Over the course of the past few weeks I’ve been approached both in email and in person about “global communications that will survive a nuclear blast” or “EMP attack”. Be awre this is a very disorganized page, and I’m trying to “throw this together”. I’ll clean it up ASAP though.
In the first place, nothing will survive a nuclear blast. Not nothin’, not no how…
Anything outside of the blast radius however can and perhaps will survive after the initial blast, gamaray burst, and fires, fallout and floods that will ensue.
Our main goal is to make sure our communications equipment works AFTERWARD. The above questions were about types of radio gear you would need, what will likely survive and even some questions about specific types of radios.
Let me state right off that ANYTHING and I DO MEAN anything that contains microcircuits is, in all likelihood susceptible to electromagnetic pulse. This means your wrist watch, your handheld radio, GPS unit, laptop computer, desktop computer, 99.99% of all cars/trucks built after the 1980s, motors, generators, solar panels, microwaves, television sets (especially ALL newer flat screens), printers, telephones – both cellular and home land lines. In other words, a well-planned EMP attack on the US will obliterate ANY and nearly ALL communications we use today, in particular if they are plugged into the power grid. The power grid is basically an extremely HUGE antenna system. Even a “coronal mass ejection” (CME) from the Sun could cause a grid problem similar to an EMP.
Cellular phones, which number around 310 million in the US in use today (as of this writing) will simply cease to exist as a communications system. Towers and phones themselves will be useless.
So the question of what will work after is sort of moot. What will possibly work?
Most equipment that is all vacuum tube type equipment, or anything that has been semi- or deliberately protected from emp.
IF you are trying to locate actually transmitting equipment you should be looking for older stuff.
Where would you go? Could go to eBay but it seems it is pretty expensive because people are wanting top dollar for junk stuff.
Another, probably MUCH better place is to frequent any local area ham radio swapfests, also called a Hamfest. This is a place where local amateur radio operators get together a few times per year to trade and sell old equipment. Some is junk, some collectable. Be wary, and make them show it to you working.
You can check with local area clubs (do a google search on ham radio clubs with your city, county or state name or go to the ARRL.ORG web site and look for listings there as well).
Once you find the dates (usually weekends and sometimes the preceding Friday) show up. Most will charge a 5 dollar entrance fee (to pay for the rental of the location) and they also charge a fee for the tables.
Wander around, get to know the hams, ask questions and ask to see the rig.
Some might be hesitant to sell equipment to an unlicensed person too – so be very aware of this when asking questions. You can outright fib to them and say it’s for your uncle or dad, or third cousin “And I don’t remember his call sign but he collects stuff like this” or you can say YOU are collecting stuff or whatever.
Prices of equipment will vary from very inexpensive to outrageous. Most will be happy to trade, barter or dicker over the price.
Ask them to demonstrate the equipment to you. When you find a piece you like, that works, and you’re ok with the price, buy it. Check around for spare tubes or other things you might require to make it operational (wire for antennas, microphone if not with the unit, and so forth).
http://www.qsl.net/n9zia/emp.html ** check this by a ham radio operator
Above are a handfull of resources to read.
BASICALLY… unless your radio systems are attached to long antennas like mine are, you’re NOT going to lose everything. It could randomly affect things as stronger signals might be felt nearer to the bomb blasts. Essentially EMP travels a long distance, but is affected by the same thing other radio wave type signals are — physics.
The INVERSE SQUARE LAW affects ALL wave-like signals. Inlcuding EMP. EMP will be a problem, but it will NOT affect ever piece of electronic equipment.
IF you want to be sure, package at least one radio inside a grounded metal box… make sure it hasnt any batteries in it (to prevent them from LEAKING) and store it away. Extraordinary measures are not necessary to protect electronics systems. ANYTHING however plugged into the wall, connected to antennas out side, and generally hooked to anything that has a long wire connector will be affected.
Finally – go here: http://www.transasianaxis.com/showthread.php?2173-E-M-P-%28EMP%29-e-m-p-emp-Electromagnetic-pulse for a discussion on a forum about EMP.
I will attempt to add more in the coming days, before you need it.
As always, I advise strongly to PRINT OUT HARD COPIES of important material. Make a 3-ring binder and protect it from water damage. If computers go down, this digital data will be rendered useless.