RADIOS FOR RECEIVING ONLY
There is a virtually unlimited variety of radios available for AM, FM and SW reception. In addition, hand held scanners are available which will scan virtually all available civil and military channels except the cell phone frequencies. The best information, of course, will come from sources outside our country, and that means listening to shortwave broadcasts at night. Knowing which frequencies to listen for on shortwave gets complicated, so a shortwave frequency guide (below) is a big help. For local scanning with a hand held scanner, check the scanner frequency guide for helpful information.
We need to limit the selection of radios to those which are self-powered or operate off batteries which can be recharged in a solar charger, as depending upon 110 volt AC power from the normal utility grid won't work when power doesn't or is down permanently. The radio above, for example, will last about 150 hours on a set of recharged NiMH "AA" batteries, is tiny and has incredible reception.
Radios with a built in generator are relatively common. The "Dynamo" is inexpensive, receives AM and FM only, and the generator when hand cranked charges a NiCad battery pack similar to those in cordless telephones. The red colored "Dynamo" has adequate reception, is relatively sturdy, and the sound quality from the speaker is clear enough for prolonged listening. Keep a spare battery pack from a cordless phone available, as without a battery pack the Dynamo won't receive. The Dynamo does not have a ferrite loop AM antenna: the main extendable antenna is also used for AM. This is a distinct advantage, as a separate, longer antenna may be used, connected to the Dynamo's antenna with a small alligator clip, and reception is markedly improved.
The smaller, black
"Solar, Dynamo" radio has a small solar panel on top and a rather
flimsy crank handle for a generator. An advantage is that they will operate off
two AA batteries, which are far more common than the battery pack required by
the "Dynamo" radio. Reception is poor and sound quality abysmal
FARADAY CAGES are virtually mandatory for the radios mentioned in the previous page. Why? Because these radios are meant to be used in an emergency, and unless they are protected against electromagnetic pulse bursts (EMP), the electronics can be fried, and then they are useless. Old tube type radios such as the Zenith TransOceanic are not susceptible to EMP to any great degree, but do have distinct disadvantages. While designed to operate from a battery pack, the batteries are simply not available now. Also, the tubes are getting very rare and expensive
When Einstein and the others first refined and purified uranium, they took time off and studied its properties. That is when they discovered the "rays" that were harmful, as well as the phase transformations. In the course of their work, one of the scientists discovered that simply covering an object with a grounded copper mesh would stop virtually all electromagnetic radiation, whether proton or neutron. Obviously, they had to protect their monitoring equipment! Thus was born the "Faraday cage."
The copper mesh, like 1 inch chicken wire, worked well in large uses, like covering buildings, and it is still in use today: FEMA headquarters buildings are dome-shaped earth-bermed structures, and under the earth is a copper mesh that extends out from the base and is secured by grounding rods.
As an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) travels to earth, whether from a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) or a nuclear detonation in the atmosphere, it hits and runs along electrical power lines as well, building up voltage and amperage, which is what happened during the last solar storm a dozen years ago, blowing out transformers and leaving 6 million people in eastern Canada without power for weeks.
To prevent that problem, if you have a hard-wired generator, the wiring from the generator to the house should run in conduit that is grounded. The generator itself can have the frame grounded for added insurance, but that ground wire MUST be insulated and run to a different ground rod well away from the ground rod for building and conduit!
fields travel in straight lines, unless bent by other fields. Theoretically,
the bottom of a cage doesn’t need to be closed. However, if you’re in an area
of high ionization, the field could bend around. Complete enclosure is the best
FOR A PDF COPY OF FREQUENCIES FOR THE SERVICES LISTED BELOW
∙ SHORTWAVE BROADCAST STATIONS WORLDWIDE
∙ VARIOUS EMERGENCY SERVICES
∙ U.S. ARMY/NATIONAL GUARD -- USB Voice
∙ SHARES (SHARED RESOURCES EMERGENCY SERVICES)
∙ U.S & CANADIAN COAST GUARD USB Voice
∙ U.S. ARMED FORCES GLOBAL HIGH FREQUENCY SYSTEM
∙ INTERNATIONAL AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL
∙ Government and Military Frequency/Designation List∙ COMMERCIAL MARITIME DUPLEX FREQUENCIES
Faraday cage material: Electric fields are best conducted by materials that conduct electric current the best – silver is #1 and copper is #2. Aluminum is ~60% of copper. Iron/steel is farther down the scale. Aluminum is a good poor man’s foil against EMP; double wrap it to be safe.
With radio's and smaller appliances, a Faraday cage can be built by using two cardboard boxes: one should fit tightly inside the other, and the item to be covered should itself fit reasonably well inside the smaller box. That is about the most work involved--finding the right size boxes! The outer box is then covered with aluminum foil or Mylar, as from a cheap "space blanket." A grounding wire is then taped to the foil. Then cover the foil with black 6 mil plastic, taped securely in place, to protect the foil from ripping. At the end of the ground wire attach a cheap small alligator clip from Radio Shack. The item to be protected is placed inside the inner box, which acts as insulation from the outer box, and any EMP hitting the foil and is bled away by the ground wire.
Some medium sized electrical equipment can also easily fit into boxes covered with foil for EMP protection. My laptop computer, for example, fits easily into a Faraday box made from a box that held reams of paper: the entire lid is removable, allowing easy access to the laptop in its case, but is safely stored when not in use.
For larger items which cannot be boxed, such as living room TV sets, etc, tape a Mylar space blanket to a piece of 6 mil black plastic sheet, using double-sticky tape every foot or so to make sure the Mylar stays in place (it is slippery). Leave a 2 inch edge of black plastic showing all around the space blanket, and while taping down the edges put on a short lead of ground wire. When it appears that EMP or CME's are on the way, the blanket can be draped over the appliance, the alligator clip attached to a small, unobtrusive ground wire behind the cabinet, and any electromagnetic radiation will be diverted to the ground wire. Very cheap, simple, and once done, items can be "draped" for protection very quickly indeed. The "EMP Blankets" roll up for storage, but can be unrolled and thrown over a TV/VCR setup, a computer/monitor combo, etc. As EMP comes from altitude and is line of sight, it's OK that the bottom isn't covered, as the bottom of the units sit on non conductive wood.
NOTE: There are electrical engineers who say that only ferrous metal boxes will protect against EMP-enhanced weapons, while other sources say EMP is not a problem at all.
A nuclear ground burst over 200 miles away should only result in 50,000 volts per square centimeter (sc) on your equipment, so the above Faraday cages should work. An air burst within 200 miles can result in up to 100,000 volts per sc, and that would require grounding of any Faraday cage to a separate ground rod well away from any house ground rods. An enhanced EMP weapon exploded at 200 miles elevation can yield over 120,000 volts per sc within up to 600 miles below the detonation point, and that would definitely require insulated metal boxes which are grounded.
The time to build Faraday cages or blankets is NOW, as when they are actually needed it will be far too late. Each box should be labeled on the ends and the top for the exact appliance they were built for, to eliminate any confusion when they must be protected in a hurry. Any electrical appliances not in use should be stored in the Faraday cage, where they will be kept clean, neat, in a known location, and protected against any sudden EMP surge.
How do we protect our equipment? There is no definitive answer, as the results of testing for EMP has not been released to the general public. An EMP is both an electric field and a perpendicular magnetic field. The electric field is what does the damage and is measured in volts per meter (V/m). We can infer and extrapolate, but there are no guarantees, as an EMP pulse can only last 1/100th of a second but project 50,000 to 100,000 volts per meter (V/m). [Ikstrums, Sept. 2, 2005.]
There are two sorts of damage that can occur as a result of an EMP pulse. The first type of damage is that caused directly to exposed transistors, diodes, and circuit boards in radios, transmitters, ignition circuits in vehicles, solar panel controllers, etc. An EMP pulse travels in a straight line, so protection is needed from an EMP from the sides and the top except if the object to be protected is sitting on a conductive surface.
The second is through the accumulation of an overload of electricity on a long line, such as a power line. Faraday cages can be built to totally enclose sensitive equipment not in use. In general, the equipment is placed in a metal or foil covered box, insulated on the inside, and preferably grounded. Exposed radios and similar equipment are extremely difficult to protect, particularly if they are plugged into a 110 volt household electric circuit. In that case, spare equipment stored in Faraday cages would be most advantageous. If the Faraday cages are sitting on a conductive surface, they should be grounded. Grounding is safer in any case, though.The second problem, long line accumulation of an EMP surge, requires isolation of equipment and proper grounding, so the EMP pulse has an easier path to earth than through the equipment. Ground rods should be driven down to wet earth, if at all possible, to provide a sufficient ground. That may mean an 8 foot ground rod, or even longer, depending upon your location.