Testing the Shielding Effectiveness of a Metal Garbage Can

by Dr. Arthur Bradley, author of Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms

Many people are looking for an inexpensive Faraday cage to protect personal electronics from a nuclear-generated EMP. Unfortunately, it requires quite a bit of test equipment to determine shielding effectiveness. On the transmit side, it requires a signal generator, a high-power amplifier, and a broadband antenna. The receive side requires a small, battery-operated spectrum analyzer. I’ve done quite a bit of testing on various makeshift Faraday cages, and this article discusses the effectiveness of a metal garbage can.

fareaday cage trash can

A baseline open air measurement is first taken to determine the ambient field levels at some predetermined frequency (i.e. 500 MHz in this case). The levels at the spectrum analyzer are shown to be at -36 dBm.

When placed inside the garbage can, the measurement is shown to be -46 dBm, meaning that the can offered 10 dB of shielding. Not too great!

fareaday cage trash can

Much of the energy was believed to be coming in through the seam around the lid. It was, therefore, taped with conductive tape and the measurement repeated.

fareaday cage trash can

Next, the spectrum analyzer is placed into a metal garbage can, and the measurement is repeated.

fareaday cage trash can

fareaday cage trash can

The new measurement was shown to be at -77 dBm, meaning that the taped can offered 41 dB of protection. Much better!

fareaday cage trash can

This experiment showed that a metal garbage can can serve as a very good Faraday cage, but only if the seams are taped. Remember, it is not small holes that matter most, but rather long narrow slots, such as those around the lid’s seam. Expensive EMI copper tape and cheap aluminum duct tape both worked equally well, so a quick stop at the hardware store will get you what you need.
To learn more about EMP protection, check out Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms. Also, to find the highest quality EMP bags, see http://disasterpreparer.com.

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Comments

  1. Babycatcher says:

    Cool info! Thanks! We are still deciding which radios to put up. Analog? DMR? Hubby is the one who makes that decision, since he is the expert in that area.

  2. Have you considered using an ammo can? There are various sizes available at MILSURP websites, and easily sealed. I lined one with rubber paint, and placed aluminum foil in the lid’s channel, over the rubber seal. Works pretty good.

    • PatrickM says:

      I keep our emergency radio and two FRS radios in an ammo can. I use the metalized duct tape to seal the seams. I like your foil and rubberized paint ideas.

      I need a large F cage for my gen set, I’ll have to build that. I’m looking at Honda EU gen sets for a backup/alternate, those should fit in a garbage can.

    • Did you sand off the paint on the outer edge of the lid and rim of can to get a metal to metal tape contact which spans the gap? You were able to just place aluminum foil over the gasket?

  3. I just use old microwave ovens. I’m a landscaper not a rocket scientist. I figure if it contains it will also protect

  4. JP in MT says:

    I used his information to build our “EMP Buckets”. We are using the 6 gallon ones with a bail, but the same principle. So far, so good.

    Of course we won’t really know until “it” happens.

  5. In the military, all shielded enclosures were grounded to dissapate the energy. Even the cable EMP shielding was grounded at both ends. Attach a heavy ground wire to the can and attach it to a ground rod.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      JAS,
      Oh, that debate on grounding. The physics says that you don’t really need to ground the enclosure, and improperly grounding it could be worst than not at all. If you have a ground rod right at the can, a very short heavy conductor connecting them, it might not be a bad thing; however, a longer or thinner conductor at some point becomes more of an antenna than a ground to conduct energy to the enclosure, with perhaps unknown results.

  6. Is it sufficient to merely put the stuff inside and seal the seams, or do you need to also line the trash can on the inside with something. A friend told me I need to line it with either cardboard or bubblewrap, and to make sure nothing on the inside touches the sides of the trash can. Is that correct?

    • I used foam rubber to line mine, and that helps to insure that nothing touches the metal.

    • JP in MT says:

      gena:

      You definitely want to insulate the items inside from making contact with the container. I use truck bed lining.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      If the ‘cage’ is grounded mechanically or by contact with mother earth anything inside that is in contact with the cage is part of the ‘grounded’ EMP circuit…..Zzzzzzzzappolla! Isolate with … Dry… non-conducting materials and make every effort to isolate from contact with mother earth even if… you mechanically ground it.

      I have enjoyed thou$and$ of dollar$ of over time replacing robotics, refinery and power house controls that were bolted to mother earth and then grounded ‘X’ number of feet away on a buss or rod. “Mother”.. will .. complete an EMP circuit to the nearest point of contact with her. Operative Word… Contact. If your well protected un-isolated cage/trash can/gang box is in contact with mother via any oily, greasy, wet surface…. she is going to go to ground at that point of contact… not any really close mechanical ground rod/buss.

  7. PatrickM says:

    If you are planning a new building, have the contractor install a UFER ground. All rebar is tied together with a piece left exposed to ground electrical system. Legal, but not in all jurisdictions. Additional rebar stubs left exposed could facilitate multiple grounding points for faradays.

  8. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge. This is an area where I have no expertise.

  9. After much scientific deliberation and experimentation I have come to the undeniable conclusion that the best way to test a metal garbage can is to place the entire Clinton family in there.
    If you don’t hear any noises coming out or rattling banging etc. then it is a suitable garbage can for shtf.
    For if something can survive the Clinton family it can survive anything.
    Unfortunately America will not.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Jim…. with that sort of humor…. you should write an apox-O-liptic book or at the least… let me know where you do your stand up act! That…. was Good!

      • Almost There says:

        That was Hil—-arious!!!! Can I have your autograph when you make it big?

  10. Axelsteve says:

    I was thinking of making a cage to protect the ignition of my truck. I would keep componetsof the electrical system to keep my truck going. Which is not much on a truck that was built in 1975.

    • There was a study I looked up about EMP on vehicles and basically a 1975 vehicle like yours has a 99.9999% chance of not being damaged at all. You have no sensitive electronics in it. It’s the computer systems that get affected.

      • ray jones says:

        i would have many spare ignition modules for that truck since they are trasistoriized and maybe a couple spare alternators to boot …..diodes the regulator its stuff like that that the pulse will take out….

        • Anonamo Also says:

          What about a 1988 toyota standard pickup.? same basic stuff there?

          • Axelsteve says:

            a 88 would have a fuel injection with some kind of computer for that. A electronic fuel pump I forget if it goes into the tank or it is inline..electronic ignition and some other gizmos.

  11. I tested my garbage can Faraday cage using a radio, it lost signal. Then I tried my cell phone, it rang so not sure it will work.

    • Hi Thor 1, I did the same with my cell phone and microwave. The phone rang when I called.it. I did not, however, tape.the seam. That might make a big difference. Or not. Best to experiment on one’s own.

  12. All you need to use is a microwave. They are already designed to prevent microwaves from exiting to the outside and they work to prevent various EMP waves from entering as well. If you had only seconds to prepare, grab all your important electronics and throw it in your microwave and it will be protected.

    • bob johnson says:

      EXCEPT:
      microwaves at tuned for the wavelengths they create. I would still wrap anything using a cardboard-foil-cardboard sandwich before tossing it in.
      and cut the power cord. It will act like an antenna to collect and direct the energy inside

    • Gary anderson says:

      I found A simple faraday cage .I found A good size broken microwave oven .I put my cell phone inside it and made A call. no record of the cell phone receiving A call .no problem .It
      works

  13. Hey MD,

    I use metal popcorn cans for smaller items. Like you said, it’s important to seal the seams. I use aluminum tape.

  14. ray jones says:

    ive all ways thought that you should heavily ground your cage 5-10 8 foot ground rods with soldered or welded copper strps or braid at the base of the cage….all that power needs some place to go so ill send it direct to the earth…..

  15. PrepperDoc says:

    I know people won’t believe me, but it makes no difference whether or not it is grounded. The reason the faraday cage works is not because it is grounded, it is because one of maxwells laws indicates that you cannot have an electric field inside of a conductor, and because of skin effect.

    It would be better if the can were thicker, but it probably works OK.

    The published spectral analysis of likely EMP signals puts most of their energy below 100 MHz, although there is some energy remaining up around 500 MHz where this author tested it. Where you really really need to be protected is below 100 MHz, particularly below 10 MHz. The trashcan is going to do pretty good there.

    The reason that you can sometimes get a cell phone to still ring inside of one of these is because the linear gap is long enough to allow some 1 to 4 GHz cell phone signal to get through, and cell phones have a sensitivity down to about -107 DBM, and you might be in a very strong area already.

    That’s not such a really accurate test for EMP, a 2 m receiver and transmitter right outside might be a better idea.

    • PrepperDoc says:

      Insulating the inside is a good idea. Cardboard boxes would be reasonable.

    • ray jones says:

      guy
      you said 10 mhz and below….you familiar with the length to diameter ratio,,,im just throwing this out but i would guess that the trash can should resonate some where between 12 and fifteen mhz witch would make it absorb the energy just like an antenna that is why i said ground the tar out of it kuz it likly gonna have thousands of volt present during the spike ….i think 4 good ground rods that are just an inch or so away from it…

      • PrepperDoc says:

        What counts is the size of the slit where there is a gap at the edge of the rim, we are not using the garbage can is a cavity that is not a consideration.

        Airplanes are never grounded and yet they’re often hit by lightning or experience extreme electric fields near lightning, and there are electrical equipment almost never quits. I was the pilot once with a lightning strike 50 yards in front of me and none of my electronics was destroyed. The reason my electronics did well because the metal airplane acts like a faraday shield. I assure you the airplane was not grounded!

        • OhioPrepper says:

          PrepperDoc,
          Not grounded? You mean you’re not draggin a ground wire from 10,000 feet? LOL

      • OhioPrepper says:

        Jay,
        As a Faraday shield there will be no energy present inside the enclosure as explained by PrepperDoc. Skin effect and Maxwell’s equations dictate that as basic physics. As a cavity, it would potentially sustain an oscillation; however, that would mean an exciter (e.g., a small transmitter) running inside. A Microwave oven is a cavity; but, it still requires the magnetron to generate the energy used for cooking.
        While we’re on the topic of microwave ovens, one modification one could make to an old oven to make it a better shield, would be to carefully disassemble the door and replace the piece of metal with the holes with a solid piece. Those holes are only necessary to allow light to get out and allow us to see what’s going on inside.

    • ray jones says:

      my call is kd9cqn i biult my first antenna at 6 years old it was for a crystal radio kit that i got for christmas and i biult it my self the first antenna went around the base boards of my room th e second one was good i went up on top of a 2 story house in the dark of night in february in syracuse ny from the roof it went to a tree about a 150 feet away….and it worked good i think i was able to rcv 7-8 radio stations a 100 to 200 miles away……

    • OhioPrepper says:

      PrepperDoc,
      Hopefully you don’t get flamed for your heresy LOL. I’ve been telling folks on this forum for years that grounding is unnecessary, and in some cases could be harmful if the ground is long enough to act more as an antenna than a ground. While I’m not an EMP expert, I am an EE with a lot of physics in my background and have done a fair amount of compliance testing.
      Along with all of my Amateur gear, I also have a commercial spectrum analyzer and a couple of LPDA antennas to do such testing. Based on your comments, I would hope that Dr. Bradley would also chime in here, and perhaps kill that grounding myth once and for all.
      On one of the EMP discussions a few years back, someone justified the ground by stating that they had a commercial faraday cage at work (I suspect for compliance testing) and that when they beamed a high powered RF signal at the cage, the battery powered receiver inside could detect the signal until they grounded the cage. My explanation of the ground being lower impedance than the obvious leak they must have had in the cage fell on deaf ears. We had a similar problem once, and found a small point where the overlapping foil on the cage exterior wasn’t connected properly. Once we found the section, a small piece of silver solder and a heat gun, permanently corrected the problem. It’s good to have another techie onboard that’s taken and remembered some physics.

  16. Does the microwave really work if so that’s all I would need

    • PrepperDoc says:

      Yes microwave works.

    • Short answer is no. See Bob Johnson’s comment above, and then see here (just figure 7 if you’re in a hurry): https://www.cst.com/Content/Articles/article938/CST-Whitepaper_Shielding-Mechanisms-Microwave-Ovens.pdf

      Microwave ovens do not make effective faraday cages at frequencies much above or below 2.4GHz which is the frequency they’re designed to operate at. The majority of the (E1) EM radiation from a nuclear EMP will most likely be below 1GHz.

      • OhioPrepper says:

        Hector,
        I read the pdf file and found it interesting; but, it has nothing to do with the subject. The document, which BTW is a sales brochure for a product the company wants to sell you, discusses radiation leakage from the microwave cavity when the cavity is energized with perhaps 1000 or more watts of power.
        As a continuously shielded box, the 2.4 GHz has nothing to do with the effectiveness as a shielded container, as discussed earlier by both PrepperDoc and I. Cut off the cord, and is should provide relatively good shielding. For those who would like an additional layer of safety and are handy, you can disassemble the door and replace the metal sheet containing the holes with a solid sheet. Taking some copper mesh and placing layers around the door seal would potentially tighten things up a bit more.

        • If you believe the white paper is just sales/marketing hype for a particular product they sell you could use the microwave oven wiki at wikipedia as a starting point for further research: “Even though there is no continuous metal-to-metal contact around the rim of the door, choke connections on the door edges act like metal-to-metal contact, at the frequency of the microwaves, to prevent leakage.”. Or, just examine any modern microwave oven door and note there is no metal gaskets to form a seal, but the door itself is always over 1″ thick – then do the math on how long a quarter wave (for the choke ditch) of 2.45GHz is and ask if there might be some relationship there.

          But then you begin discussing how to modify the door seal to make it more effective at shielding other frequencies, so I guess we’re on the same page after all that the door seal on a microwave oven isn’t very effective at shielding (non-harmonic) frequencies outside a narrow band at about 2.45GHz. Not to say it wouldn’t provide any shielding, but you should expect something similar to Dr Bradley’s results before and after he sealed the gap on the trashcan lid, or roughly 90% attenuation at 10dB (“Not too great!”) to 99.99% attenuation at 41dB (“Much better!”).

          • OhioPrepper says:

            Hector,
            I’m not sure what you mean when you state; “90% attenuation at 10dB since 10 dB is already a factor of 10”; but in any case I think we’re on the same track. A stock microwave oven with the cord removed would offer better shielding than sitting on the counter ir in a desk drawer, so it’s a good cheap starting place; but, as a starting point there are things that can be done to improve it and I mentioned some of them.

            • The percentages were just a different way of representing the attenuation of the EMP power received by items inside the cage relative to those outside the cage. A cage that provides 3dB of attenuation results in a 50% reduction in power inside the cage, 10dB=90%, 40dB=99.99% reduction in power.

              So when Speed asks “does the microwave (oven) really work” it’s really a relative question until you define “work”. One person can say “yes it works” because a microwave will provide some amount of attenuation at all frequencies. I say “no” because the microwave oven door seal doesn’t provide much attenuation to frequencies outside a narrow range around 2.45GHz, at other frequencies the door seal is no better than a refrigerator or filing cabinet door seal. Ultimately the question of “does it work?” requires knowing what the strength of the EMP is at your location and the failure threshold of the specific electronic item you’re trying to protect, if we knew that we’d know how many dBs of shielding were needed. Since we can’t know that, if we just assume 41dB (from the article) is required to “work”, then a microwave oven alone won’t.

              • OhioPrepper says:

                Hector,
                OK on the percentages. I work in dB all of the time and generally never think of the percentages, since it’s normally a relative calculation in dBm, dBW, dBd, dBi, etc. for calculating total system loss or gain; but your numbers in percent are spot on and perhaps more understandable to the pack.
                Rather than argue over this and attempt math that might confuse the pack, I decided to do some empirical testing, with some signal sources and my microwave oven. Actually, this is something I should have done long ago; but, since I’m not planning on the oven for my Faraday cage, it just never occurred to me to try.
                I can generate fairly high powered signals from 150 KHz to 30 MHz and I have a good commercial quality spectrum analyzer; however, the analyzer is too large to fit in the oven, so I made do with other equipment.
                Placing my cell phone which operates either on the 800 or 1800 MHz band in the oven, the phone was unable to receive a call or texts. When I opened the oven door and removed the phone, the phone established contact and I received the queued text.
                I next place my Yaesu VX150 handy talking in the oven set on a frequency of 146.520 MHz (the VHF calling frequency). Using another HT as a near field source at 1 watt (30 dBm) and 5 watts (approx 36 dBm) the receiver on the radio in the oven worked fine, and thus the oven offered no effective shielding at the VHF frequency I was using.
                Finally I placed an AM radio tuned to a local strong signal station into the oven, and OOOPS, I could still hear the station clearly.
                I don’t have a broken oven available to make and test my modifications, and I suspect the DW would not appreciate breaking the one we, use, so that test will need to wait for another day.
                SO, Hector – I humbly stand corrected.
                Basically, the microwave oven might be better than just sitting on the counter; but, would not be as good as a trash can that is properly sealed.

                • Real world testing (!), and thanks for the update. I had similar results in the FM broadcast (87-108MHz) and 2m bands.

                  Just as an aside, DOD manual MIL-STD-188-125-1 (HIGH-ALTITUDE ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSE (HEMP) PROTECTION
                  FOR GROUND-BASED C4I FACILITIES PERFORMING CRITICAL,TIME-URGENT MISSIONS). 80dB seems to be the
                  minimum for PoE (points of entry) into HEMP hardened structures, between 10MHz and 1GHz anyway.

                  • OhioPrepper says:

                    Hector,
                    “DOD manual MIL-STD-188-125-1 (HIGH-ALTITUDE ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSE (HEMP) “
                    Entered into Google took me right to a pdf of the document. Good to know and good to have on hand. Thanks for the reference which I will be reading in my spare time.

  17. Would it still work if it is plugged in?

    • OhioPrepper says:

      PWB,
      It would most likely still work; but, storing any sensitive electronics in an oven that has power seems to me a rather risky thing to do. Your best bet is to find an old one that someone is discarding, cut off the power cord, and keep it for that use only. While an EMP may not even damage something like an FRS radio laying in a desk drawer, powering up an oven with the radio inside would most likely do some irreversible damage.

  18. Good ideas and some good points mentioned. EMP is highly over rated though. The government did extensive tests and found that if cars were not running an EMP burst usually didn’t have much effect. There is a lot of public info available. Russia did a lot of testing as well and now it is public.

    However anything with a long conductor, like power lines, antennas ect would certainly be effected or destroyed.

  19. PrepperDoc says:

    Yes, it will still shield your stuff even if it is plugged in, but it might also cook your stuff if the button is pushed!

    • And of course, no one on the planet would be a jerk enough to start your microwave, cooking all of your sensitive electronics, watching them arc and spit. Except my sister, she’d do that. Just for fun.

  20. PrepperDoc says:

    Some suggestions for things to put in your garbage can.

    1. Spare voltage regulator for your generator.
    2. Several digital voltmeter’s from Harbor freight six dollars each.
    3. CB radio marine radio, ham radio, scanner radio, FRS radio. Power supplies for the above.
    4. Swr meter (eBay)
    5. Spare older laptop with power supply.
    6. Charge controller and inverter for solar panel system.
    ( keep some solar panels inside aluminum foil shielding. )
    7. A.m. FM radio. Audio amplifier system or stereo or similar.
    8. Night vision goggles.
    9. Infrared flood light system.
    10. Automotive alternator.
    11. Automotive car battery charger.

    • Almost There says:

      PD,
      So why the night vision goggles? Do they have some circuitry that would get hosed?

      • OhioPrepper says:

        On the NVG’s it would depend on the generation. Older generation would used some simple electronics to generate high voltages for the image intensifier vacuum tube. This electronics is pretty tough; but, could be damaged. Newer generation NVG technology is similar to the digital cameras and your cell phone cameras. They are very sensitive and use electronics and in some cases even software to enhance the image, so in this case I would definitely say yes. Keep in mind also, that many of these items require batteries, so that must be taken into account.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      PrepperDoc,
      You can probably roll most of your #3 into one of the inexpensive Baofeng (Pofung) HT’s. They cover Amateur Public Service (for scanner) along with GMRS, MURS, and FRS, and while they cannot legally be used in services like FRS, after the balloon goes up, I suspect no one will know or care how they are used. Your list is otherwise pretty comprehensive as I would expect.

  21. Deeters says:

    I’ve always wondered about the possibility of turning a large Jobox into a Faraday cage.
    http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200458652_200458652
    Something like this would be big enough to hold decent sized generator as well as batteries, radios, electric tools, etc… Any ideas on how well this would shield? The metal is considerably thicker than a trash can, so I would think if I spray some truck bed liner in there and seal the lid with conductive tape, I would be good to go. Thoughts?

    • OhioPrepper says:

      Deeters,
      That’s a bit pricy for my taste; but, I suspect it should work OK. The thickness of the metal isn’t as important as making sure there are no holes in the container. The primary concern would be slits along the seams (I assume something this large has some welds) and anything around the lid. You would need to make sure there was a good metal to metal connection where the lid seats, and although I’ve not seem one of these, I suspect it might have some rubber or other gasket material that might have to be replaced with some copper or aluminum mesh.
      As with any faraday enclosure, we do the best we can and then cross our fingers. I’ve worked with some large commercial versions for doing FCC compliance testing, and these could only be guaranteed at the frequency ranges and power levels we needed. Even they might not withstand and EMP; but, then again, hopefully we never really need to know.

      • Deeters says:

        Thanks for the input! I can appreciate that these are pricey. But, they are about the only thing large enough to hold my generator and some power tools. I was also looking at the fact that it can be locked and even bolted down to the concrete, if desired. So, it would, hopefully, provide EMP protection, as well as some protection from two legged critters in the meantime…

        Thanks!

  22. We could totally use this to shield ourselves from danger when we blow stuff up for youtube!!!

  23. Was wanting to ask: I have some 20 and 31 gallon metal trash cans. I had bought a small 1000 watt generator as a last resort to keep very basic things going in case of the grid being taken down. I am fairly certain it will fit into the 31 gallon trash can, inside its box. Would the cardboard box it came in, with the inside protective packaging be enough to protect it inside the trash can without putting extra padding inside the trash can? I’m also buying an extra 5000 BTU window AC unit for the same purpose and was wanting to poke it inside a trash can with the packaging if I am able to fit it in. Wondering if that packaging will be sufficient protection. Nothing but the cardboard packaging would be touching the metal can.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      gena,
      First of all, the packaging for the devices in their original box is not what provides the protection. The continuous metal enclosure (i.e., the trashcan) when properly sealed performs that function. Per the video, make sure you have used metal tape to seal all of the holes that might allow energy into the can, starting of cource with the area around the lid. This is a case of where you really can’t use too much, metal tape. Anything that appears to you to be a crack in the continuous outside of the enclosure should be taped.
      All of this being said, without serious test equipment meant to give things a thorough test, these are all best attempts with no real guarantee of the out come. Even placing a bit of electronics in a metal desk drawer or the drawer of a filing cabinet provides more protection than sitting out on the counter; but, the only real test of efficiency of shielding would be after an EMP and checking if things are still working, and all protection is relative.
      Good luck.

      • Almost There says:

        No expert by far on this subject, but some of those boxes with a/c in them have metal staples holding the box together. I know I wouldn’t want to take a chance on one of those staples touching the inside of the can. For me, having an inside layer would be best so I don’t have to worry about anything touching the sides. Just a thought.

        • OhioPrepper says:

          Almost There,
          I think that this is one of those things that people fret about too much. Chances are, that inside the A/C box on a new unit, the unit itself will be further cushioned with layers made from cardboard, Styrofoam, etc. to protect the unit during shipping. Perhaps you can open the box enough to determine how items are packaged. Or you can look over package and cover any staples you see externally with a few layers of duct tape, the cloth kind, not the metal kind we’ll be using to seal the cans.
          Some other points of note:
          You’re 1000 watt generator may not be able to operate your A/C unit. This is something that you should try before packing them both up. The inrush (starting) current of the A/C unit may well exceed the approximately 8 amperes that the genset can deliver; however, most gensets are rated at two values, nominal and peak. Check the genset and see if it’s rated perhaps as 1000 / 1500 or 1000 / 1200, in which case you may have the cushion needed for the inrush current.
          And on gensets, the less expensive ones may already be essentially immune from EMP assault. The cheap old Briggs and Stratton used on many lawn mowers, contains no susceptible components, since they use a carburetor for fuel mix and dispersal and a magneto to generate the spark. Nothing there that can really get damaged.

          • I had checked before purchasing this particular generator to make sure it would be able to handle both the running wattage and the initial wattage. And also checked to make sure it could handle my small, 700 watt microwave. Not at the same time, of course. And I checked before buying the small AC unit to make sure it would not use more power than the generator provides. I had asked questions on the web site, and had been told not to buy over 5000 BTU AC unit and to check for both initial power requirements as well as actual running power use. I like the question and answer sections on both Wallie World and Amazon.com, where you can ask people with real knowledge about things you don’t understand and most often (not always) you get good information back. Plus I try to read the reviews, especially the worst reviews to see what problems I might anticipate if I buy that product. I usually disregard those that are obviously just lemon product reviews unless there are many of them which indicates product might be unreliable.

            • OhioPrepper says:

              Linda,
              Great!!! I love it when folks do the research up front. It saves a lot of problems down the line. I’ve done both reviews and answered product questions on Amazon, and when I see the sender as Amazon Answers” I’m happy to help out as best I can; although sometimes the questions are unanswerable, at which point I simply click the I don’t know button and explain why.

  24. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist in physics in order to make a DIY faraday cage project with your family or friends. You just need to understand a few basic principles and apply them correctly. Now, it’s time to actually learn how to construct a faraday cage using materials you already have in our home. Start by wrapping everything you want to put in the cage in a heavy duty aluminum foil. You can add a piece of clothing before putting on the foil if the object you’re wrapping has sharp corners. This way you prevent any holes in the foil. Make sure you put 3 layers of aluminum on each item; this is the ideal thickness.

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