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Ammo Can Experiment

EMP Farraday Cage Ammo Can DIY Solar Flare SHTF Electronic HAM

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#1 ducttapedave

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 05:11 PM

So the local hardware store around me had a sale on new and used ammo cans. I've always been a fan of them for storing things. They're durable, waterproof(ish) and ever so stylish.

 

I've tried an experiment with one of the larger ones. I'm using it to store more mission critical electronics.  Collect up some of the oh shit gear and store in a safe place. Crank radio with Weather band, capacitor shake flash light, that sort of thing. But then I started to think about solar flares and other such grief. Possibly due to the cache article the other day. So I figured I should probably turn the thing into a faraday cage. Which really isn't hard, since, you know it's a steel box.

 

Huzzah! Project done!

 

But being the paranoid kind of guy I am, I wanted to go a little further. If there was damage to the pain or a strong enough discharge, anything metal touching would likely be affected. I decided to add an insulation layer. I formed an inner cardboard box, about 1/8th inch or so thick to slide inside of the ammo can, with a lid. I also coated the outside of the cardboard with electrical tape for extra protection.

 

The box still seals tight as a drum. I did a few signal reception tests with radios, cell phones etc, and it definitely prevents any signal in or out. For more protecition items in the box are going to be stored in mylar bags, some silica and 02 packs as well. For full protection I would likely seal all edges with aluminum tape to ensure there's a conductive seal all around the container.

 

The upside is also, when I really don't want the office to call, I can drop my phone in there. It's a win win all around.

 

Not a bad use of old cardboard, and a few dollars with of duct tape and electrical tape.


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#2 pira114

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 10:27 AM

You mentioned it still gets a good seal. Did you remove the rubber gasket? If not, it won't work. Cell signals are quite different than EMP waves.

Here's a decent article about building one that explains how to deal with it:

http://asurvivalplan...a-faraday-cage/

It's a timely project. I just read that NASA has detected one of the largest sun spots ever and it's facing us now. After a period of very little sun spot activity. There's a lot to understand about EMP waves and how they affect electronics, but a basic box like that could help whatever you can fit in it. However, it's a good mental exercise to think about how useful those items might be after such an event.
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#3 pira114

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 10:28 AM

Oh, I should add that I've never built one, and I know of no "at home" method to test it.

#4 ducttapedave

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 06:04 PM

Outside of an event, I'm not sure of a way to test 100% either. I am just going with various signal strength checks, cell, Bluetooth, AM & FM radio. So far, I'm getting a solid loss of Signal. I suppose I could set up a magnetic field detector inside of the unit and use an electromagnet to see if I can detect that.

 

In my area, I'm far more concerned about flooding than an EMP event. We experience flooding of some sort in the province annually, EMP or Carrington's events are rarer but can carry heavier damage. My middle compromise is to keep the gasket, but use aluminum tape with a roughed up surface as well as individual protections inside the box on pieces of kit. It's a compromise, but one I can totally live with. I may do a foil gasket on another one, still undecided on that. 

 

WHen I build one for more sensitive elements (digital stores of Field Manuals, Maps, important documents etc I will likely do a gasket removal and more layers for waterproofing and electric resistance. 

 

Also, don't store them on a carpet. 


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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: EMP, Farraday Cage, Ammo Can, DIY, Solar Flare, SHTF, Electronic, HAM

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