Author Topic: Building an “EMP Proof” Communications System  (Read 429 times)


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Building an “EMP Proof” Communications System
« on: January 09, 2017, 03:22:03 PM »
After watching the series “Jericho” again on Netflix:

“A small town in Kansas is literally left in the dark after seeing a mushroom cloud over near-by Denver, Colorado. The townspeople struggle to find answers about the blast and solutions on how to survive.”

It got me thinking about how the only working HF communications after the EMP’s went off (and everting else was fried but the blast), Was an old “tube type” HF radio.

It seems that there are a number of good articles about putting such a system together so it is one of my ‘high priority” project for this year. Below is a good article showing what is involved for a very minimal cost:

The Old-School Forgotten Art To EMP-Proof Electronics

EMP-Hardened Ham Radio Communications

EMP attack is often considered the most rigorous of survivalist situations, due to the likely complete loss of electrical grid, many vehicles, and many transistorized/computerized products. Our group worked to provide post-EMP communications that would allow effective communications post-event. We had two major requirements:

Short Range Communications. Two, separate, defense-hardened homes that were approximately 30 miles apart had to be able to communicate across a medium-sized city, and

Long Range Communications. Both homes had to be able to receive news from in-state and out-of-state sources. These were considered necessary to receive adequate advance warning of defense issues, such as advancing bandits or armies.
This article describes how we accomplished these goals.

Thus, we sought HF Ham gear that would likely survive an EMP attack. Published articles suggest that voltages/currents developed on antenna feed lines may reach 1 million volts and 1000 or more amps (for an instant), with voltages on power lines only a bit less. While some transistorized mobile Ham radio units were found resistant in one set of tests (Ref. 1), we opted to go with used vacuum-tube Ham radio equipment. Vacuum tube equipment has been found highly resistant to EMP damage. Furthermore, while entry level software-defined computerized Ham radio gear often starts at more than $500, older, used, vacuum tube equipment often goes for $200 in working condition.

HF Heathkit vacuum tube 5-band 180-watt transceivers capable of modern communications (single side band and morse code (CW)) were sold in two lines of products: the less-expensive HW-100 and later HW-101, and the somewhat fancier SB-100, SB-101, and the end-of-line SB-102 transceivers. All were new in the ’60s and ’70’s and are now available to varying degrees at Hamfests and on Ebay. The vacuum tubes utilized are very similar. All use an external–and heavy–power supply, connecting to the transceiver with a multi-wire cable. PDF versions of the manuals are available (Ref 2 and 3) and include not only construction but testing, operation, and repair information, including expected voltage and resistance measurements at various points; this is a gold mine for repairing used equipment. Similar equipment of that era include Drake and Collins brands, but we had lesser experience with these brands and were not as confident of the ability to repair them.

Thus, it is quite possible for you or your group to create short- and long-range post-disaster communications that are likely to survive even multiple EMP attacks. Using older tube-type transceivers, simple antennas, and careful purchasing of spare tubes, we were easily able to accomplish this for $300-$500 per station, or about the price of one firearm. What are you waiting for? Get started!

"Ignorance is Bliss" - (Agent Smith the first Matrix Movie)


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