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Solar Flares and Cars


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The set-up: We've all read about the big Carrington solar flare / geomagnetic storm of 1859 that cooked the telegraph system. In 1989 a similar event took down the power grid in western Canada for three days. NASA and other science agencies are all saying the sun is getting ready to burp up another blast that could be bigger than these two events. If that happens, the grid could be down for weeks or months.

 

The question: Since electronic devices are susceptible to damage from EMP like a big solar event could cause, would cars still run? Would the onboard computer get smoked, or would the sheet metal body act like a Faraday cage and shunt the pulse?

 

Opinions from mechanics or engineers?

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That's a tough one....all depends upon the strength of the wave hitting the device. Given that most cars have smaller amounts of metal in them these days I wouldn't count of the vehicle body acting as a shield of some type. As far as a Faraday cage and shunting the wave that isn't going to happen. Just like a lighting strike on the power lines a large magnitude impulse wave is going to be traveling not only along the lines but also along the grounds...be it the ground (neutral) on the power line or along the ground itself If there is a large impulse wave of sufficient magnitude it will travel all along the DC paths in the car....positive and negative leads which would negate any type of isolated Faraday cage that might be possible.

 

Just one engineer's opinion...YMMV.

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Guest Tennessee Stud, SASS# 43634 Life

There's an entire novel based on a fictional EMP attack... One Second After.

 

There's some implausible events that occur in the novel... but it is thought provoking. (I read alot when huntin'... 'cause after a while of campfire tales... cookin'... gatherin' wood... and messin' with the horses... a man wants to do more enjoyable stuff to pass time.)

 

Had a friend read the book... and it scared him... sorta like a "zombie apocalypse". For some reason... I know I can get along without a lot of gadgetry... and just found the fiction to be an interesting read. Heck... at our house... we ride horses... and go for weeks at a time without TV, radio, cell phone, or computer access...

 

But for some folks... it could be a real challenge.

 

ts

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would that affect a coil on an old car before computers ??

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Guest Tennessee Stud, SASS# 43634 Life

would that affect a coil on an old car before computers ??

 

 

Hey... Scroer...

 

Don't think them old coils got no problems... just electronics stuff. Just thinkin' back to an old Tom Cruise movie... War of the Worlds... that I saw one time.

 

ts

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Hey... Scroer...

 

Don't think them old coils got no problems... just electronics stuff. Just thinkin' back to an old Tom Cruise movie... War of the Worlds... that I saw one time.

 

ts

 

well then TS that would work for me if that solar flare thing happened because I have an old truck in the garage that still has a coil in it, so i could still go crusin while everybody else would have to walk lol

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well then TS that would work for me if that solar flare thing happened because I have an old truck in the garage that still has a coil in it, so i could still go crusin while everybody else would have to walk lol

 

 

It's not just a coil issue. Even today's cars have igbition coils. It's necessary to step up the voltage from 13.2 volts to the thousands of volts required to jump an air gap under pressure of compression.

 

The real part that will be compromised is the ECM (Electronic Control Module) or even the early Electronic Ignition systems that eliminate the need for points and condenser.

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well then TS that would work for me if that solar flare thing happened because I have an old truck in the garage that still has a coil in it, so i could still go crusin while everybody else would have to walk lol

 

Yep. Walking or taking pot shots at you trying to take the truck...

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It's not just a coil issue. Even today's cars have igbition coils. It's necessary to step up the voltage from 13.2 volts to the thousands of volts required to jump an air gap under pressure of compression.

 

The real part that will be compromised is the ECM (Electronic Control Module) or even the early Electronic Ignition systems that eliminate the need for points and condenser.

 

 

Thanks for that bit of info Serg. but this old truck of mine still has points :D

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Yep. Walking or taking pot shots at you trying to take the truck...

ah heck Matthew I would give you a ride

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After thinking on this a spell ,

 

An EMP , would take out the stuff that was powered up , BUT , if an electronic devise does not have power to it will it get toasted ? IE , a car sitting with the Batt disconnected ?

 

I am pretty sure a point system will survive , Eather way , I just do not know about electronic systems , if hooked up or running it is toast , if unhooked i don't know .

 

CB :unsure:

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A truck without electronics will run, just not very long. The service station gas pumps all have computers now and the power grid will be down.

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A truck without electronics will run, just not very long. The service station gas pumps all have computers now and the power grid will be down.

 

Can you say "siphon hose"?

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A truck without electronics will run, just not very long. The service station gas pumps all have computers now and the power grid will be down.

 

 

Can you say "siphon hose"?

 

 

That's gonna be one heck of a long hose and I know that I aint got the sucking power to pull that gas up from 10 feet below ground. (Although in my youth, I did know a few gals that could..... SLAP!)

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Can you say "siphon hose"?

Or farm gravity feed tanks.

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That's gonna be one heck of a long hose and I know that I aint got the sucking power to pull that gas up from 10 feet below ground. (Although in my youth, I did know a few gals that could..... SLAP!)

Is she the one that could suck a golf ball through a garden hose?

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I read the book about the EMP blast and the aftermath. EMP is a very viable weapon. We considered doing to Irac. It kills all electronics and throws the region into turmoil. Good book about the resulting Chaos.

The solar flare or an EMP has the ability to wipe out everything electronic. The book was based on fact and fiction. The old cars worked because of not having electronics.An atomic bomb destroys everything. An EMP blast will leave all infrastructure in place. The enemy just has to sit back and wait for the civilians to wage war against each other for food, gas, water, etc. The EMP is caused by exploding a nuclear device about 5 miles up in the atmosphere.

 

Our military hardware is supposed to be hardened for EMP. The big problem is everything we depend on has electronics involved. No ATM, no gas, no credit cards. Power, natural gas etc. is all controlled by electronics!!!

And no steel does not protect against an EMP/Solar flare. A faraday cage or wrapping everything in copper or lead.

 

Fun to consider along with astroids, a new ice age, etc.

Ike

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That's gonna be one heck of a long hose and I know that I aint got the sucking power to pull that gas up from 10 feet below ground. (Although in my youth, I did know a few gals that could..... SLAP!)

 

Suck hell Serg, I have this think called a manual hand pump that my step Dad and I have used around the farm for years, works real good, and no I am not going to tell you how many times I have used it to siphon gas :lol:

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Is she the one that could suck a golf ball through a garden hose?

 

 

It was a bowling ball......

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Apparently you don't even need a nuke to create an EMP ... http://science.howstuffworks.com/e-bomb3.htm ... just a big coil winding, an iron slug, some explosives, and an initial power source. Looks like you could build one inside a semi trailer.

 

And for the small-scale experimenter ... http://www.gizmowatch.com/entry/howto-create-an-emp-bomb-of-your-own/

 

And here's a map showing who would be affected by an airburst ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:EMP_areas.JPG

 

We could get knocked back into the 1800's. Whoever did it wouldn't have to invade. They'd just watch as everything came unraveled and laugh.

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Apparently you don't even need a nuke to create an EMP ... http://science.howstuffworks.com/e-bomb3.htm ... just a big coil winding, an iron slug, some explosives, and an initial power source. Looks like you could build one inside a semi trailer.

 

And for the small-scale experimenter ... http://www.gizmowatch.com/entry/howto-create-an-emp-bomb-of-your-own/

 

And here's a map showing who would be affected by an airburst ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:EMP_areas.JPG

 

We could get knocked back into the 1800's. Whoever did it wouldn't have to invade. They'd just watch as everything came unraveled and laugh.

ya and the down side to that would be ?
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