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Old 01-24-2022, 01:33 PM   #1
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EMP Surge Protection?

This thread doesn't exactly fit with the thread description, so forgive me if it's in the wrong place.

Thinking about installing EMP surge protection on my AS. Anyone out there have any experience with installing this equipment on their AS? If so, what brand did you purchase? and does it protect both the AC and DC side of the house? How difficult was the installation? Any recommendations?
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Old 01-24-2022, 02:13 PM   #2
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I believe you mean EMS (Electrical Management System) not EMP. No worries, sounds like something I'd have done.

We have an in-line (hardwired) Progressive 50A EMS on our current 5th wheel. When our GT order comes in, I'm thinking of going down the Bulldog line. They have a unit that's hardwired as well and offers a bluetooth app interface.
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Old 01-24-2022, 02:39 PM   #3
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No, it's a bit more exotic than a surge protector. I am referring to Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) protector. EMP tends to fry electronic components, as when lightning strikes or during a Geomagnetic storm or Solar Flare (e.g.1859 Carrington event, very rare) and man-made occurrences.
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Old 01-24-2022, 03:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zapper View Post
No, it's a bit more exotic than a surge protector. I am referring to Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) protector. EMP tends to fry electronic components, as when lightning strikes or during a Geomagnetic storm or Solar Flare (e.g.1859 Carrington event, very rare) and man-made occurrences.
That's cool! And you would have been protected if you had your AS in Las Vegas in "Ocean's 11" when Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Matt Damon used the stolen EMP from Cal-Tech to disable the Bellagio's security system.
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Old 01-24-2022, 03:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zapper View Post
No, it's a bit more exotic than a surge protector. I am referring to Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) protector. EMP tends to fry electronic components, as when lightning strikes or during a Geomagnetic storm or Solar Flare (e.g.1859 Carrington event, very rare) and man-made occurrences.
Hi

By far the most likely EMP generator is lightning striking at your campsite. Number two is a nuclear bomb going off nearby .....

To truly do proper EMP protection, the first step on a modern AS is to eliminate the windows. You need to pull them and rivet aluminum over the openings. If you take a look at the folks who did this in the past, that's the first thing they did.

Next thing you need to address is the floor. It's far from being "tight". The normal approach is to pull the cabinetry and to put down some sort of copper mesh. It needs to cover the entire floor. Stoping short of this or that ... not so much.

You now have a reasonably "tight" structure. There are a few minor details in sealing this or that up, but you have the basic idea. Things like skylights and vents ....

You will need to "fix" the door (assuming you want to go in and out ). There are folks who make "finger stock" to help with this process. You want a very good electrical "seal" around the door.

Next step is to decide if you will have external power or not. Self contained battery operation is indeed a way to go. It might not be perfect for EMP, but it does work for other similar needs.

If you do have external power, it can only come in to one point on the trailer. There can be no other connections to here or there, one point only. That point needs a nice substantial bond to the frame, the body and anything else in sight. Your protection goes between the power in and this super duper bond point.

The net is an enclosure that "bounces" through an EMP. It may well be a few KV above this or that point external to the trailer. The idea is that everything *inside* the trailer is relatively the same.

If you want things like cell or WiFi, those connections come past the same bond point as the AC power. They get protection at that point.

That's the quick and dirty summary. There are volumes and volumes of "what to do" behind various pay walls.

Bob
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Old 01-25-2022, 06:42 AM   #6
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Hi

There is one more "interesting" step in the process that I forgot about.

You have the brakes and signal lighting that now runs through the walls of the trailer. That's a bit of a no-no. Just how you would address that issue is unclear. Probably the only practical way would be some sort of opt-isolators on the feeds. Set up a second 12V system "inside" and more or less abandon the 12V stuff hanging outside the shell of the trailer.

The "typical" example you see of this, the trailer is stationary. That eliminates the need for things like brakes ( or even tires ....). They get stacked next to each other in long rows and just sit there forever and ever.

Bob
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Old 01-25-2022, 01:50 PM   #7
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Hi Bob,

Thanks for your thoughts, but I was thinking about something a bit more practical than creating a Faraday cage around the AS. I was considering an after-market add on, as in the following example by EMP Shield https://www.empshield.com/product/plug-in/. Not sure exactly how it works other than it seems to direct any energy pulse over a certain Kv directly to ground. So any thoughts about this technology? Has anyone out there actually installed an EMP Shield on their AS? I'm guessing probably not.
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Old 01-25-2022, 02:19 PM   #8
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From my past experience working in an EMP shielded facility, I would not consider this device to actually protect against an EMP. It appears to be a surge protector with some heavy marketing speak.

One thing that got my attention was the huge number of 5 star reviews on their site…especially the review from a “person” who stated they hadn’t received it yet…
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Old 01-25-2022, 02:21 PM   #9
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A quick search showed several posts claiming the EmpShield is a scam:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/news/e...0pcddcrqips9i4

and from https://theprepared.com/blog/cars-and-emps/
An EMP is going to come at your vehicle, the electronics, and wiring from all directions and angles and isn’t selective to just conveniently route all energy safely through everything until it gets to the empshield where it will then safely cut off the power.
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Old 01-25-2022, 02:38 PM   #10
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Jeff- I saw the same five-star comment. The others seem to have a false sense of security, how do they know it works? Wait until it doesn't.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 01-25-2022, 02:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by zapper View Post
Jeff- I saw the same five-star comment. The others seem to have a false sense of security, how do they know it works? Wait until it doesn't.

Thanks for the input.
Hi

No that's not going to do you any good. A typical RV EMS would be a better choice. If you truly want EMP protection, you will need to go a *lot* further. Without dotting the i's and crossing the t's, you quickly find that your "solution" does not actually do much for you in a real event.

While getting this and getting that done sounds like a lot, it's really just the start. To be really sure, you ship the trailer off to a test facility and see how it does. Based on that data, you can fix the details that you missed. It then goes back for another test and (hopefully) passes. You need an "open air" ( = radiated) test setup as opposed to a wired ( = conducted) test, that narrows down the number of places you can get a test done.

Why not mention the testing? Based on past experience / charges, it's going to cost more than the rest of the work combined (assuming you do it on a DIY basis).

Bob
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Old 01-25-2022, 04:09 PM   #12
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Based upon Bob's and Jeff's input and further reading, I have concluded, as I have suspected, the "EMP Shield" and other similar bolt on devices do little if anything to mitigate a local EMP event of any kind. Too many randomize cascade storm events to protect against. (Faraday Cage only solution). Learned something.

My closest encounter to anything nuclear was when I was at Lackland AFB during the Cuban Missile crises knowing for certain I wasn't going to see my family for Thanksgiving, but I did.
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Old 01-25-2022, 05:00 PM   #13
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For an actual EMP burst, every wire leading to a sensitive device that is not inside a Faraday cage must be protected. Protecting the AC power input will protect against anything being coupled in on the power line, but the EMP will couple to the converter output, all of the AC wiring, all of the DC wiring, the TV cable, the phone cable, the thermostat to AC cable....you get the idea. Real EMP protection treats every potential "victim" circuit independently, and is, therefore, very expensive. Further, the current surges must be coupled to a solid common ground.

I had a nearby lightning strike at my home. I'm a ham operator. All my antennas were protected where they left the tower and were disconnected from the radio on the inside. The lightning current pulse (I have no idea what was struck) coupled into a cable from the radio to an external speaker and a remote control cable from a computer to the radio. The damage went three component layers deep into the radio on both circuits and stopped right at the main processor and the demodulator. The computer it was connected to was unharmed. No way a protector on the ac power would have stopped this.
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Old 01-25-2022, 05:29 PM   #14
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EMP mitigation design and proof of design efficacy requires test labs and hardware only the US government owns. It’s not just adding one piece of hardware to power lines. True EMP protection is complex, very expensive, and darn hard to design.

IMHO, this is ‘prepper hype’ and designed to separate some folks from their money without being a real solution to a problem that exists only in imagination…a real EMP will wipe out everything electronic in modern society and put us back to cooking over campfires and walking to get anywhere.
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Old 01-26-2022, 07:53 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
EMP mitigation design and proof of design efficacy requires test labs and hardware only the US government owns. It’s not just adding one piece of hardware to power lines. True EMP protection is complex, very expensive, and darn hard to design.

IMHO, this is ‘prepper hype’ and designed to separate some folks from their money without being a real solution to a problem that exists only in imagination…a real EMP will wipe out everything electronic in modern society and put us back to cooking over campfires and walking to get anywhere.
Hi

Well ... ummm .... errrr .... there just might be folks out there who have actually tested a range of devices and seen what happens .... errr. The answer turns out to be that there are always a few random designs that "make it" past the test. Unfortunately there is no simple way to work out what those devices are (or were back in then).

Bob
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