Even if the odds for a Nuclear EMP attack are small, the consequences are extremely grave and dyer.
You can not just conceder the odds. In decision theory, you multiply the odds times the importancy and relevance.
Therefor, as my own evaluation and personal decision, I will harden my RV.
First a story: There is also a Weather EMP, such as lightning...
At work, I have suffered lightning damage, the times too numerous to mention.
I love a good lightning storm, and sense there is a bit of Storm Chaser in me, I have gotten into trouble.
For example, I took a 1965 Dodge up on a hill to watch a thunderstorm in Arizona.
The Dodge was outfitted with all kinds of electronics, that would make any young man proud:
Nice AM/FM, a nice 8 track/4 track, a CB radio, spare Auxiliary or "House" Battery,
and all kinds of switches and lights.
I was trying to convince a girlfriend that we were totally safe in our "Faraday Shield".
I did not realize how wrong I was!
Off to the right about a quarter of a mile away, a large flash and crack hit.
Under the dash, there also was a quick flash that illuminated our feet and the floor mat.
The radio suddenly went quiet, all lights instantly went out.
We were not hit directly by the lightning. I saw the flash about a quarter mile away.
But, there was no denying, the smell of burned electronics was right here in the car,
as well as the now erie quietness and darkness.
The main strike was not exactly an EMP:
It was a breakdown of the air, and it was a large current event, a localised plasma event.
And it causes huge physical damage mostly from heat, and only locally.
But the event under my dash was an example of pure EMP, from induction.
Not that it made any difference to the girl.
I am an Engineer, and I know all about Induced currents from a distant lightning strike.
And I knew very well that it is a form of weather EMP.
This should not have happened. For example, that is why I made a special metal clip to hold my CB whip antenna down
close to the top of the car.
And the clip, being metal instead of plastic, allowed the antenna to be grounded at the tip.
I was prepared, knew what I was doing,
and I was an Engineer that did not mind showing off, and explaining it.
And with said confidence, I took a girl to see the lightning, and demonstrate my knowledge.
What I demonstrated was that I could decisively loose all my electronics,
all at once, with lots of drama. The sad point was well made and firmly established.
But fortunately, the 65 dodge had the old mechanical distributor with points.
And it started! Thank goodness. At least I could get the poor shaken girl home.
She now had a permanent indelible memory, with me at the front of it.
She did however go out with me again; with conditions, and mostly out of pity I think.
That was my dodge. I do not want this to happen to the RV. I can not just sit by and let it happen,
either from a Nuclear EMP, or EMP weapon, or a weather EMP, such as Lightning or CME from Solar Flares.
Actually, only for me and other Off-Grid RVers, I can forget about the CME,
because a CME only effects the Electrical Grid and pipe lines,
and I am never connected to either of those.
When hardening your RV,
you can always choose only to put as much work and effort into it as you want,
as there are many aspects and degrees.
In any case, I have never heard of a person trying to do this to an intire RV.
If you are addicted to lightning storms, as I am, then you have no choice anyway.
Here is what I have to work with: Three metal sides. That is it!
Not the usual four sides, because the backend side hardly counts,
as it is mostly a big glass window.
You need more than three sides for a Faraday Shield.
You need all six sides including a metalized top and bottom.
A sphere is best, a box will work.
I have worked in and around several Copper Screen Rooms, boxes all, which are real life Faraday Shields.
And they are never perfect. You can get over 110 dB attenuation, but never perfect.
In fact, a perfect sphere, with a perfect skin made of pure gold,
can be breached.
But still, nothing today beats a Faraday Shield because of its immediate practicality.
Starting out I have little to work with: a wooden box with a big window.
Better I could start out with a cargo container, a drone command center, or even an AirStream.
I began with the windows:
Here is the original Reflectix in the big window. It is very limited in electrical conduction.
The Reflectix insulation panels that I had for the windows do indeed have a tiny amount of high resistance.
But not at all effective against 50,000 volts/m and hundreds of amps/pico second.
Therefor, I laminated all present panels with aluminum foil,
and laminated the edges, and make sure of a tight fit in the metal window frames.
Thin aluminum foil is very effective against a 0.1 joule/m2 energy burst.
A fraction of a joule per square meter is a tiny amount of energy.
Thin foil will not heat up at all! Because the amperage is so brief.
Damage from a nuclear EMP attack is not done from amperage,
when applied to free standing RVs or cars.
It is done from voltage.
The power grid is something else however, because of its longer wavelength.
I am not nieve. I know that even with perfect contact,
and perfect conduction around the window frames,
there is still a "discontinuity", and some EMP and RF will get through.
But this should "work" in a practical sense. It all helps.
I do not know about window tinting or chemical spray-ons.
Even rain or fog on windows may help.
This first step was easy, as most of the work was already done.
I maintained the folding ability so that the panel could be folded and put away at the top of the window.
I normally have these panels installed anyway during cold nights.
I have less protection if an attack occurs during the day when I need my windows.
Both my van and my RV have nylon window screens.
For EMP protection, they should be changed to copper screen.
The minus is that copper has a lot of sheen, and they are not as clear.
The plus: Screens are a golden orportunity for nearly 100% shielding,
while retaining the funtionality of a window.
The next step was the roof:
A rubber roof is also called a IPDM roof.
Do not use any petroleum based adhesives on a rubber roof. The rubber will swell and be damaged.
Do not use any paints on a rubber roof, they will not stick.
I have experimented. In six months paints will break loose, curl up, or flake off.
I have spent days scraping off a bad idea. What does work is Plas-t-Cote.
This not only works as originally designed as a coating, but also as an adhesive.
That is what I need: an adhesive, that joins rubber to aluminum.
I am laminating the intire roof in aluminum foil.
In the Air Force and in Broadcasting we use a lot of 4 inch copper strap.
The wide surface area is good for high frequencies such as lightning,
and may be effective against an extremely sharp pulse such as the E1 of a nuclear EMP.
Unfortunately, the general public does not have access to this kind of information.
If copper strap is helpful, it is safe to say that Aluminum surfacing should be more effective.
Aluminum foil extends the concept of wider is better to create the complete faraday inclosure.
But the problem is that Aluminum foil is not durable when used alone.
It rips and tiers easily. This reason is also probably why no one else has tried this before.
But I have overcome this problem. I really have. As far as I know, I am the first person to do this.
I have discovered that thin Aluminum foil can be made durable if applied firmly as a laminate.
Foil is layed down with plenty of adhesive.
It is time consuming, as all air bubbles must be squegged out.
I have to use my fingers and palms to messaged out all air and excess adhesive.
I have to chase these little lumps all the way to an edge, where they burp out either air or adhesive.
But it is well worth it: You can instantly walk on it. And after it is dry, not only can you walk on it, but you can twist your shoes.
I never dreamt that this would happen!
I thought that I would forever have to gently walk, or avoid the foil altogether.
Not so! The surface is as hard as a rock.
I still use some carpet squares, as you can see, mostly because of the underlying rubber.
The rubber is soft,
and a sharp rock, even a tiny one in soles of your shoes,
could penetrate both the Aluminum and the rubber.
The same care, as without the aluminum, still needs to be taken.
Working up here, the foil instantly heats your face.
Seems so strange to feel heat coming from below the horizon,
and for the heat to be so intense, and immediate.
And at times it blinds your eyes.
And with the roof only partially done, you have to wear sunglasses.
Here there is much Plas-t-cote in a mess, smeared all over to top in streaks and smudges.
Despite haziness and smudges; Still super shiny!
This brings up a second benefit:
EPDM is natively dull grey or black in color.
When I purchased the RV, I noticed that I could place my hand up near the ceiling and I could feel heat.
That should not be. On all modern RVs with rubber roofs,
heat is absorbed and easily transmitted through ceiling insulation.
My previous attempts to "white coat" the dull rubber have failed,
resulting in dulled color of a degraded coating in a couple of years.
On the other hand, shiny Aluminum reflects back light and a huge amount of heat.
This did not happen when I coated the roof bright egg shell white.
Bright white reflects light; but little heat.
Here is the underside of a solar panel.
As I go, I rap and shield all wires in aluminum foil.
I am going "aluminum crazy";
I am using it for everything, and it is cheap.
The outside of the wrapping must be conductive, which it is. The wrapping lays on top of,
and makes contact with the aluminum roof.
Bonding the aluminum to the sides is a problem.
The gutter is aluminum metal, which is great, and it connects to the metal sides.
I think this will work: Clean the inside clear down to shiny metal.
I use a cutter wheel on the thick stuff, and a wire brush to shine it up.
I use some adhesive to make sure it stays in place.
I am not too worried about the connection;
an EMP across an eight foot roof will develop tens of thousands of volts,
and because of the voltage, any non good contact will still pass current.
It will be exemplified by hearing many simultaneous "snaps" coming from a myriad of places
and coming from many things. ...Then everything goes quiet.
While I was at it, rearranged panels, and added a 100 watt panel.
As a side note:
Not that I care about neighbors, but if there are any transmitters around, like from ham neighbors,
there can be horrendous third order intermod with these poor contacts.
I know how frustrating it is to be looking at a spectrum analyser,
and chasing down scraping wires, and rusty contacts on metal.
The secret is not telling anyone about the poor contacts, or having a noise maker on wheels.
All I care about is passing the EMP spikes.
If you do not mind compromising the water flow,
you could tap with a hammer aluminum or copper tubing into the channel.
It would force a tight bond between the aluminum foil and the aluminum channel.
But the water would be going through the tubing, and be restricted.
It is not much of a loss: My channels only work in fog-drissel or light rain.
In normal rain, water overruns the mini gutter anyway, and runs down the sides of the RV.
Work is progressing. It is slow.
All wires have to be wrapped in Aluminum Foil and grounded to the skin.
And the screens for the windows; that is a big project!
The nylon screens have to be replaced with copper screens. A lot of work...
And the belly... The belly needs conduction bands between the four sides.
A lot of work...
Turning my attention to the Refrigerator...
Laminated the intire Refrigerator Vent.
Being carefull to laminate the four feet of the vent,
so that the four mounting screws make contact with both the roof and the vent.
As a side note, and in preparation of the back Refrigerator access panel, I did some floor work.
The floor that the refrig sets on is like Particle Board. It can not get wet and would be sagging if I had not braced it from underneath.
Also,it is ugly, rough, and can not be kept clean. I decided to laminate it in Aluminum just as I had done to the roof.
The aluminum is a hard surface, it is slick, and can be more easily cleaned.
Also, if I forget to stick the condensation hose through the panel,
the dripping water will not damage the floor.
The resurfacing will not help with EMP, but I will get to the door panel later.
Secured the panel with two braided copper straps.
This not only helps in case the panel comes off while going down the road,
but also helps in electrically connecting the panel to the RV aluminum siding.
However, what really helps for EMP is not so much the two straps,
but good conduction in the panel frame, all around.
The straps are only good for DC and low frequencies.
Here I have laminated both the frame which is mounted to the sides, and also the edges of the panel.
So that when the panel is shut, it is inclosed on all sides with conductivity.
Here is the Refrigerator Electronics Board on my Dometic DM2652,
or Power Module, with the cover off.
I can make the Refrigerator work without this board, in some kind of manual mode.
But do not want to loose it to EMP; Automatics are convenient.
That is not water on the CPU, That is varnish.
The board pulls 0.4 amp, and has no internal EMP hardening components.
So if an EMP gets through the door hatch that I just hardened,
or if an EMP comes in through connected wiring,
then this board has had it.
Also the present fuel propane will be scarce, and the chimney will have to be modified for solar.
While I am in here, working with the refrigerator, this would be a great time to add a fan
for the chimney roof vent.
I will mount with ductwork to increase flow direction.
Just like there is no such thing as a MonoPole magnet, there is no such thing as a MonoFlow fan.
The duct is made of Reflectix; some scrap found conveniently laying near by.
Sealed with epoxy and paint.
This fan is absolutely quiet. It was designed for a quiet environment like for a computer case.
PinFox, Dual ball bearings.
The fan pulls 0.16 amps. I also want to put an indicator LED in parallel, 10mA.
So that would be about 0.17 total amps for the fan.
The frig vent with the cover off.
Clipped the screen and pealed it out of the way. Installed a capacitor at the fan leads.
Installed the fan somewhat in the center of the vent, near the top, and braced on the near side with the angle bracing.
A lot of stuff is going down the Frig Vent: There are hot water lines, as well as all the Solar Panel wiring.
Down below, I could have the fan come on with heat; like from the stack, or better yet, have the fan come on
when the gas is turned on. And that could be done by paralleling with the gas solenoid.
But I do not want to overload the relay that controls the gas solenoid with an additional load of my fan.
The Refrigerator Power Board runs just fine,
and I do not want to jeopardize it with any modifications
The gas solenoid is 49 ohms, and by deduction pulls a quarter of one amp.
Inside the RV, the amp meter shows 0.25 amps for the solenoid, in good agreement.
Coincidently the amp meter shows 0.4 amps for the board,
but that has no relevancy for this installation.
I am sure the fan would run "OK" by simply wiring the fan on top of the solenoid,
but I would be almost doubling the current load of the relay in the Power Board.
Therefor that is a no go.
...And it is easy to fix.
I reached into my junk box for NPN bipolars and soldered this circuit up as an emitter follower.
I created an isolated switch that leaves the original circuit nearly priesteen.
I can not tell by observation if the manufacturer placed a snubber diode across the solenoid
to snub the negative pulse when the coil collapses.
Therefor, I will take no chances, and use a diode to the base (labeled "Neg Spike").
In the case of an EMP, the transistor can short from collector to base.
Without the 500 ohm resistor (and the diode) the gas solenoid can be energized.
And, to make matters worse, it is energized without the piezoElectric Starter;
Raw gas would be flowing in the chamber, and it would be looking for a source of ignition.
Besides the lights out, no food, and no car, one side of the trailer could be blown out, and missing.
The refrigerator placement could change too.
The 500 ohm resistor might inadvertantly allow the solenoid to remain pulled in for a while,
but it can not allow a pull in from a de-energized state.
The resistor and diode are an important safety feature, but only a safety feature,
and have nothing to do with the basic operation of the circuit.
Here is the installed NPN, laying on the surface of the Power Board in white tape.
It will be more protected with the cover on. The only offensive intrusion is the diode connection at
the top of the plug, but at least everything is out of sight under the cover.
The output voltage to the fan will always be about half a volt lower than the RV +12v Supply
sense this unknown transistor measures as a silicon bipolar.
Actually, there is the "NegSpike" Si diode too; make it almost a full volt lower.
So eleven volts go up to the fan instead of twelve. That is totally fine.
But the main thing:
the fan will not be using the solenoid's current!
The refrigerator control panel comes off easily with just two tabs.
And there is plenty of room for an LED.
The indicator LED works great.
It means there is gas turned onn.
And it also indicates that I like bright lights, but that is vividly obvious,
and I did not have to tell you that.
You have to be blind to miss this bright red light. Love it!
The shy stock yellow led lights that came with the frig are very very dim. Hate them!
The Frig checks out great; fan works, LED works, and now in the summer the Frig should cool better.
That was fun.
The Frig was a fun diversion, now I have to get back to work...
After metalizing the roof, I noticed that my cell phone no longer worked inside the RV.
I had two bars outside, but none inside. Actually, that means EMP protection is starting to work.
It is a good thing really.
Also, the Laptop sees no WiFi itself, from its own internal WiFi antenna.
My external WiFi antenna still works good, but it is a hassle to put up all the time in an RV park.
Also, my clock no longer picks up a signal from Fort Collins Colorado.
Now that is a deal breaker; the Clock has to work!
The clock still works, but it drifts as ordinary clocks.
I am proud of my clocks, it will have to work! ...As well as all the other communications.
Is the EMP thing really worth it?
I will have to address all these newly created problems...
I will begin with the loss of the cell phone...
To solve the problem, I purchased a cell phone booster.
It uses a real antenna, a better antenna, and an antenna in a better location, which in my case is high on the roof on the air conditioner.
There was some warning of needing an FCC license, which I have.
If this was a Repeater, then yes; you need the license. But no; this is NOT a repeater.
This is an amplifier. But, then again, I am not sure. ...A grey area, at the least.
If you get one, you can read the fine print.
I installed a Signal Strength App for my cell phone.
You might like it. It is called LTE Discovery, and has a lot of information.
It has direction of the chosen signal, Lat and Lon, signal strengths of all towers in the area.
I am an Engineer by profession and nature, and I enjoy this app. Everyone should download it.
The signal outside of the RV is -109dBm from tower 072.
The pamphlet that came with the booster unit described something totally different from what was advertised.
The pamphlet stated that you must have a cradle for the cell phone,
or use their velcro straps to fasten the 2nd antenna to the back of the cell phone.
The advertizement led one to believe that one could walk around the RV a short distance
from the 2nd antenna.
I am not using my cell phone with a cable attached to it! Also the cable would soon break.
The signal inside the RV with AMP power turned OFF,
cell phone setting on top of the 2nd antenna, is -115dBm from tower 072.
And the signal quality is -9.
The signal inside the RV with AMP power turned ONN, the arrow flips around, indicating the signal is coming from a different direction.
The signal inside the RV with AMP power turned ONN,
cell phone setting on top of the 2nd antenna, is -95dBm from tower 072.
The cell quality is -17. Much worse. I think RSRQ is Received Quality.
I will look at this quality thing later.
So the unit does work, but wether I can use it remains to be seen.
The unit gives a gain of 10dBm which is over 8 times in power (Double for every 3 dB).
That part is OK. Well, actually not that impressive:
the signal strength VOLTAGE increase is only 3 times.
I know from my work with HD Digital Television signals that Quality is EXTREMELY important.
It does no good to pump out a huge signal that is garbage.
It is easy to put out more power, but hard to keep it clean.
Perhaps the amp itself is clean;
Interference of the two input cell signals, can behave like multipath, and give a poor quality.
I will have to be in tether mode, and can then do some speed tests, using the laptop.
But the point: I need to actually use my cell phone - in my hands.
I can't have my cell phone setting over in the corner, assigned to holding down a piece of plastic.
I don't like SpeakerPhone, and if the phone is not on me, then I will forget it, if I leave.
The current shows 0.8 amps, but there was 0.18 amps being drawn before.
Therefore this amp pulls about 0.6 amps. That is too much idle current.
That is too much for in an RV, at night, to just be turned idly onn all the time.
They deceived me on the description, and now the unit is sucking on too much current.
I do not know wether to return the unit or not...
I have spent 6 hours yesterday trying to install this thing.
I thought that I could trade the AM-FM antenna cable, which I do not need, for the new cell phone antenna cable.
I thought that I could simply pry off the putty around the AM-FM radio antenna,
and use that antenna cable to pull up a pull string from down below.
The pull string could be used to pull this cell phone antenna up trough the walls and part of the ceiling.
Everything was going well, I had both ends of the old AM-FM cable disconnected,
and I could move it, and I knew for sure that I could pull it out.
But after tieing on the pull string, it snagged. And it snagged good.
I tore out part of the wall in a cabinet where the damage would not be seen.
But it was snagging just above that, where my fingers could not reach.
So I measured very carefully exactly where the blockage was.
I used a sharp ceramic knife to cut out a square from the wall.
This is something you do not tell your wife about.
This is not for the faint of heart. This was going to show, so I needed as thin of lines that I could cut,
because I was going to put the patch back in the wall, and keep it a secret.
That ment a thin knife and a lot of careful work.
After I removed the cut out section of wall,
I could not believe my eyes, somebody had stapled my antenna to the stud| A damn staple!
I quickly removed the staple and gave it a well earned throw.
Now the cable was free again, but only to snag again. This time 6 inches above the the old spot.
And it was just out of view of my cut-in-the-wall window.
I could tell, with a long screw driver, and searching up the stud,
that it was again another staple.
With some effort, I was able to remove that staple too.
I gave it a fling in the same direction as the other.
And now - FINALLY - the cable was free again.
I pulled up a huge 5 feet, it was moving good, and it looked as if I was going to make it.
But no, I hit yet another snag. I only had 3 feet to go! The snag was at the top of the ceiling.
Here the wall paper had no design, no pattern, no lines that I could use to hide my cuts.
If I cut into the wall here, it was going to show. It was going to be a deal breaker.
I abandoned the work on that side of the trailer,
and instead decided to install the antenna on top of the air conditioner,
and come down through the refreg vent. Went well.
The 6 volt power comes from a cigaret lighter plug (supplied). This is not just a receptical; It is a power supply, and you need it.
This power comes in on the amp on the right, just below the green light.
Outside antenna comes in at the bottom, and the signal is amplified and goes out the top.
From the top the cable goes to the 2nd antenna, over by my coach,
a piece of plastic where your cell phone is supposed to sit.
The amp is well made, precision fitted case. It is heavy of metal.
There is no way to really test this thing here in Chico.
I have too many towers being picked up here, and they can be picked up inside the trailer,
although the metal door is open and most windows are not obstructed. The difinitive evaluation will have to wait
until i can get out of town, like Black Butte.
My WWV Antenna for the Master Clock was easy.
I simply had to remount it on the outside of the RV.
The RV before was so poorly shielded that I could pick up Fort Colins anywhere in the RV.
The signal was coming through the windows, roof, and floor. Not much was shielding the signal.
Also, even if there was some shielding, the frequency penetrates well in general. It penetrates mountains, trees, and RVs.
Here I have placed the antenna in a weather proof piece of white PVC.
I placed it under the RV because, unlike higher frequencies and other antennas, the antenna works OK here.
Besides, I have enough stuff on the roof, I do not need any more.
There are no adjustments to any of my Master Clocks. All my devices that I invented are autonomous.
Now, the RV Master Clock knows the Year, Day of the Year, Hour, minutes, seconds, and 1/8 th of seconds.
It derives the Month, Day of the Month, and Day of the Week. Best clock ever!
...Except in the Air Force. I invented it, and many others.
My clocks even iterate (speak) the Day of the Week on the hour inside the RV.
In addition, sense all my Master Clocks were at Broadcast sites that contained towers with tower lighting,
they knew the official SunUp and SunDown times. My Master Clocks vocalized these events with spoken word.
In the RV, Dusk and Dawn events are also spoken with proud precision.
And best of all, my Master Clock talks to all my other devices at will, spontaneously.
At all my broadcast sites, this was the Primary Function of all my Master Clocks:
to talk to machines and vise versa.
Here I am preparing 16 gauge copper wire to be strung underneath the RV.
This is hard annealed copper solid core, so that it can not be crimped. It must be soldered.
If, after removing the screws, they have rust, as these do, then water is getting in.
I try and fill the screw hole with calking. Replace the screw.
Unfortunately, I will have to remove all my screws and seal, wither they hold copper runners or not.
Unfortunately, the manufacturer forgot to weather proof the RV, as I see no screws are sealed.
I guess the workers at the factory never heard of rain.
Under the RV, under the fabric, I have glued aluminum foil.
I do not know if this procedure will work here. There are differences from the hard roof.
Underneath the fabric can move, flex, and wave in the wind.
I do not want to be throwing off shiny chaff behind me as I go down the road.
Nor do I want to be accused of running a flying saucer and that is loosing shiny debris.
For adhesive, I am using the same rubber roof coating.
The fabric is woven, and it is thirsty.
If it works, the copper will be ran just under the aluminum sheeting.
As you can see the wire hangs down too much and does not touch the sheeting.
I will use metalized tape to bond it to the sheeting.
The concept is the same as using a Drain Wire in cable that has aluminum foil shielding.
A good copper wire runs along, and inside, the foil, always in good contact with the aluminum foil.
I will have to wait a couple of days, it may not be the success story as the roof.
Back up on the roof...
Here I am running the same type of wire as underneath. I am making three runs on both sides of the Air Conditioner.
The bottom of the Air Conditioner is a metal pan.
So this should make for complete coverage across the Air Conditioner hole in the celling,
and contribute to a complete coverage.
Also, you can see how I shielded all wires that are on the roof.
I wrap in metal foil, and encourage them to touch the aluminum roofing anywhere and everywhere.
Here, I am covering the copper wires with metalized tape.
Not only does it form a good conduction, but keeps the wire down so that I do not trip over them.
Do not buy the metallized Duct Tape, it will not stick. I bought my metalized role at OSH.
Also, I am running wires from front to back, and soldering all crossings that run side to side.