Latest Reader Q (Aug. 11, 2017)

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Here is the latest reader Q – along with my reply:

Clay asks:

In a , let’s say 1970s gas auto, with points distributor, What would actually “fry” if there was an EM pulse. My friend and I have debated this for several years over beers. Is there any hard actual proof?

My reply:

My understanding is that an electromagnetic pulse would affect transistors and other such solid state electronics, especially those plugged into the grid and which have antennas (good article here).

A mechanical/points distributor shouldn’t be affected because it does not have solid state electronics. The rest of the engine in the car you posit is also “solid state” – carbureted vs. fuel-injected, etc. It should not be affected by an EMP.

Your main problem, post EMP, will be finding gas. Most of the pumps will be out and of course, the public will be going ape to get whatever fuel remains available. The other problem with this scenario is storage. Whatever gas you manage to secure or have on hand will only remain viable for a matter of several months, even if treated. After a year or so, we’re all out of luck – no matter how much we managed to store.

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  1. I find it hard to worry about an EMP situation. The chance of only that sorta thing is remote.

    Are the warhawks so deluded they think there will also be survivors?

    Those drills in school were ludicrous. I once voiced that thought to a teacher who was a family friend. I don’t remember her exact words but it was close to “just play along with it ”

    West Tx was chock full of missiles and Dyess AFB, part of the Strategic Air Command and home to a plethora of B-52’s, was 45 miles from the school.

    From the time I could read the old parody sign on the wall at the barbershop summed it up.

    “In Case of Nuclear Attack Bend over and put your head between your legs….and kiss your sweet ass goodbye.”

    The chances of us having more than a blink of an eye warning were 0….and still are.

    It’s not like anyone who knows missiles are on the way will let the public know.

    • The EMP threat is that big yellow thing in the sky and while the fedgov is all about mandating all sorts of things on our daily lives it won’t bother to mandate the relatively cheap steps to harden the grid against an EMP, at least of the solar variety.

      As to the warhawks, since Curtis LeMay their idea is if the last american dies after the last enemy then that’s victory. They are insane but people worship the violently insane.

    • Oh, jeez, how horrifyin. There’s gotta be a couple hundred white guys all in one group over there. This will not stand, I tell you. The horror. The horror. Exterminate all the brutes, as Mister Kurtz said.

  2. With a points/condensor ignition setup, even if the condensor was fried by an emp surge, that would be an easy fix. Mentioning this because someone claimed once that a condensor would be affected by a pulse. Maybe such a pulse would fry a condensor if the engine was running, I don’t know.

    Anyway being close enough to a blast to be affected by the emp pulse would be close enough that you might not even survive anyway, que` no?

    • Ed, distance from the “event ” will be the deciding factor. Plus the power in the event determines the range. Close enough more than solid state will be destroyed but whether it will matter to animals at that proximity is more than likely “classified “. My group has asked that question many times over many years and the proximity to power ratio seems impossible to find. No one may know the answer but if anyone does they’re keeping it close to vest.

      Yesterday describing find that fuel in the barn I left out one important factor and that was the age of the fuel which was 3 years in that steel can.

      I know without a doubt had it been in plastic it wouldn’t have been good and even that varies as to how much light it’s been exposed to and how much light gets through the container and what type of fuel along with what blends and if it’s been mixed with stabilizer and what kind.

      I have found this out over the course of a couple decades at the least.

      Lots of difference in fuels. The same fuel that melted the rubber tube pickup on my chainsaw did no damage to my welder. Sure wish I hadn’t gotten that fuel mixed up since that was back when my source had always been pure gasoline. It cost me the engine on my Stihl chainsaw. The pumps indicated no change but I knocked off the alcohol by smell.

      • There are two sources for pure gasoline here. Wish you could get some where you are, since you have a lot more power equipment to take care of than I do. That Lucas ethanol treatment has worked out OK for me, no trouble since that time I told about on here when my chain saw started spraying fuel from an eaten up line.

        I use the Lucas in my can when I’m not going to be out near the pure gas sources, one of which is about 20 miles away and the other being about 30 miles off.

        One push mower needs a carb rebuild, though. I might actually get to that someday.


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