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Old 02-25-2013, 06:53 AM
crazyhouse crazyhouse is offline
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Default shipping containers for emp/solar discharge protection



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I'm a newbie here and looking for answers to several questions:

I'm purchasing several acres to homestead on and am wondering about using shipping containers for my housing. Putting three in the ground for a basement, then three on top of that for my main living space.

Can these containers be successfully be converted in a faraday cage system to protect the electronics within the house? I'm willing to learn how to weld to make everything metal tight. I plan on using insulated containers.

Any "pearls of wisdom" out there? Thanks.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:28 AM
willthrill81 willthrill81 is offline
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I hadn't really thought about shipping containers as Faraday cages, but it might work.

They would need to be tight in order to give you much protection. Airtight is best. Grounding them with buried cables would be a good idea too.

Anything electronic that you wanted to protect would need to be insulated from the walls, floor, and ceiling of the container.

All in all, there are much easier and cheaper ways to protect your gear from an EMP. But if you're going to get these containers anyway, then by all means go for it.

On a related note, I wonder why so many people are concerned about an EMP. Right now, experts in this area say that the Russians are still the only nation with the capability of (1) constructing a nuke big enough to set off an EMP big enough to be truly destructive and (2) constructing a rocket capable of carrying a nuke above the USA. Granted, there are scenarios where terrorists could steal someone else's nuke, or ours for that matter, but detonating it at high altitude is the bigger problem. We absolutely have the capability of shooting down high altitude rockets as long as there aren't lots of them.

I'm not saying that an EMP could not happen, but I think that it's probability is so low that it's probably not worth being concerned about, even for survivalists. As long as your preps aren't too dependent on electricity, you're probably fine.
Old 02-25-2013, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyhouse View Post
Can these containers be successfully be converted in a faraday cage system to protect the electronics within the house? I'm willing to learn how to weld to make everything metal tight. I plan on using insulated containers.
They should act as a faraday cage without any special treatment. Some science museums have exhibits where someone stands in a faraday cage that looks like a bird cage (in other words, plenty of open space, not sealed). The idea is that once the electricity hits the metal, it takes the easiest route -- along the metal.

The biggest problem, though, is electricity. How can you operate electric items inside the faraday cage, unless you have a nice thick electric wire coming in? To overcome that, you could use batteries, but you would need a way to charge the batteries (charge outside the faraday cage, and walk them in?).
Old 03-07-2013, 04:12 PM
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Assuming a scenario where there's no grid power and we're back to basics, what electronic equipment are you trying to protect? TV? Internet/computer? There won't be anyone on the other end...

On the other hand, most household items and car electronics are already for all practical purposes EMP-proof. Despite the doom-n-gloom panic articles floating around the 'net, there's also some real info out there and the real info shows clearly that EMP is about the last thing we need to worry about. Even if someone detonated an EMP-generating device, it would do very little harm. The energy required to "fry" even unprotected circuits is enormous and far beyond any reasonable payload. Unfortunately this is another area where physics & some simple math loses out to misinformation and fear.
Old 03-07-2013, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willthrill81 View Post
I hadn't really thought about shipping containers as Faraday cages, but it might work.

They would need to be tight in order to give you much protection. Airtight is best. Grounding them with buried cables would be a good idea too.

Anything electronic that you wanted to protect would need to be insulated from the walls, floor, and ceiling of the container.

All in all, there are much easier and cheaper ways to protect your gear from an EMP. But if you're going to get these containers anyway, then by all means go for it.

On a related note, I wonder why so many people are concerned about an EMP. Right now, experts in this area say that the Russians are still the only nation with the capability of (1) constructing a nuke big enough to set off an EMP big enough to be truly destructive and (2) constructing a rocket capable of carrying a nuke above the USA. Granted, there are scenarios where terrorists could steal someone else's nuke, or ours for that matter, but detonating it at high altitude is the bigger problem. We absolutely have the capability of shooting down high altitude rockets as long as there aren't lots of them.

I'm not saying that an EMP could not happen, but I think that it's probability is so low that it's probably not worth being concerned about, even for survivalists. As long as your preps aren't too dependent on electricity, you're probably fine.
Read "One Second After" by William Forstchen.


Yes, I know it's a work of fiction, but it was written to be a warning and with the advice of several experts and an afterword from a Naval Officer explaining exactly how the threat is very much possible, real, and much more likely than you think.

There were several EMP threads last year that I posted in. A couple of them were about a conference being held to discuss the threat. There was an impressive list of people signed on to it. (people like the former science adviser to Reagan, IIRC Bob Woolsey former CIA director, William Forstchen, Rezah Kahlili former Iranian Guard soldier...)

(Iran and North Korea...but also terrorists with nukes gained from either of those nations...were seen as the biggest threats.)
Old 03-07-2013, 05:48 PM
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I think that a relatively small nuke launched atop a scud missile in the gulf from a cargo ship would and could cause a-lot of damage to the grid in the US. but this theory has been postulated by others in several non-fiction books. I'm figuring if you prepare for a Nuke war you should be prepared for anything lesser.
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willthrill81 View Post
On a related note, I wonder why so many people are concerned about an EMP. Right now, experts in this area say that the Russians are still the only nation with the capability of (1) constructing a nuke big enough to set off an EMP big enough to be truly destructive and (2) constructing a rocket capable of carrying a nuke above the USA. Granted, there are scenarios where terrorists could steal someone else's nuke, or ours for that matter, but detonating it at high altitude is the bigger problem. We absolutely have the capability of shooting down high altitude rockets as long as there aren't lots of them.

You must be reading different experts than the ones I've read.

Do you think the Chinese cannot do this? They've put a man in space; they can't put a nuclear weapon there?

Further, you don't have to have an overly large weapon to create an EMP. A small one, lofted high into or above the atmosphere by a theatre-capable ballistic missile of the type being developed by North Korea and Iran, can do it.

Imagine such a weapon launched from a container ship off the east coast, or the gulf of Mexico.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:57 AM
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If you bury the containers they will crush, they are only strong at the corners where they get stacker. There's a thread some where about this already and it was pretty good, try the search function, they are good for above ground storage and living structures though!! Good luck!!
Old 03-09-2013, 12:09 PM
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First for the OP;

A shipping container would be a good faraday cage in theory, but you would want to make sure it's sealed and what ever you are protecting is well insulated. Think of faraday cage layers. Maybe one of your "basement" containers can the protective cage. Don't run any wires, plumbing etc to this container and make sure the entrance makes a metal seal. Keep everything you want protected in it, and also make sure you do a few layers of protection. And don't forget to shut the stinkin door when coming and going!

And for those who think EMP is not a real threat, study the simplicity of making an EMP bomb. The nuclear yield doesn't need to be significant... Many countries can make nukes capable of creating a very strong EMP.

Then also consider how many countries have capabilities of getting an EMP to the altitude that would be needed to inflict maximum results.

Then consider who would want to do something like this to the US

It's not hard to realize that an EMP threat is real, and there are those who would be stupid enough to attempt, and possibly even succeed doing it.

For Example, the most likely current attack would come from North Korea...

They have the ability to make a nuke (their tech sucks, but would work)
They have the ability to get it to the altitude (they launched a satellite successfully already)
They have the desire (they are always saying they want us gone, and threaten to nuke us...)

It's clear to many people that they could indeed EMP us, but the question remains, would they???

They had a real chance when they launched that Satellite, how times did it fly over us? If it had a EMP aboard, all they would have had to do was set it off, and we'd had been screwed...

Maybe they didn't have the tech to do it then, maybe it was a test of their tech, and/or our response to it. Maybe papa china hasn't given them the ok yet...

Who knows why it hasn't happened yet, but the threat is real. And the consequences would be dire.
Old 03-09-2013, 12:50 PM
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Many times the floors are wood.

There are large uninsulated gaps along the door seals.

Screening a closet prior to drywalling may be a cheeper option. Maybe an aluminum screen door could be used.
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:36 PM
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I have heard that the Russians have taught the North Koreans how to make an enhanced EMP nuke. The NK's have been wanting to take over the SK's for some time. We are the only thing standing in their way. If they detonated an EMP bomb over the US we would too busy with our own problems to bother helping defend the SK's. It makes perfect sense for the NK's to cripple us before invading the SK's. I consider the chance of an EMP attack against the US to be quite high.
I am making a trash can emp enclosure at my house. Start with a metal trash can. Drive a ground rod and ground out the can. Then line the inside with card board. Next I take anything I plan to put inside and seal inside a mylar bag and make sure it is insulated from the sides of the can and from anything else I put in the can.
Next what to put inside?
1. A survival radio.
2. Ignition module for my vehicle
3. A laptop computer
4. ???
What are you guys planing to save. I may be missing something important.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:23 PM
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Just wanted to say that I appreciate all of the input on EMPs. Ever since reading One Second After, it's been on my prep reason list. I do feel that it is less likely than some other disasters that could happen to me, but I thank those who have put forth their opinions about how it could come about.

I want to be rational in my prepping and since I am a bit anxious at times, it's hard for me to parse out whether all of my activities are sufficiently rational.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Smo View Post
Next what to put inside?
1. A survival radio.
2. Ignition module for my vehicle
3. A laptop computer
4. ???
What are you guys planing to save. I may be missing something important.
Don't skimp on the redundancy where you can afford it...

1. 3 survival radios. Multibanded with widest frequency ranges possible
2. 2 Ignition modules for my vehicle
3. 2 laptop computers
4. Lots of LED lights, since they are a diode in themselves, it's reasonable to expect them to blow.
5. Medical and laboratory devices.
6. Microwave ovens (nice convenience feature when everyone else is cooking beans over a fire)
7. Cameras (security and photo)
8. Night Vision gear
9. digital watches
10. small televisions, and video players

Basically anything you use now that has a circuit board. Anything you may need in the future that has a circuit board, and anything you think other people would want when there are no other circuit boards...

Just look around your house and you start to get an idea of what you'll need. Then read a few good EMP fiction books.

You're going to need a way to recharge batteries for your surviving electronics so you may want to store solar panels, charge controllers, chargers, inverters, etc...

Do a simple search on the boards here and I'm sure there will be some great lists available.
Old 03-10-2013, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willthrill81 View Post
I hadn't really thought about shipping containers as Faraday cages, but it might work.

They would need to be tight in order to give you much protection. Airtight is best. Grounding them with buried cables would be a good idea too.

Anything electronic that you wanted to protect would need to be insulated from the walls, floor, and ceiling of the container.

All in all, there are much easier and cheaper ways to protect your gear from an EMP. But if you're going to get these containers anyway, then by all means go for it.

On a related note, I wonder why so many people are concerned about an EMP. Right now, experts in this area say that the Russians are still the only nation with the capability of (1) constructing a nuke big enough to set off an EMP big enough to be truly destructive and (2) constructing a rocket capable of carrying a nuke above the USA. Granted, there are scenarios where terrorists could steal someone else's nuke, or ours for that matter, but detonating it at high altitude is the bigger problem. We absolutely have the capability of shooting down high altitude rockets as long as there aren't lots of them.

I'm not saying that an EMP could not happen, but I think that it's probability is so low that it's probably not worth being concerned about, even for survivalists. As long as your preps aren't too dependent on electricity, you're probably fine.
Yes, we have the ABILITY to shoot down inbound missles, but do "we" have the WILL to? We had the ABILITY to save the people at Benghazi but failed to act. Getting our ass in a war would be just the ticket for Obama to "suspend the Constitution" and give himself the throne of the US.
Old 03-10-2013, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by OldBritDude View Post
Assuming a scenario where there's no grid power and we're back to basics, what electronic equipment are you trying to protect? TV? Internet/computer? There won't be anyone on the other end...

On the other hand, most household items and car electronics are already for all practical purposes EMP-proof. Despite the doom-n-gloom panic articles floating around the 'net, there's also some real info out there and the real info shows clearly that EMP is about the last thing we need to worry about. Even if someone detonated an EMP-generating device, it would do very little harm. The energy required to "fry" even unprotected circuits is enormous and far beyond any reasonable payload. Unfortunately this is another area where physics & some simple math loses out to misinformation and fear.
I have to agree, any bomb has only so much energy. If you're talking about inducing voltage spikes in electronics one must also consider every other piece of metal and even poor conductors such as vegitation will all be competing for their slice of the pie. It is my opinion the useful radius of an EMP weapon would be rather limited.
Old 03-10-2013, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldBritDude View Post
Assuming a scenario where there's no grid power and we're back to basics, what electronic equipment are you trying to protect? TV? Internet/computer? There won't be anyone on the other end...

On the other hand, most household items and car electronics are already for all practical purposes EMP-proof. Despite the doom-n-gloom panic articles floating around the 'net, there's also some real info out there and the real info shows clearly that EMP is about the last thing we need to worry about. Even if someone detonated an EMP-generating device, it would do very little harm. The energy required to "fry" even unprotected circuits is enormous and far beyond any reasonable payload. Unfortunately this is another area where physics & some simple math loses out to misinformation and fear.
The EMP will not fry electronics in a way that releases the magic blue smoke. On internal traces of a semiconductor, inside of any antistatic protective circuits, it will only take a few volts to cause an open or short. Any damage to associated memory cell or clocking feature will cause the entire chip to fail.

Vacuum tubes are inherently less susceptible to such damage.

Electric motors will not fry or self destruct directly. Any IC voltage regulator or speed controls could fail, resulting in a secondary self district condition.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:13 PM
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I do not believe that shipping containers, or any other steel container, is a good enough conductor to be an effective Faraday cage. Furthermore, all the contents in the container need to be insulated from the interior from the metal walls of the container.

Also, as another member mentioned, DO NOT BURY shipping containers. Their walls are not designed to hold back the pressure from the dirt. They are designed to be stacked, not buried.
Old 03-10-2013, 04:18 PM
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There were several EMP threads last year that I posted in. A couple of them were about a conference being held to discuss the threat. There was an impressive list of people signed on to it. (people like the former science adviser to Reagan, IIRC Bob Woolsey former CIA director, William Forstchen, Rezah Kahlili former Iranian Guard soldier...)
impressive to delta27 - there were more science fiction writers at this 'conference' than scientists. the conclusions drawn being totally unsuported by the research data in the public domain dealing with EMP
Old 03-10-2013, 04:21 PM
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They should act as a faraday cage without any special treatment. Some science museums have exhibits where someone stands in a faraday cage that looks like a bird cage (in other words, plenty of open space, not sealed). The idea is that once the electricity hits the metal, it takes the easiest route -- along the metal.

The biggest problem, though, is electricity. How can you operate electric items inside the faraday cage, unless you have a nice thick electric wire coming in? To overcome that, you could use batteries, but you would need a way to charge the batteries (charge outside the faraday cage, and walk them in?).

there is no such thing as a universal faraday cage. sure you can make them out of mesh - but they will offer little or zero protection tothe higher fequencies of RFI

you dont need batteries to power things inside your faraday cage, only suitable filters that will block any incoming EMP
Old 03-10-2013, 04:22 PM
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I do not believe that shipping containers, or any other steel container, is a good enough conductor to be an effective Faraday cage.
all of the unites states nuclear missile silos, as well as ATT long lines communication shelters used steel for their protective shell.
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