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Dear Editor,

Regarding Faraday cages, I confess that I am not an expert either. Although an electrical engineer, my experience in this area is minimal. What I wanted to comment on was the radio repair shop at my last duty station, a long time back (c.1972). The entire shop was wrapped in a copper screen, with bronze weather-stripping around the doors and screens over the windows.

All of this conductive screen was connected electrically and bonded.  The key point is an electrically conductive material and most importantly, a solid earth bond. Please note, I use the term bond, rather than ground—the size of the conductor and the conductance (inverse of resistance) of the circuit being the salient points.

As an illustration, look at any (and every) utility pole. There is a bond wire to (theoretically) direct lightening to the base of the pole, to earth. It will usually be a minimum of AWG-8, often larger depending on the situation. Lightening damage to poles and transformers is usually attributable to a loose connection on the bond.

My comments about using a livestock trailer would be that it would work, with suitable “upgrades.” These include bond conductors to each metal part, riveted joints okay if they are not painted or corroded, and are tight. Also, metal (brass or aluminum) screens over openings, suitably bonded. Beware oxide or painted decorative screens, use bare metal.

And, most important, a good bond to earth. If the trailer is close to a residential meter, that ground can be used. Copper clad ground rods and clamps are available at most any home center. The conductor should be minimum AWG-8. Note the ground rod is nearly eight (8) feet long. Use all of it.

DO NOT depend on the trailer lighting cable for this.

Faraday Cages can be as simple as the quintessential “tinfoil hat,” to a metal trash can, to 100% shielding with copper screen. The salient point is that they are grounded well, for high current and low resistance. Note also that any bend in the conductor must be larger in radius than a soda can, a common reference in pole line work. Larger is better, here.

You noted the web site, one of many, with all sorts of theoretical concepts and lots of math. Most folks will be interested more in practical solutions using common, off-the-shelf materials, without wading through pages of theory. Perhaps this will aid in that endeavor.

 Bill H.

 

Dear Bill,

Thank you so much for your email! This was very helpful information and I’m including it here for our readers who want as much information as possible on this subject.

The Editor

 

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Dear Editor,

I recently become more prepared and may now claim to be a prepper-in-training with the help of a friend, unknown to me, until I learned he had recruited me into his circle of like-minded people. Thank goodness for these articles and reader comments; it’s like going to a prepper academy online.

We were impacted by superstorm Sandy here in New Jersey. Because of this newsletter, we had food, water, heat, and yes, electric power (although through a gas generator). All these were steps I had taken in this never ending quest to get “prepared.” This weather event tested all of our plans, including security, and ultimately our bug out abilities. When the gas shortage really hit, there was no gas four days after the storm. I realized I only had three days of fuel left for the generator, and it was snowing and cold. Our power stayed out for over 10 days. We grabbed our bug-out kits and fled the house to a family member’s house. I conserved what fuel I had left for the vehicle in case another relocation was needed, and the fuel shortage continued.

Stories of armed guards and law enforcement trying to maintain order, huge lines at gas stations, assaults at the lines, armed men forcing their way through the line, gas thefts, home break-ins from men posing as utility workers and forcing they way into the homes of citizens, are just some of the things I learned of.

I wish to thank all your readers for their posts and a heart felt thank you to the publishers for the assistance and knowledge to see my family through not only safely, but quite comfortably I might add.

James

 

Dear James,

I wanted to include your email in today’s letters because I want our readers to know how much their participation has helped other people. Their knowledge, passed down through comments on the articles and through letters to the editor, has helped so many other people. I was particularly blessed to read your email. In my weekly Letter From the Editor, I sometimes allow my discouragement with all that is going on to show. Your email was just the encouragement I needed that what we do here isn’t in vain, that we are helping people become independent and self-reliant. Knowing that you were helped with our efforts lifted my spirits incredibly. Thank you for blessing us with your letter.

The Editor

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2 comments

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