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Lead lined media safe

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  • Lead lined media safe

    Have any of you thought about a lead-lined media safe to store your backups in? With the possible threat of EMP (electro magnetic pulse) and the sun supposedly going to enter a hot phase in the next few years, what precautions are you taking?

    I've been looking for a lead-lined media safe but haven't found one.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Brian Harney View Post
    I've been looking for a lead-lined media safe but haven't found one.
    Can you buy sheet lead? Over here it is used in roofing so is easily obtained.


    • #3
      Honestly, a safe if not the best way to protect media. Your biggest enemies are fire, water, mechanical damage... Lots of safes contain only charcoal and melted plastic after a fire.

      If EMPs are your biggest concern, I'm pretty sure that it isn't lead that you need. A well-grounded copper enclosure, maybe. And/or maybe something ferromagnetic. If I understand the physics anyway.

      -- Eric


      • #4
        Faraday cage anyone ?

        You're never too old to learn something stupid.


        • #5
          Have you considered that lead has a melting point of 621.5 F.

          Wouldn't do to have the contents of your safe covered with melted lead. Be better off with well insulated steel.
          There are no atheists in a fox hole or the morning of a math test.
          If my flag offends you, I'll help you pack.


          • #6
            With lead you wouldn't have to worry about Superman reading your data. Or was that Kryptonite?

            Among the Round Tablers [at the Algonquin Hotel],
            Sherwood stood out like a grandfather’s clock.
            The tick of his talk was measured,
            his words seeming to be spaced by minutes,
            but when he chimed he struck gaily.
            John Mason Brown
            It's a pretty day. I hope you enjoy it.


            JWAM: (Quit Smoking):
            LDN - A Miracle Drug:


            • #7
              Here in Texas, we use our gun safes to protect our backups!

              Mine, about 5'x4'x2', weighs about 500 pounds (lots of steel) and is fire rated to about 1800F for about 2 hours (Fire Dept has time to act). The door is specially lined with a material that will melt and seal the door, preventing the hot air from the fire from getting into the safe (wouldn't want our bullets going off, although, in a safe it won't make much different).


              • #8
                Interestingly, EMP pulse issues are handled very well by steel. Assuming that the steel is a box, with whatever is inside it that doesn't 'see' to the outside world from the box. Same sort of thing as to power line protection as to steel or iron devices that can be used to isolate what is inside the box, computer, printer, or whatever, that is in a 'protective' case. If you think about it, of course by far the most electronic gadgets these days are powered by switching power supplies these days. That do not use old-fashioned transformers. But if you have a 'quality' pig iron transformer, that for example takes a 120VAC 60 Hertz AC line voltage, which then magnetizes an iron transformer core to the 60 Hertz 'vibration', then uses a tenth of the turns to scale that 120VAC down to 12VAC - think! There is no realistic way that a megahertz wave will be able to cross over through that pig iron core to the secondary voltage point. If, as properly designed, the iron core, the shielded compartment and so on, don't let it charge the case and bleed through to the inside.

                As well, a properly designed 120VAC line filter that also uses pig-iron chokes to 'resist' the spike and keep that on the outside of the case also can be used to enable switching type power supplies to be EMP pulse safe. The key to all this is to make sure that the huge voltage spike is routed to GROUND outside the domain of the case and not inward to the electronics inside the case.

                Grow this up to protecting a whole ROOM against this. In this case we can, for example, make a copper wire mesh that is part of the walls, doors, windows; whatever, for the room. We can carefully filter all electrical wire connections to keep this mess outside the ROOM. This copper wire 'mesh' cage is what was in another message here called a Faraday Shield. And important here, as long as NETWORK data connections are NOT used with copper wires, but with fiber optic cable, there is no penetration of the EMP pulse/Solar Flare issue in this way into the protected room .. or .. box .. or computer .. or relay rack; whatever.

                So the issue about protecting your data, even in a steel safe, isn't quite the whole issue here. What is also very important, as was said, is that you have to also protect whatever from temperature destruction of your storage media, whatever that may be.

                As a very long time professional radio engineer, I can assure you that a radio or tv broadcast station tower in any kind of a thunderstorm geographic environment gets hit MANY times a year directly by lightning! Dozens of times a year here, for example, at the Texas Aggie WTAW radio station where I was chief engineer for years back in the late 50-60's here in bad thunderstorm country in central Texas. Even my ham radio low band HF tower site gets hit at least three times or more a year directly to this day! And by using the proper pig-iron and lightning mitigation techniques, I have not lost even one computer system item other and a couple modems in over 35 years due to lightning.

                One of the key things you can do to help protect things this way is to use a quality UPS power protection unit that still uses a pig-iron transformer in it. Such as the APC series that have this. A second issue is to CAREFULLY handle your ground protection and line arrangement so that you do *NOT* let the surge move down a 'common' 'green ground' line back *INTO* your electronic equipment!

                You can't for example, use the UPS to protect the computer, then connect that to a laser printer that is plugged into a wall socket and not through the UPS!

                That .. plus .. taking care to keep your critical data storage media and devices inside iron boxware that stops the magnetic damage, plus RF/wave pulses from damaging them in electrically improper boxware, plus the ability to survive a fire situation that romps the temperature up that will destroy the media ..

                Is the real goal here.

                Those of you professionally interested in computer cases which are pulse protected, might want to investigate the Tri-Mag company product line. I worked intensively with them to help them design a complete line of EMP pulse certifiable relay rack case units that can handle both SMB industrial and regular motherboard industrial cases.

                No .. none of this would survive a ground zero bomb drop. But at least we can work toward anything but a direct hit survival issue. In my humble opinion.
                Mike Luther


                • #9
                  Backup over the internet and let the supplier(s) handle the risk. Instead of buying more hardware.put the effort into evaluating suppliers.


                  • #10
                    How about paper and a very good fire-proof safe?

                    Most everything on your computer that is "yours" started out as input from
                    somewhere and can ( after the disaster ) be scanned back in on the newly
                    set-up system. If not then maybe you don't really need it. In some cases,
                    wouldn't it be "convenient" to claim that all records of "that" were totally

                    As for me, I'd probably just start from scratch again. If I created it in the
                    first place then the 2nd time around I could probably do it better. That is
                    considering that it would probably take a couple years at least before there
                    are any untouched systems to restore to and that you can find the "money"
                    to buy them with ( have you checked what backup protection your bank has ? ).

                    This is getting real depressing. Time for a tea break ( tea from a bag ... never
                    had any luck straining the leaves out and they always made a mess in the
                    trash ).


                    • #11
                      Take the insurance money and retire.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paul D. Elliott View Post
                        ... tea from a bag ... never had any luck straining the leaves out and they always made a mess in the trash...
                        what a waste!


                        • #13
                          My answer was way too depressing so I wiped it. Can't even work off the
                          frustration by shovelling snow ( don't feel like moving the 5 foot snow banks
                          1 shovelful at a time up past 6 cars to dump them on the 6 foot snow bank ).

                          Maybe I'll just lose myself in some old programming project for a few hours.

                          ( they don't seem to have one for tea ).


                          • #14
                            Media safe

                            Well, that certainly was a wide variety of responses.

                            Like Beene, I too have backups stored in my gun safe, but I'm not sure if solid steel will protect against EMPs like perhaps a Faraday cage might. BTW, I have my ammo in my safe all pointed away from the backups {grin}.

                            Now, where's the ultra dense, ultra high capacity, holographic storage that IBM promised us 15 years ago?


                            • #15
                              Now, where's the ultra dense, ultra high capacity, holographic storage that IBM promised us 15 years ago?
                              I think there's place on Rigel IV you can get that .....
                              Michael Mattias
                              Tal Systems Inc.
                              Racine WI USA