

This is the easiest and best solution mentioned so far. Wrap your devices in multiple layers of aluminum foil, line the metal trashcan wish cardboard, then place the wrapped items inside. Done. Hardly any money spent and optimal protection.
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NytWolf View Post
That's not the question though. Why buy a metal trash can if I already have a safe?
If the safe doesn't have complete metal to metal contact between all moving/opening parts( doors / hinges) the pulse can/will get through. The simplest solution is what was posted above... wrap in cloth ect. something nonconductive( you don't want the foil to touch your electronics) then in several layers of aluminum foil or other highly conductive metal( copper). A metal garbage will add extra protection as long as the lid is tight fitting. The protection you need really depends on strength of the pulse and what kind of electromagnetic radiation is present also( some high energy waves/particles will pass right through thin shielding).

Last edited by iron cannon; 07-23-2013 at 12:22 PM..
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