EMP weapons. The most likely SHTF scenario?

This is a discussion on EMP weapons. The most likely SHTF scenario? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; In response to the comments about the military not being as diligent about HEMP Protection as during the cold war; I can say that, in ...

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  1. #91
    Member Array wraithls1's Avatar
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    In response to the comments about the military not being as diligent about HEMP Protection as during the cold war; I can say that, in some areas, they still are. I work for a defense contractor, building various systems for the military. While I am not going to specify what systems, I can tell you that we still take HEMP shielding very seriously.
    So not all will be lost.
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  3. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    I keep some stored and I can always eat woodchucks if needed. ; )
    If you keep hammering away at the herd, you won't have any woodchucks available to eat. You better maintain some breed stock.
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  4. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    If you keep hammering away at the herd, you won't have any woodchucks available to eat. You better maintain some breed stock.
    LOL. The beans are high enough now that I can't see them anymore. I thin k it will be a while until I pop another one.
    Mark Twain:
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  5. #94
    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    You want a source of protein? rabbits.

    do some research... no noise... easy to feed, breed like... well, rabbits... taste like chicken... and the poop is excellent fertilizer.... rabbit skins are good insulators too. They STINK when you gut 'em though...

    And if you've got woods, I'd be looking into a steam engine... steam heat and steam power... 'course you better have some black out shades if you're gonna run lights in the house....
    It could be worse.
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  6. #95
    Distinguished Member Array noway2's Avatar
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    This page has a pretty good description of a nuclear EMP without going into too much mumbo jumbo. As I said in a previous post, I wanted to do a little research before commenting on this further.

    With regards to a nuclear EMP, there are two concerns. The wikipeida page (which also seems good, but is more technical) calls these the E1 and E2 pulses. The E1 pulse is a very short lived, high intensity pulse caused by free electronics hitting the Earths magnetic field. When this happens, the electronics change direction and flow at a 90 degree angle to the field. With this happening over a very large area, this creates a high intensity field of coherent waves. As I said, this is very short lived on the order of nanoseconds. The concern on the E1 field is that it could disrupt or destroy sensitive electronics (more on this below).

    Following the E1 pulse, is what is called the E2 pulse which lasts from about 1 microsecond to 1 second after the beginning of the electromagnetic pulse (E1) and is caused by neutron and gamma interactions from the detonation. This pulse is of concern because it has a greater possibility of impacting system of long conductors (wires) and other communications systems.

    As I said in my earlier post, my background is EE and I do have some first hand experience with EM noise, its effects, and how to protect against it have had to solve equipment failures as a result of it. However, my speciality is in high speed digital and signal processing, not electromagnetics meaning my knowledge of how such effects scale to a continental problem is very limited.

    What happens is this: The EM field can be thought of as lines of force, very much like the lines drawn around a magnet and these lines are called flux. When the flux crosses a wire, it induces a voltage. The voltage induces is extremely dependant upon the geometry of the interaction with maximum interaction occuring when the two intersect at right angles (just like above, with regards to electronics hitting the magnetic field) and having negligble effect when they are in line with each other. Other factors that influence the voltage are the intensity of the field and the amount of surface area or length of the coupling. The concern or problem with an EMP is that the field can produce a voltage that is damaging to electronic circuits.

    In practice there are three ways to destroy electronics: over voltage, over current, and over temperature. Any of these three, or a combination of them can cause a physical breakdown in the tiny strucutres that these circuits compose. Whether or not an E1 emp would damage these circuits in a real word situation is not well known as atmospheric testing stopped in the 1960s. However, since the 1960s, as others have pointed out, electronics have become more sensitive as they have gotten smaller, faster, and work at lower voltages.

    Similarly with the E2 pulse, which has the capability of generating transient voltages in power distribution and communication systems. Would the voltage be sufficient to cause damage? For example would it be sufficient to cause insulation breakdown in the wires used in a transformer creating a short circuit that both destroys the transformer and causes a fault tripping off breakers at substations and power distribution plants?

    With respect to Farday cages and shielding, there are several factors to consider. I have already mentioned that the geometry plays a very important part regarding how much coupling will occur between a circuit and the field. When the EM field encounters a low inductance conductor, such as a wide flat surface, it has the effect of short circuiting the field. As an example, think of a magnet. When you put the magnet close to a piece of steel, the flux lines coagulate in the steel, flowing through it instead of the air and don't penetrate through to the other side of the steel. The grounded metal casing on a lot of equipment will have this sort of effect and should help considerably with regards to pulses. Also, the existing electrical distrubution system already has a large number of rapidly occuring, intense transients. It has been several years since I have looked into this, and Google is not being very friendly with respect to data (it wants to sell me books on the subject), but the salient points are that they do exist and as you get farther remove from the transmission system, the intensity of these becomes less. Most devices, as well as the distribution system itself have lots of TVSS / SPD (surge protection) built into them. Will it be sufficient to protect stuff? Nobody knows because of a lack of real data with most work being done on simulation.

    Let me conclude this with a real world example. Several years ago, I designed a set of circuit boards for a product, pretty equivalent to a late 90's Pentium PC in terms of power and design. It was built around a processor set by Texas Instruments which makes processors and devices used in a lot of consumer, industrial, and military applications today. Between words, it was fairly representative of most commercial electronics, but it was also built to work in a harsh environment, but did NOT use shielding. The system consisted of two control boards, each running one of these processors and the two boards communciated with each other at a high rate of speed. To test it against EM noise and effects, I took a 120Vac relay and wired the normally closed contacts in series with the coil. This caused the relay to chatter and dispurse a lot of EMPs as well as broad band electrical noise. The effects were astounding. The device under test worked fine and barely yawned. It picked up a couple of communication errors which it detected as errors. There was no distruption to the power system or the processors which operated at a lowly 1.5Vdc. However, other nearby equipment went ballistic. There was a PC plugged into a power strip that shared the same electric circuit (tied back at the breaker panel). The Windows PC went blue screen and crashed and required a reboot. When it was rebooted without power down, it STILL did not work with odd effects like the mouse swapping the right and left buttons. It took a complete power down, wait, and power up to restore the computer.

    So, the conclusion is: we have no real idea of what an EMP will do. The effects are not easy to predict. Equipment may be disrupted, but not destroyed, or it may be damaged. There are multiple effects of an EMP that must be taken into account. As someone also pointed out, the field intestity drops off very rapidly, at a factor of the distance squared. It will also be greately reduced in metal buildings, or any metal cabinets that it encounters and so forth, but yet it may also couple in through the power system. This all makes the real world effects near impossible to predict. I suspect that there would be distruption in communications especially radio, power losses, and perhaps some damage and I think the effects of an EMP are something to consider and take precautions against, but in all likelihood make for better science fiction than science.
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  7. #96
    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Thanks Noway2....

    But you aren't listening to the sheep...

    EMP will stop every car and every phone and every PC In the US when the Chinese blow up their bomb in the atmosphere over Canada. It will be like the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still but will last a year or more.... Just like in the book over which this whole thread started.

    True, we don't know for sure... but it prolly won't be that big a disaster... But for those of you who are into TEOTWAWKI preparedness, may I suggest one GHB for each possible scenario? One BOB for each scenario, And one hidey hole for each scenario... maybe rent some land on the top of arrarat too... just in case there's another flood...
    It could be worse.
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  8. #97
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Many years ago in the early days of putting nuclear warheads on missiles i recall reading about how no one knew for sure what would happen after the first blast happened. Would the guidance systems on the missiles that went through the EMP of the first blast be rendered useless? Would those missiles become dumb bombs?
    Also about the same time it was being reported that anything using transistors would be useless. That only the older style vacuum tube electronics would work. If that information was true I would think that the later missiles are better shielded to protect against it.

    But, are the radios? Do we need to break out the old tube type radios?

    Michael

  9. #98
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    break out the old tube type radios
    Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Russian MIGS retain tubes well into the age of transistors and circuits and chips?

  10. #99
    Distinguished Member Array noway2's Avatar
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    Yes, I believe they did. In fact, last I heard Russia is the last place in the world that is still making tubes. They are popular for use in some audio equipment still, and surprisingly you can get them. A co-worker of mine about 2 years ago ordered some for his system.
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  11. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by oakchas View Post
    Thanks Noway2....

    But you aren't listening to the sheep...

    EMP will stop every car and every phone and every PC In the US when the Chinese blow up their bomb in the atmosphere over Canada. It will be like the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still but will last a year or more.... Just like in the book over which this whole thread started.

    True, we don't know for sure... but it prolly won't be that big a disaster... But for those of you who are into TEOTWAWKI preparedness, may I suggest one GHB for each possible scenario? One BOB for each scenario, And one hidey hole for each scenario... maybe rent some land on the top of arrarat too... just in case there's another flood...
    I'd be a lot more likely to listen to the fellow who wrote "One Second After" as he is a known expert on the subject of EMP. No offense to Noway2 but, I don't trust Wikipedia. If you don't want to think about this possible scenario, fine. But I do take a bit of offense at the implied ridicule you throw on everyone who does take this kind of thing seriously enough to think about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by noway2 View Post
    Yes, I believe they did. In fact, last I heard Russia is the last place in the world that is still making tubes. They are popular for use in some audio equipment still, and surprisingly you can get them. A co-worker of mine about 2 years ago ordered some for his system.
    I have a pretty good collection of tubes. I have collected them since I was a boy. I also have a tube tester my Grandfather built. He had a TV repair shop in his garage. I used to help him as a boy.

    Plus, believe it or not, the machines I work on now, Linear Accelerators, use in radiation oncology treatment, use two very large glass vacuum tubes in the high voltage production portion of the system. Tubes are still used today even in some of the most high tech devices out there. Tubes are much more efficient than transistors and are actually the only component that could handle the voltages we use in this application.
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  12. #101
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    If you are prepared to live without power for a month then you are well prepared for most anything.
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    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

  13. #102
    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TN_Mike View Post
    I'd be a lot more likely to listen to the fellow who wrote "One Second After" as he is a known expert on the subject of EMP. No offense to Noway2 but, I don't trust Wikipedia. If you don't want to think about this possible scenario, fine. But I do take a bit of offense at the implied ridicule you throw on everyone who does take this kind of thing seriously enough to think about it.



    I have a pretty good collection of tubes. I have collected them since I was a boy. I also have a tube tester my Grandfather built. He had a TV repair shop in his garage. I used to help him as a boy.

    Plus, believe it or not, the machines I work on now, Linear Accelerators, use in radiation oncology treatment, use two very large glass vacuum tubes in the high voltage production portion of the system. Tubes are still used today even in some of the most high tech devices out there. Tubes are much more efficient than transistors and are actually the only component that could handle the voltages we use in this application.
    TN Mike....

    Dr. William R. Forstchen is a history professor... at Montreat College. His doctorate is in History... In the acknowledgements in this book he thanks a Naval Officer for his information on EMP, some of which (I'm sure) was "Can neither confirm nor deny." And Dr. Forstchen used his imagination to fill in those areas.

    He's authored 40 books... some of them are Star Trek offshoots... most are of civil war history... He's a novelist... of science fiction fantasy... Look up his bibliography...

    He's no more an expert on EMP than Wikipedia...He's just written about it as an apocalyptic scenario an gotten it published.
    It could be worse.
    "The History of our Revolution will be one continued Lye from one end to the other."
    John Adams
    "A gun is kind of like a parachute. If you need one and don't have one, you'll probably never need one again".

  14. #103
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    oakchas,

    If you don't think this is a likely scenario, that's fine but please stop baiting people who think it is and are wanting to prepare for it. Your comments are welcome and your infromation about faraday cages was useful, but please don't ridicule people who are seeking to prepare for things.

    If they want 4 BUG-Out bags what harm is it to you? You can simply state that you think this isn't worth worrying about (which you did) or give useful infromation to them, but don't ridicule them for wanting 4 BUG_Out bags.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

  15. #104
    Distinguished Member Array noway2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TN_Mike View Post
    I'd be a lot more likely to listen to the fellow who wrote "One Second After" as he is a known expert on the subject of EMP. No offense to Noway2 but, I don't trust Wikipedia. If you don't want to think about this possible scenario, fine. But I do take a bit of offense at the implied ridicule you throw on everyone who does take this kind of thing seriously enough to think about it.
    I do take it seriously. I also have more education in this field than much of the population and based upon that education I think that there is a of pot stirring caused by FUD. This FUD and sensationalism sell books like One Second After and Lights Out. I already admitted that I am not specialized in electromagnetics, but I have been neck deep in the design of circuitry that works in intense EM noise environments as well as have an understanding of how EM fields impact or destroy equipment. Based upon my schooling, research, and my work experience I find the idea that all equipment will be destroyed to be less than plausible.
    I am not trying to ridicule anybody, but I am trying to dispel some of what I believe is irrational fear that some rogue can detonate a bomb in orbit and it is the end of our civilization.

    At the same time, I do advocate preparing for disaster, which can strike. Having even a year or two's supply of food and other essentials is just smart.
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  16. #105
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    EMP's were discovered during a high altitude nuclear weapon test over the Pacific. It shut down the radios and electrical grids in most of the Pacific. It did not permanently destroy electrical equipment or electronics. Now our electronics use transistors and circuit boards, and the transmission system uses much longer runs of lines, so it is hard to say how much damage might be done. But it would probably shut down much of the electrical system until such time as the utilities could perform a "black start". Prior to Y2K, the electrical utility industry planned on it taking days to weeks. Those of us who actually would have done the black start thought that was optimistic. It might burn out some electronics. Computers (and computer controlled equipment) would definitely have to be rebooted.

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