The "E" Bomb

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by McGyverish, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. McGyverish

    McGyverish Member

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    I have alway been a bit of a survivalist. But one thing that concerns me as of late is preparing for the detonation of a EMP (Electro magnetic pulse) bomb by Iran or N. Korea. I did some brief searching on this forum and didn't see a thread for EMP so I thought I start one. In a nut shell EMP will kill anything electronic right down to the l.e.d flashlights we love, leaving us blind in more ways than one. Just think NO INTERNET. EMP can be from a bomb as well as a large solar flare such as the concerns with the 2012 scenario. I don't know about any of you but I think it is a scenario to really concider preparing for.
     
  2. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    I just started thinking about this since reading some of Jerry's stories. I have a 1982 GMC truck with minimal electronic components and a '94 Dodge diesel. Anyone know which components would fry in the event of an EMP?
    Many, many years ago I had a '74 Dodge truck, one of the earliest vehicles with an electronic ignition system. One day it wouldn't start. It turned out, the "brain" of the EI system had gone bad. It was a 5" square black box mounted on the firewall. I had it replaced and the truck gave me many more years of reliable service.
    I've been considering buying the sensitive parts now to keep on hand for just such an event. I've thought about asking my mechanic but I think he might look at me like I had a screw loose. :nuts:
     

  3. McGyverish

    McGyverish Member

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    I am no expert. I have just started reserching this subject online but from what I have gathered. vehicle ignition systems as well as engine management systems on newer vehicles, would likely be affected so having spare igntion parts such as coil and CDI unit, kept protected in a "Faraday Cage" would be advised. Also iv'e read about removing the batt. cables and hooking the vehicle to a dedicated ground rod when not in use can be a good idea, if done corectly. Also parking the vehicle in a properly grounded metal building(a sort of Faraday Cage) is also a good idea. The main problem with having one of very few vehicles operating is, some one is bound to want to take it from you.
     
  4. Concerned_ Citizen

    Concerned_ Citizen Well-Known Member

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  5. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

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    Any vehicle with electronic ignition but without a computer on it can be converted to point/condenser ignition with a different (point type) distributer, coil and ballast reisister.

    If you have a computer that controls the carburetor (not electronic fuel injection) the carburetor can be set to run without the computer input so you'd need to change the coil,distributer and ballast resister.

    If you have electronic fuel injection you'll have the change the ignition components as previously listed and get an intake manifold and carburetor to replace the EFI intake and injector system. (And the appropriate linkage for the accelerator pedal and kickdown valve or throttle valve for the automatic transmission.)

    If you have an automatic transmission like the THM 700 R4 you must have the throttle valve cable hooked up or your transmissions lifespan will be considerably shortened. It is not a kickdown cable for hitting passing gear but regulates line pressure instead.

    With a diesel engine the conversion will vary depending upon what extent the electronics control engine function. One early diesels the only electronics involved are the fuel switch, You can convert most of these to a manual switch very easily.

    Go to your mechanic and explain what you want to do and have them set you up with the parts now. If there is an EMP blast the parts will be very expensive (and scarce) in a short time. Not to mention you can drive to the salvage yard now and after an EMP you'll have to walk to the salvage yard.

    For your alternator you should get a couple of regulators and a couple of sets f the diodes and the rectifier bridge. They might be fried, might not, but an alternator will not work without them. If you can find an old generator you can probably use it with some modifications fo the mounting system. Just remember that the old generators put out about 15 to 25 amps max while a small alternator will kick out 35 amps and most are in the 75 to 125 amp range.

    Obviously older vehicles are easier to convert than newer vehicles.

    I'm not totally convinced that an EMP will take out as many components on vehicles as some think. I've worked on a few cars that were struck by lightning and the only components we had to replace are the computer and radio. (Usually the antenna acted as a lightning rod and channeled a big impulse into the radio.) Most vehicles act as atype of Farady cage when struck by lightning. As long as you stay inside the vehicle and the windows are closed you're safe and it protects the engine electrical components the same way.
     
  6. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

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    Doesn't something have to have electricity going to it in order to be affected? As in if something is off it will be unaffected?
     
  7. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    No, it does not have to be on. It affects the micro ic circuits, overwhelms them like a static charge. If you have ever worked on electronic equipment especially ic modules you need to wear a anti-static cuff to ground your hand and body to guard against discharging into one of these, they are very sensitive to this.
    Basically that is what a EMP has, a bazillion volts discharged all at once. Good grounds, faraday cages, and isolated electronics will help.
     
  8. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

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    In order to produce elctricity you need three things: a conductor (wire, antenna, etc.), a magnetic field and the motion of either. The generators on old cars had permanent magnets in the cases and and the armature (wrapped with wire) rotated inside the magnetic field producing direct current electricity.

    An alternator uses an electric magnet that rotates and the field coils are stationary. The electric magnet has several positive and negative poles in the magnetic field. this constant switching of the polarity cause current to flow first one direction then the opposite direction (alternating current). Since you cannot charge a battery with alternating current an alternator has little electrical gates (diodes) that only allow current go through if it's going the right direction. Thus the current flowing in the positive direction is allowed through and the door is closed when the current wants to flow the other direction. Thus you convert alternating current to direct current you can use to charge a battery. (This is a little bit oversimplified but you get the general understanding of it.) Since and alternator depends on electricity to turn on the magnetic field you must have some electricity to get things going. If your battery is completely dead and your engine starts (usually requires a magneto type ignition system) the alternator will not charge until you can excite the current in some way.


    An ignition coil has a steel core (conductor) wrapped with two layers of wire. Electricity is applied to the first layer of wiring which turns the steel core into an electric magnet. The magnetic field expands until it is larger than the second coil of wire. Now the electricity is shut off suddenly and the electric magnet is deactivated. The magnetic field collapses across the windings of the coil and a high voltage spark is created. (Remamber, to create electricity you only need a conductor, magnetic field and the motion of either.) Again, this is somewhat oversimplified.

    How this applies to electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is that when a nuclear weapon is detonated at high altitude it creates a wave of magnetic energy. As that energy passes across a conductor like power lines it creates a very high voltage electrical impulse that takes the path of least reisitance to ground. It may travel thousands of mile through eletrical transmission lines and jump across switches that are normally open like a spark jumps acrosss the gap of a spark plug. Electrical diodes and resistors are very sensitive to voltage surges and most things with a diode or resister will be instantly fried. It happens so fast that voltage surge protectors will not be able to open the circuit in time to protect your computer, etc.

    Even those things that are not directly connected to power lines are affected because as the EMP wave travels over any conductor (like a printed circuit it) will produce a voltage spike and damage any diodes or resisters in the circuit.

    A farady cage can protect electrical components to a degree. A farady cage is a metal cage that fully encompasses something and is grounded so that the EMP is diverted to a ground (kind of like the old lightning rods used on barns).

    The metal bodies of vehicles may (or may not) act like a faraday cage to some degree in an EMP. For sure you're going to lose your radio since it has a direct link to the antenna which makes a great conductor. There's a lot of controversy about how much damage will occur to other electrical components in your vehicle. In our case we have the means to convert some of ours to a pre-electronics state if they are disabled by EMP.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2010
  9. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

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    I did not know that. Scary.
     
  10. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

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    One more thing regarding vehicles and EMP. If it fries the electronics in your vehicle and you have an electronically controlled transmission you may be walking at worst or driving slower at best. If the automatic transmission is fuly electronic it will just quit working. Some have what's called a "limp" mode in which you will have second gear, park/nuetral, and reverse. With electronic activated 4wd you'll be stuck in 2wd.
     
  11. McGyverish

    McGyverish Member

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    This is precisely why I started this thread. I feel that the threat from a "E Bomb" is a real possibility with unstable countries getting nuclear capabilities.

    Where were you on 9/11. Just consider this scenario. You are away from home (Business trip or whatever). A "E Bomb"is detonated over the US. All electronics are dead. Can't drive home, can't call home, can't email home, no electricity, no water (need elec. to run pumps). How will you contact your family. Not to mention there will likely be some fallout as these detonations aren't as large as the typical nuke.
    This is the ultimate proverbial "Caught with your pants down" :surrender:
    It's quite hard to fight back when your deaf dumb and blind.
     
  12. AlterCow

    AlterCow The Silver Cow

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    You can make faraday cages relatively easy with copper mesh foil. Also, buy an old microwave, or salvage one from a scrapyard, to put handheld devices, or depending on the size/age of the microwave, a laptop.

    I have plans to encase at least one of the rooms of my home in copper mesh foil to make it EMP safe. But it has to be grounded, so I imagine encase the room and run a lead outside into the ground like a lightning rod.

    On a side note: I have a faraday cage wallet to prevent remote scanning of my credit cards or anything else with relative, scannable technology (RFID chipped tech).

    Here is a website that sells various metal mesh and fabrics for your faraday needs. Wire mesh, Hardware cloth, Screen, Wire Cloth
     
  13. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

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    My favorite Jeep has points and a condenser, I am going backwards learning how to live without technology.:D
     
  14. AlterCow

    AlterCow The Silver Cow

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    Whatcha got? I have an 08 KK model and I am disgusted and concerned with all the wires it has. I am seriously looking for something basic and old skool. Any pointers?
     
  15. Idaholady

    Idaholady Member

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    I recently read 'One Second After;' it was a fictional story about an EMP attack on the US, and how one person dealt with it. It was a real eye-opener and I'd highly suggest everyone read it. I had no idea the scope of an EMP when I read this book. While there are grammatical errors and some other things that weren't addressed; it was still a very good read.

    Since I've read it, I've been concentrating on getting my oil lamps ready to go along with extra wicks and candles. I have a woodstove and propane stove in the kitchen. I can access our well if I need water when I can no longer get water from the city/county.

    Either, ask the library to order the book, or buy it....it will get your attention...I've been passing my book around to all my prep friends.
     
  16. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Well-Known Member

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    As much as I hate to admit it, I am not prepared as well as I need to be for an EMP attack. It is something I have been giving a lot of thought to recently and am trying to come up with a good design for a Faraday cage type building for my place here. Not exactly an easy task to do I'm finding.

    Guess there is something to be said for the Amish lifestyle.
     
  17. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    OK. Here's a question for you folks that know more about this subject than I do.
    We live in an old farmhouse with a metal roof. It has 3 lightning rods tied together and 2 grounding rods; one at each end of the house. Would this offer any protection to the contents of the house?
     
  18. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    You will probably be way better off than 95% of us in North America with your setup but, you might be able to do just a little bit more as funds would allow. Get a "Green Grant" from the government to disconnect from the grid and setup your own solar array.

    If you can, physically remove the connections between the nearest power poles and your home area so that the wires (above ground) cannot be used as an "antenna wire" to draw the EMP towards your home.

    By doing something similar to this, unless the EMP explosion is directly above you, you should be safe. To put a blast in very simple terms, imagine a basketball with the center of the ball being 10 miles above ground - and that center would be where the EMP-blast originates. Anything within the region of that basketball could be affected directly.

    1/2 the blast will not affect you - it would be heading into deep-space.

    Anything directly below that center would have the most direct damage to that blast. Anything beyond that center point would have residual damage - from the power lines directing the blast across the electrical grid-system. So - if you are not directly inline with that blast zone and you are not connected to the grid - you will be safe from the blast.

    So - to put it in other terms - if a blast happens over San Fransisco, that city would be taken out completely (electrical-wise). The company that my dad works for powers all of California, so, the grid would backfeed right to the hydro-electric dam in British Columbia that my dad controls and could take out the generating capabilities of the dam - and - could continue on along the grid towards northern BC blowing transformers. The entire western states and provinces along the coast could be in total darkness faster than I can type out this message.

    This very scenario happened a few years ago. A power plant in the USA surged and blew out transformers and lines right from their plant, through the grid and took out parts of Ontario (and if I remember correctly) parts of Quebec and Manitoba. The far-reaching consequences of that action put hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in the dark for two or three weeks as crews worked around the clock to repair the damages.

    All a terrorist needs to do is: figure out where the "center" of a grid is, toss a nuke into space to detonate directly above each "center" wait two days and then send in their own clean-up crews. All of N.America would be toast.

    I believe that we (as two nations tied to each other) need to shrink the grid powering our businesses and homes. Micro-gen-power is the route we should take where we provide power to small areas (ie: 1/2 or 1/3 province or single state) instead of having the power cross borders via the grid. That way, each section would need to be hit individually in order to power down that section - meaning - it would take between 50 and 75 nukes to take our N.America instead of 5 or 6.

    That would mean, we would have a fighting chance against those who wish to do us all harm.
     
  19. Seneschal

    Seneschal Crazy snake chick

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    Good post NaeKid. It sucks that solar arrays are still as expensive as they are--where I live, solar power would be perfect (sunshine state and all...) but it's so expensive. I hadn't realized how much damage a E-bomb could do! It's something to think about, definitely.
     
  20. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I still have so much to learn about eBombs, EMP effects and the Faraday Cage. I heard an old farmer say once, "I don't understand all I know about it" and that describes where I am at with all this, but I'll get there.

    Two things I'm not too clear about in UncleJoe's home maybe someone can explain. First how far would the nearest overhead powerlines have to be away from the house to prevent the EMP using the lines as an antenna? Second, how big of a concern would exterior lights, outlets or power running from the home to any outbuildings be if Uncle Joe were off the grid?