A powerful EMP generator, to disable (temporarily) stereos in my neighbors house.

Hey guys, I'm trying to build a portable EMP generator, which will be powerful enough to knock out (temporarily) my neighbors stereo (if he plays it on loud at midnight again). My setup is as follows: 8 330v 160uF Capacitors wired up in series. 8 330v charging circuits for the capacitors with their outputs in series wired to the capacitors through a switch. The 8 capacitors are wired up to a coil through a switch. The coil is made from 6 gauge wire (or a 1/16" copper strip) that is coiled 5 times. I would really appreciate any feedback because this is a fairly large undertaking for me, and i'm kind of nervous at working with over 2000v of electricity. Does anyone know if you can discharge a cpapcitor by throwing it into a swimming pool???

Kiteman3 months ago

Some general points for readers new to this topic:

● If an EMP affects one neighbour, it will affect all neighbours, left, right, up, down.

● There is no such thing as a temporary EMP. Fried electronics stay fried.

● The use of such devices are probably illegal in your country. In many countries, they will count as weapons, and their use might contravene your country's anti terrorism laws.

● In all cases, you must attempt civilised negotiation, law enforcement agencies and court orders before resorting to actual attacks on your neighbours.

kvp7028 days ago

I get very concerned when someone asks a naïve question such as "Does anyone know if you can discharge a cpapcitor [sic] by throwing it into a swimming pool???" because it shows that the person has no clue about basic electricity, and therefore should not be playing around with it. This kid will probably seriously injure or kill himself or someone near him. Now, having said that, I will comment about the intended project. First off, it requires a HUGE amount of radio frequency power to cause damage to electronic equipment at a distance of more than a few feet. So, unless you want to be standing right next to your neighbor's window or non-metal door, forget about trying to make an EMP generator to damage your neighbor's audio equipment. And just as others have said here, the effect is not temporary. A shorted transistor will stay shorted forever!

A better idea which MAY work, but is much safer than a homemade EMP generator is a jammer. It is actually fairly easy to make a device that generates electrical noise that will drive your neighbor crazy, to the point where he will want to turn down the volume. A simple explanation is to build a Tesla Coil, and hook a long wire to one of the terminals of the spark gap and stretch the wire as close to your neighbor's audio equipment as possible. If it works, the horrible static sound will be just too horrible to listen to. Keep in mind that transmitting intentional interference is very much illegal here in the U.S., and probably in every other country. Also keep in mind that you will not only interfere with that particular neighbor, but with every other neighbor within a fairly wide radius (possibly as much as 1/4 mile, depending on many variables).

The BEST way to handle your unfortunate situation is to call your noisy neighbor when he is sober and ask him to keep the volume down during the evening hours when most people are trying to sleep. If that doesn't work, then call the police. That's what they get paid to do.

Good luck.

pcassembly29 days ago

ummm lets think about this aye? this emf is not directional, but unidirectional, so fry your neighbours is fry yourself. there is no temporary interruption a fryed circuit is a fryed circuit ,

EightyS1 month ago

I can tell you with absolute certainty the following three things;

First, You'll need quite a bit of power to fry electronics via EMP from a distance that doesn't make you look like you're frying electronics via EMP.

Second, this method is, in all likelihood, very illegal for so many reasons. Fun, but illegal.

Third, Calling the police results in... very weak results, and bad neighbor relationships.

And as a bonus, Fourth;

Firing an arrow through a window into a TV or sound stystem or... well, anything, will immediately solve your problem.

robo103022 months ago

Or you can just call the police on them once and it will stop forever.

zenme23 months ago

to every one who doesn't know even the basics. so you do manage to make something and then blow all your own electronics,may even electrocute yourself or start a fire.Then you will blame instructables

It is no problem to make an "EMP generator" from a disposable camera flashlight circuit.

Simply replace the flash with a induction coil of suitable dimensions and you can interupt or even damage small electronics at close range - talking 2-5cm at most.

Building a real EMP device is no real problem for anyone with basic electronics knowledge.

The problems, apart from being highly illegal, are:

a) Parts - you would need broad range EM burst, just the storage capacitors for a device reaching a few meters will cost you an arm and a leg.

b) Powering it - If an EMP is supposed to do more than disturb a calculator at close range you need more or less insane power levels.

c) If you actually somehow manage to build one that works you will most likely fry your own electronics more often than anything else.

And yes a temporary EMP is quite possible, it all depends on the levels of power.

What gives you weird numbers on a calculator will, at the right power levels destroy every electronic circuit within range.

Take an old lawn mover and remove the capacitor on the ignition system, as a result you will have radio interference that is noticable for up to 500m - a low power, no-directed EMP field.

People might think it is fun to build such a device, the ones that don't might only want one for revenge reasons - the best is to stay away from even attempting to build one.

Imagine it works and all you get in return is a prison sentence...

amohsen53 months ago

please help me....I want to make mini emp gun to disable a small calculator .... but i want the exact value of B (magnetic flux ) and capacitance and voltage and the other calculations to damage it .... any help please..

samjoseph1 year ago
capacitors get less powerful when you wire them in series, more powerful in parallel. if you put 8 160 uF caps in series you end up with 20uF of capacitance, if you add them in parallel you end up with 1280uF of capacitance.
That's not technically correct. Capacitors hold exactly the same amount of power whether you wire them in series or parallel. Its just that the capacitance increases in parallel, and the voltage increases in series.

You are correct, sir.

please send my diagram or photos please and parts detail

brijeshoo71 year ago

hey..plz give me some photos & give specification of parts you use.....


DragonDon1 year ago
Or just call the local police to enforce the law.....
yveg1 year ago
I would like to have a very small emp device. I am willing to pay for all the expenses.
Please let me know if someone can help.
Rob0224891 year ago
I NEED HELP. I have a difficult situation. I have a child and a wife, and i just quit my prior job for another one due to pay issues. The guy owes me 700$ and I dont really want to go to jail, or have to resort to anything physical. I know this is wrong, and immature even, but i cant clear it out of my mind that he will not pay me what is owed. Ive chosen a different route. Is it possible to harness enough power from a homemade emp gun to take out a vehicle point blank range? Is the capacitor from a camera large enough? or should I use an older tv one? Battery? Please Help.
ninaj1 year ago
wow! usually, in my residual zone, there is no one other than myself who is searching to cease and destroy the sound waves of torture and pain that I have lived with for over a decade and a half. although I see now that others are affected from this also, still, it does not bring any ease to the pain and torture that I endure for hours at a time (very often) due. I am ignorant to the type of mental stability a person has who conducts themselves this way. I so need a solution to this problem.
neivadan2 years ago
just make a a magnetic flux generator to permently blow em wave as a secondary option in which its positive and negative forces clashed together to make a flat out atomic boom well without harmful radiation or whatever or better yet contact the police for sound pollution
Yep that will discharge a cap so will a high ohm resistor 150 meg ohm and up.
abajerski2 years ago
I do not take responsibility
for any damage or harm, bodily or otherwise to any persons or devices/ objects, due to the use of the information provided here.

RF interference device,
Step one obtain twenty feet of insulated copper wire.
Step 2 obtain a gas powered lawn mower. (of course any gas powered motor will work)
Step 3 remove the protective boot from the spark plug wire
Step 4 remove insulation from about two inches of the copper wire and wrap that end around the exposed plug.
Step 5 stretch the copper wire out
Step 6 start engine
This will produce high levels of RF noise which most radio devices cannot ignore. For an added kick, wrap the wire around a copper (or other metal tube, copper works best) in a very tight coil, this will produce a very limited EM field which will render any digital device that is turned on or has power running to it useless with in ten feet.
I like this but mowing the lawn at midnight.
JhonCo2 years ago
Why not try utilizing a magnetron from a microwave, if modified and sufficiently amplified the electromagnetic signals could well disable the electronics. think of a lightbulb in a microwave or foil in a microwave, if you could significantly amplify the waves then....
AndyPipkin2 years ago
Use an SSB (Single Side Band) CB radio, you can ask him to turn it down when you key the mic, that's what I used to do.

I love your solution. can I also broad cast a really nasty noise.
Can the guy in the thumper hear your voice over or through his thumping sterio.
If so can you give me a little help on where to get one. and can I add a linier amp to it to boost the power? Is there a yagy or other type directional antenna that would make the power directional and more focused.
will all my neighbors also hear it in their tv?

Gene Walters
tmihai4 years ago
I thought of this also if you are still interested lets talk and see how we can put something useful together. I was also thinking that it may not be necessary to fry the electronics but introducing sufficient noise so that the target will stop the equipment by it's self might also work.
let me know what u came up with on your emp device. i have 5 different schematics for different types and the one i want to make is smaller i know the resistor value the transformer but not the 4 capacitor values. i made 2 already and i dont know if i made them right i dont even have a flouresent bulb to test them on. we could probably figure this one out together.
If I can help you I'll do it.
thank you soo much i will reply everything i know and some pics later and maybe you can help me figure out what im doing wrong. have a great day. my email is if i dont respond immediately. once again thanks alot for your time
 Lmao what is with people bringing up 2 year old topics? And btw this isn't happening anytime soon.
what do you mean this isnt happening anytime soon? i have full schematics for a emp device strong enough to stop a vehicle within 20ft of it and can build for about $275. you can buy a smaller device for $330 from that slotmachine website.

Curiosity and needs :)
Azn Hitman7 years ago
sounds really cool. to bad you cant fit it in your pocket.
I once built a little "fuzzer"; a small pocket sized random RF emitter, and carried it about at a few Ham Fests, and occasionally turned it on for a few seconds now and then to see what kind of reaction I could get. Most of the time the interference was kind of ignored anyway LOL
i bought a tiny rf scrambler for $6 at american science and surplus it actually works great. when turned on nothing that is controlled with a rf will not respond to anything.
The one I built only created some AM static mostly.
theoldguy2 years ago
You can purchase plans for an emp generator here:
Or they will also sell you a complete unit weighing 205Kg. Its 2.5 meters long and reasonably priced at only $32,000. That may do the job.

A little bit of history and nostalgia.
Before the mid 1970's radios and heaters on cars were optional extras and if you decided to install an aftermarket radio you needed to also suppress the interference from the spark plug leads and the alternator.

Instead of destroying everything electronic in your units consider this:
You can either, park your car on the 5th floor of your unit block and replace the suppressed carbon leads with solid copper ones, or if that is inconvenient, you could take the suppressing capacitor out of a small electric tool like a sander. When its turned on the stereo will have so much interference it will useless and he will tun it off. And nothing has been destroyed.
techno guy3 years ago
Throw the capacitors into a large bowl of water.
Betelgeus34 years ago
The only way this would ever work is either

A) Your generator is within 2 feet of the stereo


B) Their stereo is made of superconductive material.

Ignoring the ethical problems with this, you've got to understand what exactly an EMP does to sensitive electronics. Magnetic fields generate a current in anything that is conductive and within their range. With a field strong enough and a circuit sensitive enough, the current will short the circuit and burn out the components. Now, to do this, you need to apply enough current to the wire to short the circuitry, and this current needs to travel through AIR. (very good insulator). Like some have said, lightning storms can short out electronics, but your radio doesn't fry every time a storm blows over. And that is a lot more energy than anyone can generate. Frankly, it's just not possible without using illegal voltages. Good luck though.
Anathema134 years ago
You can EXPLODE a capacitor by throwing it into a swimming pool. Why not save $$ and discharge it properly...through a LOAD, like a big sand-filled resistor? You really don't want to explode that cap - if its a big one, it may have PCB's in it - so then the pool is contaminated. How did you come up with the wire gauges and values in your design? Hate to tell you, but the collapsing field (EMP) from a 2000V source isn't going to do much. Check out this web site - they sell plans and devices, and their science is reliable: Sopunds like you could do better by generating EMI every time they bother you with the stereo...better known as "HERF".
junits154 years ago
hey kinda like ironman!
westfw7 years ago
  • EMP is overblown by the media
  • EMP-damaged electronics are damaged forever, not "temporarily." You're talking about blasting away the junctions in the semiconductors.
  • radios and other "audio" equipment might be less sensitive to EMP than other expensive electronics devices like your computer.
  • Your proposed circuit is extremely wimpy by EMP standards. Consider how much energy is in a lightning strike, and how seldom those knock out peoples' stereos (ok, you'd be closer than the average lightening strike...)
  • You are certainly correct to be nervous. IMO, your circuit would be much more likely to damage YOU than silence your neighbor's stereo...
Patrik westfw7 years ago
Yeah, what he said.

If you want to take more sophisticated approach, you could try beaming your neighbor a strong radio signal, modulated with a specific audio signal. Unless his stereo is really well shielded, you may be able to find some resonant frequency that will get through, even if he's just listening to a CD. Sweep the radio frequency until you hear the audio signal from his stereo, then crank it up. You could even mess with his head, and talk to your neighbor through his own speakers!

The same thing can be done through the power lines, by the way. I remember the electrical motor of our neighbor's high powered drill was starting to fail, and we could pick up the resulting sparks over our stereo system very clearly.

Needless to say, with a well-shielded stereo system and well-conditioned power lines, you would have to send a *lot* of power at your neighbor's stereo before he starts to notice anything - possibly enough to attract the attention of the FCC or local power company.

A sound-based system like in the xkcd strip below would be far easier and more effective. Unfortunately, it's not going to blow his speakers, but at least you can give your neighbor a dose of his own medicine!
Kipusit Patrik4 years ago
sorry, meant to ask - could you not get one of those 'universal' remote controls and amplify the signal? I have used one on a stereo before using a periscope to direct the beam.
Kipusit Patrik4 years ago
I'm liking the xkcd strip - no harm can be done to anyone/anything as far as I can see-? Can you direct me to any more info on this? Bit of a radio dunce.
creid5 years ago
This is a nutty idea .. First of all if you manage to send an emp pulse strong enough to blow their stereo.. you're going to fry every bit of electronics in your house.. Secondly it takes MASSIVE amounts of power to generate an emp burst that does anything. Consider this analogy - take a huge firecracker.. put it in a bottle.. you get a killer, damaging explosion! But toss it in your living room floor? You get a pop not a destroyed house.. You could try to direct it with a microwaves electronics.. i wouldnt wanna be there when you tried it. You could also control the time cycle. Rather than x energy over 1 second... 1000x energy over a microsecond.. you're trying to overwhelm the electronics with a surge. Lastly: if this actually worked you would ruin most of the electornics your neighbors own. You might as well walk in their yard and firebomb their car. Its irresponsible, childish, punk, and immoral. Be adult and try calling the cops instead.
Brockman5125 years ago
Will this work on the deep base, boom boom cars that drive by my house at all hours ratteling my teeth? Ooooohhhh! Yes, yes, yes I'm interested!!!
Patrik7 years ago
You could try this:

i sooo have to build one. id need to convert the audio to pulses, shift the phase a bit and blast it. hey!!! i could produce anti-noise by shifting the phase 180 degrees coudnt i?
(removed by author or community request)
emp? yes. it will zap the fets. anti-noise? no btw: what happens if you turn the volume way up on antinoise headphones? deafining silence. lol
Actually I've pondered this, in situations where there are massive amounts of noise then is it possible to bugger your ears, also if you put an audio signal in to the microphone that detects the noise you'd hear music as normal, I think... I played with making anti signals in audacity and if you have the upside down one it sounds just the same, put both of them on and not much happens...
In theory, yes - that's how noise canceling headphones work!

In practice, the sound waves from your "anti-noise" generator will form an interference pattern with the sound waves coming from the "noise" generator, so depending on the frequency, the sound will be canceled in some areas and doubled in others. That's why noise cancellation works best when your anti-noise generator is close to your ear (headphones), and for low frequencies (larger interference pattern).

Sadly, unless you can tightly focus significantly more sound power on your neighbors' stereo than it's are already putting out by itself, you're not going to be able to blow his speakers with this.

Now, if you were to cover the entire wall adjoining your neighbor with a phased array of bass speakers, then we're in business!
so the sound would alternate between nothing and really loud? thats even better.
No - you'd get different frequencies of the sound, depending on where you stand in the room. Or at least, that would be the idealized case: two point sources, no reflections anywhere. Once you include reflections off the walls, furniture, ceiling, etc, on average it would simply come across as *louder*.
so it would be louder, but distorted? or would it be more or less random noise, but louder than originally?
Patrik would it be louder because of an echo, causing it to sound doubly loud? I love stuff like resonance.
Sound is a wave. When you add together two waves which are in sync, you get one with double the amplitude. When you add two waves which are out of sync, they cancel each other out.

As usual, Wikipedia has a fairly decent page on interference.
Wouldn't this be illegal? Also, this would knock out YOUR electronics, too. EMP does not just go in a straight line like the grenade mentioned below; it goes out in a 360 degree spread. So any cars and stuff like that would be screwed.
110100101106 years ago
i'd try to somehow inject my music to their stereo thru the electric grid

montmorency6 years ago
um...i have a suggestion, but its not completely legal, why don't you just use a gernade? lol, just kidding.
btw, does it actually work?
Labot20017 years ago
Why would you want to knock out the neighbor's stereo?

They don't play... *gasp* - rap, do they??
beado4ever7 years ago
I would have thought that an easier way to disable electrical circuits in someone's house would be to switch off the mains electricity? Fuse box accessible?
Goodhart7 years ago
discharging a cap in a swimming pool should have the same effect as using a screwdriver (maybe slower), as it will short directly across the leads.
ll.13 Goodhart7 years ago
...Only thing is, you've got to fish it out of the pool, (and it'll be wet)
tech-king ll.137 years ago
but there is no risk of melting the screwdriver
recon506 (author)  ll.137 years ago
i'm guessing that if i just dry off the circuit with a hair dryer it should be OK
Kiteman ll.137 years ago
If you're nervous about sparks or shocks, tape it to a long stick and then poke a piece of foil with the "legs".
Goodhart7 years ago
An EMP is hard to make "directional" really. Something on the order of what you are speaking of would effect many neighbors, I am sure.
recon506 (author)  Goodhart7 years ago
im hoping that if i put a parabolic reflector around the coil it should deflect most of the EMP's
A couple of articles that might be of interest then: EMP reflection...

and EM techniques....

Or THIS, if you BELIEVE :-)
Make a tube of wire mesh. Cap one end with wire mesh and ground it. the open end will send EMP waves right where you want them.