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If every computer chip for a thousand miles was destroyed

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27 Apr 2019 13:05 #29058 by tmcquinn
2011 Subaru, 5 speed manual

I have too many cars. I picked the 2011 hoping it was old enough that the chips are in the ECU.

I am not a prepper. I do not think an EMP attack is imminent. But I do think it is plausible. I post this merely as a thought exercise, not a call to panic.

I watched the new video where a new ECU was installed. I'm not sure my scanner is up to that task but there are some good shops around. So, hypothetically, if I guy had a spare ECU stored in a protected manner, and an EMP attack burned out every computer chip for a thousand miles, are there any other chips in a modern car that would have to work for the car to be driveable? I don't know, maybe ABS or something.

There are certainly places where this gets discussed. I would like to hear from people who actually know cars...

"I'll never know it all but I'm willing to settle for knowing where to find the answer!"

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27 Apr 2019 14:24 - 27 Apr 2019 14:29 #29060 by Andy.MacFadyen
Hot tube ignition no electrics of any kind involved. ?

Or an old style mechanical injection diesel.

" Welcome to the 21st"


Last edit: 27 Apr 2019 14:29 by Andy.MacFadyen.

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27 Apr 2019 15:10 #29061 by tmcquinn
Well, we haven't really done a test since 61 or 62 but I think all the older stuff with points & carbs would still work. However, I don't know about everyone else but bringing one more car home here is gonna guarantee a war. :)

"I'll never know it all but I'm willing to settle for knowing where to find the answer!"

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06 May 2019 10:03 #29331 by PDM
Here's a rough description of EMI. The strength of a magnetic field can be measured in V/m. Essentially, the induced voltage on a component is directly proportional to the length of an attached conductor subjected to the field. Also, RF is too fast for any type of typical surge protection such as lightning. Finally, RF degrades over distance, so, the resulting voltage (overvoltage) and whether or not a component will survive the event is totally dependent on the strength of the magnetic field at the source and the components distance from the source.

Only rough assumptions can be made of the values with the high end being a high altitude nuke (HEMP). In industry, the general consensus is that most PCBs would survive an EMP. A laptop would likely survive. Desktops would not due to the longer cabling. About any small component sitting on a shelf would suffer no damage. Any car with a computer (including the ignition module on any old distributor system) would suffer damage. A long enough wire connected to a critical computer driver would result in a no start / no run situation. The modules on a car are safe, but cars have a lot of wiring and none of it is shielded. (I know, some circuits are shielded) I have no idea how well engine sensors would handle high voltage. I think an electric fuel pump would be toast. I would go for a mechanical fuel pump, distributor, and a few extra ignition modules on the shelf.

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