Introduction: Faraday Cage Bucket

Hey everyone. Just thought I would share with you not only an 'ible, but with the state of things going on in the world right now, I wanted to also some information about EMPs, Faraday cages, and how to protect your valuable electronics. This will be an easy, short tutorial with only a few steps.

As you can see from the above picture, that is my Faraday cage/bucket. Why would you want to copy my 'ible? Why should you care about EMPs and all that jazz?

Lemme show you how I built this, and then I will share some information at the end that might make you think about making this bucket for yourself!

Step 1: How It All Fits Together

So I was walking around Home Depot one day, because they always have such cool stuff, and I love thinking of new uses for home improvement hardware stuff. I happened upon this awesome 6 gallon sized galvanized steel bucket with lid made by the Behrens company at the far end of the store, on the front of the aisle, almost into the gardening section. I was looking at it, and I thought "I could turn this into a Faraday cage!" It sure beats a surplus ammo box (NEVER use those if you are serious about this sort of project)!

Now I have my "cage", but I need to insulate whatever is stored inside from touching the metal. I was going to go get some rubber and some carpet and cut it all to fit.and saw this black 3.5 gallon plastic bucket (without lid) in the paint section. The black bucket had a wire handle on it, and it wouldn't fit inside the metal bucket. So without anyone noticing, and with some difficulty actually, I stealthily removed the handle and dropped it in. It couldn't have fit any more perfect if it had been custom made! EXCELLENT! And right next to the buckets, were Gamma Seal Lids. I know a lot of people use these lids for food storage and such, and again, it was a match made in heaven! All 3 pieces were practically MADE to be turned into Faraday cages!

Step 2: Houston, We Have a Problem!

Then I noticed something when I put the plastic bucket with Gamma Seal Lid inside the galvanized steel bucket. The steel lid has a handle that is pressed through the top. It isn't a solid piece of metal. This is a so called "chink" in my Faraday cage's "armor".

I was looking around, and found some Aluminized duct tape. Even though it is a bit pricey, I picked up a roll.

When I got home, I tried putting some tape on the lid, but it wouldn't stick to save my life. I guess the lid, and bucket had a very slight coating of oil on it to prevent static buildup during shipping or something? Well I wiped the entire lid down really well with a rag soaked in rubbing alcohol. That made the metal ready to tape up the underside of the lid, where the handle comes through.

Now, time to stuff my cage full of stuff! I placed a couple small flashlights, a larger square battery flashlight (all have their batteries protected from drawing electricity over time), I also tossed in my NOAA radio/charger/flashlight which has a built in solar panel, and threw in tons of cords and adapters so I can charge whatever I need to via the sun. I threw in an old Ipod Nano just for fun. I also threw in my Kindle Paperwhite (which has a TON of survival books, .pdfs, .jpgs, and much much more. The custom camo job was also done by yours truly, as is the case made of an old BDU jacket ;) Lastly, I tossed in a notepad with some information I have written down regarding various topics.

You can throw in whatever you want. Just be sure whatever you throw in there is for long term, and you don't need to use it any time soon, because you next wrap the metal lid to the metal bucket so there are no openings whatsoever. This is a must, and completely seals the contents inside.

That's all there is to it! Pretty simple to make, and everything is from a single store. Overall, if I remember correctly, the metal bucket with lid, the plastic bucket, the gamma seal lid, and the aluminized tape was around 50 dollars total. That may sound like a lot, but protection is worth every penny in my opinion.

Step 3: Facts and Final Thoughts

So why would you want to follow my instructions, rather than someone else's design? Let us talk about some interesting facts about EMPs, and how they work first. EMPs work by line of sight along very small wavelengths, and basically short circuit anything with a microprocessor by literally making a positive feedback loop of electric current. Think of an electric guitar and its amplifiers. You strum a string, that sound goes out through the amp, that gets picked up by the microphone in front of the amp, and being sent back out through the amplifiers. Over and over. That is why some bands get that "squelch" sound while playing.

That is why my design in Faraday cage is superior in my humble opinion. There are no openings, and the electric current simply travels around and dissipates into the ground. No weak link. No way to bounce under the metal lid, or down the holes in the handle. Electromagnetic waves have no place to penetrate. Surplus ammo boxes have a hinge, and that makes for a weak link, unless you wrap the entire thing in tinfoil and aluminized tape. But that is ugly, and a small container for that matter.

"If an EMP goes off, I can just toss in my cell phone before it gets affected!"

I have heard a few people say this. And every one of them is dead wrong, to a degree. It depends on the type of EMP that hits us. If the EMP comes from a CME, or Coronal Mass Ejection, which comes from the sun, then the EMP will at first be relatively weak, and will build up in our atmosphere over the course of a couple hours, to maybe a couple days before it builds up enough power to start frying electronics. We should have some sort of advanced notification over the radio and TV from places such as NASA telling us to prepare for an EMP. So even though you might have some forewarning, you still need to protect your stuff.

Now, what if we get hit by a HEMP (High altitude ElectroMagnetic Pulse) from something like a nuclear weapon disguised as a photographic satellite launched into orbit that flies over the US twice a day by a country like North Korea? I'm not saying that is what they did, but they could have. Who knows? Anyway, if that scenario plays out, and they detonate the nuke high in Earth's atmosphere, then you literally have 1 nanosecond before your electronics are fried.

How fast is a nanosecond? Picture it this way: 1 nanosecond is to 1 second, as 1 second is to 33 YEARS! It is basically instantaneous. There is no forewarning. Nothing you can do. It happens and that is it. Unless you have your electronics already in a Faraday cage, then kiss your Iphones and Androids goodbye. You cannot save them once that sort of EMP is activated.

So you can basically kiss your phone goodbye... but why not have a solar emergency radio stored away? Information will be the most valuable thing to have after a HEMP strike. Also, you should wait maybe 48 to 72 hours after a HEMP strike before you even open your Faraday cage, just to be safe.

Hope I have educated y'all somewhat, and you find this 'ible useful.

Bucket Challenge

Participated in the
Bucket Challenge