NBC Report Features Hawaii Hams Preparing for Nuclear Attack
“In the case of an electromagnetic pulse from a blast, 90% of people may be without communication and ham radio is actually one of the ways that you’ll be able to hear what’s happening.” That’s the report that NBC News correspondent Jacob Soboroff gave just moments after the nuclear all-clear was given during the recent scare in Hawaii.
Check out the great 8-minute video below featuring Hawaiian hams and how they’re preparing for the unthinkable in one of the most beautiful places on earth.
A nice video, BUT…it fails to mention that ham radio equipment would be fried along with other communications gear unless the equipment was protected in advance of the EMP. I am ‘protected’ as in stored in a Faraday cage, etc. P.S. There is a lot of bad info out there on the Web. For example, many websites recommend using a microwave oven to store gear. But that seems to be debunked now…do your research carefully.
I agree with the first poster – I tried a microwave and can assure you that radio waves do penetrate it. It appears a metal trash can with lid is a better option as a farraday cage.
Most any sufficiently ferrous metal container will act as a barrier to RF or other type radiation that could fry the sensitive IC’s in modern ham gear. I prefer Metal ammo cans with flexible braid straps to insure a good contact with the lids. So far I have not found any info on how or whether a nuke device would penetrate the ammo can to any degree. Unless there is a better/portable solution, I will use the cans. BTW the plastic ammo cans are not useable for shielding sensitive electronics.
Time to build EMP-resisting radio sets. Low HF probably most useful, say 1.8-3.5-5-7-10 MHz, for HAS & groundwave work. No QRN from dead PCs, switch-mode psu etc. so don’t need > 20 W RF output or DSP on the rx side.
Could do it all solid-state & keep it in solder-sealed tin-plate cans until needed, but a thermionic rig could be fun (if you had a genemotor psu… or 20 x 12V SLA batts), say 6BA6-6BE6-6BA6-6BE6-6AL5-12AX7-6AQ5 for RF-LO/mixer-IF1-BFO/prod.det-AGC-AM.det/AF1-AF2 with 455 kHz IF. Could leave out the RF stage or add extra IF stage. These valves are still pretty common in VK. Remember AR88 etc.?
A basic 2 or 3 valve tx say 6BA6-6AQ5 for 5-10 W carrier CW (dozens of variations possible on that theme) with an outboard modulator for AM (e.g. 6AU6-12AX7-2x6AQ5)(if you can find the mod iron). Or a series modulator. Suggest AM for simplicity and so that any surviving HFBC rx’s could be used.
I’m eyeing off the 6AU6-6AQ5-6DQ6-5U4G-VR105 rig as I write. Now all I need is a 100 W inverter made out of 2D21’s to run off the the 20 SLA batteries. Or the bike-powered NATO? 110V/400 Hz 200 W generator that a mate has gathering dust under his house.