Electronic Gun safes and EMP

Rwjeter

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I've been wanting another Gun Safe. All the ones I've had in the past were the classic turn dial combination. I've always had this fear of EMP disabling the lock. I recently saw a Steelwater EMP Proof safe. It has a keyed mechanical back up (from what I understand it's more than just inserting a key and turning to prevent lockpicking) if the electronics fail. What are your thoughts?
 

Laufen

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That's how the electronic locked safes work. They'll typically come with two physical keys to use in the event the lock is disabled. I have an electronic lock on mine, but I'd prefer a Sargeant and Greenleaf lock.

Just to be trite, I'll repeat some of age old saying about safes:

Buy bigger than you think you'll need
Bolt it down
Not all fire ratings are conducted the same way, so you can't compare apples to apples
Most damage done to contents is from water via the fire department, so get one with a good heat activated seal.

That's all I got.
 
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Jake

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That's one of the few complaints I have about my little cheap Tractor Supply Winchester 51 Gun Safe is a lack of a key backup. I'd never be able to get into it in the event of an EMP. On the Tractor Supply website it says...

SmartSelect_20180726-083603_Samsung Internet.jpg

Also, I have the older model with the weird ass keypad that doesn't have the numbers in the typical location like on most things with a number keypad.
Mine looks like this...
SmartSelect_20180726-084027_Samsung Internet.jpg
As opposed to a tradition number keypad...
SmartSelect_20180726-084118_Samsung Internet.jpg

I've entered the wrong combination several times in the dark, or just not paying attention in a hurry and got locked out of it for over an hour. It's really frustrating when it happens, which has only been a few times and luckily I didn't really need anything out of it at the time but if I did I would have been fucked.
 
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dial1911

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I've done some studying on EMPs before and I think the mass effects are over exaggerated. It makes for a good book, but I'm not sure how realistic it is to say that every single microprocessor will definitely be fried.

Power lines will collect huge voltages that, I believe, will destroy/damage distribution networks and likely cause heavy damage at power generation stations. I do not believe that *most* vehicles will be seriously damaged (i.e. inoperable). I read something on this, maybe opinion, but it was convincing enough. I have also seen pictures of the wooden test structures that were built in the desert (in the 1960s/1970s) where aircraft were tested in a simulated EMP. They were not damaged. Yes, "chips" were more heavy-duty then... but also much larger.

This is all contingent on the strength of the pulse. I think it's measured in watts/meter^2 on the ground. The basic idea is a neutron rich nuclear device is detonated above the ionosphere and those neutrons knock ionosphere electrons out of place and sending them raining down on us poor people below (like a damn blanket of static electricity). Us (non-metallic) people will be fine. But metal things that cover a crap ton of square meters (power lines, water pipes, railroad rails, etc) will be hit by, and conduct lots of that electron rain.

I think the crux of most arguments is that a microprocessor has such a tiny area, it's not going to absorb much of the static. I'll have to try to find some field density estimates later (watts/meter^2). You can figure the area of the chip vs. the watts/area and get an idea of how much power it would absorb. That also assumes that the chip is 100% exposed to the pulse. That's not really the case. Anything made of metal (even metal roof panels, like on most commercial buildings) will provide some protection from the "electron rain".

Now for anything plugged into the wall (i.e. connected to those super-charged power lines), all bets are off.
 

EugenFJR

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I've been wanting another Gun Safe. All the ones I've had in the past were the classic turn dial combination. I've always had this fear of EMP disabling the lock. I recently saw a Steelwater EMP Proof safe. It has a keyed mechanical back up (from what I understand it's more than just inserting a key and turning to prevent lockpicking) if the electronics fail. What are your thoughts?
Just leave them under your bed??? :noidea:

I honestly don't think a EMP will take out every single electronic, esp. something as simple as a gun safe lock... I think Dial 1911 is spot on.
 
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Mac11FA

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I've done some studying on EMPs before and I think the mass effects are over exaggerated. It makes for a good book, but I'm not sure how realistic it is to say that every single microprocessor will definitely be fried.

Power lines will collect huge voltages that, I believe, will destroy/damage distribution networks and likely cause heavy damage at power generation stations. I do not believe that *most* vehicles will be seriously damaged (i.e. inoperable). I read something on this, maybe opinion, but it was convincing enough. I have also seen pictures of the wooden test structures that were built in the desert (in the 1960s/1970s) where aircraft were tested in a simulated EMP. They were not damaged. Yes, "chips" were more heavy-duty then... but also much larger.

This is all contingent on the strength of the pulse. I think it's measured in watts/meter^2 on the ground. The basic idea is a neutron rich nuclear device is detonated above the ionosphere and those neutrons knock ionosphere electrons out of place and sending them raining down on us poor people below (like a damn blanket of static electricity). Us (non-metallic) people will be fine. But metal things that cover a crap ton of square meters (power lines, water pipes, railroad rails, etc) will be hit by, and conduct lots of that electron rain.

I think the crux of most arguments is that a microprocessor has such a tiny area, it's not going to absorb much of the static. I'll have to try to find some field density estimates later (watts/meter^2). You can figure the area of the chip vs. the watts/area and get an idea of how much power it would absorb. That also assumes that the chip is 100% exposed to the pulse. That's not really the case. Anything made of metal (even metal roof panels, like on most commercial buildings) will provide some protection from the "electron rain".

Now for anything plugged into the wall (i.e. connected to those super-charged power lines), all bets are off.

The surface area of the actual.metal components of the circuitry as well as proximity to the blast will determine as well. It is great for books and movies but maybe not overall as big a deal. I am sure that there are some entrepreneurs out there who will try to make money on selling EMP resistant components but there is no current real world testing to show that modern day components are as susceptible to this.

Static is one way to describe although EMP is a collapsing magnetic field and will induce current in conductors ( wire, rails, circuit traces etc.) If this induced current is greater than the circuit and/or components it is designed for, then that is when the damage occurs. So, for a safe lock, it will be based on the size of the circuit board ( traces and layers) as to how easily it will be damaged.

Remeber that they are designed to run off a 9V battery so not going to handle maybe 100mA total circuit current. A fuse will not protect it. Your better off with a metal cage (Faraday comes to mind) to protect it. Most locks have a lot of chrome trim (plastic yes. but has a metal molecular componet) which will help act as protection. The weakest and largest conductor area will actually be the keypad circuit due to all the traces used.

Worried about an EMP taking out your safe lock? Take some of the tin foil from your hat and cover the lock. LOL.

Seriously, a simple foil shield should protect the lock.
 
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NWS

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Anything strong enough to get electronics would kill me instantly so IDGAF.
 
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dial1911

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Go mechanical and be done with it. I don't trust electronic locks to start with.

I think that's a very good point- there's a heck of a lot more to go wrong with a chip/wired/batteried/lock actuator/keypad/etc. than just a very well proven mechanical lock.

EMP aside, I would say that the mechanical lock is way, way ahead in terms of reliability.
 
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