EMP Proofed EmComm Setup


Preparing for a grid down scenario, one that is likely to be from an EMP or CME, begs the question... "If your gear is 'in the open' (being used on a regular basis), what will you use when the EMP/CME fry's that gear?"

While nobody really knows how an EMP/CME over the USA would affect everything, I do not want to find out the hard way that ALL my gear is no longer in working order when I need it the most!

For this reason, I have put back a small QRP setup for HF/VHF with the means to recharge the batteries used in it.



The perfect choice and luckily my first HF rig is the Yeasu FT-817 which is a true all band radio and runs off rechargeable AA batteries.

Paired with a small Goal Zero Nomad 7 solar panel and charging unit, this combo will run indefinitely if used sparingly.

Also put away are two TYT-UF1 HTs that are fed with a AAA battery pack that is also rechargeable from the GoalZero Guide 10 Plus battery charger.


cans can can2

I keep the whole setup you see below in a standard 840rnd 5.56mm can and a thinner 200rnd 30cal ammo can with HVAC aluminum foil tape over the hinge points, and the interior insulated with cardboard. If you don't know why you want to do this... start googling "EMP" and "Faraday Cage", there is a metric ton of information on the subject.

Don't forget to add some extra HVAC tape inside in case you need to button things up again.


The primary antenna is a Chameleon 10M-160M Hybrid-Mini and has both the 66' wire and Mil-Whip sectioned vertical. Both require an antenna tuner which is handled by the venerable ZM-2 ATU.

If all else were to fail, I carry a BNC to wire adapter that will allow for a dipole to be made from any available wire. If you look closely at the homemade 12vdc batts, you will see about 70ft of motor winding wire around each tube. Having a simple tuner-less dipole should not be neglected.



In the "tool bag" there is a USB soldering iron with solder & makeup wire that can be fed off a 2A connection provided for with a combo voltmeter/USB port that I use to monitor voltage on any 12vdc source I might find.

It hooks into multiple sources (car batt, SLABs, my CR123 batts, etc) using the alligator, spade, ring terminals to Powerpole connection jumpers.

A small SAK and multi-connect charging cable complete the kit. I also keep my Te-Ne-Ke and paddle patch cord in this kit in case the mic dies.


solar A small GoalZero Nomad 7 solar panel and charger for AAA & AA batteries. Extra set of batteries for the FT-817 and not shown is another (12) AAA batts for spares to the HT.

batt 9batt<em>volt foam screw inside</em>screw As a backup power I made these PVC tubes that hold (4) CR123 batteries in series for a 12VDC source. These batteries also are used in my flashlight and have a great shelf life. I cut a piece of an old military mat for insulation on the ends when not in use to keep potential shorting from happening in the can.


If you can't afford a used QRP HF rig to put back, then a shortwave radio like the CountyComm GP-5 SSB and a set of HT's or even FRS/GMRS radios with a cheap solar charger will be worth their weight in gold if that's all you have.

Just remember the most important part is feeding the equipment with batteries and having a rechargeable system to do that with.