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#56838 - 12/27/05 09:20 AM Will my iPod survive an EMP blast? (ex: nuclear)

This might sound very stupid but I am concerned, and this question also extends to my computer. What is in danger in the case of an EMP blast?

I have heard of switches that would cut all power in the case of a charge as big as an EMP. Does this mean it only affects things that are plugged in? I thought EMP blasts meant bye bye car...

I would really appreciate anybody's knowledge on this! Thanks guys.

PS: More about the iPod situation. I love music. I need it. I plan to build a Hand crank Generator that could of course be used to charge an iPod. (and later I plan to build something connected to a bike so I could actually get more than 5 minutes worth of powering anything <img src="/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> )

#56839 - 12/27/05 09:30 AM Re: Will my iPod survive an EMP blast? (ex: nuclea

Oh and also!

If my car's engine is ruined... (I am prrretty sure it doesn't have electric fuel injection <img src="/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> )

Is there a way to salvage/fix the engine? (Again assuming that there is gas to be had... watch your tank <img src="/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> )

#56840 - 12/27/05 02:39 PM Re: Will my iPod survive an EMP blast? (ex: nuclear)

EMP is induced into wiring to damage equipment, and it doesnt have to be plugged in to receive the power spike.
You can protect the wiring entering a building along similar lines to protecting from Lighning, but if the equipment inside is not sheilded it will still get damaged.
The cost of building a Farraday cage into your house to protect your equipment would be a bit ridiculous. If you realy are conserned I would suggest you read some books on power protection starting with power spikes and lightning protection then work up to EMP after you understand.

Because you can create a non nuclear locallized EMP quite easily, I am surprised that some terrorist cell somewhere hasnt tried this tactic already. I beleive this is a very real threat.

#56841 - 12/27/05 03:29 PM Re: Will my iPod survive an EMP blast? (ex: nuclea
Brangdon Offline

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1201
Loc: Nottingham, UK
> What is in danger in the case of an EMP blast?

Any good electrical conductor that is very long or very thin. The EMP induces a current which will heat up the conductor. The longer the conductor, the more current. The thinner it is, the less current is needed to melt it. So powerlines which span the country are vulnerable because they are so long. The wires inside integrated circuits are vulnerable because they are so thin. IPods, computers and cars are at risk because they contain circuitry. They are vulnerable even if they are plugged in because the EMP induces the current in them directly.

The good news is that to protect against EMP you just need a Faraday cage, which is just a good conductor (eg metal) box that completely encloses the item you want to protect.. A tin biscuit box (with lid) could do. It doesn't need to be air-tight as long as the holes are small. It doesn't need to be earthed. The device you are protecting should sit inside it without touching the sides.

I suspect the most practical way to be sure you have an iPod is to get 2, and keep one as backup in the metal box. That's what I do with flashlights. Or you could learn to play the flute?

The above is my current understanding. I suspect we won't really know until an EMP actually hits, what will work afterwards. Keeping electronic gear in a tin box when you are not using it seems like a reasonable precaution.
Quality is addictive.

#56842 - 12/27/05 03:35 PM Re: Will my iPod survive an EMP blast? (ex: nuclea

The engine itself would be unharmed but an EMP is going to damage most electronics and most of the modern cars have electronic controls through out. The steering on mine is even electrical assist!!! Any electromagnetic tape would be damaged or the data on it would be erased so your credit cards etc. would be worthless. Hard drives are generally electromagnetic so even if the electronics of your computer made it the data would most likely be destroyed. CD's would be safe but the player would probably be damaged. In short a sizable EMP would bring most of our technology to a screeching halt. The positve is that an EMP is quite localized and it would require a very large EMP to cover very much area. If it is due to a nuclear blast the EMP would be the least to worry about.

#56843 - 12/27/05 04:44 PM Re: Will my iPod survive an EMP blast? (ex: nuclea
Arney Offline

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
You don't see many mainstream press articles on EMP these days, but I just read this Christian Science Monitor article on EMP last week. Some interesting tidbits in it, but only one "expert" is quoted so I don't know how authoritative the info is. Someone's been watching "24" reruns, eh? <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

#56844 - 12/27/05 06:15 PM Re: Will my iPod survive an EMP blast? (ex: nuclea
7k7k99 Offline

Registered: 06/01/05
Posts: 375
Loc: Ohio
I am no expert, but from what I have read, should a nuke be exploded over the US at the right altitude, most everything electronic will be non-functional and we will be back in the days of the early west. Iran has already successfully detonated a missile at emp altitude, which was categorized as a missile failure by our ignorant media, but that was exactly what they need to do to detonate an emp blast over North America. Should that happen, an Ipod will be the least of your worries.

#56845 - 12/27/05 06:47 PM Re: Will my iPod survive an EMP blast? (ex: nuclear)
gulliamo Offline

Registered: 09/11/02
Posts: 155
If anyone has any reliable stats or links please enlighten me...

It is my understanding that EMP is fairly localized. Meaning one pulse can not take out the US or even your state. If you work in, and carry your IPod in a high risk area - Military Post, Wall St., etc. - then your best solution happens to be prudent advice anyway - Keep an offsite backup!

There are three sure things in life... Death, Taxes and Data Loss. The first you cannot avoid, the second you can minimize and the third? Backups.

Offsite backups are cheap and simple. You just have to make yourself do it and update them regularly. DVD burners are cheap. DVDs are immune to the effects of EMP. And if you are really worried send a couple of backups to your brother-in-law on the opposite coast or in another country.

#56846 - 12/27/05 07:19 PM Re: Will my iPod survive an EMP blast? (ex: nuclear)
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
"And if you are really worried send a couple of backups to your brother-in-law on the opposite coast or in another country."

Only know about EMP what I've read here, and this was just an idle thought. If you send your data away, & you have E<P troubles, how do you get your units back?


#56847 - 12/27/05 07:48 PM Re: Will my iPod survive an EMP blast? (ex: nuclear)
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Solid State circuitry is most prone to EMP. EMPs induce voltage fields that will blow the junction of most solid state devices unless the field can be effectively shunted to ground. Grounded cases don't work, because the field raises the ambient electrical environment and tends to cause a lot of eddy current activity on chassis and in suspended cables. Lightning generates an EMP, though not to the level obtained by airbursting nuclear weapons.

In short, if you are within the range of an effective EMP burst, you can say goodbye to anything electronic. Even assuming an old beater vehicle, you are going to lose the alternator because the diodes and the regulator are all semi-conductor solid state devices. A diesel can maybe keep running, but it must be completely mechanically based (including the injection controls) and none of the other electronic stuff on the vehicle will be funtional.

Coils can be nearly as vulnerable. A coil microphone element will probably eat itself, as will a tape recording/playback head.

Engine coils will likely take the juice, as will big speaker coils, but small engine windings may or may not make it, like that electric shaver, or the dremel tool, etc.
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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