Faraday Cage

I Missed Two Important Anniversaries

Yesterday morning, at zero-dark-30, it marked the 25th anniversary of me, at the tender young age of 17, getting off the bus and stepping into the yellow footprints.  If you know what that means, Semper Fi.

May 18th marked the first anniversary of If It Hits The Fan.  It did not become a daily venture until January 1st, but the basics were there.  Here's my first post to give you an idea of how we came to be.  In that year, I've had nearly 50,000 page views, built a solid advertising base, and have thoroughly enjoyed talking to many of you through post comments, emails and Facebook.  I hope to actually meet up with some of you this year, and I want all of you to know how much I appreciate you taking time out of your day to read what I have to say.

My Faraday Cage

A couple of days ago, I wrote of solar storm preparations and mentioned that I was building a Faraday cage for my radios.  My original plan was to use a super-heavy-duty Pelican-style case, lined with foil and with perfectly cut out foam for each item.  That proved to be a tremendous pain in the rear... the case wasn't really large enough for all the equipment, and the foam was a lot more expensive than I expected.

I then went to plan B, and I think it is much more sensible.  I already had a Plano four pistol case with a waffle foam insert.  I simply took out the waffle foam and used a spray adhesive to line it with two layers of aluminum foil.

Lined with foil

With the waffle foam

With radios and accessories

I think this will be a fine Faraday cage for my Midland GXT 1000 radios.  If I was going to do it again, I'd probably buy an aluminum pistol case and be done with it.  I was at a friend's for dinner tonight and he was showing us the progress on his rec room and his preps closet.  I noticed he had two microwaves off to the side.  He said one would go in the rec room kitchen area, and he was getting rid of the other one.  I let him know that it was a Faraday cage and he could just stick it in the prep closet with his electronics stored in it.  That suggestion made him happy and saved him some trouble.

National Hurricane Preparedness Week

Today marks the start of Hurricane Preparedness Week.  FEMA is featuring information in their blog all week.  As much as I think FEMA tends to overstep their bounds, I think they do a good job of informing the masses about minimal disaster preparedness, and they can really help out community preparedness efforts.

Sponsor Of The Week

Our Sponsor of the Week is Essential Packs.  Essential Packs has a huge selection of emergency kits in every price range and for a wide variety of purposes.  They currently have some great items on sale, including office and car emergency kits, 50 person trauma packs, CERT kits and emergency radios.  Check them out and please tell them you heard about them here at If It Hits The Fan.


  1. Well happy anniversary on both counts. I am not a Marine but a retired Army grunt, but I do understand the meaning behind it. Semper Fi Marine. The Faraday cage is something I have been doing some research on the past few months and yours seems to fit the bill nicely. It also makes the radio's transportable at the same time. Great post and keep up the good work.

  2. I'd recommend cutting the power cord off the dead microwave to prevent any "accidents".


  3. I just read One Second After and I really am eager to learn more about Faraday cages. How is it a microwave can serve the purpose? Landfills are full of them, just going to waste.

  4. BVDD - thanks for your service... I like that the case makes them more portable. I'm lending them to the in-laws to drive their hot rods in a convoy to Pennsylvania, and the case will make them a lot easier to transport than an old gym bag or grocery sack.

    Steelheart - probably not a bad idea if it's kept out in the open, this particular guy's will be on a very tall shelf behind a locked door. But just imagine the light show if someone did fire it up...

    dejavaboom - thanks for reading! One Second After is a great book, kind of an updated version of Alas, Babylon if you've never read that. Microwaves are built to keep the magnetic waves in rather than out, but they still function as a great, if less than portable, Faraday cage. I'll probably put a "wanted for free" ad on Craigslist or FreeCycle looking for a couple to keep in the shop with some other electronics in them.

  5. I've heard about microwaves being used as faraday cages, however, don't they (or any faraday cage for that matter) need to be grounded in some way? I'm a little fuzzy on just HOW you ground something. All the web sites talk about grounding like it's a "given" and don't explain how it's actually done. Any thoughts?


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