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jdunmyer
06-03-2012, 07:30 PM
The End of the World as We Know It, brought on by a Carrington Event. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrington_Event

I recently read a novel, A Distant Eden, http://www.amazon.com/A-Distant-Eden-ebook/dp/B007ODDGUC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338761750&sr=8-1 which was quite entertaining and educational to boot, which was the author's intent. It's a story of some people who were prepared for such a happening and how they coped.

Now for the question: why wouldn't a lot of our modern equipment/devices be protected by being inside a metal building or even a metal-reinforced concrete structure? I can see electrical substations and transformers being wiped out by electrical surges on the overhead wires, but a vehicle inside a metal building or a parking structure would be protected, or so I'd think.

Any opinions on just how likely is such a scenario? Not the Carrington Event itself, that's unpredictable, but not unlikely to happen "some day".

Clevelander
06-03-2012, 08:19 PM
That the damage is done by an electromagnetic pulse. Unlike a radio wave that can be blocked by a faraday cage (basically a big screen enclosure) magnetism is much harder to block. It's the magnetism that wil basically burn out all "standard" electronics". Or so my understanding of the issue goes.

sasquatch
06-03-2012, 08:23 PM
My "Pot Head" neighbours would love this post!!

They can go on for hours rambling about the end of the world, half the time they're so far out to lunch, you can't follow their conversation.

Actually harmless people just "SPUN"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D :D

lazlo
06-03-2012, 08:28 PM
why wouldn't a lot of our modern equipment/devices be protected by being inside a metal building or even a metal-reinforced concrete structure?

Anything sensitive, like military equipment, air traffic control, nuclear control stations, ... are well-shielded. In addition, there are EMP and H-EMP standards for that type of equipment.

An electro-magnetic pulse from a nuclear air-burst wiping out all electronic devices and setting us back to the stone age is a popular sci-fi topic (a la Escape from New York). It would certainly be a pain in the as$, but I'm quite certain the free market economy would refresh modern electronics in short order. ;)

brian Rupnow
06-03-2012, 08:38 PM
I can't say as to whether a burst of radiation from the sun will end life on earth or not.----That being said, I have a real fondness for "Life after the End of the world" science fiction writing. One of the best I have read is "Farnhams Freehold" by Heinlein. A man named Stirling did some fair writing on the subject. James Axtler has flogged it to death. Johny Ringo did a 4 book series on it. I have some strange tastes in reading---Seem to flip between sci-fi, fantasy, detective stories, and adventure novels.-:eek: :eek: ----Brian

lazlo
06-03-2012, 08:44 PM
That the damage is done by an electromagnetic pulse. Unlike a radio wave that can be blocked by a faraday cage (basically a big screen enclosure) magnetism is much harder to block.

Most of the EMP radiation from a nuclear blast is comprised of microwave and radio wavelengths generated when x-ray and gamma radiation interact with the upper atmosphere. Likewise for the Carrington Event -- it was a massive solar flare, which is predominantly plasma. Both are shieldable.

There are geomagnetic effects, I understand those are smaller in magnitude for nuclear blasts. No one knows, obviously, for the Carrington Event.

armedandsafe
06-03-2012, 08:56 PM
RF is blocked by any electrically conducting material. However, a strong magnetic pulse will not be stopped by conducting material. If you are using a shielding material that is magnetically attractive, all the pulse does is set up an opposing magnetic field inside the enclosure. There is not much that can be done to shield a people sized interior from a strong magnetic pulse.

The magnetic pulse destroys electronics by causing electrical current flow through any conducting material inside the electronic device. These currents are usually very high, compared to the ratings of the device and can be in a reversed flow direction. Pass a magnet past an electrical wire and you will cause current to flow in that wire. Pass an electrical pulse through an electrical wire and you will create a magnetic field around that wire. That is a law of physics you cannot repeal.

There are ways to shield the circuitry from the EMP, but those methods have to be applied to each little part of the device. It gets very complicated.

Pops

loose nut
06-03-2012, 09:13 PM
(a la Escape from New York).


Actually it was "Escape from LA".

It very sad that I know that.:( :( :(

loose nut
06-03-2012, 09:21 PM
It's a story of some people who were prepared for such a happening and how they coped.



It wouldn't work that way.

Once all the food was eaten the masses of starving people would head for the country to find more. The Amish and Mormons would be the first to be killed off for there food. Any prepared "survivalists" that wasn't really good at hiding would be next and just because you might be armed to the teeth it won't help. How many rounds of ammo do you think you will need to stop all those people before they kill you for your food.

lazlo
06-03-2012, 09:26 PM
Once all the food was eaten the masses of starving people would head for the country to find more. The Amish and Mormons would be the first to be killed off for there food. Any prepared "survivalists" that wasn't really good at hiding would be next and just because you might be armed to the teeth it won't help. How many rounds of ammo do you think you will need to stop all those people before they kill you for your food.

Holy Cow! You've just synopsized all the "Prepper" reality shows that just popped-up on Discovery Channel and Nat Geo! :)

http://www.whyyoushouldworry.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/prep0213_image.jpg

jdunmyer
06-03-2012, 10:20 PM
Thanks for the clarification, fellas. I was confusing RF energy with magnetism; I can see how the latter wouldn't be blocked by a simple metal building.

LooseNut,
These preppers took into account the starving people who would be after their food, etc. They talked about the "walkers" who would come first, lone people or maybe small groups, looking for food, dropping along the way. The walkers would be followed by gangs, larger groups, perhaps armed, also looking to take the preppers' food, but probably a bit more successful at it.

Brian,
The solar flare or whatever wouldn't kill the people directly, it'd shut down the electrical grid, doing enough damage that it'd be perhaps impossible to restore. IE: if there aren't spare transformers and other parts, how do you rebuild? It should be pretty clear that a few days or weeks w/o power over even a nation-wide area would cause a disaster of hard-to-fathom proportions.

sasquatch
06-03-2012, 10:42 PM
If these maniacs keep screwing around the potential is there for some BIG bs to take place!!

I,m headin for the bush country if i have time!!

Weston Bye
06-03-2012, 11:01 PM
This subject was touched upon in this thread:

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=53393&page=3

Particularly by me, in Post #42. A hard and depressing subject, something I would prefer not to happen. That doesn't mean that one shouldn't consider such possibilities and what one could do in such a situation.

lazlo
06-03-2012, 11:12 PM
A hard and depressing subject, something I would prefer not to happen. That doesn't mean that one shouldn't consider such possibilities and what one could do in such a situation.

But look on the bright side -- if the electrical grid was shut down for an extended period of time, people who can fix things, blacksmith, work metal... will be in high demand :)

Then again, in Stephen King's The Stand, all the engineers and mechanical types gravitated to the evil team :D

wierdscience
06-04-2012, 01:41 AM
But look on the bright side -- if the electrical grid was shut down for an extended period of time, people who can fix things, blacksmith, work metal... will be in high demand :)

Then again, in Stephen King's The Stand, all the engineers and mechanical types gravitated to the evil team :D

My goal should the SHTF is to be a Warlord:)

mayfieldtm
06-04-2012, 02:20 AM
I remember there is some dude on the Internet that claims electronics CAN be protected by Faraday shielding, and he shows how to construct metal enclosures to protect from an EMP. I think that any seams need to be properly made.

The EMP Pulse (Electro Magnetic Pulse) is just similar to a extremely strong Radio Wave. Radio is an "Electro Magnetic Wave".

I think a car might be somewhat protected in a Metal Building. Depends if the Nuke is Russian or Chinese.

If you have a Pacemaker, wrap yourself in Tin Foil.

Tom M.

jdunmyer
06-04-2012, 09:14 AM
Wes,
Thanks for the pointer to that thread, I must have missed it first time around.

Your writing is nearly the same as the beginning of "A Distant Eden".

vincemulhollon
06-04-2012, 09:38 AM
Now for the question: why wouldn't a lot of our modern equipment/devices be protected by being inside a metal building or even a metal-reinforced concrete structure?

Makes for better fiction.

Over a really tiny volume, I can create a one volt per inch (or so) field by waving a AA battery around. Waving a battery in the air next to the sheetmetal of my car has never done anything to the electronics. Lets say I make 1V/inch field the size of the earth instead of the size of a flashlight battery. That is still not enough to do much to my car, numerous tests have proven it, and also evidence is lightning storms rarely if ever disable cars. However, the 40 mile long high voltage power line in my backyard, at 1 volt per inch of the 40 miles, is basically toast along with everything connected to it.

The other common and inaccurate fixation in "EMP lit" is that it will be simple binary, the whole continent will be completely wiped out and absolutely nothing will work and that will be the disaster. Knocking out a mere 10% of vehicles in one city will pretty much destroy that city in the ensuing rioting. Knocking out 10% of the entire countries vehicles would pretty much destroy the country economically, might take a few more months to cannibalism but we'd get there just as surely.

aboard_epsilon
06-04-2012, 09:48 AM
So all the guys that run classic cars with points would be ok ..

all other electronic stuff would be dead ..

old radios with valves ...they would work .

does it just kill mocrochips ..or does it bugger all trasistors as well .

ive been watching all those films

the road

solar attack

the quiet earth

doomsday

atomic cafe

atomic journeys

outbreak

db bunkers

twilights last gleaming

the divide

survivors 1975

jericho

the day after

z for zachariah

the last train

they are just some of them .....im no bunker guy .....im just highly entertained by the above ..

You do pick up what to do it it all happens though .....first thing, is to get your self an arsenal ..me thinks


all the best.markj

Weston Bye
06-04-2012, 10:29 AM
Wes,
Thanks for the pointer to that thread, I must have missed it first time around.

Your writing is nearly the same as the beginning of "A Distant Eden".

How could it be otherwise? Such an event would have predictable beginnings. I merely built upon my experience with simple power loss in the 2003 Northeastern outage. The effect of an overwhelming surge on electrical devices and vehicles is pure speculation.

I can say that auto manufacturers have been addressing the possible effects of (at least "normal") electromagnetic interference and damage. Some of our products where I work, those containing semiconductors, are required to be tested for static discharge and bulk current injection resistance.

Some cars should survive an EMP event, but as Vince points out, if a significant number don't, the net effect would be the same.

lazlo
06-04-2012, 10:44 AM
I remember there is some dude on the Internet that claims electronics CAN be protected by Faraday shielding, and he shows how to construct metal enclosures to protect from an EMP.

I explained above why shielding protects electronics against EMP. Look up MIL-STD-461: Requirements for the Control of Electromagnetic Interference Characteristics of Subsystems and Equipment.

Thing is, the Preppers want the end of the world as we know it. Elmer Fudd in the picture I posted (from the Discovery Channel Preppers show) thinks he's going to live like a king :rolleyes:
If you Google "Teotwawki", you get thousands of hits from guys like him. It's a replay of the survivalist fad that was triggered by the '73 gas crisis.

aboard_epsilon
06-04-2012, 11:09 AM
I explained above why shielding protects electronics against EMP. Look up MIL-STD-461: Requirements for the Control of Electromagnetic Interference Characteristics of Subsystems and Equipment.

Thing is, the Preppers want the end of the world as we know it. Elmer Fudd in the picture I posted (from the Discovery Channel Preppers show) thinks he's going to live like a king :rolleyes:
If you Google "Teotwawki", you get thousands of hits from guys like him. It's a replay of the survivalist fad that was triggered by the '73 gas crisis.

Teotwawki..........interesting ..brings up series called "the walking dead" ..is it anygood.

all the best.markj

dp
06-04-2012, 11:52 AM
Hmmm - another good reason to use Humbucker pickups on your guitar.

bborr01
06-04-2012, 11:56 AM
I explained above why shielding protects electronics against EMP. Look up MIL-STD-461: Requirements for the Control of Electromagnetic Interference Characteristics of Subsystems and Equipment.

Thing is, the Preppers want the end of the world as we know it. Elmer Fudd in the picture I posted (from the Discovery Channel Preppers show) thinks he's going to live like a king :rolleyes:
If you Google "Teotwawki", you get thousands of hits from guys like him. It's a replay of the survivalist fad that was triggered by the '73 gas crisis.

Gas crisis makes me think of the movie "mad max from thunderdome". I think that was the name of the movie.

Brian

Rustybolt
06-04-2012, 01:06 PM
I explained above why shielding protects electronics against EMP. Look up MIL-STD-461: Requirements for the Control of Electromagnetic Interference Characteristics of Subsystems and Equipment.

Thing is, the Preppers want the end of the world as we know it. Elmer Fudd in the picture I posted (from the Discovery Channel Preppers show) thinks he's going to live like a king :rolleyes:
If you Google "Teotwawki", you get thousands of hits from guys like him. It's a replay of the survivalist fad that was triggered by the '73 gas crisis.



I have a vest just like that guys. Only mine is filled with candy bars and a I have a holster for a bottle of Yahoo. You know, in case there's a sugar shortage.

Forestgnome
06-04-2012, 07:06 PM
RF is blocked by any electrically conducting material. However, a strong magnetic pulse will not be stopped by conducting material. If you are using a shielding material that is magnetically attractive, all the pulse does is set up an opposing magnetic field inside the enclosure. There is not much that can be done to shield a people sized interior from a strong magnetic pulse.

The magnetic pulse destroys electronics by causing electrical current flow through any conducting material inside the electronic device. These currents are usually very high, compared to the ratings of the device and can be in a reversed flow direction. Pass a magnet past an electrical wire and you will cause current to flow in that wire. Pass an electrical pulse through an electrical wire and you will create a magnetic field around that wire. That is a law of physics you cannot repeal.

There are ways to shield the circuitry from the EMP, but those methods have to be applied to each little part of the device. It gets very complicated.

Pops

Mu metal...

2ManyHobbies
06-04-2012, 07:55 PM
RF is blocked by any electrically conducting material. However, a strong magnetic pulse will not be stopped by conducting material. If you are using a shielding material that is magnetically attractive, all the pulse does is set up an opposing magnetic field inside the enclosure. There is not much that can be done to shield a people sized interior from a strong magnetic pulse.

The magnetic pulse destroys electronics by causing electrical current flow through any conducting material inside the electronic device. These currents are usually very high, compared to the ratings of the device and can be in a reversed flow direction. Pass a magnet past an electrical wire and you will cause current to flow in that wire. Pass an electrical pulse through an electrical wire and you will create a magnetic field around that wire. That is a law of physics you cannot repeal.

There are ways to shield the circuitry from the EMP, but those methods have to be applied to each little part of the device. It gets very complicated.

PopsIt doesn't work like that. The hypothesis you post flies in the face of physics. A keeper on a magnet would pass the field instead of blocking it. A simple appliance motor would electrify or vibrate all of the cookware in the house. A magnetic compass placed in a steel box would still keep up with magnetic north. I'm not even sure the concept of rotating a magnet in a coil would generate electricity or if a transformer would work if a magnetic pulse would fly out unbounded like that.

V=N*B*A/t

That equation governs the voltage generated during a pulse type event.
N=Number of windings. For any closed circuit other than a coil, N=1.
B=The magnetic field. A large EMP is 50 micro Teslas. 10^-6
A=Area of the coil.
t=Time. For a large EMP it is tens of nanoseconds. 10^-8

V only gets interesting for large values of A and small values of t. Microelectronics have tiny values of A. Very tiny. This makes the effect uninteresting. Smaller values of t get less interesting on the power grid because 10^-8 events do not couple real well though transformers and coils engineered to efficiently couple 10^-1 events.

If an EMP event occurred, I might have to replace a vintage alarm clock but I'm not even 100% sure that would be the case. The Cold War panic about EMP was simply that radio was the fastest (and sometimes only) means of communications for defense forces. An EMP would cause some long range broadcast difficulties for a bit of time and in an attack that would be well, bad. These days fiber optic strands are the long range communications medium of choice. I'm not terribly sure the optical photons would notice the RF photons wandering by.

Forestgnome
06-05-2012, 10:27 AM
In the electronic equipment shelters used by the military the only emp protection used other than the aluminum skin of the shelter are extremely fast surge protectors on all lines that pass through the wall. There they used to use tritium switches to crowbar the lines in case of a surge. That's the real danger of emp, the magnetic pulse travelling through lines creating surges. Other than that simple metal shielding is all that's needed.

lazlo
06-05-2012, 11:15 AM
In the electronic equipment shelters used by the military the only emp protection used other than the aluminum skin of the shelter are extremely fast surge protectors on all lines that pass through the wall.

:) I was an electrical engineer for the Army Research Laboratory for over a decade, and designed mobile supercomputers for command and control, fire control interfaces for the Paladin howitzer, and ground station electronics for black programs (among many others).

Military electronics are heavily shielded, both against EMP Mil-Std-461 (snebulos.mit.edu/projects/reference/MIL-STD/MIL-STD-461E.pdf), and against counter-intelligence (Tempest shielding).

vincemulhollon
06-05-2012, 11:46 AM
The effect of an overwhelming surge on electrical devices and vehicles is pure speculation.

See testing as referenced at

http://www.empcommission.org/reports.php

and somewhat more informal discussion at

http://www.futurescience.com/emp.html

Basically you can zap cars with ridiculous field strength with generally no effect, occasionally the "entertainment stuff" needs a power cycle to work again, and once in a blue moon something actually breaks on some specific model cars.

This should be no great surprise... how many times does lightning strike very close to hundreds, even thousands of cars and nothing electrical happens (lightning will ruin the paint job and pop the tires if a direct hit, usually). I've never even heard an anecdote of a lightning storm knocking out a car.

Another way of looking at it, is hundreds of millions of cars per year pass by 100 KW class radio transmitters sited right next to the road all the time and nothing happens. In the pre-doppler era we had kilowatt class radars zapping cars and doing nothing.

Its somewhat unrealistic that nothing would happen in that it would insta-fail, lets say, every marginal emissions computer simultaneously that would have gradually failed over smoothly over the next year or so. We can (and do) have a survivable transportation infrastructure where perhaps 2% of the vehicles have a failed black box per year and we gradually one at a time tow, replace, and drive away. However an entire years worth, lets say 2%, all failing at 9am on wednesday is a pretty tough logistics problem to solve in less than a year....

I used to work directly with telecom outside plant guys, and in medium to high lightning areas like where I live, we have excellent lightning protection and we never lose a tower or a POP due to lightning... Tornados knock down towers, sure, we lose commercial power and the generator fails, sure, flooding, sure, but never down due to lightning damage. Its too cheap to spend $20K hardening up a site when the annual zap would blow up $2M of gear every year (if not more often). On the other hand, a place that never gets lightning (I've heard LA never gets storms?) that would be completely wiped off the map by EMP because no one bothers to ground or protect anything.

lazlo
06-05-2012, 11:55 AM
Basically you can zap cars with ridiculous field strength with generally no effect, occasionally the "entertainment stuff" needs a power cycle to work again, and once in a blue moon something actually breaks on some specific model cars.

Vince, you're killing the fantasy for the Preppers. :p If you scan through the Google hits for "Teotwawki", this is the leading cause for the end of the world rapture they're hoping happens: a huge EMP pulse that wipes-out all modern electronics.

Some other random End of the World scenarios I read in a 5 minute scan: "Hyperinflation", the Greek Debt Crisis, the Zombie Apocalypse,... but most of "them" refer to the End of the World scenario as: "SHTF" -- when the "sh!t hits the fan"...

On the bright side, the Prepper's fad has been great for ammo sales, and there's whole cottage industry providing bunkers, supplies, security systems, training. And of course, Elmer Fudd's body armor :D

Weston Bye
06-05-2012, 12:57 PM
The effect of an overwhelming surge on electrical devices and vehicles is pure speculation.

Perhaps I should rephrase that.

The effect of an overwhelming surge on electrical devices and vehicles that I described in the story is pure speculation.

I was referring to the little story I wrote and submitted in another thread, and referred to in post #13 here.

Forestgnome
06-05-2012, 03:07 PM
:) I was an electrical engineer for the Army Research Laboratory for over a decade, and designed mobile supercomputers for command and control, fire control interfaces for the Paladin howitzer, and ground station electronics for black programs (among many others).

Military electronics are heavily shielded, both against EMP Mil-Std-461 (snebulos.mit.edu/projects/reference/MIL-STD/MIL-STD-461E.pdf), and against counter-intelligence (Tempest shielding).
I worked on some of the same stuff, C3 and Sigint. Very familiar with Tempest. Most of the shielding on individual equipment are Tempest, but use emp resistant technologies, not so much shielding for emp. I would say most of the commercial electronic equipment I work on would survive emp, especially when coupled to line conditioning.

loose nut
06-06-2012, 09:01 PM
On the bright side, the Prepper's fad has been great for ammo sales, and there's whole cottage industry providing bunkers, supplies, security systems, training.

Danger, Will Robinson, Danger.

There appears to be a time warp, forming, that is going back to the "50's.

Danger.:eek:

sasquatch
06-06-2012, 10:49 PM
Asked the "Stoners" who smoke pot in their cave and look into the future,,,

The husband claims it's not "time" yet, but it is comming soon, but he couldn't put a "date" on it.:rolleyes:

The female, she just rambles on about her garden food supply.:D :D