Make a Faraday Cage

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How to Make a Faraday Cage

Who needs a faraday cage? In today’s technology-driven world, we are all surrounded by true wireless devices promising everything from convenience to improved quality of life. From smartphones to garage door openers, TV controllers to baby monitors, keyless entry systems to WIFI enabled thermostats…the list is endless. Unfortunately, this giant leap in technology has also opened the door for new opportunities to be exploited. Specifically, wireless signals, devices, and networks across the market have been shown to be prone to interference. Unprotected signals can be susceptible to attack like car hijacking, jamming, and even service disruption due to malicious gain of control. Without protection, smart devices, like your phone or cell phones, radios and home automation systems can be hacked and can be used against you or your family. In short, wireless signals are continuously at risk. Thus, began the necessity for the Faraday Cage.

 

What is are Faraday Cages?

Faraday Cages were born with the idea that there should be a way to isolate the transmissions from the outside world and provide the safest atmosphere for devices. Named after the English physicist Michael Faraday, it is really an enclosure that has a complete metal covering on all six sides and is grounded on one or more of its ends. The radio waves and the signals around us are made up of electromagnetic energy (EM waves) and have a particular pattern. The Faraday cage produces powerful electromagnetic fields that interfere with the EM wave with the same frequency component, thus neutralizing the waves’ effect inside it. However, the material has no restriction as to what it actually protects from getting in the way of EM waves. Anything that is not meant to be shielded must be put outside the cage, or it will get affected.  As an example, you will not receive a call on your phone while in the faraday cages.

Now that we have established a basic understanding of the concepts involved in electromagnetic interference and what these Faraday cages are for, it’s time to learn how to make one. Here are three crucial steps to effectively harness the power of metal cages to your advantage:

Step 1. Find a Conductive Container

To make Faraday cages, you will require some metal containers at least large enough for your device. It may be either a camping food box or old metal boxes or metal garbage cans or other such material. You may also use an aluminum beverage can or a large metal or aluminum cookie tin can. The size of the container depends upon the size of the device you intend to protect. As a precaution, use or buy one that is significantly bigger to avoid damage to the device. If you have large electronic devices to protect, you can utilize heavy-duty aluminum foil and create layers of foil around your device and a layer of protection.

Step 2. Layer Plastic Wrap Inside

Roll out some layers of plastic wrap and cover the metallic container with it completely. Plastic covering serves two purposes. Firstly, it prevents the electronic device from coming in contact with the metallic surface and minimizes damages caused by scratches, and secondly, it also prevents the EM waves from spreading inside the container. While covering the container, remember to remove all the holes and gaps. No gaps should be present between the container and the plastic wrap. To make your faraday cages more effective, you can put some layers of foil before you roll out the plastic covering. Aluminum foil is a metallic material that you can use to create a better layer of electromagnetic shielding.

Step 3. Place Your Device

Now you can place your electronic device into the metallic container. The device can be a small transmitter or a WiFi router. Other things that you can secure in faraday cages are laptops, gaming consoles, your remote car door opener, and so on. But there is one precaution that you must follow. Once you have placed your devices, you must ensure that the covering is completely sealed by making sure there is no space between the metallic chamber and the lid. If there is even a fraction of an inch, there will be some electromagnetic wave leakage which would defeat the objective of the faraday cage. Take time to create an airtight seal.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a few reasons why a Faraday cage can be extremely useful for the end-user. Furthermore, the process of setting up a homemade Faraday cage is extremely simple and easy for anyone to follow. The entire setup process doesn’t take more than 30 minutes. So, take the simple steps and give your gadgets the protection they deserve with faraday shields.

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