Covered Topics

Please see the list of the topics I've covered. It's located near the bottom of the page. Thanks for stopping in!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Book review: Radio Receiver Projects You Can Build

This is one book I heartily recommend for anyone interested in amateur (ham) radio, shortwave listening, or general electronics. I have owned this book for nearly 10 years and have actually built my own variations of a couple of the projects shown. This book covers crystal radios, tube type regenerative receivers, transistorized radios, solar powered radios, and more. This book contains good, solid, practical construction advice and tips for both newbies as well as more seasoned radio hobbyists.

For years I have wanted to try my hand at building an old-fashioned one or two tube set like old radio hobby magazines used to describe. This book contains those. If you want to build a solar-powered transistorized radio, the information is there.

Whether you are a father wanting a nice father-son (or daughter) project, or you are an aspiring ham radio operator, or a prepper wanting a simple EMP-proof tube radio that you can build and repair yourself, this book is for you. I bought mine at a brick-and-mortar store almost 10 years ago; they are available online at Amazon.

Monday, January 13, 2014

A Definitive Video on Building and Testing Faraday Cages

Anyone familiar with EMP (electromagnetic pulse) has no doubt heard about using a Faraday Cage to contain and protect electronic gear. And anyone who has done this sort of research online can attest to all the different opinions on how to do this and how effective each variety is.

For anyone who is not familiar, a faraday cage is simply a conductive metal enclosure in which you place items to be protected from EMP. This enclosure must NOT have large holes or cracks if it is to be effective. The metal simply conducts the energy AROUND the items, rather than allowing the RF energy to go inside and damage or destroy the items you have stored. The more conductive the metal, the more effective the enclosure in keeping out RF energy; thus Faraday shields for laboratory use are often made of copper sheeting or screen.

What an EMP IS: An EMP is an electromagnetic pulse. It has been loosly described as an "RF tsunami"; it is simply a very powerful radio frequency (RF) wave that, like any other radio wave, can be picked up by wiring and other metal objects which act like an antenna and thus conducted into electrical circuitry. These radio waves may be generated by natural events such as a solar Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), or they may be man-made via a high altitude nuclear blast or other weapon specifically designed to produce an EMP.

What an EMP is NOT: An EMP is NOT a "lightening bolt". Why people continue to say it is a lightening bolt, I don't know. That said, a person MIGHT be shocked or electrocuted if he was touching a large enough metal object when the EMP struck. ANY radio wave induces an electrical current in a wire or other conductive objects; this is where the destructive potential comes from. Because of the strength of the electromagnetic field created in the EMP, the currents generated in conductive materials are also large, and that is why electronic equipment is damaged by EMP.

While EMP may well damage or destroy cardiac pacemakers or insulin pumps, most people would NOT be biologically affected by an EMP. People would only figure out there had been an EMP when they discovered that most electronics had simply stopped working.

While looking at some other related youtube videos, I found one that appears to have been created by someone with some actual knowledge of electrical engineering. In this fairly short video, he shows various construction methods for shielding equipment, performs various tests and explains the results that he and others obtain when doing such tests - especially the test using 2-way radios.

Without further adieu, here is the link:

I thought he did an exceptional job of clearing up some of the myths and misunderstandings about this important topic.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Superb Article About EMP

Today while on twitter, I found one of the best articles I've seen written about EMP. Readers of my blog will remember my recent book review of "One Second After", which deals with a fictional EMP related disaster scenario.

Here is the link to the EMP article:

Follow mw on Twitter @Karl_2014 .

"Where There Is No Doctor", and Other Must-Have Medical Information

Concerned people have, for many years, referred to the book "Where There Is No Doctor", published by Hesperian. This book is, and has for a couple decades that I am aware of, been widely sold in paperback form at gun shows. For those of us who cannot currently afford a Patriot Nurse seminar (see my previous blog post at, this is a very good place to start.

For those of us who are cash-strapped and trying to live within meager resources, the following page is a godsend. Go here to get "Where There Is No doctor" and several other valuable guides, also published by Hesperian:

Please do NOT violate the terms of their copyright; download it and use it for your own educational needs.

Hesperian got their start in the early 1970s in ther efforts to help the people of Ajoya, Mexico. Their first edition of the "Where There Is No Doctor" book, written in Spanish, was released in 1973. Since then they have widened out their efforts to empower people worldwide to improve their health and living conditions.

Stay safe and good health to all my readership!

Must-Have Emergency Medical Information

Many of us have taken one or more first aid classes either through our workplace, military service, being in a state CERT program, or as a nurse's aide. As a CERT team volunteer, and a part-time nurse's aide, I have been through a couple formal first aid training programs. All of these traditional first aid programs have one fatal flaw: They assume paramedics or other trained medical help is soon forthcoming - and thus focus merely on keeping someone alive and "together" for at most a few hours until that help arrives. But what if that help isn't coming anytime soon, of at all? What then?

This situation is addressed by a Registered Nurse, who goes by an online identity of "The Patriot Nurse". The Patriot Nurse has a youtube channel as well as a regular website This lady has travelled all over the world and has worked in very primitive conditions where hospitals and other modern, high-tech medical support like we are used to in America simply don't exist. THAT is the kind of experience you need from your instructor to prepare for a scenario such as described in "One Second After" or any other widespread disaster where medical help may be a long time coming, if at all. (Please see my book review at

The Patriot Nurse offers 1 and 2 day educational seminars which attempt to address this type of situation. The class schedule is available on her website; just follow the link above. Meanwhile, be sure to watch some of her OLDER videos in youtube that show common sense preparations ANYONE can make - even on a limited budget. Unfortunately, her newer videos tend to wax on way too much about politics and do not provide the hard core information the older ones do. While that makes for interesting discussion material with family, friends or neighbors, it's TOTALLY irrelevent to the task at hand, which is to become more prepared for any sort of civil crisis scenario.

That said, she has much of value to offer any concerned citizen.


I am NOT in any way affiliated with "The Patriot Nurse", financially or otherwise. I do NOT get any sort of compensation, "spiff" or kickbacks from advertizing her website or products. I'm doing this to make people aware of the shortcomings of traditional first aid and even many so-called "wilderness medicine" classes and to point out an alternative that I have become aware of. As a CERT team volunteer and a nurse's aide, I am painfully aware of this particular gap in my training, and as soon as I have the money and time I plan on availaing myself of this potentially life-saving knowledge.