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Old 07-08-2014, 11:30 AM   #1
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Building a computer faraday cage


I'd like to build a simple box around my computer to prevent it from radiating EMI and interfering with some of my other equipment. I'm thinking of something simple and lightweight and lined with aluminum foil maybe? I don't use wifi. Any ideas for construction materials or methods?

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Old 07-08-2014, 12:16 PM   #2
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Building a computer faraday cage


What other equipment are you concerned about? Have you actually measured any of this EMI?

You're going to create some serious heat and airflow issues if you put an aluminum foil box around your computer (unless this is a joke, in which case, GOOD ONE!)

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Old 07-08-2014, 12:21 PM   #3
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Building a computer faraday cage


Instead of a liner, make the whole thing a mesh. Just use screen style metal mesh. Make a frame and construct from there. this way there are no heat build up issues.
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:54 PM   #4
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Building a computer faraday cage


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Instead of a liner, make the whole thing a mesh. Just use screen style metal mesh. Make a frame and construct from there. this way there are no heat build up issues.
I like that idea a lot. Any tips for building a simple frame for it?
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:12 PM   #5
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Building a computer faraday cage


Laptop or Desktop? Most desktop computers are basically built inside a metal framework that will pretty much act as a Faraday cage.. Not a really good one, but good enough.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:00 PM   #6
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Building a computer faraday cage


Most of the EMI is not Coming from the case but rather the cables going to and from the case....especially the monitor cable.

It's better to shield the device that your 'trying' to keep quiet.
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:05 PM   #7
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Building a computer faraday cage


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It's better to shield the device that your 'trying' to keep quiet.
Agreed. But I don't like those quotes around 'trying'.
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:09 PM   #8
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Building a computer faraday cage


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Originally Posted by steveinNEPA View Post
Instead of a liner, make the whole thing a mesh. Just use screen style metal mesh. Make a frame and construct from there. this way there are no heat build up issues.
I'm talking to these guys about providing the mesh:

http://www.zippertubing.com

Could I just lay it over each components? Maybe fold it back from the front so I can access the controls? Maybe too much heat that way.
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Old 07-10-2014, 06:22 PM   #9
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Building a computer faraday cage


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Originally Posted by diyrocks View Post
I'd like to build a simple box around my computer to prevent it from radiating EMI and interfering with some of my other equipment. I'm thinking of something simple and lightweight and lined with aluminum foil maybe? I don't use wifi. Any ideas for construction materials or methods?
Quote:
Originally Posted by diyrocks View Post
I'm talking to these guys about providing the mesh:

http://www.zippertubing.com

Could I just lay it over each components? Maybe fold it back from the front so I can access the controls? Maybe too much heat that way.
First it was a PC- what else are you trying to shield?

Isn't your PC case metal or is it full of windows or plastic? Wouldn't the metal case itself be enough?
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Old 07-10-2014, 06:34 PM   #10
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Building a computer faraday cage


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First it was a PC- what else are you trying to shield?

Isn't your PC case metal or is it full of windows or plastic? Wouldn't the metal case itself be enough?
Ah, more of this thread was deleted than I thought. I'm shielding my stereo gear from EMI/RFI. My first thought was to shield EMI producers like my computer but I think it's a better idea to shield the stereo gear itself.
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Old 07-12-2014, 12:37 AM   #11
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Building a computer faraday cage


Expect a lot of detail work. A good place to start research would be ARRL publications about how to protect consumer electronics from nearby radio stations. That may be overkill but it will give you ideas.

How will you know when you've succeeded unless you've got a detectable problem now?
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:56 AM   #12
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Building a computer faraday cage


Well it's just a hobby thing so I don't want to get too crazy. As far as succeeding, I don't hope to totally eliminate EMI/RF (although you would think so since I said "faraday cage") but only reduce it as much as reasonably possible. I'll use my ears to find out if I'm going in the right direction.
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:01 AM   #13
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Building a computer faraday cage


I would buy the most square case I could find, remove all components, install whatever shielding *inside* of the computer case, and call it a day.

But as pointed out above -- the cables are probably your culprit.

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