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Another Expert Agrees With Dark Comet Theory

February 21, 2013 – 11:31 am | No Comment

Astronomer David Asher (from Armagh University) has agreed with Bill Napier and Janaki Wickramasinghe (Cardiff University) that “dark comets” are real and dangerous.
The following quotes are from a paper by Napier and Asher published in Astronomy & Geophysics.
http://star.arm.ac.uk/preprints/2009/539.pdf

We know that about one bright comet (of absolute magnitude as bright as 7, comparable to Halley’s Comet) arrives in the visibility zone (perihelion q<5AU, say) each year from the Oort cloud. It seems to be securely established that ~1–2% of these are captured into Halleytype (HT) orbits. The dynamical lifetime of a body in such an orbit can be estimated, from which the expected number of HT comets is perhaps ~3000. The actual number of active HT comets is ~25. This discrepancy of at least two powers of 10 in the expected impact rate from comets as deduced from this theoretical argument on the one hand, and observations on the other, is …

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Home » Bunkers, Survivalism

Shipping Containers As Faraday Cages?

Submitted by on January 6, 2013 – 11:54 am2 Comments

There’s a massive dilemma for preppers who wish to prepare for an EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) from enemies or nature:

  1. Buy a Faraday Cage – very expensive, because none are made for the consumer market
  2. Build a Faraday Cage – and never know if you got it right until crunch time

Most designs that can be found online for a Faraday Cage are for something the size of a shoebox or similar. A simple description is a tightly-closed metal box (like an ammo tin), covered in tin foil, grounded, with some form of simple insulation on the inside (like cardboard). Put anything electronic inside it and it will survive an EMP – because the cage will receive the energy and dissipate it via the grounding. The same principle applies to lightning rods on church steeples.

An episode of Doomsday Preppers features Tim Ralston (the guy who shot his thumb off) who is using shipping containers to build a bunker (I hope he reinforces them!), partly as protection from an EMP attack.

Tim and his family are constructing a “secret desert bunker” as a “bug-out” location. He is building the shelter out of shipping containers. He explained:

The reason I chose a shipping container is it’s already got all the reinforced walls. We don’t have much time, so it’s already pre-fabbed for us. All we’re doing is building up the insides.

According to the show, these containers cost around $2,500 each. In addition, they’re also thought to be EMP-proof, which is important to Ralston. Like the Crovel, the shipping container also seems worth exploring. [Source]

I think any underground structure is automatically “grounded” regardless of the construction, so it need not be a shipping container. Still, what about one just sitting on the ground – would that be a cheap, effective means to having a Faraday Cage big enough to park a vehicle in?

According to the forums, the same principles apply for a larger version:

I would HIGHLY Recommend you also install some Ground Rods that will attach to the four corners of the shipping container into a confirmed earth grounding system.
That will pass the EMP to the path of least resistance and eliminate any stray fields that may be present.

I had two 6 foot copper grounding rods left over from a construction job, I beat them into the ground with a sledge hammer and attached them to the shipping container with #2 copper wire.

As long as it is grounded properly,it should work in similar fashion to a Faraday cage.

However you have to isolate the car (and any other contents) from the metal of the shipping container.

All metal houses (shipping container houses) have to be grounded by code with at least (minimum) 2 copper ground spikes, each are at least (minimum) 8 foot long and have to be grounded using heavy gauge wire.

1 from the electrical box, and one from the skin of the container itself. This is in case of an electrical short in the wall against the metal structure and to off set the potential lightening strike.

For a Faraday cage to work it has to completely surround the contained objects, sides, top and bottom. Thus a shipping container, well grounded with the door(s) closed should work.

Even a thin aluminum skin say aluminum siding with metal screen over the windows will act like a Faraday cage as long is the whole thing is connected and grounded. Source: Dr House]

You would have to do a better job of grounding the doors than just the hinges and also I would use 8 to 12 foot grounding rods to make sure it is properly grounded, but yes in theory these dudes would make a big Faraday Cage.

Instead of working on sealing up doors, maybe create a mesh wall just inside the door like those old hippie bead doors. Stainless mesh might be cheaper than copper. The wall can be quickly broken down to allow access into the container. [Source: Calguns]

If you are really worried then I would put whatever electronic equipment in a steel trash can within the container.

We use shipping containers exclusively in the ROV industry; we convert them to control vans for the vehicles. And yes, they provide a measure of shielding; cell phones, radios, and hand held VHF radios do not function inside without an external antenna.

I worked in a pulsed power lab for a while, and the most common thing we did for shielding was a combination of impedance matched instrument cable (teeeeeensy tiny coaxial cable) and either zinc or nickel spray paint inside our enclosures. [Source: The Survival Podcast]

…a microwave oven is a Faraday Cage in that it can keep microwaves in, and could conceiveably keep emp out.
An old microwave from a garage sale could work. If nothing else, put that inside your DIY Faraday cage for extra protection/insurance.

How to test the effectiveness of your chosen cage:

Here is a simple test to see if your “cage” is EMP resistant (I hesitate to say “proof” since I’ve not tested it with an actual EMP ;) ): But anyway, simply put your cell phone in it, with the ring on the loudest it will go. Then close the cage up and call your cell phone.  If you can hear your cell phone ring, the your cage (or at least the item) is NOT EMP resistant.

I just did the cage test using a microwave and an ammo box as cages, testing each separately.  I placed my cell phone on top of a small cardboard box inside the “cage” and closed it up.  Alas, when I called my cell phone I could still hear it ring inside the cage.  Then I wrapped my cell phone loosely, but completely,  in aluminum foil, again placed the phone on top of the cardboard box inside the cage but where so the foil did not come in contact with the cage walls, and closed it up…and when I called my cell phone this time, it did NOT ring…even when the calling phone was just inches away.  Success!

Note: Wrapping the cell phone in the foil, but WITHOUT placing on top of the cardboard box inside the cage, does NOT prevent the cell phone from ringing.

So, my understanding is thus:

  • Has to be grounded, the longer the grounding rods are the better – perhaps 8 feet long should be the minimum
  • Keep your items insulated from the interior metal walls – a good start is buying a container with a wooden floor
  • Post EMP, a motorcycle might be more useful – and takes less space and fuel
  • Make sure fuel is stored correctly – petrol does go off
  • Have one container that is solely used as a Faraday Cage. You can store non-electrical stuff in it, but don’t have it connected to anything else (other structures, wiring, piping)
  • If you bury the container, make sure it is reinforced
  • You should seal the doors, copper braid door seals might be the answer. If you were super-serious you could solder the gaps, and force your way in post-SHTF
  • Your most important items could be protected by an additional (lined) metal container inside
  • For ultimate redundancy, store a vehicle with no electronics inside – pre-early-70s

Do it now! A shipping container can still be resold later if you change your mind. And they do have a lot of uses.

2 Comments »

  • mike says:

    Robert, a steel shipping container would be a very solid EMI shielding solution although a ground is not necessary. The positive and negative charges are re-distributed on opposite sides of the container thus nulling out internal fields, in fact, testing has shown that grounding a faraday cage can actually disrupt this re-distribution. In any case though, shipping container is a great idea. I’d add conductive rubber stripping on the door and seal up any hols/cracks/poor welds with conductive silicon.

    Lastly, you mention expense being a huge factor because none exist for the consumer market. If you have a moment, check out our site, we’re looking to change that : o )

  • mike says:

    Sorry Robert, I forgot to add our site’s address, its http://www.faraday-cage.com

    Thanks!
    -Mike

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