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How to Build a Faraday Cage
10 months ago on February 9, 2022

Xox Oxo
Xox Oxo
About | Videos | Articles

What Is A Faraday Cage?

A Faraday Cage (Shield) can be described as an enclosure created by conducting materials that blocks external electric fields (both static and non-static).

These shields cages can be used to protect different kinds of electronic equipment from electrostatic discharges. They can’t block magnetic fields like Earth’s magnetic field, but they can protect the interior from electromagnetic radiation coming from the outside.

The Invention of Faraday Cage

Michael Faraday invented the “cages” in 1836, and they were named after him, but Benjamin Franklin also made a great contribution to “Faraday Cage” development and application.

Faraday noticed that the conductor charge (on a charged conductor) did not influence anything that was enclosed within; the charge resided only on the exterior. Faraday constructed a room, coated the entire room with metal foil, and used an electrostatic generator to create high-voltage discharges that stroke the outside of his metal foil-coated room. He found no electric charge on the inside walls. Faraday used an electroscope to prove this.

In 1755, Benjamin Franklin discovered what we now call “A Faraday Cage”, in his own experiment. He used a cork ball and a can. The cork was suspended on a thread and put into the can through a small opening. Franklin found that the cork wasn’t attracted to the inside, although it did touch the bottom; when drawn out, the cork was not electrified. If it touched the outside, it would have been electrified.

How Does It Work?

An external electrical field leads to rearrangement of the charges, and this cancels the filed inside. Electric fields (applied externally) create forces on electrons in the conductor, creating a current, which will further result in charge rearrangement. The current will cease when the charges rearrange and the applied field inside is canceled.

Applications of the Faraday Cage

Safety against lightening: The cage protects the interior of the vehicle from the strong electric fields. Cars and aircraft act as Faraday cages / shields to protect people when the vehicle is struck by lightening.

Microwave: the microwaves inside the oven are trapped and used for cooking. The metal shell of the microwave acts as a Faraday cage.

Protections for electronic goods: Electronic equipment can be shielded and protected from stray electromagnetic fields by using coaxial cables that contain a conducting shell that acts as a Faraday cage.

Protective suits for linemen: linemen often wear protective suits that act as Faraday cages while working with high voltage power lines. These suits protect them from getting electrocuted.

MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) scan rooms are good examples of a Faraday cage. External radio frequency signals are prevented from interfering with the data coming from the patient.

Building a Faraday Cage

One of the easiest ways to use this type of contraption is to grab an old microwave. A metal trash can with a tight seal can also work. The following steps are general and easy to follow to help you to build your own Faraday cage:

  • Consider what you want to put into the cage to get the right size. Items like medical equipment, walkie-talkies, spare parts for small electronics and shortwave radios are common items that can be beneficial when you are in survival mode. Get all of these items together and take measurements to determine the proper size.
  • Pick the device, such as an old trash can or microwave, and ensure that it closes securely. The grounding will not be effective if there are any gaps.
  • Grab a roll of aluminum foil and wrap the entire container in it. The lid and the container must be fully covered for optimal protection.
  • Use a strong tape to secure the seams of your foil. It is best to use a copper or an aluminum tape for the highest level of seal and protection.
  • Grab some cardboard to line the inside of the container. Your electronic items should not be able to touch any metal tape or the foil that you used.
  • Place your items inside and make sure that they fit. You also want to ensure that there is a tight seal after you close the lid to the cage.

Once you have your cage, you can put your electronics inside to reduce the risk of them being negatively affected by the pulses that are put off during an EMP attack.

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