Even though we’ve all seen the effects of solar flares and their ability to knock out electricity and communications, some do not believe that an EMP attack will lead to social collapse. But it will…
As someone that loves to tinker with electronic devices, I am a firm believer in the potential for both natural (odds have increased substantially in the last few months because Earth’s magnetic field is weakening faster than expected) and human-made EMP attacks.
That being said, I also know that many of the worst problems that will come from an EMP attack can be reduced by using older technologies that rely on electronic components which are far less vulnerable to an EMP.
The Old-School Forgotten Art To EMP-Proof Electronics
Electronic Devices Are Not As Complex As You Might Think
If you find yourself confused by electronic devices, simply remember that every component does one of five things with mathematical precision depending on the materials used:
- allows electrons to flow through it
- does not allow electrons to flow through it
- prevents electrons from flowing until enough of them build up on one end of the component
- allows electrons to flow if they are moving in one direction, but not if they try to go the opposite way
- atoms within the component may change the organization of their own electrons so that the flow of electricity is accelerated, slowed down, or number of passing electrons increases
Once you understand what each component does, connecting parts in various patterns will create larger devices that meet specific goals.
All you need are the right components and a diagram that shows you how to arrange them.
Electronics Before Integrated Circuit (IC) Electronics
While Tesla and Edison were battling for control of how electricity would be produced and transmitted, most people were relying on oil lamps for light and cranks to start their automobile engines.
Interestingly enough, everything from the first telephones, victrolas, and radios, to televisions and nuclear bombs operated without the use of microchips and other semiconductor components that are highly vulnerable to EMP attack.
Therefore, if we go back to “old fashioned” electronics, we can both store and maintain EMP resistant devices. Perhaps even better, when you go back to basic electronics, you can fashion components from the same kinds of Earth or nature/wilderness based materials that you might use for a fishing pole or some other survival need.
To Build Or Not Build Semiconductors?
As you may be aware, a semiconductor is a special material that is selective in how to allow or denies passage of electrons.
When semiconductors are arranged in layers with insulators (materials that do not allow the flow of electrons) and conductors (materials that easily allow transmission of electrons), you can create all kinds of fascinating effects that take the place of older style electronic components.
This includes resistors, capacitors, relays, diodes, crystals, vacuum tubes, transistors and circuits (paths that arrange electronic components).
Many people today mistakenly believe that it is not possible to avoid using semiconductors in electronic devices. Further, there is also a belief that semiconductors will not be available because the technology will be lost to build integrated circuits.
That being said, you can still create some semiconductor based applications by layering glass and copper. You can also use crystals, capacitors, and resistors to duplicate transistor effects. While they may take more power and require more maintenance, they will still be of use until other technologies can be recovered.
Simple Devices That You Can Build And Keep On Hand
Here are just a few simple things you can use to make fairly powerful electronic components. Once you master making these basic elements, you can easily go on to building radios, transmitters, perimeter defense alerts, generators, and jury rigging for bypassing electronic systems in other gadgets.
- salt water, oil, and paper based capacitors
- wood and paper based resistors
- speaker wire and metal rings for coils
- simple grounds from wire and nails
- earth batteries
- solar power arrays that use heat to generate electricity
- Tesla turbines and shell designs that run on moving water or air
- quartz crystals for translation of sound to electrical pulses
Suggestions for Further Study
Not so long ago, you could visit your local Radio Shack store and pick up an electronics project kit that would easily teach you about electronic components and how to arrange them into useful circuits.
Unfortunately, if you walk into a Radio Shack these days, all you see are endless arrays of cell phones and pre-built devices while “old fashioned” electronic components are relegated to dusty bins in the darkest corner of the store.
To add insult to injury, project kits for kids these days are little more than solar cells, snap together robots, and an IC chip that do very little in the way of hands on educational building and exploration.
From that perspective, I recommend starting off with a used book on introductory electronics. Make sure the table of contents includes information on basic principles of electron movement, resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors, relays, crystals, and coils. There are also some good YouTube videos available if you would prefer that form of learning. I also highly recommend the Mechanical Universe series if you are math inclined and want to delve into physics more than electronics.
If you do some research online, you will also find a few places that offer surplus electronic components. You can get grab bags of different components to practice with, and then gradually move towards making your own parts. For example, once you build a simple FM radio from basic parts, you can go on to make your own capacitors, etc as the next stage in your learning. With regard to tools I recommend the following:
- a multi-meter that measures AC/DC, amperage, resistance, and capacitance. It does not need to be digital or hook up to a computer
- a good quality soldering iron with variable heat settings
- circuit board etching kit
- breadboards and wire connectors for practicing
- grounding strap and non-magnetic tools
- calming aides for your family members if they fear you will blow up the house or get into some other silly mischief
- a place to work outside the house if calming aides do not work.
“Old fashioned” resistors, capacitors, relays, diodes, crystals, and simple wire can be used to build radios, transmitters, generators, and many other simple devices. While you may not be able to repair a cell phone or computer, these old technologies offer a starting point that can be used for survival, and ultimately, recapturing lost solid state and other technologies.
Perhaps even better, if you know how to create these simple electronic parts, you can also make them on your own from bits of paper, ore bearing rocks, natural crystals, and other items that you don’t normally think about in terms of building electronic devices.
I case of an EMP we would probably want to return to the way of living of our grandfathers when there was no electricity and they managed to thrive. The Lost Ways is the most complete book ever written and sums up all the knowledge our grandfathers gathered throughout the years, and that’s not all – all this information was gathered directly from experts.
Here’s just a glimpse of what you’ll find in The Lost Ways:
From Ruff Simons, an old west history expert and former deputy, you’ll learn the techniques and methods used by the wise sheriffs from the frontiers to defend an entire village despite being outnumbered and outgunned by gangs of robbers and bandits, and how you can use their wisdom to defend your home against looters when you’ll be surrounded.
Native American ERIK BAINBRIDGE – who took part in the reconstruction of the native village of Kule Loklo in California, will show you how Native Americans build the subterranean roundhouse, an underground house that today will serve you as a storm shelter, a perfectly camouflaged hideout, or a bunker. It can easily shelter three to four families, so how will you feel if, when all hell breaks loose, you’ll be able to call all your loved ones and offer them guidance and shelter? Besides that, the subterranean roundhouse makes an awesome root cellar where you can keep all your food and water reserves year-round.
From Shannon Azares you’ll learn how sailors from the XVII century preserved water in their ships for months on end, even years and how you can use this method to preserve clean water for your family cost-free.
Mike Searson – who is a Firearm and Old West history expert – will show you what to do when there is no more ammo to be had, how people who wandered the West managed to hunt eight deer with six bullets, and why their supply of ammo never ran out. Remember the panic buying in the first half of 2013? That was nothing compared to what’s going to precede the collapse.
From Susan Morrow, an ex-science teacher and chemist, you’ll master “The Art of Poultice.” She says, “If you really explore the ingredients from which our forefathers made poultices, you’ll be totally surprised by the similarities with modern medicines.” Well…how would you feel in a crisis to be the only one from the group knowledgeable about this lost skill? When there are no more antibiotics, people will turn to you to save their ill children’s lives.
And believe it or not, this is not all…
Table Of Contents:
Making Your Own Beverages: Beer to Stronger Stuff
Ginger Beer: Making Soda the Old Fashioned Way
How North American Indians and Early Pioneers Made Pemmican
Spycraft: Military Correspondence During The 1700’s to 1900’s
Wild West Guns for SHTF and a Guide to Rolling Your Own Ammo
How Our Forefathers Built Their Sawmills, Grain Mills,and Stamping Mills
How Our Ancestors Made Herbal Poultice to Heal Their Wounds
What Our Ancestors Were Foraging For? or How to Wildcraft Your Table
How Our Ancestors Navigated Without Using a GPS System
How Our Forefathers Made Knives
How Our Forefathers Made Snow shoes for Survival
How North California Native Americans Built Their Semi-subterranean Roundhouses
Our Ancestors’Guide to Root Cellars
Good Old Fashioned Cooking on an Open Flame
Learning from Our Ancestors How to Preserve Water
Learning from Our Ancestors How to Take Care of Our Hygiene When There Isn’t Anything to Buy
How and Why I Prefer to Make Soap with Modern Ingredients
Temporarily Installing a Wood-Burning Stove during Emergencies
Making Traditional and Survival Bark Bread…….
Trapping in Winter for Beaver and Muskrat Just like Our Forefathers Did
How to Make a Smokehouse and Smoke Fish
Survival Lessons From The Donner Party
Get your paperback copy HERE
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One Reply to “The Old-School Forgotten Art To EMP-Proof Electronics”
I have a question concerning home-made Faraday cages. I plan on taking one small 6 by 12 room and turning it into a Faraday Cage. I have seen the models of cages using wire fence totally encompassing the area, then covering with cardboard. My question; Will Aluminum serve the same purpose? By simple grade school logic, it would seem as though since both the steel wire fence and aluminum fence both conduct electricity, it would seems as though fully wrapping a room in aluminum would serve the same purpose. My thoughts were to use the aluminum backed survival blankets, making two layers to encompass room totally including the cement floor, or wood floor if I chose a different room. Is this feasible? and do you have or know of an EMP blog or chat room where a person could exchange thoughts or ideas concerning EMPs and the protection from EMPs?