Re: EMP's: How can they affect our electronics?
I've read a fair amount of stuff on this situation over the years and from everything I've seen there are a lot of variables. The frequency of the pulse, the strength, etc. For vehicles it can depend on which direction the vehicle is facing when the EMP goes off such as facing it or facing away from it. Is the vehicle parked outside or in a garage? Is the garage cement or metal? If cement there could be problems as the cement can conduct a bit of the electromagnetic current. If it's metal then that's the best. It also depends on what is in the garage. The wiring in the garage is hooked to an outside source that can cause the pulse of energy to be conducted into the garage over these wires. Is there an antenna on the garage? This can do the same thing.
I read about some tests that were done on vehicles from the '90s to the early 2000s. Some vehicles were running when the "blast" went off and some weren't. The ones that weren't had less problems than those that were running. The ones that were running stopped and most just needed to be restarted with some that still ran, but they had dash lights on and other things. Some were a bit more involved as far as repairs, but were still able to be fixed. Newer vehicles like the FJ and those of today have even more processors than those in the test so they could be more vulnerable.
Some vehicles did better than others in the tests, but they were kept secret as to what make and model and how they did so one couldn't take a good one and tear it apart to compare it to a bad one to see what made the one better. Most vehicles have shielding around electronic parts and wiring and results can change just by moving a wire from one spot by a harness to a spot farther away. The Russians did some test back in the early 60s and they found that even diesel trucks shut down. The cause in a lot of vehicles were components with wire coils such as starters, generators, alternators, etc. where they have the wire coils that are sealed with the epoxy or whatever the stuff is. When the pulse of energy hit those coils they heated up and the coating melted which then allowed shorts to happen. So after these test they recommended parts like those and then coils be kept for spares and on some engines mechanical distributors and stuff be stocked to swap out.
As far as radios and other electronics it depends on a few things such as where they are kept and how. If a radio is setup and connected to an outlet and then an antenna these are then connected to the outside and the energy pulse could enter and mess up the radio through the wire or antenna when it's conducted along them to the radio. There are recommendations to use a Faraday cage which is a metal or metal mesh cage or box surrounding an item or items that reacts with the energy pulse conducting it through or around the cage and basically blocks it from reaching the items inside, but it's not 100% blocked and it once again depends on the frequency of the pulse and how powerful it is.
It was also mentioned that an EMP could be set off at a high altitude and not hurt the soldiers below, but it could wipe out all communications and electronics sending them back to using tactics from long gone days. They also would be in disarray as there would be no communications and stuff like say missiles that needed electronics to be fired and to guide themselves or whatever would become junk in the silos.
Even though the vehicles would either stay running or could be restarted or repaired and then started, it might not make much of a difference as they'd still need fuel and once your stash of 5 gallon cans ran out then you'd be at the mercy of the refineries and their shipping and then the gas stations. They would all have to make repairs and then get up and running again to resupply the fuel. It could take weeks, months, or longer depending on the situation and how each part of the chain was affected.
The way companies do things today with inventories on parts could be the biggest problem of all. It used to be that spare parts were kept in a fairly good quantity to have them when repairs were needed. Now parts aren't kept on hand as much and it would be like the fuel problem noted above in that it would man that the manufacturer would have to do repairs and get up and running again and then the transport section of the chain would have to do the same and then the parts would get to the facility to be used. That brings up other problems and questions too. Where are the parts from? At the plant we had parts for a big piece of our equipment that only came from Germany and there was a minimum of a 6 month wait as they were made to order. You'd have to able to not only contact them in German to see if they were up and running and could make the part, but then all the other parts of the logistics of the situation came into play. We also had parts like our big main transformers that took over a year to be built if a new one was needed so that wouldn't be pretty. If the EMP went off it could hit the main high voltage lines and then be conducted through them to any number of places and take out transformers and other equipment and if some of that equipment was like the transformers with a long lead time for new ones, the system could be down for a long time.
It could be a rather rough time if an EMP hit. So much of our lives revolve around electronics anymore that if they are disrupted or ruined it could bring things to a standstill. Fuel needs power to run the electric pumps and the displays and the cash registers for one example. No power, no fuel. Even if you could drop a hand pump into the fuel tank paying for it could be a rough time as a lot of the younger people and even some older ones don't know how to make change anymore and you wouldn't know how many gallons you pumped for sure anyways. The cash registers tell everyone what change to make and most only know how to go by that. One of things I've seen that made me wonder was when you have a bill for say $6.67 and you have the $-.67 plus a $20 bill and you don't want to get back change. I've handed the person the $20 and the change and they couldn't figure out what I was doing even after I explained it to them. Anymore everything depends on fragile electronics that can easily be fried by a surge of electricity which can make things a real problem if they all fail at the same time.
All of this leads up to what Preppers usually plan on. They stock up the food and water and supplies to get them through for a few months or a year or two and then they have the seeds and animals and stuff and plan on being self sufficient on their land. They learn to do stuff the old way or the Amish way with hand tools and animals so that it doesn't matter if there is electricity or fuel or whatever. They can use a horse and plow. Mama can use a spoon or a whisk or an old fashioned hand mixer to make up a cake or whatever in the kitchen. They use wood stoves so they don't need electricity to run a heater or they aren't relying on things to be working so they can get propane or other fuels. They cook on a wood stove in the winter and then on a fire outside in the summer.
This is just a bit of the info I've read over the years and how things might happen in the case of an EMP and all the different things that can be a secondary part of the main event. It gives one a lot to think about.
Go ahead, skin it! Skin that smoke wagon and see what happens...
I'll ride in on a sunny day, Sing you a song, steal your heart away Like a cowboy Hang my hat like I'm here for awhile Kick off my boots and drive you wild Like a cowboy Well baby you know I can't stay long You wake up, I'll be gone Until then I'll hold on Like a cowboy.