Author Topic: Does the Ol' Garbage Can work to resist EMP?  (Read 3521 times)

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Offline thecrownsown

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Does the Ol' Garbage Can work to resist EMP?
« on: September 06, 2013, 11:18:14 AM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoQZY1FtI3c

Reading the comments below it on the youtube site, there are some valid concerns...would it actually work for a massive EMP burst?  Protection against radio waves is one thing, but a massive electromagnetic pulse is another.

Has anyone built one of these?  Should I invest my time and effort in this application or are there more efficient / cost economical, or simply better ways to protect my sensitive equipment?

"Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities and the smallest minority on earth is the individual."

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Offline icrcc

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Re: Does the Ol' Garbage Can work to resist EMP?
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2013, 11:44:25 AM »
The short answer is YES! It will work although personally I would tape all the way round the lid with 3M electrically conductive tape. I paid about $20 for a roll. I would also like to see perhaps a little more electrical insulation on the inside. Anyway it is a cheap and effective solution if you are worried about EMP’s. We have to keep in mind these days EMP’s and be both natural and manmade so there is always a chance.

As in the video the cage uses for this purpose does not need to be grounded. Nesting “cages” as suggested gives an extra layer of insurance but you need to ensure that each item is electrically insulated from its cage and the cages are insulated from each other.

If anyone is considering prepping for an EMP it can be one of the cheapest threats to prepare against. You can have good protection for $20 and excellent protection for $40 or less. What costs the money are the items that you place inside the cage; radios, laptops, and other electronic equipment because they are going to sit there and be redundant until you really need them.
It may never happen. Best to be prepared just in case.

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Offline thecrownsown

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Re: Does the Ol' Garbage Can work to resist EMP?
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2013, 03:20:03 PM »
ok, so tape the joint between the lid and the can.

When you say more insulation..your talking about more cardboard, or some inert surface to create more distance between the steel and the object your trying to protect?  So instead of one layer of cardboard, use 1" of it, or some other non conductive barrier?  (This may sound like a dumb question, I just want to make sure I get it right though.)

"Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities and the smallest minority on earth is the individual."

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Offline thecrownsown

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Re: Does the Ol' Garbage Can work to resist EMP?
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2013, 03:22:41 PM »
and last question on this method...does wrapping your equipment in tin foil really assist inside the can..and do you have to insulate the equipment from the tin foil also so it doesnt come in contact with the item? I'm assuming so...just checkin..
"Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities and the smallest minority on earth is the individual."

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Offline icrcc

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Re: Does the Ol' Garbage Can work to resist EMP?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2013, 06:25:30 PM »
ok, so tape the joint between the lid and the can.

When you say more insulation..your talking about more cardboard, or some inert surface to create more distance between the steel and the object your trying to protect?  So instead of one layer of cardboard, use 1" of it, or some other non conductive barrier?  (This may sound like a dumb question, I just want to make sure I get it right though.)


Yes tape around the lid joint. Two layers of cardboard or use some other insulating material like thin foam.
It may never happen. Best to be prepared just in case.

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Offline icrcc

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Re: Does the Ol' Garbage Can work to resist EMP?
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2013, 06:26:18 PM »
and last question on this method...does wrapping your equipment in tin foil really assist inside the can..and do you have to insulate the equipment from the tin foil also so it doesnt come in contact with the item? I'm assuming so...just checkin..

Nesting certainly does not hurt and it will increase your level of protection but may be overkill.
It may never happen. Best to be prepared just in case.

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Offline NObshere

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Re: Does the Ol' Garbage Can work to resist EMP?
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2013, 09:10:29 PM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoQZY1FtI3c

Reading the comments below it on the youtube site, there are some valid concerns...would it actually work for a massive EMP burst?  Protection against radio waves is one thing, but a massive electromagnetic pulse is another.

Has anyone built one of these?  Should I invest my time and effort in this application or are there more efficient / cost economical, or simply better ways to protect my sensitive equipment?

Something to take into consideration is that when an electrical current is passed between two objects(lid and body of the can) there WILL be a diference in potential(voltage)which can cause arcing (welding)the varying thicknesses of the galvanized finish should be minimal and not cause any DIP's however, the difference in potential between the tape and the lid/can may lead to problems... As for insulating the inside to protect the items therein, can only be acheived by knowing before hand the amount of current and voltage to be expected. A guess on my part would be to simply spray the entire inside with something like rubberized gravel guard as evenly as possible. I do know from years of experience(voltages as high as 750KV) that insulation is 80% surface area. Well enough guessing on a subject that is akin to witchcraft... try it out . feel free to PM me if you have any electrical related questions I'll do my best to explain them.
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Offline thecrownsown

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Re: Does the Ol' Garbage Can work to resist EMP?
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2013, 07:39:41 AM »
ok, so a couple of questions as I continue to work on this project.  Nobs/ICRCC from your comments I just have more questions! :)

-I hear you about the arcing between the lid and can.  If I fastened 2 or 3 pieces of braded copper on the outside of the lid to the can, would this help mitigate any arcing?  What about sanding down the edges touching from the lid to the can to mitigate resistance? 

-I sprayed the can and lid this weekend with a rustoleum product:  A rubber sealant. I put duct tape along the edge of the lid and the top of the can so no over spray would hit these areas and cause resistance between the two.  I plan on laminating the inside of the can with a 1/2" rigid insulation SM board.  the bottom, and sides of the can.  Then spraying several coats of the rubber sealant over this again before putting anything inside.  1)Is the SM board a good idea?  It has an ignition point and will create toxic fumes if it ignites, but I figured its less combustible than using cardboard....is a fire even a concern in this application?  I"m having a hard time wrapping my head around an electromagnetic pulse vs. a high current hitting this thing..I might have the wrong concept.   2)Is it worthwhile to coat the SM board with rubber sealant after I line the can with it and before I put anything in there for storage...or am I just wasting another 12 bucks on a spray can?

-The lid has friction tab on it maybe an 1 1/2" wide on one side where it snaps onto the can.  Its hard to describe without a photo (I really struggle getting to the size limit for photos here)  which breaks up the continuity of the lid to the can.   Is this a concern, or for such a small area?  Is there anything I can do at this location?  Its all metal, so I'm really not sure.

-Is taping the seams after I fill the can and put the lid on going to help?  If with two different metals, am I going to be causing more trouble by interupting the faraday cage with another compoenent or will it ultimately be helpful?

-For a grounding rod, a piece of braided copper to an iron stake and touching the can...or should i sand away some of the galvanizing on the can and have the copper touch that.....and of course this leads to the question...am I going to start oxidation between the two metals or is there a way to get around that?  I dont need this thing rusting out in a few years and then have my faraday cage comprimsed at the base....


-
« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 10:17:13 AM by thecrownsown »
"Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities and the smallest minority on earth is the individual."

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Offline JustABear

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Re: Does the Ol' Garbage Can work to resist EMP?
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2013, 08:12:14 AM »
As I understand this the effect is of an electromagnetic field passing through a wire which induces a current. The stronger the field / the longer the wire = the stronger the current induced. This is the same effect that "powers" your radio when the radio waves are picked up by the antenna. The current produced is miniscule however and there are circuits in the radio to amplify the original current to a useable strength. In the event of an EMP or Carrington type event the strength of the field, and therefore the current, will be much MUCH higher. Going back to the garbage can... it is acting as a conduit and insulator to route the electromagnetic waves around what you have inside therefore insulating the contents from the effect. So long as the contents are electrically insulated from the can itself they should be fine. Regarding your question about rusting; if you grind away some of the galvanizing to attach a ground wire... there is battery terminal grease that will keep the connection from corroding indefinitely.  That is my understanding of the topic.
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Offline thecrownsown

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Re: Does the Ol' Garbage Can work to resist EMP?
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2013, 10:17:48 AM »
additional photo.
"Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities and the smallest minority on earth is the individual."

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Offline icrcc

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Re: Does the Ol' Garbage Can work to resist EMP?
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2013, 10:45:11 AM »
For EMP purposes the entire contact surface of the lid/can interface must be continuously conductive. The copper braiding won't hurt but it likely won't help either. The 3M conductive tape will do the trick. I Like your interior insulation it should be more than adequate. Do not paint the outside of the can, I don't think you intended to anyway. If you were considering it you do NOT need to ground the can either. Looks like you have a good Faraday cage!
It may never happen. Best to be prepared just in case.

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Offline icrcc

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Re: Does the Ol' Garbage Can work to resist EMP?
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2013, 10:46:46 AM »
Not sure about that brans of tape. Foil tape is not necessarily conductive, where as the 3M brand is and is intended for conductive purposes. I do not think that the one you have a photo of is conductive.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 10:48:57 AM by icrcc »
It may never happen. Best to be prepared just in case.

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Offline icrcc

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Re: Does the Ol' Garbage Can work to resist EMP?
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2013, 11:05:41 AM »
As far as resisting photos to post on the forum I use Microsoft Picture Manager. Load the photo, choose Compress Pictures from the Picture tab  then choose Web Pages from the right hand plane and press OK. If you want them even more compressed you can chose E-mail messages instead of Web pages.
It may never happen. Best to be prepared just in case.

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Offline NObshere

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Re: Does the Ol' Garbage Can work to resist EMP?
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2013, 07:14:47 PM »
That looks like it should do the trick, nice job. If you were wondering about surge arrestor equipment to protect your house hold with just PM me and I'll see what I can do for you at avery cutrate price.

take care out there
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Offline thecrownsown

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Re: Does the Ol' Garbage Can work to resist EMP?
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2013, 12:00:14 PM »
When "nesting" your items inside. (Which i believe means wrapping them in foil?) 

I basically took each item, wrapped it in bubble wrap and then concealed it in foil.  I'm assuming you dno't want any part of the foil touching the actual item?

Also, when putting all these "nesting" items within the faraday cage....do you need to insulate between them so that the foil on each one is not touching also?


"Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities and the smallest minority on earth is the individual."

Ayn Rand

Offline thecrownsown

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Re: Does the Ol' Garbage Can work to resist EMP?
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2013, 12:11:34 PM »
Not sure about that brans of tape. Foil tape is not necessarily conductive, where as the 3M brand is and is intended for conductive purposes. I do not think that the one you have a photo of is conductive.

Thanks for the heads up.  I contacted the manufacturer and reviewed the product data sheet on line with them.  It is an aluminum 5mil thick tape and though its purpose is not for electrical use it is conductive and will pass a current. 
"Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities and the smallest minority on earth is the individual."

Ayn Rand

Offline Ranger2012

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Re: Does the Ol' Garbage Can work to resist EMP?
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2013, 07:04:02 AM »
If your worried about an electrical seal, then a 1/2' bead of steel wool glued around the inside of the lid will in most cases, foil an EMP pulse. If the pulse is stronger than that, then the CME has probably fried everything including you anyways. 00 would be a good grade of steel wool to use.
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Offline NObshere

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Re: Does the Ol' Garbage Can work to resist EMP?
« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2013, 08:19:40 AM »
Good idea
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Re: Does the Ol' Garbage Can work to resist EMP?
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2013, 07:58:12 PM »
If your worried about an electrical seal, then a 1/2' bead of steel wool glued around the inside of the lid will in most cases, foil an EMP pulse. If the pulse is stronger than that, then the CME has probably fried everything including you anyways. 00 would be a good grade of steel wool to use.

Heard of using steel wool before for that, so that's what I did.
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Offline icrcc

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Re: Does the Ol' Garbage Can work to resist EMP?
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2013, 11:28:49 PM »
One of the best videos I have seen for a quick and dirty explanation of EMP's together with a simple and cheap method to combat this potential threat. Well worth the 5 minutes it takes to watch it.
It may never happen. Best to be prepared just in case.

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