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K4YRK
Radio and TV after an EMP attack
Date: May 25, 2009 5:55:15 AM PDT
Author: K4YRK

After an EMP attack as described in "One Second After" it is very likely that all TV and commercial radio statiions will be off the air due to the burn-out effects of the EMP.
The power grid failure will also act to keep most off the air. Only some stations have generator backups and they would have to be hardened to survive also. How soon they could return to the air would vary greatly.
I am an amateur radio operator and also a broadcast radio engineer. Ham radio operators play an important role in emergency communications and many have emergency power backup. The biggest problem will be protecting their ham radio's from the EMP attack.
I have posted an article about this topic, on a national ham radio Website, www.eham.com
As you can see, the article caused lot's of interest and many replies, both supportive and not.
I do believe that soon after such an attack, many hams would be on the air to relay emergency communications and also some commercial radio and TV stations may be back on with reduced power. The novel predicts almost total lack of communications which really makes the situation much worst.
It is very important that the broadcast service and emergency radio system be hardened for such an attack, and return to the air to provide communications as soon as possible. Also every citizen should have a small am/fm/shortwave radio put back and protected with a metal cage or cover to be able to receive such broadcast after the attack.
 

 

cfesperman
EMP and Radios
Date: May 31, 2009 12:32:19 AM PDT
Author: cfesperman

I concur. I'm a 911 dispatcher and also a Communications Officer in the Coast Guard Auxiliary. I've been a ham for over 25 years. Governments as well as amateur radio operators should prepare for such a catastrophe. We must be ready to act and have equipment that will work in the aftermath in order to bring order and structure back to our communities as soon as possible.
 

 

Houstonems
EMP & Radios
Date: Jun 2, 2009 10:28:43 PM PDT
Author: Houstonems

As all Ham Operators know, Y'all are an integral part of Emergency Operations, and I'm sure that RACES, MARS, etc would play a pivotal role, if an EMP attack ever occured. BUT many of you now use solid state equipment instead of the old tube stuff. ANYTHING connected to long collectors (Antennas or Electrical Systems) at the time of the event COULD be fried.

Since their inception NOAA Weather Radio Stations have been built from the ground up with EMP Hardening. This is a key component of the Federal Government's Continuity of Government Plans. So this is another reason to have multiple radios that pick up their signals.

Also, MANY State, (and DEFINITELY FEDERAL) EOC's (emergency operations centers) have an ability to transmit to, and through previously designated AM Radio Stations. Learn which stations are designated for this purpose in your area. This info is available from the FCC, FEMA, or your State Emergency Management/Civil Defense Office.

Finally, I was recently at the National Hurricane Conference in Austin, and this subject came up regarding DIGITAL TV. And guess what? FORGET TV. Once everyone goes to digital, the analog stuff will be dismantled very, very, quickly for salvage, and sold overseas. The digital equipment is supposedly very sensitive to the effects of EMP. Plus there is currently only 1 manufacturer of Battery Powered Digital TV's and their battery pack is internal, and only good for 2 hours.

 

 

jerrye
EMP & Radios
Date: Jun 3, 2009 2:00:39 AM PDT
Author: jerrye

I am sure that a few radio amateurs would be very valuable for post-EMP communications. For a typical cross-section of the attitudes of ham operators toward EMP, though, see the comments at the www.eham.net site to K4YRK's excellent article about EMP on the eham.net site, as mentioned in the post that started this thread.

I have severe doubts about the EMP survivability of all but a very few broadcast stations in the United States. I worked as the transmitter supervisor for the Local Primary EAS station in my area for 29 years. The only time that I heard EMP discussed at the station (or at any broadcast station) is when I brought up the subject with another engineer.

This Local Primary EAS station in my city has AM, FM and TV facilities. Since I had some budgetary control when I worked there, the FM and analog television transmitters were secretly EMP-hardened for a few years. All but two of the engineers, myself included, have since been laid off. I still work for them as a consultant, so I know that under the current conditions, the AM, FM and TV would all be completely fried after an EMP attack.

Most broadcast stations don't even have lightning protection that is anything close to being adequate. Most just accept the fact that lightning knocks out equipment as a cost of doing business, rather than taking the less expensive route of installing adequate protection. As I write this, the local CBS affiliate's digital television transmitter has been off the air now for the more than 36 hours due to a lightning strike. The extreme vulnerability of their transmitter to lightning was pointed out to them long ago.

For most broadcast stations, unless they have a renegade engineer on the staff installing protection without any authorization, they don't have anything close to adequate lightning protection, and have no hope at all of surviving an EMP event.




 

 

RedDog
EMP's & Radio
Date: Jun 3, 2009 12:02:21 PM PDT
Author: RedDog

Even if your equipment survived and few people had their small radio's in a protected cage, where is the power coming from to broadcast and receive? It is possible that even batteries would not surive an EMP blast, but if they did, how long would they last? How long could you Ham guys broadcast?
 

 

Houstonems
EMP & Radio
Date: Jun 3, 2009 6:50:14 PM PDT
Author: Houstonems

One of the things to remember when talking about EMP is Wave Propogation. EMP is a Electro Magnetic form of Energy. The further away from the source, the weaker it becomes. This is why devices connected to energy collectors such as power lines or antennas are more succeptible.

Some of the more "HARDCORE" Ham operators I've seen, have double and triple rendundancy for power supplies, everything from solar, micro-hydro, and wind. While not a ham myself, I have faith that with THEM, where's there's a will, there's a way.
 

 

RallyPoint
Will EMP cook my HAM?
Date: Nov 27, 2009 9:10:17 PM PST
Author: RallyPoint

If my Ham Radio is not hooked up at the time EMP strikes, say it is in a box in the closet, will it still be affected by the EMP?
 

 
 
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