Letter Re: Practical Information on EMP Protection for Home Electronics

Thank you for your hard work. I am not sure if this was covered here before and, in the case it has not, I wanted to supply the following information to help suppress fear regarding electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and specifically, its effects on communications equipment. I am tired of reading “seal the radio in a metal ammo can, place the ammo can in an old microwave and place the old microwave in an old refrigerator, which is then buried under 8 feet of earth,” et cetera.

Here is the reference for a four-part article in Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) Magazine, QST, 1986.

“Electromagnetic Pulse and the Radio Amateur”
Part 1: Aug. 1986 pp.15-20, 36
Part 2: Sep. 1986 pp. 22-26
Part 3: Oct. 1986 pp. 38-41
Part 4: Nov. 1986 pp. 30-34

The study is more than 20 years old and radio/computer gear has changed significantly, but the fundamentals have not changed. The end of Part 4 describes the simple steps that should be taken for EMP protection and they do not involve wrapping the radio with aluminum foil or burying it. Thank you for a great site! I hope that this is helpful. – The DFer

JWR Adds: The DFer is correct when he states: “…radio/computer gear has changed significantly” in the past 20 years. Microcircuits are far more complex and vulnerable. In 1986, typical integrated circuits (“chips”) had 3 to 5 micron gate dimensions. Nowadays, they are typically “sub-micron” (smaller than a micron.) The smaller the gates, the greater the risk of EMP.