Paranoid DIY: Do’s and Don’ts of Faraday Cages, Build Your Own And Protect Your Vital Electronics.

Faraday Cage Tutorial

As you may recall, last week we talked about how to make a Faraday wallet which, while very effective to prevent the RFID chips from broadcasting information about you were still very small to put your electronic valuables in there. I tried to stuff my cellphone inside mine and I was barely able to cover half of it!
So now as part of the Paranoid DIY series I am going to post an article about Faraday cages and how to make your own to save your computer, your radio, your camera or whatever electronic belonging you may have that you are attached to. In my case, is my coffee maker machine and my computer, cause I live on pr0n and coffee cigarettes, internet and coffee.

Hit the break to read more about this.

First of all, you need to know the DOs and DON’Ts and the myths about Faraday cages. Cause you might as well wrap in tinfoil your shit and then, after the solar storm, realize that they are completely fried and then go apeshit and start punching people OR you can follow this simple advices and save yourself all that ruckus.

  • Whether or not your electronics are plugged in, how long of an antenna you’ve got on something, what voltage it is, or whether or not they operate with batteries—all non-protected electronics will be affected by an EMP.
  • Batteries will be affected, usually in the form of “shorting” as well.
  • Electronic phone systems will also be damaged.
  • Surge protectors are useless in the event of an EMP exposure.
  • Just because your car has rubber tires, it will not be impervious to the effects of an EMP. Rubber containers are insufficient protection against an EMP.
  • And oh yeah—yes, your Faraday cages DO need to be grounded. If it’s NOT grounded, then the Faraday cage merely becomes a reflector or an amplifier.
  • Yes, a microwave can act as a Faraday cage, but why in the world would you want to use it for that? That’s just silly when you can make one simply.
  • Faraday cages do not have to be solid, thus the name “cage” instead of the oft misused term—“box.” In fact, many of them that you can build yourself or will see on the internet will resemble a bird cage or a very finely meshed chicken coop wire.
  • Also, contrary to what you may see on the internet, a sheet of foil on a box will not protect you. It’s not thick enough to withstand the pulse. However, you CAN protect your items if they are buried a couple of feet underground in every direction (up and sideways.)
  • Last, but not least, a car is NOT a Faraday cage sufficient to withstand an EMP incident. It has some similar components, yes. Most cars made today consist of fiberglass and disjointed parts, not a continuous metal material. In addition to that, they are on tires. Tires on a car do NOT serve as grounding. Folks are simply getting an EMP strike confused with a lightening strike. Now, IF you had an old fashioned car that was made of metal, that had its tires removed, that was also attached to an Iron or copper pole and that was ALSO on dirt—not gravel—then yes, you may have a car that doubles as a Faraday cage. (Kind of like the old clunker my dad has out in his “back forty.”
  • The cages do not have to be solid, but they do have to be constructed continuously without gaps between the protective material.

Now, in the last DIY article, the one about the Faraday wallet I said that “Also, you can wrap whatever you want to shield in tinfoil”. I know, I know, that was WRONG. Almost as wrong as Buffalo Bill’s self-admiring dance in front of his mirror, but not quite as disturbing.  So you don’t need to rub it in my face, I didn’t know. But hey, it DID worked with my cellphone. As a matter of a fact, I still wrap my cellphone in tinfoil every time I don’t want to get phone calls. That way I can always say: “the reception was bad, it’s not my fault” and every word is true!  :wink:

Anyhow, shitty white lies  aside, I’d love to post here the Faraday Cage tutorial but I’m a lazy bastard it’s just too big and too cool to be showcased here, so please visit jeddaniels.com to view a very, very worthwhile tutorial/how-to: Faraday Cage (Part 1) part two appears to not be available yet, but you can always check later. If it is available at the time you read this article please let me know so I update the post.

Also visit preparednesspro.com to read and learn more about EMP (EMP 101: Part IV—Faraday Cages), the article is very comprehensive and well-referenced (that list above was taken from their site) you can totally tell that the writer is almost as paranoid as me, which is a great thing, cause paranoia is the best mechanism of survival! (except for a relationship, women hate that)

While you build your Faraday cage, I will be building two myself, a big one for my dozens of hard drives loaded with pr0n PC and laptop and a smaller one for my coffee machine.

Picture courtesy of jeddaniels.com

Thanks to Isabelle for the tip. By the way, Izzy, would you like to go out with me? :mrgreen:

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6 thoughts on “Paranoid DIY: Do’s and Don’ts of Faraday Cages, Build Your Own And Protect Your Vital Electronics.

    • I don’t think so. The fan openings and the plastic parts will let the EMP inside. In theory you could build a mini Faraday cage for your PC, which is what I tried, but the holes for the cables and the the hole to access the ‘on’ button are going to let the the EMP in, so… yeah… it ain’t going to work. At the end I just opted for unplugging the thing and putting it inside my grounded Faraday cage. Not very practical but safer than grounding the case.

  1. Hey! Yeah I’d love to, but please don’t take me to the coffee place we went last time, not after the incident when you drank all that coffee and got all loopy. ♥

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