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Old 11-10-2016, 09:33 AM
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Default Can a Metal Building be a Faraday Cage



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I have purchased an 18x21 metal garage situated on an asphalt pad to park my car. Will this serve as a Faraday cage in case of an EMP? Do I need to do something special to make it one? Thanks.
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Old 11-10-2016, 10:13 AM
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It's better than nothing but it is not a cage. Needs a metal floor and conductive seals at the door. Wires from the outside could let the EMP in.

Get spare electronic stuff like the brain box and keep all the chip stuff in a true cage.

Or get a pre chip motor, old school like breaker points and a carburetor.
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Old 11-10-2016, 01:24 PM
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If it is already constructed on the asphalt pad it would take quite a bit of work and expense to turn it into an effective Faraday cage. If you have simply purchased the components and plan to erect it on a freshly installed pad, then it would not be too difficult to incorporate what is needed to create a large Faraday cage. Still some additional expense and work, but not nearly as much trying to retro-fit.

Just my opinion.
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Old 11-11-2016, 08:28 AM
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A metal building, by definition, *is* a Faraday cage.
Try to use your cellphone in one. Try to pick up AM radio.

But you're really asking is if it's adequately efficacious for EMP mitigation.

It is not.

But then, it seems the only answers available on the internet are "nobody can possibly know" (love that one) and "just keep stuff grounded". Each as useless as the other.

So, rather than waste bandwidth trying to bring everyone up to speed, rest assured the building is not gonna work. A trashcan is not gonna work. A file cabinet is not gonna work. Even an ammo box is not gonna work. They will all "work" to some small degree but not against a EMP wavefront.

EMP hardening is not done with Faraday Caging. This is a myth that will leave many wondering what happened. EMP hardening is done with box-in-box echo/division technology.

But the internet is full of ham radio guys that 'know' better and cat pictures that don't care, so I've probably said too much, already.



DS
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Old 11-11-2016, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dyingslower View Post
A metal building, by definition, *is* a Faraday cage.
DS
A fairday cage in an infinitely conductive closed surface. A metal building virtually never becomes an aproximation of a fairday cage. They typically have at best reinforced concrete floors, have doors and/or windows, and are typically made of steel sheet with a non conductive coating. The wall sheathing is typically not connected to the roof panels, and the sheathing is typically attached with self drilling screws and sometimes crimps. A quansit type structure is a slight improvement.

Some underground structures exhibit the shielding one should expect from fairday cages but for different reasons. The is a rumor that FAA air route traffic control centers were designed as fairday cages- which is completely untrue- they were designed to be nuclear hardened and the lack of glass and heavy concrete construction on the operations wing does provide some shielding. They also used to have mechanical shutters over the admin wing of the building which probably started the rumor.

The only drive in fairday cages I've seen had a very complicated door that looked like a nightmare to secure- obviously they didn't want the weight and structural issues of a bank vault type door. I've never had any personal responsibilities for doors bigger then 4 feet. Those use some pretty serious cams to pull the door in tight.

People forget you don't need a hole (2 dimensional opening) to compromise the shielding- a simple slit, less than a millimeter wide, will do the same thing. It will cause voltage to appear acroxs the slit which in turns causes current to flow on the inside which then radiates inside the shield. We use this effected intentionally, called leaky ( or slotted or ported) coax, to make distributed antennas hundreds or thousands of feet long for communications in tunnels, mines, skyscrapers, airplanes, etc
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Old 11-11-2016, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dyingslower View Post
A metal building, by definition, *is* a Faraday cage.
Try to use your cellphone in one. Try to pick up AM radio.

But you're really asking is if it's adequately efficacious for EMP mitigation.

It is not.

But then, it seems the only answers available on the internet are "nobody can possibly know" (love that one) and "just keep stuff grounded". Each as useless as the other.

So, rather than waste bandwidth trying to bring everyone up to speed, rest assured the building is not gonna work. A trashcan is not gonna work. A file cabinet is not gonna work. Even an ammo box is not gonna work. They will all "work" to some small degree but not against a EMP wavefront.

EMP hardening is not done with Faraday Caging. This is a myth that will leave many wondering what happened. EMP hardening is done with box-in-box echo/division technology.

But the internet is full of ham radio guys that 'know' better and cat pictures that don't care, so I've probably said too much, already.



DS
Beat me to it
Even with the double wide drive in door rolled up my phone won't transmit and the radio only works right by the door.
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Old 11-11-2016, 08:07 PM
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We had to install a cell phone booster outside of our fire station. We can barely use the hand held radios inside the building with the repeater right down the road. When the bay doors are down, cell phones are a no go unless your standing by the bay windows and even then it's hit and miss. One hell of a start to building a faraday cage. I would think that metal mesh over the windows would completely shut us down. The glass doors to the office and training area have the security glass with the mesh in the glass. That side of the building really sucks! In the bedroom side with no windows, the cell phone booster was the only way to have cell communications. Land lines only otherwise.
Edit.... I know that this is not truly a faraday cage, but it is a structure with which to start.
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Old 11-12-2016, 11:08 AM
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Thank you, everyone.
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Old 11-13-2016, 11:25 AM
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The reason why it doesn't work is the EMP, especially the ones generated by high altitude nukes, is strong enough to induce currents in metal shells that cause secondary or induced EMP's inside. The longer the conducting path, the larger this current. So large metal buildings, by themselves, will not work. You have to use multiple layers of carefully designed shielding. So a large metal building, with shielded seams, followed by a layer of less conductive but magnetic material like transformer steel or mu-metal, followed by an electrically insulating layer, followed by another conductive shell, followed by less electrically conductive but magnetic material followed by another insulator...followed by another conductive shell...

You get the idea...
Any electrically conductive pass throughs should be avoided at all costs...
Electrical connections, pipes (water, gas, sewer,) signal lines, or RF shielded cable pass throughs should be avoided. Fiber optic line should be o.k. as long as it does not have a conductive shield, which it shouldn't
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Old 11-15-2016, 05:30 PM
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I tried to study EMP's awhile ago and found out the government is pretty tight lipped about what works and what doesn't. But I agree with the rest, it won't work.
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Old 11-15-2016, 06:06 PM
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You can modify a metal building into becoming very much like a faraday cage.

Each piece of sheet metal needs to be electrically soldered to a grounding cable, and to each of it's neighboring pieces of sheet metal and supports.

My house is a steel building. Each piece of sheet metal on the walls is soldered to the piece to it's left and to it's right. Each piece is soldered to the angle iron set in the foundation, and to the horizontal purlin at 8', and to the horizontal purlin at 12', and to a stainless steel braided grounding cable.

Each piece of sheet metal on my roof is soldered to the piece to it's left and to it's right. Each piece is soldered to each roof purlin, and to a stainless steel braided grounding cable.

All purlins [in the walls and across the roof] are soldered to the steel girders and to grounding cable.

All grounding cables are tied together, and they are grounded to three copper grounding rods in my basement.

Our steel doors are also grounded.
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Old 11-15-2016, 06:08 PM
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Old 11-17-2016, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dyingslower View Post
A metal building, by definition, *is* a Faraday cage.
Try to use your cellphone in one. Try to pick up AM radio.

But you're really asking is if it's adequately efficacious for EMP mitigation.

It is not.

But then, it seems the only answers available on the internet are "nobody can possibly know" (love that one) and "just keep stuff grounded". Each as useless as the other.

So, rather than waste bandwidth trying to bring everyone up to speed, rest assured the building is not gonna work. A trashcan is not gonna work. A file cabinet is not gonna work. Even an ammo box is not gonna work. They will all "work" to some small degree but not against a EMP wavefront.

EMP hardening is not done with Faraday Caging. This is a myth that will leave many wondering what happened. EMP hardening is done with box-in-box echo/division technology.

But the internet is full of ham radio guys that 'know' better and cat pictures that don't care, so I've probably said too much, already.



DS

Oh no, please do waste some bandwidth, I and a few others need to be caught up to speed.

So how does one build a true faraday cage?
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Old 12-04-2016, 03:20 PM
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Go look at EP 1110-3-2 (and other MIL STD handbooks)

It's a 460+ page book on how to engineer a building again EMP

Find it and a lot of other Mil Specs by going to

everyspec.com

and do a search.
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